This A-list destination welcomes a host of new options for all romance travelers.By: Carrie Bell
-AS SEEN IN BRIDAL GUIDE MAGAZINE-
Mexico’s Los Cabos — a magical beach-meets-desert-meets-mountains destination comprised of two towns, Cabo San Lucas and San José Del Cabo, and the 20-mile corridor that connects them — is hotter than ever, and for once it has nothing to do with global warming. Instead, this peninsular paradise, long beloved by celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney and the Kardashians — yes, all of them — is finding new fans thanks to an influx of luxury resorts, a flourishing food scene, great weather, an increasing number of direct flights from the U.S. and plenty of exciting ways to create memories. Whether headed south of the border for your bachelorette weekend, wedding or honeymoon, here’s what’s new in eating, staying and playing in celeb-favored Cabo.
Talk about a growth industry. The number of hotel rooms in Los Cabos grew from 14,000 to 17,000 in 2017, and 4,000 more are expected to come online before 2023, including the anticipated 115-room Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve with three golf courses and a desert botanical park. The East Cape has been largely untouched by tourists (you turn left out of the airport, not right), and that’s where the 141-room Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, the luxury chain’s first with a private marina, has set up shop.
It’s far removed from the main towns, but the property thought of most everything: an organic farm and orchard, four pools, 18 holes of golf, a sports complex with tennis and volleyball courts, excellent dining options and an event space with an awesome indoor/outdoor flow. Bonuses to the location are calmer, warmer waters and a sandy white swimmable coastline, which are uncommon in the region (room rates start at $850 a night).
Nobu Los Cabos, the high-end brand’s first property in the country, opened in June 2019 on the peninsula’s southernmost tip. Its 200 rooms are all about tranquility with a Japanese minimalist design ethos, clean lines, teak soaking tubs, and high thread counts. Some suites come with butlers. There are four pools and swim-up cabanas. The 13,691 square-foot spa pampers with three different couples’ treatments and an outdoor hydrotherapy garden. There’s of course a Nobu restaurant in the complex showcasing miso black cod and inventive sushi rolls. There’s also a 10-seat teppanyaki room for private events like rehearsal dinners (rooms start at $400).
The Resort at Pedregal recently rebranded as The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal but still offers the same smiley service, secluded oceanfront location (behind a towering rock mountain), romantic restaurant (El Farallón) where sea spray kisses your face as you savor grilled snapper, and a superior spa that blends modern techniques and traditional folk healing in treatments inspired by the lunar cycle and ocean. In honor of the property's 10th anniversary, three- and four-bedroom casonas (grand houses) debuted, which are perfect for wedding parties or bachelor/bachelorette weekends as they feature full kitchens, infinity pools, fire pits and butler service. All accommodations are equipped with private plunge pools and daily delivery of housemade guacamole and chips (room rates start at $575 a night).
The architecturally stunning Viceroy Los Cabos — with stark white rooms, glistening water “lawns” and Insta-bait nest-shaped cevichería (ceviche restaurant) — technically opened in mid-2018, but 2019 brought the completion of its most prized amenities. Guests can now watch ery sunsets while feasting on charred corn ravioli and cast-iron grilled octopus at Cielomar Rooftop, detox with the Hangover Healer Package in the 11,000 square-foot spa and aquatic grotto and cool off in an impressive pool positioned on the photogenic beach (room rates start at $420 a night).
Stay balanced in Chileno Bay Resort and Residences, an Auberge Resort’s five newly launched wellness rooms, which feature wave views, Watt Bikes, juicers, aromatherapy kits, chilled eye masks, yoga mats, and gifts of mala bead bracelets and sandals. Reservations come with two complimentary tness classes per day and unlimited use of the spa (room rates start at $500 a night).
Bachelorette bonus: The Royale Residence, available to the public for the first time ever, at Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos is a two-level house on hotel grounds for up to 12 guests. Stay here and get spoiled with its movie theater, wine cellar, oceanfront pool, spa treatment room, gym with yoga instructor, butler service and so much more (house rents for $20,000 a night; and is all inclusive).
Cuisine has become such an important part of a Los Cabos getaway that there’s an annual restaurant week and food and wine festival (Sabor A Cabo). Find everything from cheap street carts to pricey celebrity chef-showcasing establishments like Manta at The Cape (Enrique Olvera) or Seared at One & Only Palmilla (Michelin-starred Jean-Georges Vongerichten).
New additions to the culinary scene include Cabo’s first Asian eatery, Arból, which cooks Indian and Far Eastern delights in tandoor and charcoal ovens, and simmering woks at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort. Chef Costas Spiliadis chose the new Four Seasons as the site for Estiatorio Milos, the first Latin American outpost of his Mediterranean seafood empire. Misaki at Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, is a modern izakaya (casual Japenese pub) and sushi bar from Edo Kobayashi. But the hotter ticket is the six-person omakase (chef-curated sushi) experience in the private room. San Jose’s La Lupita, home to live music and 26 types of tacos including suckling pig and one that replaces the tortilla with a crusty cheese shell, opened a second location in Cabo San Lucas.
It isn’t a fiesta until bottles are popped and cocktails are mixed. At an amazing array of spring-break dives, swim-up bars and sophisticated lounges, tequila is still king. Clase Azul Spirits created a limited edition bespoke Joven blend exclusively for One & Only Palmilla’s Agua Bar. Cool kids and hipster locals congregate in the skulls-heavy courtyard of Drift San Jose for the mezcal bar, pulsating EDM and food trucks on Thursdays and Saturdays. Viceroy’s Otro Bar mixologists host the Forgot- ten Spirits Journey every Friday, which focuses on lesser known plant-derived liquors like aguamiel (an agave spirit) and stool (a tequila-like liquor).
Craft beer is also hopping here. Baja Brewing Company, the first microbrewery in the state, offers a guided tour of its original San José Del Cabo factory. Stroll the facility cerveza in hand before sampling six suds styles and eating lunch in the beer garden with even more ales and IPAs. Their pizza dough is made daily with spent barley, yeast and beer.
All-inclusive Grand Fiesta Americana combines grape stomping, foot massage, wine-tasting and alfresco dinner in its Barefoot Experience.
Between watersports, wildlife watching, field tours/cooking classes, spas, art walks, camel rides and hiking, there’s never a dull moment. A few new ways to fill your itinerary include a new Greg Norman-designed golf course at Rancho San Lucas, Pedregal’s Luxploration menu, which includes options like voluntourism with school children in La Candelaria or swimming with whale sharks in La Paz, a Rancho Madrigal Cave Paintings ATV tour with Cabo Expeditions, and a chef-led sea-to-stew foraging expedition and picnic at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort.
The yoga guru at Montage Los Cabos — itself only a year and a half old — helps couples connect on a deeper level through a breathing and meditation session. The Twin Dolphin Couple’s Journey, available to non-guests, also encompasses a damiana (a local aphrodisiac herb) tea ritual and side-by-side massages.
During the multi-day Surf & Turf Experience at Grand Velas Los Cabos, helicopters whisk pairs to the desert for a five- course meal and electric bike ride in San Carlos Canyon and then to a 55-foot yacht to swim with sea lions and visit Espíritu Santo Island. It can be done as a sunset cruise as well.
If you prefer someone else to find activities and book reservations, contact the new high-end bilingual concierge service Blue Desert, which also manages an array of villas for rent. The team can book transportation, help with wedding planning, arrange for babysitting and pair customers with private chefs or bartenders. to ensure you have a hassle-free holiday.