Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe

Los Cabos may have thought it had seen it all, but last December, when Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe opened its doors, a few “firsts” and a couple of records were broken. According to Hernan Vanegas, the property’s general manager, with 619 luxury suites, this is now the largest hotel in San Jose del Cabo and the second biggest in Los Cabos. It also has the most meeting space in the destination, plus Los Cabos’ first swim-up suites—perplexing, but true. “With all of the diversity that Barcelo Los Cabos offers, the resort has undoubtedly become Barcelo’s all-inclusive flagship resort in Mexico,” says Vanegas.

We can’t argue with his assessment. This resort is attractive for many different types of clients—whether couples on their honeymoon, a group of friends or a family with little ones in tow—but there’s enough space and fun spots so that one type of vacation experience does not clash with another. Enjoying a long stretch of beachfront, the property and the inimitable Barcelo machine plunges adults and children into effortless escapist recreation with lots of Cabo flavor.

among our favorite things The huge lobby alone is a stunner—nautical in theme and opening up so that the Sea of Cortez reaches out to you the moment you step in. From here you can also see some of the pools that snake around the property, which total more than 50,000 sq. ft. and hold surprises throughout—volleyball nets, water basketball tournaments and aqua-aerobics, jacuzzis…and an adults-only area with a wet lounge and in-water chairs, tables and hammocks. Beyond the pools, there are canopied beds right on the beach.

This is an all-suite resort, and oh how delectable these are. Dubbed “B Rooms,” they’re equipped with smart technology, including electronically controlled curtains, room climate, Internet and TV—all from a remote control. They feature Mexican tile floors, coffee machines and mini-bars and the Barcelo Bed, designed exclusively for the company, as well as oversized bathrooms with jetted tubs and separate rain showers. Barcelo Los Cabos has 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites for families, which can fit up to nine guests; and 22 honeymoon suites are located in the buildings’ higher floors. Best of all, there are 34 swim-up suites, the only ones in Los Cabos to date and the first for a Barcelo property. These have direct access to the pool and swim-up bar.

There is a sports bar that attracts even non-sporty types, with pop-art likenesses of famous athletes on the walls, large TV screens for a good game of American or Mexican football, a bar, pool table and Wii system—we wish we had had more time to hang out here. Adjacent to the lobby there is another huge bar/lounge, also nautical in theme, which opens early in the morning for a casual cup of coffee when a full breakfast is not desired. Just outside of this bar and in other strategic locations throughout the property, there are telescopes through which people can spot whales gallivanting about the Sea of Cortez during the winter season.

There’s also a martini bar overlooking the pool and sea with exciting options such as chocolate- and espresso-flavored ‘tinis, not to mention a huge theater with nightly Broadway-style shows and live orchestras. Another favorite: comfy chairs and fire pits set about a few “lagoon islands,” where guests can enjoy the starry, cool nights of Los Cabos over a flambe coffee after dinner.

Five a la carte restaurants and two buffets hold Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Mexican and international choices, as well as steak and seafood favorites. “Try our trilogy creme brulee with caramel, espresso and chocolate flavors, the peach melba cup or the green tea ice cream,” says Vanegas. “The buffet restaurants offer diverse food stations such as the sushi corner; seafood with the catch of the day, octopus, shrimp, crab and calamari; Italian; the Mexican specialties corner and the poultry grill. Each restaurant features a chef to create everyone’s specialty to their own taste,” he goes on to say, adding that kids also enjoy a special mini-buffet bar, complete with cartoon characters’ faces made from watermelons.

Kids are just as delighted as adults to have so many options for entertainment. There’s the Barcelo Barcy’s Club—with the coolest pod-like chairs—and an adjacent children-only water park with interactive jets and water cannons and a play area. Besides baby-care services, parents can rest easy as children have a blast with a variety of supervised activities, either indoors or out. Those little ones that like a bit more pampering on their vacation, can visit the Life Spa with their parents and indulge in a Little Princessfacial or strawberry banana manicure, among other treatments.