Los Cabos – where all of the pleasures of Mexico collide. Originally a desert, this previously remote land is special due to its gorgeous climate and intriguing geography where the arid desert meets two seas. It is a land merged between the Sea of Cortes, the Pacific Ocean, desert and mountains. All of life’s desires can be found in Los Cabos – fine hotels (we visit Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos and Nobu Hotel), art, marine life, great food, mountains and bucket loads of Mexican charm.
There are plenty of direct flights from the USA to Los Cabos (SJD) and direct UK flights may return soon but some things in life are worth waiting for. If you are flying from the UK, a great idea is to stay at Mexico City Airport (MEX) as arrivals into Mexico City (from the UK) tend to be early evening. Just enough time to adjust to the new time zone, eat, rest and sleep, ready for your flight to Los Cabos in the morning which takes just under 2 hours.
Marriott Courtyard Mexico City Airport
We rested at The Marriott Courtyard Mexico City Airport hotel located inside Terminal 1 of Mexico City Airport. It was so convenient to stay at the airport with a morning flight and a huge time saver. Check in was slick and efficient and we even booked the free 24-hour shuttle bus for the next morning to Terminal 2 (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are 5 minutes from each other by road).
Our room was comfortable, quiet and a little bit of jet lag meant that we popped into the comprehensive gym at 4am. After testing the fast WIFI to download some films it was time for breakfast (try the Huevos Mexican scrambled eggs). We then hopped on the bus for a five-minute trip to Terminal 2 for our flight to Los Cabos.
To book, visit: marriott.co.uk
Los Cabos weather takes weather worry out of your holiday. This arid desert part of Mexico ensures that the sun shines most of the year with hot and dry conditions. The summers are long and hot with winters comfortable and relatively dry averaging 10 hours of sunshine per day.
WHERE TO STAY
Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos
Every so often, hotel experiences create life long friends and memories. Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos was opened in 2019 so feels rather new and rather different to other Hard Rock hotels with a timeless, modern interpretation of Spanish architecture throughout giving it a luxury look and feel.
Located inside the world-class Diamante complex, all inclusive makes life a lot easier and in this new property, the all inclusive feel is one where no expense has been spared. Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos has 8 restaurants, mixology led cocktails, entertainment, 24-hour room service and even a Fender guitar brought to your room to really rock out.
Our Rock Suite Ocean View room (Room 4321) is a massive one-bedroom suite with 1,240 square of feet of all inclusive luxury. The view from this room includes the resort and also the sea. One of the best things was that the room caught the sun from 9am to 5pm so you can just hang out on the balcony in the bathtub. There are two bathrooms (one for guests naturally) with decent toiletries and everything you can think of. The room was so comfortable and felt like home straight away with a mini bar fridge full of beers, water and drinks that was topped up every day.
With over 600 rooms, there is plenty of choice to suit all budgets. It is important when choosing an all inclusive to look at how many bedrooms a hotel has. 600 rooms is for me an ideal size as it is always nice to see people around but it doesn’t feel busy and you aren’t left waiting for things.
As Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos is fairly new, the restaurant experience here is very well thought out. The key thing is to pre book restaurants as they can become busy but if you aren’t a booking kind of person, you can always take a chance and see what happens, especially if you want to eat early. The 8 restaurants include a range of cuisines including: Mexican, Asian, Teppanyaki, Brazilian, Italian, steak, pizza and a 24-hour coffee shop. Here are our favourites:
Zen – This restaurant is super popular and oozes quality. There are three options, a sit down a la carte Asian option, sushi bar and Teppanyaki. The a la carte also includes some very high-end sushi and sashimi. The resounding favourite was a tempura sushi topped with creamy crab. The Teppanyaki is multi course feast so make sure you book ahead and arrive hungry.
Ciao – Authentic Italian atmosphere, food and wine in Mexico! The setting at Ciao is also stunning and you can eat outside by the water. The carbonara here was a favourite and as good as any in Italy. Seafood from the Cortez Sea, fine wines and a slice of Italy awaits.
Breakfast – The Market is the hotel’s assisted buffet eatery and breakfast is BIG. From eggs to pasties and everything in between, an 8am breakfast will guarantee a premium outside table. The green juice was one of our favourites here.
Lunch – Poolside snacks come straight to you and include pizza and other pool friendly stuff. If you want something more substantial, there is a comprehensive assisted buffet at The Market too but don’t fill yourself up too much. Save space for dinner!
There is a real focus on mixology here at Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos whether you are in the pool or having a cocktail pre dinner. Take in the 2 pool bars, 4 swim-up bars and 3 lounges.
