Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Los Cabos: A Perfect Vacation at Land's End




























I’m in love with Los Cabos, Mexico – the beach, the iconoclastic arch, the town, the craziness of Cabo Wabo and the three oceanfront Solmar Hotels & Resorts within walking distance to town (a real plus compared to some of the other resorts in the area). The setting on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula feels like you’re at the end of the world, and the views are world class. Looking straight out onto the Pacific Ocean where it meets the Sea of Cortez, you could opt to stay and chill from gorgeous sunrise to gorgeous sunset without leaving the pool or your terrace. But there are lots of other things to do nearby like whale watching, kayaking or snorkeling around Los Arcos, or negotiating for fab silver or handicrafts en El Centro. Sadly, swimming isn’t one of them here, as only a few areas in Los Cabos offer safe access to the ocean which is otherwise characterized by riptides and rogue waves.

Opened just a few months ago, the five-star Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa commands a privileged location as close to Land’s End and the arch as you can get, with a blend of old-world architecture and royal garden landscaping. The resort is all about pampering with beachside massage cabanas, welcome massages, butler service, luxury transportation and fine dining at La Roca International Restaurant. Luxury accommodations in private suites, complete with kitchen, marble flooring and a private balcony overlooking the sparkling surf and white sand beaches. The vistas from the outdoor decks are magnificent with water surrounding you on virtually all sides.

Similarly set behind granite cliffs, and just a few minutes down the beach from its newest sibling, the Solmar Resort creates a romantic ambiance that is serene and intimate, with outdoor massage tents by the pool and whitewashed adobe buildings. The first of the Solmar properties in Cabo, this resort has a high loyalty factor and is revered for its open-air restaurant, sushi bar and quiet pool ambiance. Open fire pits are evening gathering places for marshmallow roasts and nearby private on-the-beach dining.

Just a few minutes’ walk further down the beach is Solmar’s Mexican hacienda-style resort, Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa on eight acres of beach. Recently named one of the Top 35 Resorts in Mexico in the Condé Nast Traveler “Readers Choice Awards,” the four-star resort, Playa Grande has multiple restaurants, themed dinner nights, and a lively lounge to keep you busy. From a variety of variously placed pool and rooftop seating areas, you can see both the quiet Pacific Ocean and Los Cabos harbor with its many boats and sea-going excursions. The resort’s Repêchage Spa is world-class. There’s nothing more divine, in my opinion, than the five-layer Repêchage facial preceded by a relaxing soak in the spa’s outdoor thalassotherapy pool, overlooking the Pacific. If only I could replicate that experience at home. Sigh.

Solmar Hotels & Resorts offers several water adventures for ocean lovers, including sunset cruises, snorkeling tours, dolphin adventures and scuba diving. Year-round land activities are equally entertaining with horseback riding, safaris, ATV tours through the desert and beach regions of Migriño, and sightseeing tours through Los Cabos, Todos Santos, La Paz, and various hideaway villages.

Venturing into town is great fun with lots of authentic (and inauthentic) taco joints and silver shops. One of the hosts at a really cool jewelry shop was so excited that I spoke Spanish that he offered my group tequila on the spot. “Arriba, abajo, a dentro por centro”(or however it goes!).
While you’re still sober, however, walk over to Cabo Expeditions where you can take a quick boat ride to Cabo’s famous arch for kayaking and snorkeling. It’s a mind-blowing formation and shouldn’t be missed. The fish are pretty beautiful, too. You can tie up at Pelican Point and snorkel, or kayak close to the rocks to catch a glimpse of the sea lions. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go on a whale-watching trip, but, if you do, that should be on your activity list, too. Sightings are pretty much guaranteed. Cabo Expeditions also offers parasailing, scuba, and snuba and will give you lessons so you feel secure. As rough as the ocean water is on the beach, the water to Los Arcos is quite smooth and you shouldn’t have any problems picking out a water trip that will keep everyone in your group happy. This company impressed me in other ways, as well, with their eco-sensitivity. They are active in promoting care of the area’s wildlife and eco-systems and also take it upon themselves to clean up any trash found on land or in the water during their excursions.

Still not sure you’ll be busy enough? Solmar Hotels & Resorts will schedule sunset cruises, snorkeling tours, dolphin adventures and scuba diving for ocean lovers, and land activities such as horseback riding, safaris, ATV tours through the desert and beach regions of Migriño, and sightseeing tours through Los Cabos, Todos Santos, La Paz, and various hideaway villages. And, of course, there’s the shopping….


Through December 22, 2011, you can receive a $400 credit and 50% off a four-night or longer stay at Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa in celebration of the resort’s grand opening, or a $200 resort credit when you book a three-night minimum stay at Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa. The resort credit comes in handy on those spa services, late-night cocktails or poolside snacks. Information at Solmar Hotels & Resorts or call 1-800-344-3349.

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