At the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula lies the neighbouring desert destinations of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo – known collectively as Los Cabos, or more colloquially, Cabo.
With distinct personalities that canvas the entire vacation spectrum from ‘tequila’ on one end to ‘tranquil’ on the other, the towns bookend a picturesque corridor of resorts, private beaches, organic farms and sheltered coves perfect for snorkelling stretching from east to west. With its enviable proximity to San Diego and Los Angeles, the region is a firm favourite amongst pillars of the entertainment industry who head south each year for either the region’s annual International Film Festival, its natural beauty or its abundance of (very) margarita-friendly weather.
Below, a guide to some of the region’s finest places to stay, play, wine and dine.
Since the original 15-room hotel opened in 1956, One&Only Palmilla has long been considered a wellspring of luxury and exclusivity for those visiting Cabo – accessible as it was only by private plane or yacht. The resort today still looks over the Sea of Cortez, surrounded by verdant grounds on its own peninsula and with a harder to access (and thus slightly more private) beach. Those looking to channel their inner Jennifer Aniston (a return guest) would do well to investigate Villa Cortez, the resort’s exclusive four-bedroom beachside residence, with a private pool, beach access, private gardens and entertainment areas, a 12-seat private screening room, study and Butler’s quarters.
Opened in 2015, boutique hotel The Cape has fast garnered a reputation amongst Cabo’s aesthete jet set. Boasting enviable vistas over the Bay of San Lucas, the hotel was designed by Mexican architect Javier Sanchez in a style emblematic of the peninsula’s Baja-meets-Southern California locale. The hotel’s in-house seafood restaurant, Manta, serves as an ample showcase of internationally acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera’s signature take on contemporary Mexican food with a Japanese twist. Should the Rooftop Bar prove too crowded, each room boasts a similar view of the iconic San Lucas Arch (and a welcome bottle of tequila).
Credit: Thomas Hart Shelby
Nestled within 17 acres of lush surrounds and positioned on the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Esperanza also enjoys the Sea of Cortez panoramas enjoyed by neighbouring resorts, in addition to yoga classes, cooking classes, beachside massages and private villas with infinity edge hot tubs. During the winter months, a meal at Cocina del Mar overlooking Whale Point has been known to turn into an inadvertent whale watching tour, as eight different species make their rounds of the peninsula.
WINE AND DINE
As the region’s only rooftop bar The Cape offers unsurpassed views toward El Arco and the region’s vivid sunsets, which are complimented by a cocktail menu designed by Osvaldo Vazquez, whose creations utilize local ingredients to bring traditional Latin recipes, spirits and ingredients into a modern – and highly-potable – context.
Having worked up an appetite, head to La Lupita, a beloved taco and mezcal bar in the town of San Jose del Cabo renowned as much for its tacos – take your pick from fish and duck to pork and grasshopper – as it is for its colourful vibe. As with the restaurant’s vast selection of mezcals, owner David Camhi advocates for an all-important balance when it comes to the its speciality: “In every taco, there should be a balance, like in life – not too much filling, so the tortilla can stand the pressure.” La Lupita has also found favour with international tastemakers like Pharrell and Gwyneth Paltrow, so you know it more than passes muster.
Credit: Thomas Hart Shelby
Considering its status as an accessible (and affluent) getaway for those seeking respite from nearby coastal metropolises, Los Cabos boasts a high density of spas harnessing local Mexican techniques and ingredients. Some of the best are located, unsurprisingly, onsite at the region’s resorts including Luna y Mar at The Resort at Pedregal and Las Ventanas’ al Paraiso Spa.
Luna y Mar takes its cues from three central tenets: The Moon, The Sea and Curanderismo or Mexican Folk Healing, a tradition honoured through the incorporation of local rituals, herbs and healing practices to provide a purifying and holistic spa experience. Not to be outdone, Las Ventanas al Pariaso’s spa mainlines the restorative powers of the four elements; the Flor de Luna, a full-body exfoliation with signature scrub made from moon flower, from the pitaya plant indigenous to Baja which blooms under the moon, comes highly recommended and the spa has found favour with fans like Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz.
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