Our favourite was the Sunlight Lounge which sits in the middle of the resort and has an indoor and outdoor bar. The cocktail menu is entirely original. The Rollercoaster with chipotle infused mezcal, tangerine liqueur and lime is a prime example of the bar team’s originality. The bar also has the only cocktail smoker machine in the resort and you can ask for any cocktail smoked. They also have a wide range of quality tequilas. Just listen to what others are ordering and take their lead!
Things to do
The beach – The stunning beach is great for a long walk but one thing to note is that you cannot swim in the sea due to strong currents that could lead even the most experienced swimmers to dangerous conditions. So, enjoy the golden sand and keep your eyes out for whales who regularly visit this coastline between October-March especially in the morning.
The pools – Have a walk around and check out which pool suits you best. They are all different in terms of atmosphere. We stumbled upon the Rhythm pool (adults only) which had everything – a fun atmosphere, great drinks and above all lots of sun. This pool also comes complete with under water music to keep rocking even when submerged! On one day, we even had an unscheduled appearance from an undefeated former heavyweight champion boxer who was staying at Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos.
Entertainment – The entertainment is always available and rather sensibly, the volume gets turned down at 11pm each night but you can still continue the party into the night at the club which opens late into the night. During the day, expect live bands, games and fun. As the evening comes, expect some amazing live entertainment (we saw world class tributes to Michael Jackson and Jersey Boys). 15 minutes drive from Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos is downtown Cabo if you want to explore more entertainment options.
Music – Music is at the heart of this gorgeous resort. At check in, we were asked our musical preference (don’t say musical theatre like I did!) and then offered a Fender® guitar which was delivered to the room with Klipsch headphones and a Fender® Mustang I V.2 amplifier, to create a pop-up studio. Novice rockers can take advantage of the in-room video lessons or just start strumming and see what kind of interesting tunes you can create.
The Rock Spa – This 30,000 square foot oasis has 36 treatment rooms and a complete hydrotherapy area with whirlpools, a steam room and a sauna. One top tip: Book ahead and try the Rhythm and Motion treatments, the world’s first fully immersive music-centric spa menu using amplified vibrations, pressures and patterns, as the foundation of its treatments. Smooth Operator retunes the skin and rocks the soul with a two-part treatment removing impurities from the night before and invites new nourishing elements in. It includes rhythmical dry brushing, a ritual that softly sheds rough skin away and closing with a detoxifying wrap.
New activities – Hard Rock Hotels All Inclusive have launched a private experiences menu for 2021 for guests looking to enjoy the extensive facilities and value for money of the rock star all inclusive experience with more personal space and intimate surroundings during their holidays. Private experiences that are available as part of the all inclusive holiday package include fun activities like a Latin dancing class and a Jigger n Shaker mixology class where you’ll learn the tips and tricks of craft mixology.
What makes Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos special?
The size of this hotel and the limitless all inclusive offering creates a really happy atmosphere where life is easy and everything is accessible from spa treatments to tours and everything in between. This is the kind of place where you get into relaxation mode very quickly. Whatever you do, try that tempura sushi!
To discover more, visit: hardrockhotels.com/los-cabos
Nobu Hotel Los Cabos
Conveniently located next door to Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos is Robert de Niro and chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s first Nobu hotel opening in Latin America and has an elegant boutique feel to it. It’s a modern minimalist Japanese inspired resort which isn’t all inclusive so it makes it a little different. This is a great place for couples and small groups looking for a little tranquillity and luxury.
Atmosphere and Style
Any Nobu Hotel will have that inimitable atmosphere where staff anticipate your every move and bring a smile to your face. The minimalist Japanese style and décor bring a sense of calm and serenity. Gardens, infinity pools and vast open squares are inviting, welcome and sleek.
You arrive in a partly open air reception where you are assigned a personal concierge who you can contact about anything and everything. The non all inclusive element makes an interesting change if you are hotel hopping in Mexico so make sure you keep track of what you spend.
The 200-room Nobu Hotel Los Cabos retains this Japanese minimalist design philosophy in rooms also with textiles and other items made in Mexico. Rooms also feature intriguing Japanese art in highly sound proofed rooms that create that boutique atmosphere. Not many people know this but the hotel is also pet friendly!
With a view of the Cortez Pool (one of four pools) and the Pacific Ocean, our Junior Suite (Room 1148) had a private terrace, walk-in wardrobe and a spa like bathroom which a wall of river stones two sinks and an open shower.
Eating and Drinking
Food is a key focal point at Nobu Hotel Los Cabos and the collection of restaurants and bars are one of the most highly regarded in all of Mexico. The emphasis is on quality throughout from the world famous Japanese inspired Nobu restaurant, Mexican fayre at Pacific and organic, farm-to-table deliciousness at Malibu Farm. Look out for a superb happy hour every evening and also for the new Ardea steak restaurant which is due to open in 2021. During our short time here, these were our gastronomic highlights:
Malibu Farm – The Los Cabos branch of Chef Helene Henderson’s Californian restaurant reflects the original Malibu location’s vibe – the epitome of laid-back chic and superb ingredients, some of which are picked from the hotel’s own culinary garden. Open for breakfast and dinner, breakfast is best taken outside in the sunshine.
