Animas Bajas, San Jose del Cabo
Tacos aside, all we ever want to drop pesos on in Mexico are ceramics and maybe some local olive oil. But the exquisite unglazed pieces you seriously contemplate slipping in your purse in restaurants and hotels (we would never!) are hard to find. Store-owner and Frenchwoman Anne Sidora came to Los Cabos on vacation and never went home. The curator’s space by Flora Farms brings together stunning cups, candles, soaps, and leather pieces made by Mexican artisans. It’s impossible to leave this beautifully merchandised store empty-handed—each exquisite item has been hand chosen, and it shows.
Upon Request, Todos Santos
A mile or so down a serpentine dirt road, past a mix of local and expat homes, and out-of-nowhere panoramic views of the Pacific, is Casa Mila. A wall of smooth concrete surrounds a checkerboard tiled courtyard, replete with a fireplace and cozy seating draped in Mexican blankets. A spiral staircase leads to the rooftop palapa—the kind of place that will have you dreaming of a glass of wine by sunset. The kitchen is modern and functional, with every coffee maker imaginable alongside beautiful stemware and terracotta pots for dining in when the mood strikes. Beds are sumptuously comfortable, and the outdoor shower transformed daily grooming into a treat. But few details beat falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach outside. Leaving Casa Mila is hard. The whole place—Joshua Tree meets minimalist casita—is so special you’ll want to take it in over and over, and it still won’t be enough.
Hacienda Los Olivos
Upon Request, Todos Santos
Sylvie Sabatier is a Los Angeles–based Frenchwoman who, after designing her own eclectic Todos Santos retreat, had a roster of expats wanting a Sabatier flourish in their homes. More of a hacienda than a house, the property—hidden down a bumpy track—sits in an idyllic mango grove. Hacienda los Olivos is divided into a large straw-topped lounge room and kitchen, a master suite, and three smaller colorfully tiled, sumptuously comfortable casitas. Simmering a pot of beans for dinner, peeling a mango you picked yourself, lounging on the Mexican textile sofas—it’s all as transporting as it sounds. There are no bad angles at Sabatier’s hacienda. And while you could spend an entire vacation on one of the daybeds, we suggest exploring this vast and gorgeous property. Wander the gardens and catch all the details: the green and blue pool tiles that match the surrounding jungle, the outdoor showers, the Moroccan mirrors, the sculptural light fixtures. You’ll want to bring home your own Sabatier flourish before you leave.
The Green Room
La Pastora, Todos Santos
About five miles outside town, down a rocky track, the Green Room is one of those whispered spots the folks in town don't want the tourists to find. It’s perched on the edge of an empty beach. One of our favorite things to do is sit with our legs propped up on a stool with an icy Pacifico in hand. At night, the place fills up with a lively crowd so get there early, snag a table, and get your tuna tostito order in before the sun starts to dip.
Chileno Bay Resort & Residences
Tourist Corridor, San Jose del Cabo
Open since 2017, Chileno Bay Resort & Residences provides contemporary and spacious accommodations, with gently shaded outdoor showers and lemongrass-scented organic bath products. The in-house restaurant Comal hangs over the ocean and offers an assortment of great, modern Mexican cuisine. The star of the place, though, is the ocean. Chileno Bay Resort & Residences sits on Cabo’s only swimmable beach. (The volume of colorful, exotic-looking fish a few strokes from the shore is staggering.) And as a hotel guest, you have the option to snorkel (which we highly recommend), paddleboard, and surf at no cost. Follow a morning on the waves with a casual lunch of shrimp tacos and spicy elote corn at the pool bar. (Braver souls can try a shot of traditional liquor containing a full preserved serpent—we’re not braver souls). And if you’re going to book a spa appointment, this is the place to do it: The facilities at Chileno are some of the most stunning we have seen anywhere. And the treatments—everything from Aztec herbal scrubs to infrared sweatsuits—are first-rate, each one given in a private cabana.
