Destination Scouting: Hotel Coral Marina in Ensenada, Mexico

All photos by Natalie Zimmerman.

All photos by Natalie Zimmerman.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of scouting a popular wedding location. If you’re looking for a destination that’s easy for guests to attend and has a beautiful ocean view, the Hotel Coral Marina in Ensenada Mexico has everything you will need.  It makes for a romantic wedding with lots for guests to see and do.

The hotel arranged for one of their shuttle drivers to pick us up at the boarder. For an additional cost the hotel will pick up any guest from the boarder, even as far north as Los Angeles. Our driver Francisco was extremely helpful and was able to answer any questions we had while driving along the coast of Baja. It’s about a two hour drive from the boarder to the hotel, which makes for a very easy weekend trip.

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There are several different event spaces at the hotel to choose from depending on what you want and how many guests will be attending. There are three separate spaces inside the ballroom, which can open up to one large space for 500 people. If you’re looking for something outside, there’s a stone platform near the pool with a view of the harbor, which can be used as a ceremony or reception space for 100 people. There’s also a smaller garden space and patio a little closer to the harbor, but the best spot in the house is La Isla. La Isla, or the island, is the most popular space at the hotel and can host 450 people. The hotel provides transportation to La Isla, which is located on the other side of the harbor, so ladies don’t need to worry about walking in their heels. They can save their feet for a long night of dancing by the moonlit ocean. From La Isla there’s a view of the hotel and harbor, which makes for a beautiful backdrop for pictures.

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Whether you’re planning a wedding for 200 or 500 people, Hotel Coral Marina has all of your needs covered. Their extremely helpful staff will give you vendor recommendations and help you choose your three course meal from their twelve different menu options.

There’s plenty for couples and guests to do, from lounging by the pool to getting a treatment at the spa. I received the Vino Wine Therapy, which was an amazing body treatment that includes a wine infused body mask. I’ve never had anything like that before!

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But my favorite part was the wine tasting tour. I didn’t realize how many wineries were in Ensenada’s Guadalupe Valley. The hotel will arrange a wine tour with one of their private drivers, which makes for a great activity for wedding guests or an excursion with the bridal party.

We started at Monte Xanic, which recently opened its new tasting room in August 2014. Located on top of a hill overlooking the vineyards and valley, the tasting room has a rustic yet elegant feel. The open air patio welcomes guests to enjoy their wine with a view, but even if you’re inside at the bar, you can peek out the large open entry at the mountains in the distance. Guests are able to take a tour of the winery in either English or Spanish. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about wine and the wine making process. I felt like I took a crash course on viticulture.

We then headed to Hacienda la Lomita, our second winery on the tour. It also had amazing views of the vineyard and valley. The beautiful tasting room is like a hacienda, with a rooftop balcony for relaxing and picture taking. My favorite wine was Cusi, a ruby rose with a sweet raspberry candy taste.

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We had lunch at Malva, a premier restaurant tucked away in the hills of the valley. Owner and chef, Roberto Alcocer, greeted us at his farm to table outdoor restaurant when we arrived. Everything was exquisite from start to finish; even the refreshing butterfly pea flower infused water was amazing. All of the food is made fresh from the farm or caught right there in Baja. The cheese is made from the goat’s milk on the farm, the wine is barreled and harvested there, even the rosemary in the fresh bread was picked right there on the property. I can go on about how amazing this meal was, which I will on my personal blog NatalieNotions.com, so stay tuned there. When visiting Ensenada it simply can’t be missed.

Hotel Coral Marina is the perfect place for a destination wedding with everything at your fingertips. It also makes for a great honeymoon or romantic destination, where you can relax in a room with a harbor view after a day of sipping fine wines.

Full disclosure: I visited Hotel Coral Marina as part of a media trip and my stay was complimentary, however all opinions are my own and the hotel did not approve this review before publication.  

Natalie Zimmerman

A trained creative writer, Natalie has studied poetry at Cambridge University and Screenwriting at UCLA. Her lifestyle blog NatalieNotions.com combines her love of travel and fashion. She's always planning a trip and the perfect outfit pairing. When she isn't writing, Natalie is practicing yoga or working on her next short film.

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