By Lauren Clarke-Bennett
In September of 2014 Cabos San Lucas and the surrounding area at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Mexican suffered a devastating blow when hurricane Odile came a-shore packing 125 mph winds and left carnage in it wake. However with the help of the Mexican government, nine incredibly short months later the resort area experienced a grand re-birth.
The consequences of a category four hurricane is devastating enough but when it comes only a few short months away from the height of Los Cabos’ tourist season in a country that heavily relies on travelers for a good portion of its revenue, you know the powers that be will turn heaven and earth upside down to fix it. On a Herculean scale the Mexican government sent in the troops and rebuilt the entire coast line in under a year.
Upon experiencing Cabo San Lucas and all it has to offer, few times do you come to a destination with such natural beauty, delectable cuisine, stylish luxury, local artisanal shopping, a friendly attitude and a huge range of activities.
However it all begins with wonderful accommodations enjoyed at the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, that sits at the exact point where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Approximately 40 minutes from the airport and a short walk to the Marina Cabo San Lucas this lavish 4.5 star property is ingeniously built into the rocks and cascades down to the sea. The experience is enhanced by their stylish sprawling suites with fully equipped kitchens and breathtaking views of their pools and beach area beyond.
A sumptuous buffet breakfast is awaits you every morning beachside with every imaginable scenario you could possibly want; from Huevos Rancheros to fresh fruit to grilled meats but a la carte is also an option for those who want to consume lightly. For lunch, take a dip in their infinity pool and swim up to a submerged table and enjoy their killer Ceviche, a fresh caught grilled fish or a whole host of your favorite Mexican fare.
To expel some of your tension from the everyday stress of life, book an appointment at the Luxury Sea Spa at Lands End which specializes in couple treatments and begins with a lemon foot bath as you relax gazing over the sea. Take refuge in their exquisite facials, heavenly messages and desserts with spirit pairings that take place in casitas built into the cliffs over sandy beaches, while ocean waves crash beneath the slatted floors. Experience being lathered in magnificent botanical products from head to toe as you are rejuvenated is sheer bliss.
If you are on your own, the Playa Grande Spa is also situated overlooking the breathtaking sea at the other end of the property and specializes in an extensive list of therapies tailored to ones own individual needs making your vacation one of sheer delight. www.grandsolmarresort.com
The unique El Ganzo Hotel situated in San Jose del Cabo (JDC) not far from the airport, is an eclectic mix of hip mexican and chic rustic California style surroundings with cool art and cutting edge music.
Situated on the beautiful Sea of Cortez the resort boasts its own water taxi to take its guests across the lagoon to their very own private beach where they can enjoy a relaxing day in the sun. For the more energetic, volleyball, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing and snorkeling are all available for the asking and a fun way to spend the day. Or head to the rooftop for a dip in their magnificent infinity pool and glass jacuzzi.
This first class resort also has a full service spa offering eco-friendly and organic treatments that use locally grown ingredients. Delectable gourmet cuisine is enjoyed at the Ganzo Downstairs Restaurant & Bar overlooking the marina with dishes that include a divine shrimp salad on a pastry shell, ceviche, steak burrito, tasty soups and scrumptious dessert platters. For a light bite indulge in the Gachoo Sushi Bar and while enjoying their private beach, dine at the Ganzo De Playa-Beach Club. For the night time head to the roof-top for drinks by the fire-pit while enjoying some newly composed music and a breathtaking view of the marina.
To feed the soul visiting guest musicians flock to the hotel’s Underground Studio designed by studio manager/artist-in-residence Mark Rudin, to create original music, while live performances from top artists are a common occurrence at the hotel. Adding to the artsy atmosphere visual art exhibits are created throughout the property by notable artists in places you would least expect it, leaving the guests excited and amazed at the visual and auditory feast. Truly a unique experience for the artistic soul in all of us. www.elganzo.com
For a wonderful dining experience head to the lovely Maria Corona Restaurant located in Cabo San Lucas for some of the most delicious blue margaritas and traditional Mexican fare in town. Their guacamole is mixed table-side giving you the ability to customize to your own taste and is served along-side melt in your mouth queso that is served sizzling in a stone bowl. The ceviche is superbly marinated as too are their meats and fish grilled and seasoned to perfection. To top it off their selection of Tequila is highly unique and outstanding. www.mariacoronarestaurant.com
On one’s Cabo ‘must do list’, is a ride aboard the Dawn Patrol luxury yacht to the Arc; a natural rock formation that delineates the exact point where the Pacific Ocean ends and the Sea of Cortez begins. Set out on a your journey and have a memorable experience — with champagne and hors d’euvres in hand the sunset is breathtaking. During your stay take day or over-night trips to other parts of the Baja Peninsula and encounter the fishing which is world-renowned. www.yachtincabo.com
Frequented by major stars that include, Jennifer Aniston and Eva Longoria, no trip to Cabo is complete without experiencing the One & Only La Palmilla. Touted as one of the most beautiful resorts on the peninsula and located in the San Juan del Cabo region, it is one of the few hotels that has its own swimmable beach. Suffering one of the worst hits during hurricane Odile, La Palmilla was completely rebuilt in eight months and is better than ever.
Their culinary experience includes the Michelin-starred, Chef Jean-George’s stunning steak-house Seared and seafood centered, Suviche. Added to the distinguished list is the breathtaking oceanside restaurant Agua by Larbi, that is built into the rocks. Over-lorded by Executive Chef, Larbi Dahrouch who’s main focus is farm-to-table authentic Mexican cuisine centered around what is fresh from the sea and garden and is only paralleled by the beautiful setting in which one enjoys the meal.
From their fresh oysters and scallops to a myriad of salads with locally grown vegetables — to their octopus that is perfectly grilled over a piece of fresh roasted Pacific Sea Bass with blue prawn and lathered in zucchini provencal — complimented by a limited edition Don Julio 70 and a magnificent wine list — Chef Larbi has truly outdone himself with a wonderfully creative, extensive and devine menu!
To pamper yourself take a stroll to the One & Only Spa — a very special environment that uses only the finest products by ESPA featuring the purest extracts of all natural ingredients for facials and messages. While there, experience the Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio where Podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez is on hand to make sure all of your needs are met with a doctors watchful eye. Their OBO Salon by Johnathan & George of Beverly Hills has created an exclusive beauty experience where guests can relax and be coiffed in a tranquil environment. The entire La Palmilla encounter will take you to utopia, where you’ll wish for it to never end! www.oneandonlyresorts.com
Upon arriving at the Mi Casa Restaurant in Cabo one notes that the walls are lined with massive amounts of figurines, jewelry and art that are beautifully hand crafted creating a festive atmosphere. Again serving up yummy Margaritas to start the evening off right then on to soup, salad and main courses that range from tamales to lobster, to steaks and pollo that are all dressed in exquisite traditional style seasonings. A real authentic treat! www.micasarestaurant.com
To work off the fantastic Mexican cuisine take an excursion to the legendary Wild Canyon Adventurers for the thrill seekers that want lots of action. From their deluxe off-road runner ATVs that take you snaking through the dessert to explore the beauty of the landscape to the day and night monster zip lines, bubble jumping, camel rides, sling swing and glass bottom cable car you will have enough activities to keep you busy and thrilled for days. www.wildcanyon.com.mx
To round out the list of top Cabo restaurants the Los Tres Gallos Restaurant should not be overlooked. From their awesome mixed cocktails to their beautiful garden dining to their spectacular Mexican cuisine it is no wonder they are touted as being at the top of the heap when it comes to traditional south of the boarder dishes. www.lostresgallos.com
So book your trip, pack your bags, say goodbye to the everyday stresses of life and say hello to a relaxing and fun filled excursion to paradisio!