Hot Destinations: Over-the-Top Los Cabos

Marea at Montage Los Cabos 
serves Baja fare by the beach. //Photo by Chrissy Bruchey (C&RC)

Los Cabos is on a hot streak. The Pacific Coast getaway has been adding luxury properties at a rapid clip, with a number of new hotels and resorts providing over-the-top culinary experiences and secluded, swimmable beaches. 

Foodies will be especially interested in the new Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, which opened April 1. Here the eponymous Nobu restaurant, in addition to serving up Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine, is drawing a hip, local crowd with a “cocktail of the month” made using unique ingredients. After your cocktail, we hear that the yellowtail jalapeño, black cod with miso and the white fish cactus salsa are the dishes to try. Tip: Reach out to Alexis Chavez ([email protected]; 011-52-624-689-0160 ext. 4591), the head hostess, to request the best seat in the house. 

There are also two other eateries on property, one an outpost of Malibu Farm, a restaurant that’s drawn raves on the West Coast for its farm-to-table fare. The other, Pacific Restaurant, is the go-to for authentic Mexican cuisine. Guests can also get some local flavor with on-property tequila and mezcal tastings, bookable by contacting Cinthya Vargas ([email protected]; 011-52-624-689-0160), the guest experience manager and chief concierge. 

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Golf buffs will be able to work up an appetite at three nearby courses, two of which are designed by Tiger Woods (the third is the brainchild of Davis Love III). Part of the nearby Diamante Cabo San Lucas complex, these courses are only bookable via the hotel — contact Osbaldo Benjamin Aceves ([email protected]; 011-52-624-689-0160 ext. 4641), touristic services sales supervisor, for details. 

For the best accommodations to take in the scenery, book a Zen, Sake, Miyabi or Nobu suite, all of which, we’re told, have the best views (golf or ocean). Of these, the Nobu Suite Ocean Front is truly over-the-top: Think a large stone fireplace, an open chef’s kitchen and separate living, dining and gaming areas. Fifteen-foot ceilings and sliding glass doors that open directly onto the wraparound terrace really amp up the sense of space, while, for more privacy, there’s an outdoor tub protected by native landscaping just off the bathroom. For families, a two-bedroom configuration is also available.

Extra relaxation is available with the signature Esencia or Esencia for Two treatments at the spa. The most popular treatment on property, these aim to renew your vital energy with a complete body massage that improves circulation, relaxes muscles and stimulates the lymphatic system. The Esencia treatment lasts 50 minutes, while Esencia for Two can be booked for either 50 or 80 minutes; be sure to book at least a month in advance. Verenice Anzures ([email protected]; 011-52-624-689-0160 ext. 4542), the spa coordinator, can handle special requests. 

The Nobu Suite Ocean Front has some of the best views on the property.

Another hot new hotel that offers the chance to catch some sun and sand on one of the area’s few swimmable beaches is Montage Los Cabos, which opened in May 2018 after being named the most-anticipated hotel opening of that year in our Awards of Excellence. The new resort is set on Santa Maria Bay, offering walk-on beach access for swimming, diving and snorkeling. 

Of special interest to families will be one of Montage’s three Casas: The Casa Twin Dolphin, Casa Cardón and Casa Santa Maria. Two of these accommodations have five bedrooms, and the third has three; all of them are nestled in an intimate, secluded setting overlooking the bay. In addition to dedicated butler service, the Casas also offer daily breakfast by a host chef, a mezcal tasting experience for the adults, and more. For seamless beach access, opt for the two-bedroom Presidential Suite. In addition to opening right onto the ocean, it also has expansive living spaces, plus an exclusive private terrace with an outdoor shower, pool and jacuzzi. 

Cuisine at Montage’s two restaurants is all about the fresh seafood, with a modern Mexican menu at Mezcal and more Baja-inspired fare at Marea. The latter is the spot to be to pair the sea breeze with your meal, as it’s set directly on the beach; Mezcal, by contrast, has a more modern vibe, particularly in its bar. The Mezcal bar is also where guests can find a daily agave experience, which includes a tasting of four different agave spirits, a 50 milliliter bottle of Mezcal Garrafas and light bites (reservations required; $95). Mezcal is also famous for its tasting menu, a mouth-watering tour of the ocean with dishes such as lobster ceviche with local passionfruit, preserved lemon puree and Manzano pepper, or elopozole, a rich liquid of black beans, organic corn, chochoyotas, Cotija cheese and a touch of sour cream. 

This property, too, has something to offer avid golfers: The course at the Twin Dolphin Golf Club. Designed by Masters Champion and Golf Hall of Fame Member Fred Couples, it’s a 19-hole extravaganza that’s built into the surrounding desert landscape with canyon-like arroyos, local flora and views of the Sea of Cortez from every hole. 

At the spa, don’t miss the mega-popular Jewel of Baja treatment, which is named for the Damiana Flower. The treatment begins with a foot bath ritual followed by a full-bodied cleansing with a natural sea sponge. The cleansing prepares your body for a nurturing wrap of local herbs that harnesses the healing power of the Damiana, as well as agave honey. While thus cocooned, you’ll receive a cold floral facial mask to balance your body temperature, plus a vigorous ritual four-hand massage. The experience ends with the hotel’s signature Damiana elixir. 

For spa bookings, contact Maxime Cormier (011-52-624-163-2013), the spa director; for other special requests, reach out to Patti Perez ([email protected]; 011-760-978-9792), leisure sales manager. 

Paradisus Los Cabos’s Royal Service Swim Up Suite has 435 square feet of space and comes with a private pool and butler service.

For fans of The Leading Hotels of the World, Paradisus Los Cabos, which just joined the collection this past summer, is also set on a swimmable beach. All of the property’s Ocean Front Rooms, we’re told, have amazing views out over the Pacific — with luck, in the winter you can even catch sight of a pod of whales swimming by your window. At sunset, the Gabi Skybar is the best spot to sip a cocktail while looking out over the water. Later, the Avenue Bar hosts live music, a different act every day. 

For a can’t-miss meal, though, be sure to try the tasting menu at the Gastro Bar restaurant, which is the creation of Michelin star-rated chef Martín Berasategui. This adults-only restaurant is also the only on-property eatery that’s open to locals, making it the top spot for people-watching in a glamorous atmosphere. 

If you have a family headed here, booking the Family Concierge Suite will be your best bet, as it’s one of the two suite categories that offer butler service — a must when you’re traveling with children! This suite also provides access to the private Family Concierge Lounge, which has an all-day snack buffet, and a Kids’ Zone with supervised activities and games. In the room, services range from special, kid-sized bathrobes and slippers to a pillow menu for the parents. The other suites with butler service, the Royal Service Suites, are adults-only. 

The YHI Spa here is a calming oasis with four individual cabins, as well as two cabins just for couples. A number of special packages highlight local ingredients and culture, including a Mexican herbal ritual, a “Baja Sur” treatment package and a “Desert Harmony” package. Contact Estela Franco de la Cruz ([email protected]; 011-52-624-144-0000 ext.7055), the spa director, for spa bookings. For any other special requests, reach out to Juan Carlos Gonzalez ([email protected]), director of sales and marketing. 

At Paradisus Los Cabos, don’t miss the tasting menu by 10 Michelin star-rated chef Martín Berasategui. 

Looking ahead, the Los Cabos hotel scene looks set to keep heating up. After the Nobu opening, next up this year is a new Hard Rock property, followed by a new Ritz-Carlton Reserve property sometime in the second quarter. Also on the horizon is a new Four Seasons Resort, set to open this December. 

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