Sun, sea-lions and secret coves...
Mexico has long been known as a go-to destination for some restorative winter sun, but it’s usually hotspots like Cancun or Tulum that get the spotlight when it comes to beach-centric getaways. Whilst their pristine beaches and tropical charm can’t be disputed, we’re backing Los Cabos, on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, as a go-to destination for 2018, thanks to a paradisclical mash up of secret coves, the famous ‘El Arco’ just outside Cabo San Lucas (hello sea lions) top notch food and a surprise arts hub that is home to a community of internationally-renowned artists.
Where to stay:
Forget what you think you know about Los Cabos and it’s surrounds, because whilst you can have the best party of your life there – our tip: head to ME Cabo in Cabo San Lucas, which plays host to the infamous Blue Marlin Ibiza Los Cabos; think pool parties, DJ’s and hands down home to some of THE best food we tried in the area. Seriously, eat here if you can. It is incredible. The area is also a creative hub that we have dubbed ‘the Shoreditch of Cabo’. More on that later…
So, it’s got the party, it’s got the culture, but let’s not forget it’s also got the luxury. And nowhere does it better than Paradisus Los Cabos. Calling a private crescent cove beach home (in fact, it’s one of the only swimmable beaches in the area and a place that a colony of sea turtles also calls home), this unique resort is a tropical paradise, and one that will completely redefine your notion of ‘luxury’.
The newly renovated all-inclusive resort is situated in lush, manicured surrounds, with palms closely dotted around the grounds, acting as a thoroughly tropical alternative to the high rise vistas that us city dwellers are used to seeing on a daily basis.
For a resort that offers so much (seven restaurants, seven bars, lagoon pool, spa with THE most incredible plunge pool, fully-equipped gym plus a technologically advanced conference centre should you be there for work as well as pleasure), the space somehow retains a sense of intimacy, but thankfully, without any of the stuffiness that is often associated with such high end places.
Yes, it’s sprawling, filled with spaces that span both indoors and outdoors, but thanks to the clever positioning of the pools, bars, and multiple places in which to stop, sit and marvel at the views out over the Sea of Cortés – you never feel isolated. This feeling of inclusion is also down to the staff; friendly, helpful, great chat and, most importantly, seem to genuinely have a sense of pride about their place of work. A cocktail of characteristics that is rare to find.
Our tip? Opt for the adults-only Royal Service; bespoke holidaying at its finest, you’ll get your own butler (yes, you have your own butler for the duration of your stay), a nightly turn down service including evening snacks, aromatic pillows (!) to suit your mood, a minibar stocked daily, dependent on what you want, and dedicated areas that are reserved for Royal Service guests.
After you’ve checked in, head straight to the adults only private pool overlooking the gloriously al fresco La Palapa restaurant – also only for Royal Servicers – and grab a lounger (you won’t be wrestling for space here, promise), settle in, and you’ll have drinks, fruit platters and SPF on tap for the duration.
The Royal Service suites and grandiose – roomy enough to spread out, unpack with ease, and still have space to potter about and feel at home, if home featured amazing sea or garden views that you can survey whilst chilling out on your private balcony, swaying palms, your own butler and a mini bar filled with properly good tequila* all included in the cost of your stay.
Special shout out to the bathroom, equipped with shower / wet-room, featuring massive rainfall shower heads on both sides of the room. Disclaimer alert: this will make it hard for you to return to your shower-over-bath daily washing ritual.
*Think you’re not a tequila fan? Speak to anyone of the bar staff here and they will happily give you a tequila-tasting 101, and trust us, you will leave a convert.
What to eat:
Before you plot your itinerary for your stay, we urge you to make plenty of room for the art of eating. Yes, Mexico is well known for it’s national cuisine, and Los Cabos and surrounds does it to perfection. From tacos and tortillas, every meal becomes a veritable feast, mainly because you won’t be able to choose just one dish, and instead opt for multiple variations on Mexican classics.
The resort itself has a lot of choice, housing seven restaurants, all featuring different cuisines, where you can take a worldwide foodie-trip during your stay, from rustic Italian at Terraza & Market Grill, to contemporary Asian at the moodily lit Bana. Head to the buzzy Mole to try Mexican food like you’ve never had before, and don’t forget to try as many different types of Mole as you can (Mole being the generic name for the variety of Mexican sauces that this country offers, and boy, do they vary in colour and taste).
Take a 15 minute car trip to San Jose del Cabo, and make a beeline to Casa Natalia boutique hotel for a spot of lunch at Mi Cocina (closed Tuesdays). Eat out on the terrace, where flowing water pools, towering palms and local art creates a sense of calm that lends itself to a couple of hours of eating fresh calamari, pawn tacos and a few salt-rimmed margaritas.
While you’re in San Jose del Cabo, take to the quaint cobblestone paths of the town, and wander through the colourful back streets located behind the church where you will find the gallery district: their doors are open, and within, you will find a mix of contemporary art, installations and perhaps even an artist in residence who will be more than willing to talk you through their collection.
Plus, every Thursday from November to June between 5-9pm, the town holds the San Jose del Cabo Art Walk, which guides visitors through the towns art hub, should you want to get the inside on this vibrant creative community that is well worth a visit.
Paradisus Los Cabos by Melia fact sheet
Address: Km 19.5, Carr. Transpeninsular, 23400 San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico
When to go: Sunny year round (Nov-Jan & May-June are quieter months)
Distance from airport: 15 miles from Los Cabos International Airport
Rates: From £288 per room per night