Dinner is a laid back, candle lit affair with. A revelation was a simply titled avocado pizza. The pizza is laden with thick fresh slices of perfectly ripe avocado. The base of the pizza is so addictive, made from a mixture of grains for an irresistible texture then topped with jalapeño ricotta cheese, lime, coriander and a touch of agave. Sensational.
Pacific– This fine dining Mexican concept has a talented Italian chef with an enticing, colourful, tantalising menu. Tacos, fine mezcals and fresh fish are all available but look out for some unique dishes like a short rib tostada with aged cotija cheese and a tomatillo relish. One of our favourite dishes was a handmade fettucine with a creamy Mexican chilli infused pumpkin seed salsa, parsley and black truffle.
Things to do
Pools – Pools are an important part of any holiday. There are four pools here all with pain staking attention to detail. The Pacific Pool and Cortez Pool have water of different colours (naturally created by the design of the pools) to reflect the two seas that meet at Nobu. For sea views, there is a small Infinity Pool and at the end of the day, grab a camera and wait for a breath taking view at the Sunset Pool. The detail continues as even the small tables by your sunbed have been designed to create a little bit of shade for your drinks / belongings all day long.
Things to do – Nobu Hotel Los Cabos is the kind of place to kick back, relax and enjoy the tranquillity. To help there are a range of private experiences on site from fireworks to a private beach dinner with DJ. Outside the hotel, vacation planners can organise many activities including a whale watching boat trip, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, a tropical hike or even riding a camel through the Cabo desert.
Golf – With a 39% rise in golf holiday bookings in November 2020, you can golf along Los Cabos’ 20-mile corridor of world-class championship golf courses, including two close to Nobu Hotel, designed by Davis Love III and Tiger Woods. The Dunes is widely regarded as the number 1 golf course in Mexico with 18 holes and amazing views.
Spa – One of the most exclusive spas in Mexico, the experiences draw from the best practices in wellness and relaxation and use only the finest products from Natura Bissé. There are 3,691sq ft of Esencia Spa, ensuring that you can visit the hotel for a spa holiday and do just that. The spa at Nobu Los Cabos is distinguished by its simple, natural elements with subtle references to Asian-inspired design and traditions which is also reflected in the treatments.
What makes Nobu Hotel Los Cabos special?
This hotel is definitely the place to see and be seen with some global celebrities popping in and out even during our short stay. This unique Mexican paradise is a laid back luxury haven for those who want to relax and enjoy world class hospitality and very fine dining.
To discover more, visit: loscabos.nobuhotels.com
5 THINGS TO DO WHILE VISITING LOS CABOS
Hit the town – Los Cabos is made up of two good-looking towns. You can rely on sleepy San Jose del Cabo for a taste of traditional Mexican charm – it’s got craft breweries, traditional taco stands and pretty, pastel-coloured buildings (there is a charming 7 floor maximum building height here). At the other end of the scale is upbeat Cabo San Lucas, a vibrant town with a bustling marina. Huge yachts, whale-watching boats and catamarans set off from the jetties, past Los Cabos’ most famous landmark – a rock formation known as The Arch.
Todos Santos – This cute village located on the Pacific side Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, an hour away from Cabo San Lucas, it is considered a “Pueblo Magico’’ (a Magic Town), with colonial buildings, Mexican art and crafts, and delicious typical regional food which is mostly made with local products. Its uncrowded beaches are a lovely place to relax, spend the day and even surf.
Whale watching – Whale watching season is around October-March every year and there are LOADS of them. When booking a trip to go whale watching, make sure this is through your resort. Thousands of whales migrate from their Arctic feeding grounds to the warm waters of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to mate and give birth. The waters curling around Cabo are home to many species of whales including blue whales (the largest), Orcas (killer whales), sperm whales and more.
Cabo Pulmo – Two hours away from San Jose del Cabo is a protected National Marine Park recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Estimated to be around 20,000 years old, the reef of Cabo Pulmo has been considered a treasure of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula and has over 800 species of marine life, hence its nickname, ‘The Aquarium of the World’ with over 800 species of marine life in the Sea of Cortez.
Golf – Apologies for all golf widows but golf is big here with some of its courses ranked the best in the world. The local courses have dramatic terrain in common with views of the Pacific Ocean or Sea of Cortéz.
All imagery courtesy of the RCD Hotel Group. Featured image courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos.