Most think of vacations as a time to become a complete sloth, to eat and drink just about everything in sight and lay out until their skin colour is at least three shades darker than when they deplaned the aircraft at their destination. By no means is this considered a bad thing. Heck, I yearn for a couple days of nothingness from time to time, but there are a distinct few who look at their vacations as a strategic retreat where they can undergo a complete mental and physical overhaul, where luxury and comfort is not compromised. If you happen to fall within this niche category of travellers, you need to add Los Cabos to your bucket list.
I recently crossed this dreamy destination off my bucket list and to be honest, I loved it so much I am heading back at the end of the month. Most, including myself until my visit, confuse this luxe locale with Cabos San Lucas, which has more a reputation for it’s clubs and party atmosphere. Los Cabos though is what I would consider it’s older, more sophisticated sister. The destination is referred to as “Lands End” for being situated at the tip of the southern Baja California Peninsula. Known for the warmth of it’s people, mind blowing food and deep rooted heritage, it’s varying landscapes of desert, sea and mountains also keeps visitors coming back for more.
For the Fitness Obsessed, Well Heeled Traveller
For me, the dream vacation would consist of equal parts fitness, fun and relaxation. If you’re a Type A personality who takes their food, workouts and recovery seriously, Esperanza Resort is Mecca. Part of the boutique luxury hotel company, Auberge Resorts Collection, this unique property has managed to find the perfect balance between pure leisure and a variety of physical activities designed to challenge all fitness levels. Esperanza’s state-of-the-art fitness facilities allow guests to enjoy daily complimentary classes – everything from Beach Bootcamp to TRX, to Sunrise Yoga to a private running concierge service and everything in between. They take their programming so seriously, the hotel has created a “Trainer-in-Residence” program where they feature renowned guest fitness instructors from the best gyms and studios across the US. No matter your level or goals, this hospitality gem’s dedicated staff can customize a bespoke wellness experience to suit your needs.
Part of this experience involves an exceptional culinary experience to accompany your desired workout regimen. With ingredients from local fishermen and farmers, Esperanza Resort’s Cabo dining will knock your socks off. For the foodie, Cocina del Mar’s sea-to-table fare will have you thinking you’re in heaven. Looking for an interactive food experience? There’s hands-on cooking classes with Resident Executive Chef Gonzalo Cerda and more much.
With all the fitness, activities, available excursions and phenomenal dining, you can only expect Esperanza wants it’s guests to be able to rest and rejuvenate – enter The Spa at Esperanza. Focusing on spiritual well-being, stress reduction, detoxification and revitalization, this world renowned sanctuary is sure to restore your body to it’s intended, natural state. Highly trained staff turn to healing agents indigenous to the area to create treatments tailored to clients specific health and wellness needs. And if that’s not enough, there is no way you cannot sleep like a King or Queen in any of the property’s accommodations. With suite options ranging from 900 sqft casitas (starting around $2,500 USD per night) to Villas and Residences up to 4,000 sqft (approximately $11,000 USD per night) guests can expect that no luxurious detail is overlooked. Offering expansive layouts, indoor/outdoor living spaces, oversized bedroom and washrooms, infinity hot tubs or pools, plus full concierge or butler service, it comes as no surprise that Hollywood’s A-List chooses Esperanza as their favourite private getaway in Los Cabos. For more information or to book online, head to Esperanza.AubergeResorts.com.
Affordable Luxury for the Whole Family
Hilton hotels are known globally for their first-rate yet affordable, family friendly facilities. After being severely damaged in the hurricane back in 2014, The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort re-opened to both first time and returning guests. Situated on one of my favourite stretches along the Sea of Cortez in Los Cabos, the Hilton boasts beautiful vistas from every single corner of the property. With six dining options plus 24 hours of in-room dining service, guests can enjoy the amazing pool views with farm-to-fork brekkie (my fave) or sea-to-table dinner at El Meson; sip from Cabo’s largest tequila collection inside Azul, feast on regional Italian cuisine at Vela or grab comfort food and bites from one of the various poolside grills. If you have food restrictions or prefer healthy options; you need not worry here. With plenty of options on the menus, those with even the pickiest of palettes will find something that will have you eager for the next meal.
If relaxing poolside all day isn’t your thing, the Hilton is the place to be. However, laying out by one of their two deluxe pools isn’t too bad of idea here because the hotel has a pool concierge service that comes by to mist you with Evian, clean your sunnies and even provide you with iPods in case you need tunes while you sunbathe.
You can discover so much of the Baja Peninsula’s beauty by staying at Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort. December to March is whale watching season and the optimal time to see these beautiful animals close-up. The resort gives guests access to an amazing whale watching safari but if you keep your eyes on the waves, you can actually see them from the hotel’s oceanfront view guest rooms, the restaurants and infinity pools.
If you’re the adventurous type, this could possibly be the vacation of your dreams. The Hilton’s concierge is always eager to help guests plan world class excursions that is very likely to be the highlight of any visitor’s vacation; think dolphin swim programs, outdoor zip lining, flyboarding, mountain bike tours, sailing, outback tours, camel safari’s and much more via Cabo Adventures. My choice of adventure was mountain biking through Cabo’s outback, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most of you. Only a 30 minute drive from Cabo’s city centre, we ventured to Rancho San Christobal, a protected reserve overlooking the majestic Pacific. Our amazing tour guide led us through a stunning ride down cactus-lined tracks to a gorgeous hidden beach where the views literally took my breath away. Along our guided tour, our guide educated us about the area’s amazing flora and fauna plant life with natural healing properties, chilled with some camels, and visited the secluded habitat for baby turtles. Post ride, we headed to Rancho San Christobal’s “Casa Tipica” for the most flavourful and natural Mexican meal and tequila.
The only way to follow that kind of excursion was a full day at the Hilton’s Eforea Spa. Eforea takes relaxation practices from around the world to create a unique concept for it’s clients. But of course, honouring it’s Mexican heritage, the spa draws on native rituals and local ingredients, paired with traditional spa menu offerings. And if that’s not enough, guests can further customize their treatments by choosing natural herbs from the spa to be infused into their massages, facials or body treatments. Have kiddies with you on your stay? Being a parent doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some relaxation too. Here, children can enjoy the Cabo Kids experience at Eforea with kid friendly treatments and spa services. Rates per night start at only $319. For more information or to book online head to HiltonLosCabos.com.
For the Spiritual Wanderluster
For those who care less about catching sun rays or going on excursions and prefers to explore once in a lifetime spiritual experience, trying a Temezcal at Hacienda Encantada must be on your bucket list. I’ve had a lot of alternative spa treatments in my day, but until last November I had yet to experience anything quite like this before. Temazcal is a native health ritual that originated hundreds of years ago in Central America and Mexico. It’s direction translation, which stems from the native Nahuatl language means “House of Steam” and in this instance the translation is not an understatement.
A Temazcal is a tiny stone chamber resembling a dome where super hot stones are placed in a hole in the centre on a brick. To create extra heat and steam, the hot stones are splashed with water infused with several healing herbs. One of the first things I discovered about these treatments is that when people enter the chamber, the environment replicates that of a mother’s womb resulting in a very powerful physical and mental experience for those partaking in the session.
What makes the Temazcal so unique is that it incorporates all four elements: earth, fire, wind and water – combined creates a powerful healing process that has been known to treat everything from arthritis, liver issues, circulatory problems, bronchitis, prostate issues while also reliving stress, muscle tension and most importantly negative energy; leaving you feeling so energized and refreshed.
Prior to entering the Temazcal, we were saved to clean our energies and bowed down just in front the entryway before stepping in. Inside, we were asked to sit or lay down in the extremely close quarters. There was only four of us during this session and it felt that one extra person would have made it too crammed but apparently often times there can be up to 20-25 adults inside at one time. For close to two hours we sweated profusely as the two leaders sang songs and started engaging conversations asking each of us what we would like to let go of both physically and mentally during the treatment. I am a lover of dry saunas but I had never felt this kind of heat before in my life and didn’t think I could make it through at first. But the process forced me to let go and to concentrate on my breathing to relieve my anxiety. Half way through, aloe vera was passed around for us to use the jelly to scrub our bodies down. We happily used ice cubes, which barely stood a chance, to wash the aloe jelly residue off our bodies. After some closing meditation, our 90 mins of sweating was over and we excited the Temazcal feeling mentally cleansed and physically rejuvenation. For more on Hacienda Encantada’s Temezcal treatment check out HaciendaEncantada.com.
I left my heart in Cabo in November and was compelled to see what more this magical place has to offer. Stay tuned as I will be heading back this month on a culinary adventure. To learn more about Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas and surrounding areas head to VisitLosCabos.Travel.