Architect-designed retreats and hacienda-style stays offer the chance to spot whales and turtles from the oceanfront edges of the chilled-out resort town of San José del Cabo, on the far southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.
San José del Cabo is split into a historic inland center, studded with churches and colonial-era buildings, and the beachside Zona Hotelera, where coastline and beaches converge with oceanfront places to stay. If you’re looking for a relaxing respite at the end of an epic Baja road trip, this is the spot for you.
The design by Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragonés – also behind Acapulco’s spacey Encanto Hotel – sets the Viceroy apart. Its bright white villas have full-wall windows that let views of the Sea of Cortez sweep in and are connected by raised walkways with soothing water flowing beneath. There’s never a moment wasted here, whether it’s spent relaxing in front of the ocean, taking an art class (and browsing the creations at the Viceroy art gallery) or enjoying the rhythms of live music at the Cielomar Rooftop lounge.
Treehouse-style Acre is set within 25 acres (10ha) of jungle and organic farm. There are only 12 treehouse hideaways, each with thatched walls and a king-size bed. Every stay includes a morning yoga session in the lush mango orchard and a breakfast of fresh juice and pastries. Wander around the gardens and get to know the resident peacocks, roosters and goats, play a game of bocce or linger by the pool and do absolutely nothing. Don’t miss the restaurant where you can feast on Baja’s bounty seated around fire pits and polished concrete tables.
Hotel Casa Costa Azul is a tranquil sanctuary right on the water. It offers elegant, sea-view rooms with plump linens and rustic wooden headboards for a deluxe beach-house feel. Be soothed by the soft sea breeze and the rolling waves right outside and, if luck’s on your side, you’ll catch sight of passing whales between December and April, or spot newborn turtles heading into the sea from September to early December for their first-ever dip.
El Encanto Inn & Suites is a hacienda-style hotel set in the heart of the Art District in San José del Cabo’s historic center. The owner, Blanca, grew up in the building and turned it into a relaxed hotel in the ’90s, with elegant rooms and a tranquil lagoon-shaped spot. Take a swing at one of Cabo’s world-renowned golf courses or head out on a sunset cruise to soak up the last moments of Baja sunlight.
The numbers all add up at Six Two Four – an urban beach hotel set just back from the oceanfront on the Costa Azul, a spot that’s popular with surfers and white-sand lovers. The hotel’s neutral, gray palette, accented with black wall lights and mosaic-tiled bathrooms, creates a chic look throughout, and sculptural cacti plants line the shared areas and cool courtyard pool.
Mar del Cabo sits on a bougainvillea-laced site that rolls over ocher rocks towards the Sea of Cortez. Rooms take their inspiration from traditional Mexican colors and crafts, with vibrant throws and framed art placing you firmly at the tail end of Baja. Take a seat at Encanto Restaurant for açai bowls, French toast and hearty chilaquiles as you watch the waves and try to spot whales.
Still not found your ideal San José del Cabo hotel? Book one of the best resorts in San José del Cabo or one of the best hotels in San José del Cabo now via Culture Trip. Expand your itinerary by browsing the best things to see and do in Los Cabos.
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