Los Cabos is back and better than ever, after the Baja California Peninsula suffered $1.22 billion in damages from Hurricane Odile in 2014. Significant repairs achieved at warp speed have beautifully restored Cabo San Lucas and San Jose de Cabo, collectively known as Los Cabos, one of the most desirable, picturesque holiday destinations in Mexico. Often referred to as “the end of the earth,” this beautiful area boasts a lush green landscape stretching between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California and framed by stunning sandy beaches and dramatic coastlines.
San Jose del Cabo is a tranquil town with cobblestone streets and charming boutiques that sell local arts and crafts, handcrafted silver and clothing. On the opposite side of the peninsula, the lively, bohemian Cabo San Lucas offers a party lifestyle, marina and luxury shopping mall. The distinctive persona of Los Cabos shines in its wealth of shopping and activities unique to the region.
In Los Cabos, championship golf courses wind through centuries- old cacti in rugged desert mountain terrain, making each hole a memorable experience. Jack Nicklaus described the Cabo del Sol course as “the most spectacular golf course property on earth.”
More than 800 species of game fish await deep-sea fishermen on the Gordo or Jaime Bank at the Marlin Capital of the World. While snorkeling in crystal-clear water around the natural reef, expect to encounter manta rays, sea turtles and hammerheads. Swim deep with dolphins, climb high for bungee jumping, or, on terra firma, discover the beauties of Baja’s wild, mountainous deserts.
At the legendary One&Only Palmilla resort, red-tiled roofs and whitewashed walls surrounded by swaying palms create an idyllic setting. With a margarita in hand, this the perfect way to watch the sun set in a blaze of crimson and amethyst. In the rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows ensure no mesmerizing ocean views are missed.
At Palmilla, Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has imprinted his internationally renowned signature style onto Seared, a new steakhouse. The finest steaks, including Kobe Tomahawk and Porterhouse, await in a glass-walled, dry-edge curing room, and fresh seafood also is available. Dine al fresco on the stunning, ocean-facing terrace or inside on Aztec-themed marble floors under elegant, tawny chandeliers.
For guests who desire Asian cuisine, Chef Yoshiaki Akaike demonstrates his expertise in sushi and sashimi in the Japanese Suviche restaurant.
Completing the dining experience is Chef Larbi Dahrouch, whose extensive travels throughout Mexico have influenced his creations. Guests also may indulge in the tequila and mescal trolley. Dining within unique pods perched among rocks above the Sea of Cortez ensures an intensely memorable experience.
At the Palmilla, guests stay in casas (houses) nestled around the edge of the Cabo peninsula. Gentle breezes kiss private balconies and patios adjoining beautifully refurbished guest rooms and suites. In the apartments, Mexican handcrafted accessories accent decor in rich red, soft cream and deep blues. To meet guests’ every need, 24-hour butlers provide service with a smile.
At OBO Salon, Beverly Hills stylists Jonathan and George provide ladies with signature treatments, such as Baja Deep Tissue Pindas Ritual. Treatments also are available in the privacy of individual villas set among secluded courtyards. Also offered are plunge pools, rain showers and hair and beauty treatments. Barber & Blade, an exclusive men’s salon, provides elegant barbershop-quality shaving and grooming experiences.
During the winter, camel safaris often see amazing views of humpback whales swimming down the coast. Cruise in the sumptuous One & Only, Palmilla’s 43-foot Azimat yacht, skip the waves on a water motorbike or don an underwater helmet for an unusual sea trek in zero gravity. Kids’ programs include laughter-inducing piñata-making classes, origami, picnics and games. As night falls, and bright stars emerge, a star-gazing session reveals new light on the mysteries of the universe.
Following Hurricane Odile, the Esperanza resort in Los Cabos underwent extensive redesign. All aspects of the resort, including guest rooms, terraces, reception areas and restaurants, have been transformed and are even more magnificent.
With its unique coastal location, perched on top of cliffs within the exclusive enclave of Punta Ballena, Esperanza has long been a favorite destination of travelers who delight in barefoot elegance. To enter the secluded resort, guests pass through two gates and are rewarded by two beach coves—sans public access—where they can enjoy sun and surf in total privacy.
Rising from the ocean in a fairy-tale setting, tiered infinity pools stretch to the horizon. Lowslung terracotta buildings amid stone walkways and lush greenery convey intimacy and tranquility in this elegant tropical oasis.
Soft, white-edged netting draped over beds and handcrafted Baja-style furnishings continue the ambiance. From the palatial rooms of Esperanza’s casitas, guests enjoy stunning views of gardens. The ocean terraces offer hammocks and private, infinity- edge hot tubs.
