By Lindsay Blake – Article from Los Cabos Magazine – Issue #8 – October 2002
Tourism is booming in Los Cabos. The region is undeniably one of the most rapidly growing areas in México. It is comprised of historic, colonial San Jose del Cabo to the east, and thriving Cabo San Lucas to the west, and connected by the eighteen-mile Tourist Corridor. It is astonishing to view the recent evolution of tourism within this quaint region of México.
The Baja Peninsula consists largely of mountainous desert and because of the dry climate it is not nearly as fertile as areas on the mainland. Initially, building and living in this region was not easy. Los Cabos has relied heavily on their legendary sportfishing and in the past ten years, world-class golf has expanded the attraction to this area. In the early-nineties, however, the tourism industry began to increase dramatically and Los Cabos has continued to flourish. With the number of world-class beach resorts and spas that have been built in the past five to ten years, and the number currently under development, it has been astounding to witness the transformation of this once sleepy little fishing village into a major tourist destination. The upsurge in tourism has created high demands on the hotel industry and rapid development has become a necessity. The persistent growth is reflected in the increased number of hotel rooms in the region. In 1998 the total combined number of hotel rooms in the Los Cabos area was 5,731 compared to the number in 2002 of 8,907 rooms, and growing. Those numbers are expected to reach 9,954 rooms by the end of 2003, a figure that almost doubles the number of rooms in the area in only five years. This increase is primarily attributed to the construction of new hotels but it is also due to the fact that existing hotels and resorts are finding the need to expand their total capacity.
It is relatively easy to discover what has put Los Cabos on the map—charming Mexican culture, friendly people, warm, tropical weather with little rain, exquisite beaches, crystal blue water containing vibrant sea life, and unforgettable sunsets. Those are the intangibles. The allure has been enhanced by excellent restaurants, lively nightlife, elegant resorts, water sports, unparalled sportfishing, not to mention the world-renowned golf courses and first-rate spas. In many ways, Los Cabos is the ideal vacation paradise, and this is evident as the fast-paced growth keeps everyone coming back for more!
Within the three distinct areas of Los Cabos, tourists, and locals, alike, will find numerous opportunities for fun and relaxation among the hotels, spas and beach/ golf resorts in the region. They offer, in design and comfort, everything from traditional Spanish architecture and elegant simplicity, to more contemporary, and prestigious, first-class luxury. Each hotel has its own unique, inventive style and creative ambiance, as well as exclusive services and activities, that will suit the needs and interests of any traveler.
Pueblo Bonito at Sunset Beach is one of Cabo’s newest extravagant resorts, set in a uniquely serene and isolated area outside Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific Ocean. Still under development, the first phase of this resort opened in February 2002 and currently has 118 suites available. Upon completion, the resort will comprise of 519 suites, all with spectacular ocean views. Lo-cated on seventy-five acres of pristine beachfront property, the architecture of this hotel combines the old hacienda style with modern Spanish and Mexican sway. The resort will offer complete deluxe amenities including several pools, fine dining options, a European-style Spa and a full-service salon. From its world-class accommodations to the lush and inventive landscape, this resort is the ultimate vacation getaway.
Further east, is Hotel Solmar Suites, also located on the Pacific Ocean and a short walk to town. Situated at the southern tip of Baja, Solmar is one of the older resorts in Cabo, but with a major expansion in the past five years Solmar has also increased its occupancy. Before the expansion, the most appealing aspect of Solmar was that all the suites were oceanfront boasting unforgettable views. There are now additional oceanfront suites, as well as garden view suites. No matter which type you choose, your experience at Solmar will be superlative. Complete with full services and amenities, Solmar is a genuine Cabo San Lucas treasure.
Another of Cabo’s original hotels is Hotel Finisterra just up the street from Solmar. This luxurious hotel is set in the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Like Solmar, as Cabo grew, so did Finisterra. Over the past several years the hotel opened new deluxe accommodations while maintaining its intrinsic characteristics.
Situated on the Pacific between Finisterra and Hotel Solmar Suites is the exclusive Playa Grande Resort. Built in the charming Mexican hacienda-style architecture, this resort is growing fast and becoming one of the more desirable hotel destinations in Los Cabos. At press time, the resort had 292 suites, all with breathtaking views, but is in the process of building 68 more suites, as well as a new lobby area and a state-of-the-art spa and fitness center. Playa Grande Resort offers five different types of suites ranging from quaint and simple, to spacious and opulent. The most recent expansion is scheduled for completion by the end of 2004. Playa Grande is already a jewel on Solmar Beach.
