While visiting Los Cabos last June, before Hurricane Odile hit the area, we visited Huerta Los Tamarindos, an organic farm located just a mile from the Sea of Cortez and San Jose’s estuary. It’s a beautiful property that dates back to the 19th century, offering a delightful spot for lunch with cuisine that incorporates herbs and veggies straight from the garden, of course, and a cooking class ideal for those who want to dig into Mexican culinary specialties.
It was pleasing to the eye to see such a verdant oasis amidst the desert terrain Los Cabos is known for, but it was the words that chef/proprietor Enrique Silva said in passing during our tour—although they didn’t resonate at the moment—that first came to mind when I sat down to write this onsite review: that the area was set to experience a busy hurricane season. Little did he (and we) know that months after Hurricane Odile made landfall in Los Cabos, some hotels in the area would still not be ready to welcome back guests. Luckily for the foodies in all of us, Huerta Los Tamarindos is up and running and serving its fresh, organic culinary delights steps from where the luminous and colorful tomatoes, onions, and carrots, among other blooming goodies, are cultivated.
And, in fact, although some of the hotels have not reopened, Julieta Hernandez, Los Cabos Tourism Board’s commercial director, points out that it’s not just the repairs causing the delays in the reopening. “A lot of the hotels such as the Hilton and Westin that are taking more time to reopen are doing so to not only repair the damages from the storm but to complete renovations, which will upgrade the properties. They have been keeping their loyal guests informed along the way via tools such as their social media channels, websites and newsletters, and by doing this they are building anticipation for guests to get excited to return to an even better resort.” Incidentally, the Hilton Los Cabos is set to open in June, and the Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos in September.
The good news is that “those properties that have reopened have been experiencing very high occupancy, which is evidence that the tourism numbers are definitely on their way back to normal if they are not already,” notes Hernandez. Adds Jeff Clarke, president, Travel Impressions, “The region is completely back to normal in terms of tourist offerings. While there are some hotels that have extended their opening dates further into the fall, there are plenty of fully operational properties for travelers to choose from, including Secrets Puerto Los Cabos and Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas.” And, in fact, to show off that recovery efforts are more or less complete, Travel Impressions “recently hosted its ‘Best of the Best’ conference in Los Cabos, putting a spotlight on the destination to demonstrate to the industry that the region is open for business and fully prepared for tourism.”
And what of the upcoming hurricane season, which is traditionally low season in Los Cabos? Hernandez does not anticipate any major fallout from the hurricane, with hotels offering great promotions and deals, and Clarke notes that “this is a perfect example of a situation where the industry can calm vacationers’ fears, provide peace of mind and inform them of the destination’s comparatively tame storm seasons as well as its excellent track record for safety during the occasional hurricane.”
During our visit back in June, we stayed at the Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos All-Inclusive Golf & Spa. Here, the main selling points are its access to top golf courses, the fact that it’s one of the only resorts that offers snorkeling in the area, and its 12-treatment room SOMMA WineSpa. According to the spa director, grapes help keep the skin young and this is the only spa in Los Cabos to use wine in its treatments. One can even top off a treatment with a glass of wine. Wine was also incorporated into one of the evening activities, when they took the press group beachside, had us stomping grapes in a barrel, then used the juice to give us a foot massage. Also sprinkled into this delightful evening were head massages, aperitifs, wine, wine lessons by a sommelier…and, of course, dinner under the stars with the sound of water lapping against the shoreline. And this isn’t just for the privileged few. Hotel personnel noted that hotel guests can request this for a group or family.
Other onsite goodies? Seven restaurants (dive into those tacos at La Cevicheria); four pools, including an infinity pool and kids’ pool; the Fiesta Kids’ Club; and a cigar bar. Guests also have access to the two championship golf courses of Cabo del Sol Golf Club, including the famous Jack Nicklaus Ocean Course, and the Cabo del Sol Desert Course.
Fave accommodation: There are 249 rooms and suites in various categories, but the one that blew me away was, for obvious reasons, the Imperial Suite, with a private balcony with a view of the Sea of Cortez, a king bed in the one room and two double beds in the second.
- Mi Casa is an adorable restaurant with a lot of character and charm in the center of historic San Jose del Cabo. Recommend clients eat up and then stroll through the inviting historic area, where they’ll find delightful shops and might stumble across theatrical street performances.
- Los Deseos also knows how to cook up savory Mexican cuisine and it offers a great view of Cabo San Lucas’ marina. Although quite touristy and a bit Americanized, the Marina Golden Zone is a must-see for first-timers to Los Cabos if only for the nice views and myriad restaurant selections (there are also numerous shops).
- Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort is home to the four-diamond La Frida, where it’s all about one of Mexico’s most admired painters, Frida Kahlo, and where your clients will be able to dine on delicious, gourmet-style Mexican cuisine.
“2015 and 2016 are going to be two great years for the destination as nearly 2,000 new rooms will be added to the destination’s inventory. We are very excited to be welcoming many new properties over the next two years, including Thompson Cabo San Lucas in June, as well as a JW Marriott later this year, and Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa will complete its third and final phase. In 2016, we plan to welcome the Park Hyatt, the Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos, Le Blanc Spa Resort and Mar Adentro by Encanto.
“Additionally, airlift to Los Cabos is also increasing this year with additional direct flights from major U.S. markets, including Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Seattle; Portland; Salt Lake City; San Diego; and New York City. United Airlines service from Washington D.C. (IAD) to SJD is planned to launch on March 7.” —Julieta Hernandez, Commercial Director, Los Cabos Tourism Board
Archived related articles (available on recommend.com/magazine/issue-archive): Golf With “a Shot of Spa” in Vibrant Mexico (February 2015).
Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos All-Inclusive Golf & Spa: fiestamericanagrand.com or fiestamericanagrand.com/en/travel-agencies
Los Cabos Tourism Board: visitloscabos.travel or visitloscabos.travel/trade