Travel

By Kelley Granger

The Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos offers peace and poolside whale watching opportunities

A handsome young man named Arturo carries my bags through the curving paths of the Westin Los Cabos Resort & Spa, stopping along the way to show me where I can purchase sunscreen, have a massage, get a drink at the pool and access the beach. Originally from Cancun, he came to Cabo for a visit and decided not to leave. I ask how life here is different. “Cancun is like Miami,” he says. “Lots of shops and crowds. Here, it’s quiet.”

I’m surprised someone his age is in pursuit of quiet – he looks barely 21. He stops to point out a patch of sapphire water where whales were spotted early yesterday morning. It’s not long before I spot one for myself.

The sound of the ocean beckons from my room. Throwing back the curtains, a large sliding glass door reveals a prime view of the meandering pools and ocean. If the craggy coastline resembles coal, then the sparkling waves of azure are like diamonds on the Sea of Cortez. I sleep with the door wide open and awaken to the crashing of waves in the morning.

The peace and quiet that’s so pervasive at the Westin is a far cry from what I’d anticipated when I disembarked the plane. My flight was deluged with young women wearing glittery t-shirts advertising the bachelorette they were about to celebrate and the drivers at the airport (“Need a taxi, miss? No, okay…need a boyfriend?”) were more along the lines of the hedonistic tone I’d expected to find. But after a few days traveling between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, I discovered that no matter what you’ve come in search of, for whatever reasons, you’ll find it somewhere along this part of the Baja coast.

Casa Dorada is located near Cabo’s famous rock formations, and in the center of all the action

ADVENTURE

If a thrill is what you’re after, check into the Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa. This sleek hotel is located on five acres of beach at the core of Cabo San Lucas (one of the few safe swimming spots in an area notorious for dangerous surf), and within walking distance to a number of nightlife and daytime recreation options. Nearby Cabo Adventures offers a number of activities, from dolphin swims to scuba diving and zip lining, that are sure to please friends, couples and families. One of the more unique excursions the company offers is the America’s Cup Yacht Racing adventure. You may think you’re making a sacrifice for your boyfriend by partaking in this action-packed competition, but once you climb aboard to a motley crew of Mexican, New Zealander, and Australian men (all with accents and sculpted torsos perfectly bronzed by the Cabo sun, I might add) you may think otherwise. Plus, upon returning to Casa Dorada, you can soak away your sailing aches and pains at Saltwater Spa, which offers just that – a stunning saltwater Jacuzzi in a dim, contemplative sanctuary just steps from an outdoor pool overlooking the famous arch of Cabo San Lucas.

http://www.casadorada.com, http://www.cabo-adventures.com

Infinity pools blend with the horizon at One&Only Palmilla, and the spa’s relaxation areas are divine

ROMANCE

Whether heading to Los Cabos on a honeymoon or just to stoke the fire a bit, couples will be mesmerized by the One&Only Palmilla. For many, this exclusive resort is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of getaway (in other words, room rates are not for the faint-hearted), but is well worth the indulgence. Positioned on a secluded stretch of coastline, the resort was originally built in 1956 and welcomed celebrity couples like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz by private plane or yacht. Today, after a revamping worth $90 million in 2004, water cascades along walkways toward palm trees and infinity pools that lap near the ocean’s edge. Restaurants, like the beautifully decorated beachside Agua that serves Moroccan-tinged “Mexiterranean” fare, is romance incarnated into an environment – a fire flickers at a mid-Eastern looking hearth, fountains gush, ocean vistas dazzle, and glass lanterns dangle, casting warm glows. Though the accommodations, dining options, and coastal views are extraordinary, the most breathtaking part of the property is the spa. Couples can book their own private spa villas for the day that include a private massage cabana, an outdoor daybed, open air gardens, whirlpool bath, rain shower, and more. Each of the 13 private villas are located off a rock path that winds through lush tropical foliage – it feels like an enchanted secret garden. Couples can be treated to an array of services within their own private sanctuary before retreating to their casita for the night.

http://www.oneandonlyresorts.com

Serenity is supreme on the grounds and in the suites of Las Ventanas al Paraiso

TRANQUILITY

It literally means windows to paradise, and stepping foot on the grounds of Las Ventanas al Paraiso, it’s easy to see why. There’s a sublime quiet upon entering the property, and guests forgo the formality of a check-in desk and are personally greeted and directly escorted, drink in hand, to their accommodations. From the suites, views of the sea are maximized and handcrafted materials adorn the space, creating a rough-luxury sort of feel. It’s doubtful anyone could tire of the marine panorama, but if you should, cast your gaze skyward to some heavenly bodies with the aid of an in-room telescope. If golf is your version of meditation, the 18-hole Cabo Real course beckons where landscapes of desert sand meet the blue of the ocean on a Robert Trent Jones designed course.

http://www.lasventanas.com

DEALS

As our weather is getting colder, Cabo will be heating up with deals and packages for travelers. Check out the collection of offerings at the hotels above and more at visitloscabos.travel/vacation-packages, where you can find discounted stays (think 30 percent off One&Only Palmilla’s published rate) plus generous resort credits and savings at area attractions, too.

Originally published October 2009
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