Av. Santa Maria de la Ribera, San Jose del Cabo
Worlds apart from the crowds that often consume Cabo San Lucas, Costa Palmas is the 100 percent private, white-sand, translucent-blue-sea, nature-filled escape you probably didn't know existed. The one-thousand-acre property is surrounded by orchards, organic farms, and forests on one side and calm water as far as the eye can see on the other (the Sea of Cortez is famously still)—arguably one of the most beautiful spots we've ever been lucky enough to visit. The Four Seasons and Aman have properties here. Both give guests the option to chose between secluded private residences (custom-built for indoor/outdoor living with the softest daybeds, rainfall outdoor showers, fireplaces...you get the idea) or the more traditional resort experience—you can't go wrong either way. The marina accommodates boats up to 250 feet long, the spas blend in with the greenery they were built into, the golf course is second to none, and the five restaurants are fueled with bounty grown in the aforementioned organic fields.
Calle Sin Nombre, Animas Bajas, San Jose del Cabo
Whether you come for a meal at the farm-to-table restaurant, or to check-in and unplug in one of the twelve tree houses on the property, this place is a bucket-list must. Situated on twenty-five acres of farmland up a winding dirt road adjacent to Flora Farms, design-forward hotel offers some of the most incredible amenities (note: tree houses, fifteen feet off the ground, each with their own alfresco shower, plus terrace with palm grove views) and experiences like hiking, yoga, and access to roam the totally gorgeous on-site farm. The staff and owners are incredibly hospitable, so much so that you'll jump right into their awaiting Mezcal tasting upon arrival.
Calle Paseo Malecón San Jose, San José del Cabo
Perhaps one of Mexico's most interesting hotel openings of 2016, this 205-room property designed by local architect Miguel Angel Aragonés has a hypermodern aesthetic that differentiates itself from others in the region. The overall experience here is totally customizable—from the personalized in-room indoor/outdoor lighting concept which is at the guest's discretion, to room service, which is available at the touch of tablet. The design is marked by sharp lines, cream marble and travertine, Italian-made Poliform furnishings, and a stately infinity pool. As for the guest rooms? With their floor-to-ceiling windows and private outdoor space, each one appears to float on water. While the hotel has no less than five restaurants on property, it's worth leaving the campus one afternoon to head to nearby Flora's Farm, an area staple, known for its farm-to-table dishes and laid-back vibe.
Hotel San Cristóbal
Playa Punta Lobos Carretera Federal, Todos Santos
Todos Santos has long had a quiet appeal for both artists and surfers who have appreciated the town’s understated, laid-back vibe. So it’s no surprise that finger-on-the-pulse hotelier Liz Lambert (of Austin’s Hotel San José and Hotel St. Cecilia) would head south of the border before everyone else caught on. About fifty miles north of Cabo San Lucas, this thirty-two-room beachfront property is a thoughtful reflection of its surroundings: Stamped concrete tiles, locally made furnishings, and colorful Guatemalan fabrics anchor much of the inside-meets-out design. (A tip: The ocean king has a beautifully tiled, generously sized soaking tub that looks out onto the ocean.) The infinity swimming pool has an unobstructed view of Playa Punta Lobos, and there are plenty of indoor-outdoor spaces and hammocks meant for whiling away the afternoon, plus fire pits for gathering when the sun goes down. Benno, the restaurant on the property, expertly melds Mediterranean and Mexican flavors, while relying heavily on the freshly caught fish of the day that comes in by the truckload. Also standouts: The cocktail list, which centers around small-batch mezcal and tequila, and the wine list, with some…
Rancho La Puerta
Carretera A Tijuana Km 5, Tecate
Sitting on 3,000 acres of ancient sacred grounds at the foot of Mount Kuchumaa in Tecate, the ranch has been welcoming those seeking a head-to-toe reboot since the ‘40s. Unlike a hardcore medical spa, the focus of a basic seven-day retreat is on spiritual wellness and gentle de-stressing by way of diet (there’s an organic farm and a cooking school on site), rigorous physical activity, mindful meditation, and a slew of world-class treatments performed at one of three stunning organic spa complexes. For more intense healing, there’s acupuncture, chiropractic services, Craniosacral therapies, and more.
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