Médano Beach, probably the most well-known and popular beach in Cabo, is host to several great hotels and resorts. The beach’s great location and the fact that its water is safe for swimming makes the hotels on Médano Beach popular for families and young adults. The beautifully maintained and oldest luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas is the Hotel Hacienda Beach Resort. Tucked away on a little peninsula extending slightly into the bay, this lovely resort defines the terms splendor and relaxation. At this hotel, you will find that the lush, tropical gardens are laden with color and aromatic scents that compliment the natural surroundings and modern architecture while maintaining the Colonial Spanish style. Amenities include a swimming pool, tennis court, gym, and spa as well as two magnificent restaurants.
Meliá San Lucas is the oldest of the three Sol Meliá Hotels and the only one located on Médano Beach. This hotel has 150 rooms all with breathtaking views of the Sea of Cortez and the world famous Arch at land’s end. The exterior façade is Mexican; earthy natural tones, high ceilings and open spaces representative of the traditional hacienda style. Due to the setting, this Meliá is a beach lover’s paradise and offers additional amenities such as pools, tennis courts, and the full service Avanti Spa, one of the groundbreaking spas in Los Cabos.
Villa del Palmar Resort and Spa, designed in a contemporary Mediterranean style, combines the natural beauty of Cabo San Lucas with top-of-the-line accommodations and world-class amenities. Set apart from the other hotels on Médano Beach, Villa del Palmar, offers the perfect combination of location, relaxation, and privacy. Upon walking into this prestigious hotel, it is obvious that your stay is going to be nothing short of first-class. The nine-story atrium lobby with its spectacular waterfalls, salt-water aquarium, and seashell chandeliers, reflect the paradise you just entered. Complete with 458 rooms ranging from studios to three-bedroom ocean-view suites with full kitchens, Villa del Palmar is a gem on Médano Beach. Among the long list of amenities the hotel has to offer, the spa at Villa del Palmar is one of the best in Los Cabos. The 10,000 square foot contemporary European Spa offers the latest treatments available from around the world, and is well known for their packages combining body care treatments with massage therapy.
Marina Sol Luxury Condos is located downtown, just minutes from Médano beach, and is excellent for families with children for it has an large enclosed courtyard and each condo is equipped with a full kitchen for your convenience. Other amenities include a gym and spa, heated pool, and Jacuzzi to make your stay as pleasurable as possible.
As the Los Cabos area has steadily grown over the years, the Sol Meliá group has continued to expand as well. Meliá Cabo Real Convention Center, Beach & Golf Resort is located on the Tourist Corridor midway between Cabo San Lucas and colonial San José del Cabo, approximately a fifteen-minute drive in either direction. Meliá Cabo Real, unique in its architecture, is well known by its famous pyramid made of translucent onyx that stands tall against the skyline, and is easily visible from the water. Located on a pristine beach, this 350-room hotel is nothing less than luxurious. For those who love golf, the Meliá Cabo Real is adjacent to the Robert Trent Jones II designed Cabo Real Golf Course and only minutes away from four other courses, including the world famous Jack Nicklaus signature course, Eldorado.
The most recent edition to the Sol Meliá group is the Meliá Los Cabos Golf Resort, yet another golfer’s paradise. Located just down the street from the Meliá Cabo Real, this 150-suite Oceanfront Spa & Golf Resort is the premier open-air hacienda all-suites resort in Los Cabos. Both the Meliá Cabo Real and the Meliá Los Cabos offer state-of-the-art fitness centers, as well as the groundbreaking Avanti spa. The Meliá Los Cabos is currently in the process of expanding their resort and adding 80 more ocean view suites that are due to open in 2003.
La Jolla de Los Cabos Resort and Spa, situated on Costa Azul Beach is just a few minutes from downtown San José del Cabo. This 193-suite hotel was built in 1989 and features modern facilities amidst old-world Mexican charm. The property consists of five, 3-story buildings and one, 6-story building clustered around gardens, fish ponds and four swimming pools.
Misiones Hotel & Beach Resort, located just outside of Cabo on the Tourist corridor, arguably has the best view of the Arch at Land’s end and Cabo San Lucas Harbor. Misiones Hotel offers gorgeous one and two-bedroom condominium suites, all with lovely ocean views. Tucked away into the cliffs, this condominium resort is in a unique location and offers a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. This splendid hotel is situated on two secluded beach coves, both of which are safe for swimming and snorkeling. The resort is equipped with a full range of amenities, including close proximity to the ever-popular Italian restaurant, Da Giorgio Cabo.
Also located within Cabo del Sol on the Tourist Corridor is the prestigious and unique Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort & Spa., as well as, the sumptuous and chíc Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos. Designed in traditional hacienda style with buildings in terra-cotta shades, the Sheraton resembles a colonial Mexican village. Comprising of 171 rooms and 37 suites ranging from junior to presidential, this hotel reflects elegance and sophistication. For the guests’ enjoyment, the hotel offers coordinated activities such as Yoga, aerobics classes, volleyball and other various activities. They also feature four restaurants including Pitahayas, which is considered one of the best dining experiences on the peninsula. The Cactus Spa, located at the Sheraton, is world-class and is the only spa in Latin America to offer the “exclusive soft pack system”. This treatment combines a unique blend of herbs, oils and therapies and is a “must“ if you feel like spending a morning or afternoon pampering yourself. With spacious suites including Jacuzzi tubs in every room and world-class golf courses just minutes away, this picturesque hotel personifies the word “vacation”.
Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos, opened in 1999, is yet another resort providing five-star treatment. This stylish resort, with accommodations of the highest caliber, features 116 rooms and 64 villas with ocean views and private balconies. The three pools that cascade down several levels ending almost at the beach, is one of the resort’s most attractive features. On either side of the pools are hot tubs overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Other features of this extraordinary hotel include special guest rates at Cabo del Sol golf course, three restaurants, a beach club, and a top-of-the-line spa.
There is no shortage of wonderful hotels along the Tourist Corridor. Casa del Mar Golf Resort & Spa, located within the Cabo Real development is one of the most desired places to stay in Los Cabos. This new, opulent hotel, decorated in 19th-century hacienda style is bound to make your dreams come true. Amid a sanctuary of lush tropical gardens, overlooking the Sea of Cortez, Casa del Mar features only twenty-five hotel rooms and thirty-one suites providing an intimate and relaxing atmosphere. Finding a lounge chair or a quiet place to read at one of the six pools never seems to be difficult at this spacious and charming hotel. For golf lovers, this resort offers guaranteed tee times for their guests at the Robert Trent Jones II and the Jack Nicklaus Eldorado Signature course. For beach goers, the hotel is situated on gorgeous beach frontage that stretches on for miles. The tranquil spa located in the hotel offers some of the best treatments around and focuses on using ingredients native to the local desert.
Nestled between Casa del Mar and the Meliá Los Cabos is the Rosewood Hotel, Las Ventanas al Paraiso. Upon entering this resort you will be in awe of your fanciful surroundings. This magical, secluded hotel of 61 units is like entering the paradise that is only imaginable in your dreams. At this stunning resort, you will be treated like royalty with access to an extensive list of glorious and delightful amenities. The world-renowned spa is well-known for the pampering of celebrities.
The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort is the newest addition to the Tourist Corridor and Cabo Real develop-ment. With its grand opening in February 2002, this hotel consists of 375 rooms and 66 suites. The large infinity pool with a swim-up palapa bar, and the beautiful beach set on an inlet, are appealing features to this hotel. The well-groomed and innovative landscape adds to the resort’s elegance. Also located at the Hilton is the Fenicia restaurant offering fine dining and unsurpassable Mediterranean Cuisine. Another appeal to the Hilton is the Ixchel Spa, a great way to spend an afternoon following a morning of golf.
Marquis Los Cabos Beach, Golf, Spa and Casitas Resort, located west of the Hilton Los Cabos Resort, is also within the Cabo Real development. Grandiose in size and style, this hotel will fit in perfectly with all the other world-class hotels on the Tourist Corridor. When completed in the winter of 2002/2003 this resort will add another 240 rooms (including Casitas) to the impressive Los Cabos inventory.
Although generally more peaceful and serene, San José del Cabo is a unique and historical community that boasts some wonderful hotels and resorts. The all-inclusive Presidente Inter-Continental Los Cabos Resort is one of the oldest resorts in San José and was remodeled and expanded several years ago. This hotel offers 400 rooms, five restaurants, several swimming pools, daily and nightly activities, twenty-four hour room service, tennis courts, and many other recreational activities to keep you entertained at all times.
The Royal Solaris Los Cabos is an all-inclusive option located next door to the Presidente Inter-Continental. The Royal Solaris, opened in 2001, was designed with classic hacienda style and comprises of 400 rooms, each with a balcony or terrace. The theater, offering various kinds of concerts and entertainment, is one of the major appeals of this resort. Some of the other amenities include swimming pools, a swim-up palapa bar, a day-care center, several restaurants, and a spa and fitness center.
To the west of Royal Solaris is the Faro del Cabo All-Inclusive Resort that opened in the winter of 2002 with 333 spacious guest rooms and suites. This now called the Crown Plaza Los Cabos. This expansive and deluxe hotel has a convention center to accommodate up to 1,000 persons and is yet another of San Jose del Cabo’s wonderful all-inclusive resorts. The Grand Baja Resort & Spa opened in January 2004 on the beach next to the Fiesta Inn Hotel.
One thing is increasingly clear, the Los Cabos region offers a wide spectrum of vacation opportunities with numerous options for accommodations. With so many choices available for families, couples, and singles, you can create your own magical experience. No matter what kind of hotel or resort you enjoy—all-inclusive, simple, resplendent, close to town, or set apart for privacy and tranquility—you will have the adventure of a lifetime.