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5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

Few areas in the world boast as many five-star resorts and boutique luxury hotels as Los Cabos, all of them attempting to outduel their competitors with a never-ending array of stylish features and sophisticated amenities.

The coastlines of cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo are now lined with resorts showcasing celebrity chefs, pampering spas and championship-level golf courses. Those are the conventional lures.

In 2017, however, it takes much more than a spa so sumptuous it would stagger a corrupt Roman emperor or a cliffside masterpiece from a legendary golfer to move the proverbial needle. Local hoteliers must create something newer, fresher and more inspired.

With that in mind, here are five of the coolest features and amenities currently offered by local lodgings.

Underground Recording Studio – Hotel El Ganzo

 

No local hotel has been more committed to the arts than El Ganzo. Even its name – a portmanteau word combining el ganso, the Spanish word for goose, with gonzo, the wide-open journalism style pioneered by the late Hunter S. Thompson – is illustrative of a specific artistic sensibility, a singular aesthetic.  As if to prove this point, the hotel itself is a work in progress, its façade and 70 fashionably appointed rooms and suites perpetually in the midst of a metamorphosis thanks to the work of many talented artists in residence.

The boutique, Puerto Los Cabos based property offers many remarkable features and amenities, from full moon yoga and rooftop concerts to the complimentary use of vintage bicycles. The state-of-the-art underground recording studio, however, is the hotel’s trademark feature, its sui generis resource….even though it isn’t available to guests.

Big-name musicians have counted among the artists in residence, and some have used their time here to memorable advantage. Mexican singer and songwriter Natalia Lafourcade recorded her acclaimed album Hasta la Raíz here, a project that led to a Grammy Award, two Latin Grammys, and a documentary that premiered at the 2016 Los Cabos International Film Festival. Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and Thievery Corporation are among others to have recorded at the unique facility.

World’s Most Expensive Taco – Grand Velas Los Cabos

5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

Grand Velas had been open for only a few months when it unveiled what is believed to be the most expensive taco in the history of the world. For a mere $25,000 – U.S. dollars, of course – guests and visitors can experience the ultimate in tortilla-wrapped treats. Caviar, Kobe beef, lobster and black truffle infused brie are among the many fillings, with bits of real gold flake thrown in for color. This monument to conspicuous consumption was created by Juan Licerio Alcala, chef at the resort’s Mexican themed restaurant Frida, and is best paired with a cup of wild civet coffee, or perhaps a shot of rare, ridiculously expensive tequila.

If the taco seems a bit rich for your taste, may we recommend the more modest 17-course pairing menu at Cocina de Autor, the onsite dining establishment helmed by Sidney Schutte. The chef and native Nederlander was awarded two Michelin stars for his work at Librije’s Zusje at the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam before being lured away by the Vela family. The resort’s striking sail-like architectural features, by the way, are a nod to the Vela name, which means both sail and candle in Spanish. The family now operates three Grand Velas properties, with the recently launched Los Cabos luxury all-inclusive joining sister properties on the Maya and Nayarit Rivieras.

SOMMA WineSPA – Grand Fiesta Americana

5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

Chardonnay is available by the glass at Grand Fiesta Americana, but it and fellow grape varietals like Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also integral parts of the wellness treatments at the resort’s unique SOMMA WineSPA. The vinotherapy focused spa is the first of its kind in México, using antioxidant-rich polyphenol extracts from wine grapes as key ingredients in massages, body wraps, scrubs, facials and other bespoke exfoliations.

SOMMA enjoys a spectacular setting, a cool and cavernous space accessible only via an enormous staircase, occupying a privileged position amid the luxurious all-inclusive on the shores of Shipwreck Beach (the beach takes its name from the Inari Maru, a Japanese longline fishing vessel that went aground there in 1965).

The spa also reaps benefits from the explosion of high-quality wines being produced in Valle de Guadalupe, a wine growing valley just outside Ensenada that accounts for a very large percentage of the nation’s table wines. The region’s wine grapes are creatively integrated into a variety of treatments, and also served up in finished form as a relaxing adjunct to the SOMMA experience.

Hook & Cook Special – Pueblo Bonito Pacifica (The Towers at Pacifica)

5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

Cabo San Lucas as a tourist destination was built on big-game sportfishing. For those with the inclination but not the constitution for rolling waves and heaving decks, Pueblo Bonito’s newly completed The Towers at Pacifica has a solution:  the Hook & Cook Special. Each Wednesday, Chef Octavio Hernández and his team invite a group of up to six guests to cast lines directly from the resort’s pristine beach. Beginners needn’t worry. The chef offers the requisite coaching, and the catch of the day is a foregone conclusion. Once the fish have been reeled in, the chef prepares the freshest ceviche guests have ever tasted, sliced and diced for a beachfront feast served with Dover sole, baby scallops and sea bass, and accompanied by a variety of salsas, infused oils and emulsions.

The Towers at Pacifica is the latest triumph for Pueblo Bonito, which operates four first-class properties in Cabo San Lucas:  Blanco, Rosé, Sunset Beach and Pacifica. The latter two enjoy gorgeous settings overlooking the Pacific Ocean, as well as convenient access to the spectacular Jack Nicklaus designed Quivira Golf Club, voted best new international course in 2015 by GOLF Magazine. Those enamored with Chef Hernández’s fare can also experience his culinary mastery at the Towers’ new flagship restaurant, Península.

Wedding Chapel – One&Only Palmilla

5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

In 1958, the son of a former Mexican president named Abelardo “Rod” Rodríguez Montijo opened the first modern resort in Los Cabos:  the 15-room Hotel Las Cruces Palmilla; whose middle names referenced an earlier resort he had built southeast of La Paz. That fly-in resort, Rancho Las Cruces, helped to jump-start the tourist age in Baja California Sur, drawing celebrities like John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Desi Arnaz and U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower, who famously liked to work the barbecue grill.

Rodríguez’s first Los Cabos property was soon known simply as Hotel Palmilla, and after a massive renovation and rebranding, reemerged as One&Only Palmilla in 2004. It has been ranked as the finest resort in México nearly every year since. Private butlers may be Palmilla’s most famous amenity, but there are other ultra-luxury resorts in the area that offer similar service. No one, however, can match the sanctity and majesty of the resort’s historic chapel, which dates back over 50 years to property’s founding. The chapel is an eagerly sought commodity by the many couples who flock to Los Cabos for destination weddings, with added touches that include a horse drawn carriage for the bride, manned of course by a traditionally clad coachman and footman.

 

 

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About Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the author of Bohemia by the Bay, and writes about wine, golf, and travel for publications such as Baja.com, Los Cabos Guide, Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, and USA Today. He is a full-time resident of Cabo San Lucas.

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