Friday, January 17, 2014

Pueblo Bonito, Sunset Beach SCAM

This is a warning to all potential owners considering buying a timeshare, partial ownership house, or other properties from Pueblo Bonito in Mexico. We have a nice "horror story" that has evolved from our experiences dealing with them, after many years of happy ownership. Here's our warning about these professional scam artists.


Pueblo Bonito will will screw it's first supporters to make a few more pesos. We are long time owners with multiple different units; a beach front condo, a house at Monte Cristo, and recently the new Governors houses at Nova Spania, in Cabo San Lucas. At first Pueblo Bonito offered product and service that was straight up, honest, and decent.

We first bought into Pueblo Bonito at Sunset Beach while it was a conceptual model on a hill overlooking, what is today a bustling, large, vacation paradise. Looks good on the surface, but for unknown reasons management has taken it's scam tactics to new lows and we want out.

Scam #1: Not Delivering On Promises Made During Sales Pitch

We gladly upgraded from our "Executive" to a "Penthouse", then when they started Monte Cristo  we bought again... but their scamming policy had started. We started to notice issues with management years ago, but it was sort of background noise at the time. When we bought, they promised tennis courts at Monte Cristo, as well secure storage and the ever promised, multiple "world class" golf courses.

Ten years later the golf course is actually being developed but ole' the tennis courts and storage turned into more villas. Well we are a little slow, maybe too trusting. Recently, Pueblo Bonito decided to start selling points to owners for the development called Novia Spania, big villas with very good furnishings, eye candy layouts, fine pool, gorgeous kitchens etc. - as you will find out below, that didn't turn out to be what they said it was.

Scam #2: Increasing Maintenance Dues On Existing Owners

We decided to exchange part of our yearly fractional ownership at Monte Cristo ($2,600 yearly maintenance fee for two weeks) along with a sizable chunk of cash and our one week remaining executive suite for enough points to stay at Novia Spania. So every other year we would stay at Novia Spania or Monte Cristo.

During our negotiations we were assured that our maintenance fee for #13 Monte Cristo would remain in effect. They even wrote it down on a piece of paper in front of us. Imagine our shock when we got the bill and the maintenance fee statement demanded $4,600 for the same two weeks that we had bought while our fractional villa was dirt! We notified them of this error via email, with no response for weeks, then finally received a response in our favor, but no fixing has occurred - and there is no resolution so far. They still are saying that we owe them more money.

Scam #3: Not Responding To Owners To Resolve Complaints

The biggest issue at this point is that they don't do what they say they will do, and they don't communicate back or resolve anything. After pointing the maintenance dues disaster out to them, they realized they never had us sign a cancellation on our old contract, so now there were indeed two contracts in effect with two different maintenance fees. After multiple contacts with multiple people, they finally emailed us that they were going to honor the original agreement. But there was no follow through, and no responses from them since that email.

Months later they STILL have not responded to revise their paperwork, notify their own billing company, or gotten back with us after multiple attempts and months going by. So currently, they have only credited our FULL dues as a PARTIAL payment, which reflects that we are the ones with the problem, when they are the ones who messed things up.

Verbal assurances were given, followed by empty email promises. I trusted Pueblo Bonito NOT to stoop so low. To this date, no one has even called me back, even though I have requested a phone call from them multiple times.

Scam #4: Uncomfortable Living Conditions

Back up a little... How was the stay at Novia Spania in October 2013, eye candy house? Well, they did NOT warn us that the pool waterfall would run all night, that the entire house air conditioner would not run at all, so if we wanted to be comfortable, head for the waterfall cause the house was running a fever (about 90F) at midnight.

Multiple calls for redress resulted in more calls for a fix that never happened.  Maintenance was over $3,700 for a week of sauna temperatures, blinking lights and a perpetual waterfall. They did not offer to move us into a new unit, offer any discount on the dues paid, give any consideration, or even apologize after our complaints.

Scam #5: Terribly Poor Quality Service

While at Sunset I wanted show my family Pueblo Bonito Blanco and have dinner at Cilantro's. I cannot describe how I felt when the service caused all my people to complain. Then they served the fresh Dorado that my sister and I caught that day DESTROYED. Inedible. Blackened straight through. Unbelievable.

The contract does mention "breach of contract" for lack of "efficient" operation, but to who's "efficiency" does it reflect? It was more "efficient" for them NOT to maintain the house in a safe and comfortable manner. Did I mention that my brother was in the master bedroom next to the pool suffering from congestive heart failure? I was glad when we left and went to another time share we own across town with good air conditioning and honest management and far less maintenance fees.


Pueblo Bonito: sign with great trepidation, read the fine print, and be warned. We want out of our contract and warn other travelers to avoid this terribly managed company.

Don and Linda Bockelman
Pueblo Bonito Owners, Since 2001


  1. Timeshare fraud has been around since the timeshare idea was created, but they increase during poor economy. When times are difficult, timeshare owners are stuck with properties they can´t travel to or even afford. Desperate to recoup some money to pay for bills, they can easily become victims to scams artists pretending to be their timeshare salvation who will take upfront fees -as much as five number figures in some cases- but fail to fulfill their promise.

  2. I’ve always been wary of timeshares, and for good reason, apparently. The upside is that the cost of staying in a hotel includes room service, cleaning, etc – things you don’t get during your stay in a timeshare. I can see how it could be considered an “investment in lifestyle,” but that seems like a wasteful and silly way to spend my money. That’s just me. I recommend you to read these articles from Mexican Timeshare Solutions on how to get out of a timeshare scam if you want to quit like me :