Weekends in Cabo
With increasing nonstop flights options, Cabo San Lucas has become an even easier weekend getaway destination. The only difficult decision of your trip will be which luxury hotel to choose. On our most recent trip to Cabo, we experienced two beautiful properties.
Grand Velas Los Cabo
I’ve always had a bit of a stigma with all-inclusive properties, but that was shattered the moment I arrived and was being offered a welcome drink, a refreshing towel and a complimentary shoulder massage. This 5-star luxury resort offers the next generation of all-inclusive amenities and facilities with a variety of gourmet restaurants, three oceanfront infinity pools and all ocean view ultra luxe, modern designed suites. Even the starting category rooms are large and leave plenty of space for a family of four. We were set up in two connecting ambassador suites and our kids could literally run laps between the two rooms. It felt larger than our house! There is also an option to select a room with a heated (!) plunge pool. I toured several different room categories and have to say the Grand Class Suites were my favorite. Pro tip: Ask for the corner units which give you an extra balcony and expansive views across two sides of your room.
I think one of the biggest factors of an all-inclusive property is the food. I was pleasantly surprised that everything we had was delicious. There is a huge breakfast buffet spread every morning with a full mimosa and bloody mary bar. The menu items change daily, so you don’t get tired of the same options. The ceviche bar by the pool was a favorite during the day and in the evening, we dined on the most incredible steak, lobster and even Italian dishes - all of which are included! I did find it odd that there were no cocktail menus down by the pool, but the restaurants do have skilled mixologists who can make you a delicious drink based on your spirit of choice. There are over 50 wines included in the all-inclusive plan, but I did find that most of my favorites were on the purchase price list.
The highlight of the property may have been the spa. It was absolutely stunning and the hydrotherapy experience was incredible. You cannot miss this! Two of the three main pools allow kids and the pool closest to the beach (not swimmable) is adults only. There are also two swim up bars and staff to bring you whatever you desire. There is a small kids pool (no water slides) over by the splash pad and playground, but there isn’t really many places to sit over there, so it would be unlikely you’d spend much time there. There is a kids club ad a teens club with activities throughout the day and night to keep everyone occupied and entertained. My kids especially enjoyed a magic show and an art lesson.
Despite the number of rooms at the hotel (304), I found it to be surprisingly peaceful and relaxing. While the rates are higher than other 5-star properties in the area, I found incredible value in their rates and believe you will ultimately be spending much less than anywhere else. If you were like me and felt like you weren’t an "all-inclusive traveler," I highly recommend that you at the very least go to Grand Velas for dinner or for a spa appointment the next time you are in Cabo and I think you will change your mind!
The moment you arrive at The Palmilla, you automatically feel the rich historical, zen vibe of the property. Originally build in the 50s, but renovated in 2004, this 174 room property is situated on one of the very few coveted swimmable beaches in Cabo and only 10 minutes from San Jose del Cabo. Nestled in a setting of fountains, palm trees and tropical flowers, this colonial-style resort with beautifully appointed ocean-view rooms feels very Mexican and very luxurious. As I’m being driven to my room in a golf cart, I notice how everyone on the property will stop and acknowledge you in a warm, gracious manner every time you pass by.
I loved the small touches in the room like the welcome tequila platter, a selection of daily complimentary snacks and a choice turndown candle scent. The kids loved the oversized tub and we enjoyed lounging on the daybed on our private terrace overlooking the Sea of Cortez. There are several different room categories, including some amazing ocean front pool suites.
The property is spread out amongst the lush grounds and feels very private. The pools are absolutely spectacular and you’ll be treated with complimentary sunglass cleaning and mini sorbet cones. The property is very family friendly, but in a more subtle tone. At one point we had a staff member, who jumped in with our kids and entertained them with pool games. The complimentary kids club was impeccable and truly had an experienced and trustworthy staff. For an extra fee, you can opt for some cool outings like kids golf lessons.
The food and drinks are pricey, so as long as you are prepared, you will not be disappointed. Amazing cocktails and a highlight meal at the Michelin-starred restaurant, SEARED Steakhouse.
While you may find it hard to leave the pool or even your room, I absolutely loved the fact that we could enjoy the beautiful beach and swim in the warm ocean water, which you are unable to do in most parts of Cabo. There is a small beach restaurant and bar, plenty of lounge chairs and enough water sports equipment to keep you entertained for hours. Another highlight of the trip was experiencing the release of baby turtles into the ocean. For golfers, they are probably already aware of the adjacent 27-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
While there are so many different hotels to explore in Cabo, I will find it difficult to not return here on every visit. It truly is the one and only!