Esperanza’s luxury spa has been named the No. 1 spa in Latin America. Signature treatments include a warm, sun-baked, river-stone massage designed to soothe muscles and ease tension, followed by a refreshing cucumber- and-lime facial.
Private chefs and butlers provide the ultimate in personal service. Cochina del Mar is known for its broad variety of fresh fish and seafood served amid an oceanfront setting with a spectacular view of the beach. Alternatively, PESCA features a new, hand-sculpted ceramic ceviche bar that boasts made-to-order, citrus- cured seafood dishes inspired by Latin and Asian flavors.
Thompson Hotel / The Cape
Close to the tip of the Baja California Sur Peninsular sparkles The Cape, the first-ever Thompson Hotel. Set beside Monuments Beach, the surfer’s paradise, this resort caters to discerning guests.
Larger-than-life Richard Serra-inspired art sculptures framed by lush vegetation mark the ascending driveway. The precise siting of the hotel ensures each guestroom and most public spaces enjoy superb views of both the Sea of Cortez and the famed El Arco granite arch, which was carved by centuries of winds and waves. The six-story building sports a rooftop lounge, complete with bars, fire pits and peaceful water features.
Interior decor is a mix of clean, contemporary lines combined with a relaxed 1960s southern- California-meets-Baja style. Unusual wing-tipped leather headboards and freestanding copper-leafed bathtubs introduce an unexpected element. Bathtubs are carefully positioned to ensure privacy while concurrently granting an unrestricted view of the terrace and the ocean beyond. Each terrace includes binoculars for whale-watching, and large floor-to-ceiling windows provide stunning views across the bay.
Tequila produced and bottled exclusively for The Cape is provided in each guest room; Realeza Mexicana tequila is made from 100% blue agave, accompanied by fresh orange slices and Sal de Gusano, a traditional condiment of smoky, savory salt made of gusano worms.
Calming ocean waves provide music for spa cabanas snuggled among rock formations. With a minimalist approach, conveyed in dark charcoal gray walls and sparse artwork, the Spa allows the adjacent desert-meets-thesea landscape to dominate. Try out signature treatments, such as Currents Anti-Aging Massage of orange and rose oils blended with natural massage oil or a face massage with Tata Harper Facial Serum. Yoga and private workout sessions with expert trainers keep muscles in trim.
Gourmet dining awaits at the refined, yet casual, Manta Restaurant supervised by acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera of Cosme restaurant in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood. Guests may watch the chef at work in the exhibition- style kitchen, with its teppanyaki and robata grills. Locally sourced seafood and homemade tortillas appear prominently on the menus, together with fine craft spirits and Mexican delicacies. For something extra-special when celebrating with friends, experience the 360-degree transparent wall of the Glass Box.
Award-winning mixologist Osvaldo Vazquez received the G’Vine Global Bartender award, earned by his ingenious cocktail inspired by the creator of color television. Weekly tasting sessions, hosted by Vazquez, enable guests to try new creations as part of the Agave Experience, a special array of unique tequila, mescal and other regional agave spirits.
Guests may experience the ocean’s splendor via sunset cruises, snorkeling and sailing. On terra firma, buggies are available for exploration of the Sierra. Alternatively, choose an excursion to the beautiful colonial town of Todos Santos, nestled amid the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains foothills, or explore art and architecture of San José del Cabo.
Imposing, glamorous and enticing, Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos makes a significant impression upon guests arriving at the golden colonnaded lobby and panoramic views.
In the rooms, handcrafted wood furnishings and terracotta tiled floors provide gentle accents to neutral color schemes. Baths resemble private spas complete with rainfall showers, and private balconies open to ocean vistas.
The patios of swim-up suites lead to sparkling, private outdoor pools, and personal concierge service ensures superb service with prompt response. The premium-level lounge offers imported drinks, appetizers, table games and books.
Sip a mojito on the beach while watching waves gently lap the sand or relax with a drink on the terrace. Have a game of billiards in the sports bar, which pays homage to the year Mexico hosted the Olympics.
Seven gourmet restaurants feature cuisine from a variety of international countries, including Spain, Japan, France, Italy, Mexico, and the U.S. The poolside Coco Loco is a guest favorite, offering a genuine cantina atmosphere with tacos, ceviche and guacamole. For casual diners, the Mexican plaza offers an authentic taqueria and innovative food carts with local offerings that change daily.
