Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa

Large and in charge—that’s what comes to mind at Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa, one of four side-by-side properties from Solmar Hotels & Resorts. Despite its seemingly ample girth, Playa Grande provides enough homey touches to make a Cabo San Lucas vacation cozy and relaxing.

Playa Grande sits right by Solmar Beach, an area that keeps vendors and non-guests away with rocky cliffs on each side. It’s a fantastic location, with Cabo’s marina a short walk away. We run into guests who come back every year and snuggle into these condo-style suites, enjoy quiet walks on the beach and bring the grandkids when they can. There might be a barefoot wedding taking place on the beach at any time of day, or a barefoot business meeting. The resort is an entire ode to “down time,” with huge pools and ponds snaking around its contours, buildings with lots of color and a taste of Baja at every corner.

Each of the resort’s 260 suites with private balconies brings great comfort in even the “smallest” of rooms, which in fact are anything but—sleeper sofas can accommodate two more bodies for a total of four. Penthouse suites have two bedrooms as well as a sleeper sofa. Deluxe jr. suites, of which there are only 42, feature a kitchenette, but all others have a full kitchen. Playa Grande’s gift shop does double duty as a convenience store, which means that once guests arrive, they can stock up on basics—milk, cereal, cold cuts, cheese—without having to run out to town.

At Playa Grande, we gobbled up our weight in sushi while clicking away on our laptop from the Sushi Bar, feasted on filet mignon at Brigantine and channeled Snow White during a generous breakfast buffet at Calima, munching away while birdies came to greet us, chirping away as they eyed our leftovers. Solmar also owns a couple of offsite restaurants that are open to anyone and are, in fact, well known in Los Cabos. There’s Hacienda El Coyote, which serves tasty Mexican food and has a huge menu of country-wide dishes—from arrachera tacos to chicken in mole poblano, not to mention special treats such as duck burritos and lobster crepes. This restaurant also has a Tequila Lounge with about 200 types of the Mexican staple. The other alternative, Romeo & Julieta Ristorante, offers Italian fare, although the antipasti alone is so generous there’s not always room for a main course (although by the time dessert comes along, one might be ready to make a go at it). These offsite restaurants run independently, so clients need to pay then and there, rather than charge it to the room.

On top of all that, the resort has a coffee cart of sorts for breakfast or a snack on the run, with coffee, donuts and smoothies.

things to do Playa Grande is also the site of the Thalassotherapy Spa, which uses the curative properties of the water from the Sea of Cortez in specialized treatments. Here, guests seeking something more lasting than a massage can receive a personalized regimen based on this age-old therapy to target particular problems, such as slowed blood circulation and skin detoxification. Clients should consider the 85-minute Vita Cura Thalassotherapy Body Ritual, which packs a sea salt body-glow exfoliation, a bath of seawater and essential oils in a hydrotherapy tub and a full-body massage with seaweed cream. This spa also offers a Temazcal Ceremony in its “Sanctuary,” with benefits including respiratory relief and stress alleviation. Nearby, a fully equipped fitness center offers yoga classes.

The resort spices things up with fun activities for all ages, including a “Mexican Fiesta” on the beach on Monday evenings, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Guests pay $35 pp (with a 50 percent discount for those 11 and under) and feast on regional delicacies in the form of an ample buffet as live music plays and games are concocted. On Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. it’s all about the Beach Party, where guests can indulge in bbq options, salad and dessert bars, and domestic beverages before dancing right on the sand to the band or just relaxing by the sea.