On the southern tip of Baja California, in Mexico, the town of San José del Cabo is the more low-key sibling of nearby Cabo San Lucas, with many resorts between the two. The beaches here are sandy sensations, but currents rule out swimming, so a stay in a sea-view resort, with heavenly pools for safe and serene dips, is ideal. Your vacay starts today.
Cabo San Lucas, along the coast, may be famous for its buzzing nightlife, but here you can enjoy a spa for total relaxation as well as a selection of world-class, globally inspired restaurants. We know the best resorts in and around San José del Cabo, so check in and switch off.
On a long stretch of beach, halfway between San José and Cabo San Lucas, the Solaz has the design wow factor and then some. Part hotel, part luxury timeshare residences, it basks in landscaped gardens dotted with indigenous plants. The spacious lobby is more like an art gallery with its succulents and sculptures. You can watch the waves rolling in from each of the 128 ocean-facing rooms; some come with a hot tub or hammock, all have a balcony or terrace. Once you’ve seen the chic rooftop bar, the three swish restaurants (Baja, international, seafood) and the terraces for stylish lounging, you‘ll be glad you upped your wardrobe game.
Courtesy of Marquis Los Cabos All Inclusive Resort and Spa / Expedia
Now this is what you call an entrance: a huge domed lobby, open at each end, showcases the beach, ocean and three pools; two snake almost the length of the resort, one with a 40ft (12m) waterfall cascading down. All-inclusive it may be, but this is an upscale, designer, adults-only version. There are 235 rooms – choose ocean-facing suites or whitewashed casitas – and a 13,000sqft (1,200sqm) spa peddling treatments that incorporate homegrown products such as cactus oils and agave, as well as flashier diamonds and caviar. Dine at Sakke for pan-Asian, Canto del Mar for fancy French, or get the waiters to set up a table for two on the moonlit beach.
Le Blanc takes all-inclusive to another level with premium drinks, seven restaurants – including Lebanese, Asian, Mexican and French – and no queueing. Airy rooms in soothing whites and neutrals have aromatic Bulgari potions in bathrooms and 400-thread-count linens. Large pools fan out along the beach (the sea is too rough for swimming), and a gym has trainers on hand. Try aqua-spinning classes, pilates, pool volleyball and the free hydrotherapy circuit in the spa. Final proof that this resort is a cut above the rest is your personal butler, ready to fulfill any whim.
Set like a white village around a massive three-tiered pool, this is a stylish, family-friendly beachfront beauty. And it’s big, with a 16-seater cinema, farm-to-table Mexican restaurant, fitness center and spa There are 326 rooms (white walls, carved dark-wood headboards) – even entry-level suites, with living area and kitchenette, are the size of a small city flat. The multi-roomed villas are the ones to book for family gatherings – offspring can be whisked off to the kids’ club or pool (with slide) to spare the honeymooners. If here between January and April, whale-watching is a must, but don’t miss aerobics, cooking classes – or the tequila tastings.
With a kids’ and a teens’ club, as well as a dedicated children’s pool, this place is seriously family-friendly, so if you’re not, you might want to avoid school holidays. But it’s a stunner – there are all-inclusives, and then there are ultra-all-inclusives. The giant Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos (591 rooms), just outside San José del Cabo, is the king of the latter. Meals range from Japanese and French to fast food, and free-flow alcohol is included in the room rate, as are activities and even tips. Be ready for some belt-loosening when you get home.
Arrive at sunset and discover an extraordinary spectacle: a giant inverted nest, illuminated and surrounded by reflective pools. The “nest” is the signature restaurant, Nido, a chic cevicheria that draws a fashionable crowd. They love the Mexican modernist design, big-name DJs in the rooftop nightclub and the palatial spa. The 198 rooms mix mid-century modern and Scandi-futuristic, with floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor space. Every time you book one, another gets released with 50% off for a local healthcare professional. That’s karma.
The curved, terracotta-hued Westin was built to blend in with the Cabo desert, an architectural homage to Cabo’s famous natural stone arch – some of the 223 suites and villas are in the central bridge. Me-time seekers have the 10,000sqft (930sqm) spa and fitness facilities, and if a 24/7 gym isn’t enough, tennis is among the sports available. When ready to eat, go low-key in Cocina Casera or high-end at El Ciruelo, then hit the Cantina sports bar for one of the two pool tables. There’s always a queue for them, but upgrade to the presidential suite and you’ll get your own.
It’s a 15-minute walk to the ocean, yes, but then again, it has three saltwater pools – and the nearest beach is more for surfers than for swimmers, as is often the case in this region. Alegranza’s loyal clientele are here for the spacious two- to four-bedroom residences, each with a kitchen and a concierge who will stock it for you. There are awesome (distant) ocean views, and three restaurants (Japanese, Mexican and the grill). Stepping out, you’ve got a golf course 2mi (3km) away, downtown San José a 10-minute walk, and you can bring your pets: Fido is welcome, too.