The restorative Zen spa at Hyatt Ziva uses only botanical products. For something different, try the Chirogolf massage, which employs golf balls, or a palapa-style outdoor treatment in one of the private cabanas. Steam baths, sauna, plunge pool, hydrotherapy and a beauty salon complete the list of available treatments.
Multiple swimming pools on site include an adult-only pool and a children’s water-feature play area. Bask in the sun and dive into the crystal clear waters of the Pacific, then enjoy a yoga session on the beach. For variety, try water aerobics, basketball, beach volleyball or a game of tennis. In the fitness club, a range of equipment helps guests to stay trim. At night, the broad range of live entertainment includes Broadway-style shows in the Gran Teatro.
The Kidz Club provides a comprehensive program of supervised activities for children. Depending on the time of year, youngsters can participate in the release of baby turtles into the sea, a memorable experience. An inclusive oasis with activities for all age groups, Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos is a dream come true.
Casa del Mar
Dramatic decor in rich reds, natural stone and wood sets the tone as guests enter the exclusive Casa del Mar boutique hotel. Gently glowing, ornately carved teak furniture bears witness to the skill of craftspeople in Antigua, as does the stunning, geometric Mexican artwork. In rooms, linens are ornamented by designs of flowers and birds, and marble bathrooms and rain showers complement the furnishings.
Palm trees tower over lush vegetation surrounding the pools and leading down to the beach. A broad expanse of smooth sand, azure sea and distant mountains is visible from every room. Floor-to-ceiling windows in each room open out onto a private terrace, perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine and delicious fresh, local fruit.
Dine in style among elegant courtyards surrounded by tiered colonnades, with each table illuminated by gently flickering wall and table lights. The fountain’s flowing waters sing a pleasant accompaniment to the dining experience. Diners may choose from among a fusion of traditional Mexican and nouvelle cuisine, gourmet menus or organic menus that use locally sourced ingredients, some from the hotel’s vegetable and herb garden. Private, in-room dining can be arranged for an intimate, romantic evening.
The glittering gold entrance to Sueños Del Mar Spa hints at the glowing results awaiting guests. This is a place to replenish energies, regain the skin’s natural luster and rejuvenate every cell. A full range of massage and body therapies are available, including a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. Ocean-front beach cabanas ensure fabulous views while guests undergo treatments. Muscle tone can be improved in the fitness center, which is open 24 hours per day and contains a complete range of cardio and fitness equipment.
A golfer’s paradise, the Casa Del Mar maintains special access to the Grupo Questro, with its challenging golf courses and 11 lush, rolling greens. Nearby are seven championship courses designed by world famous golfers such as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Robert Jones Jr.
Casa Del Mar also offers adventurous guests ziplines, rappelling, bungee jumping and off-road adventures in the Wild Canyon or flying in three dimensions—forward, backward, left, right, over and underwater—in the Hydro Flyboar. A botanical garden contains more than 1,500 varieties of desert plants from around the world. Alternatively, guests can swim with dolphins at the Dolphin Discovery Center.
Hotel El Ganzo
Only a short distance divides Casa del Mar from its sister resort Hotel El Ganzo, but the ambiance is a striking contrast. Conceived as an epicenter for cultural arts, El Ganzo is the only hotel in Cabos with its own underground recording facility. The studio attracts performers from around the world; some visiting artists also present fantastic performances on the lobby stage, with its state-of-the-art audio facilities.
In addition, the hotel offers a special residency program in which visual artists create installations and other works on site. The 2-D and 3-D art on display changes frequently; visual-art programs also include screenings of cutting-edge films. This is, quite simply, an art and music lover’s utopia.
Each room is luxuriously appointed with modern, refined decor that employs natural materials, wooden surfaces and rustic undertones. Each of the large suites has been individually designed and decorated; the artworks contained therein are by El Ganzo’s artists-in-residence and are continually changing. The two largest suites include indoor and outdoor jacuzzis, glass-enclosed gyms, a grand salon and private ping-pong tables.
For a boutique hotel, El Ganzo offers a stunning range of amenities, including a beach club, signature golf courses, a rooftop with lounge, an open-air music venue, restaurant and cabana, a lined infinity pool and a glass-enclosed Jacuzzi offering limitless views of the marina. Dining options are equally broad: Ganzo Downstairs blends traditional Mexican flavors with international cuisine, the bar offers signature cocktails in the bar, and sushi is served all day on the rooftop. An informal ‘no shoes, no problem’ approach characterizes the Ganzo de Playa Beach Club.
Los Cabos is definitely back as a vacation destination and better than ever before. New experiences and new resorts await visitors to this unforgettable destination.