A late springtime trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, promises warm weather and reduced crowds in the lively cantinas and outdoor cafes. The town of San Jose Del Cabo is now abundant with art galleries, hide-away watering holes, and some chic home-good stores.
I recently visited Cabo to check out hotels for a potential party venue for a friend of mine. Here’s my take on some of those, along with some other spots I’ve enjoyed throughout my travels to Cabo.
Tucked away by a marina in San Jose Del Cabo, is a “hipster” hotel named El Ganzo. This hotel is known to cater to indie musicians as there is a recording studio in the basement under the lobby. The hotel is filled with “art” such as plastic bottles glued on the wall, paint splashed next to doorways, and burlap bags made of concrete. On the website, the guest rooms look much roomier than they actually are. Our room had no nightstands, no balcony furniture, half a closet, and a very weird entry door with a step-over threshold, (to give the feeling of being on a boat.) The man-made beach is a short boat ride away from the hotel, and the hotel’s main pool has club music playing throughout the day on its own Spotify channel. The gym is somewhat unkempt, and the waiters have trouble with “special orders.” (I tried to get wheat toast at breakfast, which I spotted at a nearby table, and each day I was unsuccessful. One day I got white bread, one day I got a scone/muffin.) If you want trendy, unique, and a chance to spot an up-and-coming star, this is for you! For me, it wasn’t my cup of tea.
The benefit of staying close to San Jose Del Cabo is being able to take advantage of the three local restaurants located in the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, only reachable by dirt road. Tamarindos restaurant is farm-to-table, and guests are encouraged to walk around the farm in between courses. My heirloom tomato salad may have been the best I’ve ever had.
Acre (pronounced Ah-Cray), is another delicious outdoor spot. This property is also farm-to-table with the added benefit of being a resort with treehouses that guests can rent out for their stay. As we arrived, we were given a ride around the resort in a golf cart. We passed the dog rescue pen, the chicken coop, the mango orchard, the herb garden, and the magnificent treehouses. Dinner included a divine mango mezcal cocktail.
Flora Farms, the last of the three farm-to-table adventures is a 25-acre organic working farm along with a bevy of chic shops. The menu at Flora’s is seasonal, with some permanent classics. All meats served come from their nearby 150-acre ranch where animals are humanely raised on diets that do not include hormones or antibiotics. We were happy to find out that two surprises awaited us; there was a nifty pizza oven on the premises, and we had arrived on fried chicken night. After taking some Instagram-worthy photos around the farm property, we settled in for our organic Mexican/Pizza/Fried Chicken/Sangria/Banana Cream Pie dinner with live alt-band music accompaniment. What a joyful evening.
An option to the El Ganzo Hotel, The Cape is a surfer’s paradise. It’s a Thompson Resort located in the “quiet tourist corridor” of Chilean Bay, not far from downtown Cabo. The resort offers 2 pools and a spectacular surfing beach, as well as 3 divine restaurants and a fun rooftop open-air club. We chose the “partial ocean view” ground floor suite, which would have had a sea view except the foliage wasn’t trimmed. Our friends chose the full ocean view main building room with a balcony and their accommodations were excellent, complete with a balcony swing. We got to check out the penthouse (for their future party) and that was stunning!
For a complete upscale experience, I recommend the Esperanza Resort, the only private beach resort in Los Cabos, also near Chilean Bay. Part of the Auberge group, the property features multiple pools and restaurants, along with a world-class spa. Of course, I made use of all the hotel had to offer!
I suggest beginning your time there with dinner on the property at Richard Sandoval’s Toro Restaurant. Sandoval, recognized as the “Father of modern Mexican cuisine,” has over 40 Latin American-inspired restaurants worldwide. At Toro, he creatively blends Pan Latin cuisine with South American, Japanese, and Chinese influences. One of the evening’s highlights was the Iberic ham with tomato sauce on grilled rustic bread. I found his sushi to be innovative and of top quality, and his wood-burning grill did not disappoint when it came time for our steak and jumbo shrimp entrees. As the sun was setting, we soaked up the ambiance of our view; a giant whale tail fountain with the Mexican hills and Sea of Cortez in the background.
Our days were spent relaxing by the resort pools or beach, sampling the lunch cafes on property, and enjoying some family time in the gym. Since we had all been to Cabo on prior trips, we chose not to cruise around town or shop for souvenirs. My largest indulgence was my spa afternoon, in which I booked a 90 minute tropical massage. Upon entering the spa, I was asked to select a smoothie from a large menu of choices. The freshly prepared smoothie was brought to me immediately following my treatment. Prior to my massage, I took a steam (got to pick the fragrance for the steam room…I chose lavender), sauna, outdoor whirlpool, and relaxation time on an outdoor lounger. I was in Heaven!
We ventured into downtown Cabo for dinner at one of our favorites, Hacienda Cocina Y Cantina. Situated right on the beach in Medano, with a view of land’s end and the bay, it’s the perfect sunset spot to sample traditional Mexican fare. Their Queso Fundido may the best on earth, a creamy bubbling combination of mozzarella and asadera cheese, plus chorizo, served with fresh salsa, cilantro, and handmade tortillas.
At Esperanza, homebase for us was a 4 bedroom villa with private pool, jacuzzi, kitchen, living room, and daily breakfast service, courtesy of Exclusive Resorts. Lucky us! Leave it to Scott to invent a workout program for the pool. To top him, London and I choreographed a dance for the gym.
We finished our Esperanza nights with Mexicanismo, a fiesta that is held every Wednesday evening at the resort. The mariachi band jammed as we enjoyed a true Mexican bbq buffet, complete with tortilla soup, margaritas, and fireworks to end our vacation with a bang!
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