Blvd. Tiburón s/n, La Playita, San José del Cabo
Shortly upon arrival at El Ganzo, a whitewashed contemporary boutique hotel overlooking the San Jose Del Cabo Marina, you start to get the feeling you've beat the system: Look out from your room's glass terrace, and there's not a single resort in sight. The airy rooms are outfitted in bold, modern four-poster beds and industrial furniture made especially for the hotel. There's a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the bay with sushi on order, though if you'd prefer a secluded beach, it's just three minutes away via the private boat service provided by the hotel. Hit the spa, the gym, the recording studio, any of the bars and restaurants on site, and you're pretty much set for a full weekend of total seclusion, away from the Cabo crowd.
Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 7 Mz 10, Punta Ballena, Cabo San Lucas
This is a big, classic-style resort done well (it is an Auberge, after all), with an especially remarkable spa—we were particularly into the Four Hands Two Hearts massage. It’s definitely a place to be pampered—from the time you are greeted by a personal concierge at the resort with a house margarita to days spent by the pool, where intermittent mini massages, chilled bottles of water, and frozen fruit sticks are given without asking. The clifftop location on Punta Ballena (“Whale Point”)—between two private beaches overlooking the Sea of Cortez—is dramatic and stunning, especially in winter months when you can watch the humpback whales migrate past. The casitas and suites are as luxe as to be expected from an Auberge property but with muted colors and soft, natural handwoven rugs and blankets, and Mexican artwork. They're still fresh off a full redesign following Hurricane Odile.
Hacienda Beach Club
Gómez Farias S/N, El Medano, Cabo San Lucas
Hacienda Beach Club is for the active holiday: Outdoor yoga, spinning, and complimentary water sports, including stand-up paddleboarding are just a few of the activities offered. And then you can unwind the kinks at the spa after. Note: These are fully-equipped villas for rent, making it a practical choice for a longer stay with the family—they have kitchens, as well as washer/dryers. It’s centrally located next to the marina and people who stay here love that they can walk to the beachfront shops and restaurants.
Carretera Transpeninsular Km 19.5, San José del Cabo, Mexico
The crown jewel of the Rosewood resort family, Las Ventanas is situated between the historic town of San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. The limestone suites are outfitted with original artwork, wood-burning fireplaces, and ample outdoor space. Up the romance quotient by consulting the appropriately named Department of Romance—a group of specialists dedicated to infusing your holiday with extra special touches (couples massages, elaborate moonlit dinners). At the spa, guests adhere to a four elements-themed treatment menu: grounding Earth, nurturing Water, balancing Fire, and energizing Air.
One & Only Palmilla
Carretera Transpeninsular Km 7.5, Centro, San José del Cabo
If the words Cabo San Lucas conjure visions of Sammy Hagar doing tequila shots, let the words One & Only Palmilla replace them with dreams of tropical paradise. Originally built in 1956 as a 15-room luxury escape for the President of Mexico, it's been transformed over the years into a 115-room resort with lush gardens, a pristine beachfront, and top notch service, food, spa, and amenities (think welcome tequila and pillow menus for everyone; personalized robes and an iPhone to communicate directly with the butler when you check into a villa). They experienced extensive damage from Hurricane Odile, but are open and thriving once again.
Carretera Transpeninsular Km 5, Misiones del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas
Thompson Hotels really hit the jackpot with their first Mexican property, The Cape, which sits on a sliver of San Lucas coastline that also happens to be one of the area’s best surf breaks. Architect Javier Sanchez designed the hotel so that El Arco—a crazy-looking rock formation at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula—and the Sea of Cortez are visible from every part of the property, be it one of the 161 guest rooms, the Enrique Olvera-helmed Manta restaurant, or the cliff-hugging infinity pool. The hotel itself is eco-conscious and hyper-modern, nothing like the over-the-top folksy places native to these parts. The spa, for example, is set up like a makeshift cave on its own little cliff and has private plunge pools and beachside massage cabanas.
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