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Think You Know Cabo? Think Again.

Long known as a haven for privacy beloved by Hollywood’s elite thanks to its terrific sunshine and surf, Cabo is only getting better with age.

On a recent trip with our Smartie crew, we made it a personal mission to experience this chilled-out beach destination from the perspective of its most highly regarded properties. To that end, we personally visited six of the destination’s top resorts, some are our team’s all-time favorites like Rosewood Las Ventanas al Paraíso, One&Only Palmilla, Montage Los Cabos, and Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedegral; and others are exciting new openings like the Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas and Zádun, a Ritz Carlton Reserve – each with their own set of advantages and uniquely paired activities.  Here’s our rundown on what’s hot in Baja, including twenty of the most unique experiences to really make your trip special.

Las Ventanas al Paraíso

A repeat guest of this exquisite Rosewood Hotels property, Austin-based travel advisor Amanda Poses shares, “The experience is simply magical from the moment guests are picked up from the airport; stepping on property ignites the senses with a mariachi band and foaming margaritas to accompany the sweeping views of the sea. And well beyond arrival, the Las Ventanas team truly anticipates your every need, from creating a customized sewing kit by observing your wardrobe and finding threads that match your clothing to knowing the type of cocktail you like to order, to already having the gluten-free toasts waiting for you at breakfast to moving the beach umbrella while you nap on the beach so you are shaded the entire time; the list of ways in which they personalize the service for guests goes on and on.”

In terms of accommodation, all room categories are fabulous (even the garden views have glimmers of the ocean!). Amanda explains, “The ante is really upped with rooftop terrace room categories which give guests front-row views of both sunrise and sunset. Don’t feel like leaving your private sanctuary to go to the gym? No problem; your butler quickly can assist with a yoga mat on the roof so you can proceed with your morning routine overlooking the Pacific Ocean! For families, the 2- and 3-bedroom villas are a great option as their kitchen allows you to enjoy breakfast in the morning made by your butler or an afternoon snack followed by happy hour. Beachfront villa guests also get an extra special message each morning raked into the sand!”

Experiences

Who’s it for?

Las Ventanas is truly made for couples, especially those celebrating something special. It’s a haven for foodies, whether you want to keep it healthy at the newer oceanfront restaurant or stick to traditional Mexican, the cuisine is divine. And of course, the tequila selection is fabulous! The property can also be a great fit for families that enjoy high-level service but do not necessarily need kids club to keep them busy all day.

One&Only Palmilla

O&O Palmilla offers one of the few swimmable beaches on the famous stretch of coast between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

NYC-based travel advisor Tom Bartholomew shares, “One & Only Palmilla is the original Cabo hotspot; dating back to the 1950’s it offered a luxurious escape for the Hollywood jet-set and today, it remains a chic hideaway. The historic whitewashed chapel, fountain and first hotel building still stand and provide the resort with a wonderful sense of place. Tucked into a private cove, One&Only Palmilla offers one of the few swimmable beaches on the famous stretch of coast between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. It exudes an aura of traditional Mexican glamour, ensuring guests really feel transported to vacay mode.”

Tom elaborates, “All rooms and suites include personal butler service and ocean views. My personal picks would the Casita Junior Suite Oceanfront With Infinity pool. Or for a larger group, the elaborate and private Villa One which can accommodate up to 8 guests across 4 bedrooms. And in terms of food and beverage, prepare to be delighted! One&Only takes advantage of its enchanting location overlooking the Sea of Cortez with Agua Bar, the perfect spot for a drink as the sun sets before dinner. While you can go the traditional Mexican route, they also offer Japanese fusion restaurant with a Mexican flair at Suviche for something a little different.”

Experiences

Who’s it for?

The hotel navigates the delicate balance of being both perfect for adults wanting a romantic getaway while also catering to families. For families, the staff go above and beyond with dedicated kids clubs, KidsOnly (up to 11-years) and OneTribe (ages 12-17). Over the years, the property has become a haven for multi-generational trips, because there really is something for everyone.

Montage Los Cabos

Boston-based travel advisor Julie Palo Hayes shares, “Montage Los Cabos blends feeling organic with a little Mexican flair, exuding a sleek, subdued vibe. The property fits perfectly into its stunning natural environment, set on Santa Maria Bay in a protected cove. And perhaps most notable, boasts a swimmable beach! It gets extra bonus for ping pong and volleyball right on the sand. You really feel the essence of the resort is about having fun, even in the way the food and beverage is designed; from early morning visits to Paletas – the coffee shop and boutique below the lobby – for an early morning java and pastry to casual beachfront eats at Marea, guests are relaxed here.”

When it comes to room categories, we gleaned some definite tips from our visit. Julie shares, “To put it simply, splurge on a suite; they are palatial at than 1,500 square feet. Or, if you have a small group (whether it be family or friends) we loved the hacienda-style residences. There are only a few as the design of the property took a different direction, but this makes them even more special. For instance, Casa Cardon features five-bedrooms and four guestrooms with 10,870 square feet of elegant interiors of classic wood and stone architecture. The master suite offers sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez, with two of the four guest bedrooms providing private entrances for additional privacy and luxurious seclusion. For ultimate privacy, additional amenities include a private garage, infinity-edge pool and expansive outdoor living spaces like courtyards and a palapa.”

Experiences

Who’s it for?

It’s sexy for couples but suitable for families; guests blend in an organic way. Active travelers will love this stretch of swimmable beach (one of the very few in Cabo) for its ability to easily snorkel, kayak and get on a SUP. Overall, it’s definitely the spot to be if you want more of an upbeat atmosphere!

Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas

Freshly opened in October, Four Seasons has a contemporary Baja vibe. Louisville-based travel advisor Erin Trager-Kusman shares, “Located about an hour north of the main drag, the property sits on a gorgeous, remote stretch of [swimmable!] beach, near the small town of Costa Palmas.  The Oceanfront one-bedroom suites can comfortably sleep a family of 4 (complete with 2 bathrooms) and if we book it for you, we can guarantee a ground floor unit which includes a plunge pool and outdoor shower – indoor/outdoor living at its best. If you need a break from beach, pool, repeat, check out the state-of-the-art gym, the spa inspired by indigenous treatments, or one of the four unique dining outlets.”

Experiences

Who’s it for?

While it would certainly be a fit for couples with it’s sexy design and secluded destination, it is especially suited for families or groups, with an array of complementary activities, a fantastic kids club, and breathtaking multi-bedroom villas.


Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Dallas-based advisor Courtney Beaver shares, “Located in one of Cabo San Lucas’ most coveted pieces of land at the southernmost tip of Mexico in Baja California where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, the majestic Resort at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal provides a dramatic entrance with views of the Pacific. Guests can expect unprecedented luxury, sophistication and personalized service. Unique to the property is the tunnel which separates the town of Cabo from the Pacific Ocean and . The Resort is both visually stunning and in harmony with Cabo’s natural environment, featuring Mexican-inspired style and art.”

Courtney goes on to share, “I have been going to Cabo since I was young and have had the pleasure to stay at Pedregal a couple times. In terms of rooms, they have some great multi-bed units that work well for families or groups of friends traveling together. I had a 40th birthday celebration there a few years ago and it was perfect. And for those who want to really experience the destination, you’re in the heart of it all; the New Wave of Explorations highlighting the Baja Peninsula’s land, wildlife, and people.”

Experiences:

Who’s it for?

If someone likes some action or likes to go out on boats, it’s all right there! With the iconic service that Waldorf Astoria has long been known to provide, loyal guests of the brand will rejoice that the property is now under its management; even more reason to check out this legendary build.


Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Freshly opened in November, there has been great anticipation around this fourth extraordinary property in the Ritz-Carlton Reserve portfolio. NYC-based advisor Erina Pindar shares, “Zadún is a haven of serenity set amidst the dunes of Puerto Los Cabos, with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez. For those who’ve had the opportunity to stay at others within the Ritz-Carlton Reserve collection (for instance, our clients love Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico!), you see similar design elements. The desert and the sea are visible from the 115 elegantly appointed suites and villas, each placed gently along the natural slopes of the land.”

Erina continues, “An intimate oasis where travelers are invited to relax in barefoot luxury, Zadún offers numerous ways for guests to reconnect with each other, with themselves, and with nature. Whether exploring the vibrant ecosystems of the destination through Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment, enjoying rejuvenating treatments at Spa Alkemia, savoring Mexico’s rich culinary heritage, or taking a journey through agave-based spirits while gazing up at the night sky, guests at Zadún are invited to transform, renew and discover.”

Experiences:

Who’s it for?

Truly, there’s a little something for everyone at Zadún! They’ve created a really fun and vibrant kids club to keep the children having fun while the parents relax, perhaps getting that well-deserved spa treatment. Plus, extra amenities like a teepee in the rooms is sure to keep the whole family happy.

Ready to plan your own Cabo adventure. Get in touch with a SmartFlyer agent to chat.

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