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A Trip Report by Mauricio Buenaventura and Rebecca Alesia (photo credits: Mauricio Buenaventura)

In case you ever wonder what it looks like when your travel advisor goes on a scouting trip, picture two of us parked in front of the fifth resort of the day, one frantically scribbling down notes about the amazing views and epic tuna we just scarfed down while the other is sweet talking a yacht broker into adding an extra day for his clients’ charter next month. The floor of the car is strewn with water bottles, charging cables and Starbucks napkins (because yes, even in Cabo we still needed our fuel), and our little day bags are crammed to the gills with business cards, hand sanitizer, Advil (too much tequila) and band aids (too much walking). We aren’t sure whether our next stop is north or south, and we each have over 40 new emails to attend to in our inboxes. THIS is what a travel advisor “FAM” (familiarization trip) looks like when done properly.

Over the last week of April, Mauricio and I explored 18 of the most luxurious properties along the Cabo coast. As with our previous explorations, the images captured are all courtesy of his excellent eye…

A is for…

Adults only at Le Blanc – this chic but playful resort is glam from the moment you pull up and enter the expansive white marble lobby. The super cool pool cabanas, luxurious spa and Instagrammable views make this resort a perfect destination for bachelor/ette parties, mother/daughter spa weekends or a quick couples getaway.

B is for…

Baja California – separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California – everywhere you look, the glittering Sea of Cortez provides amazing water color and temperatures with shades of turquoise, emerald, azure and glassine blues that you wouldn’t envision in the west coast and close to the Pacific

C is for…

Chileno Bay, an Auberge Resort – Vibes for days – super young, on trend and stunning with an expansive multilevel infinity pool, this resort is perfect for a lively and social escape with family or friends. Family friendly – kids and teens areas are inviting, as is their private screening room. Bonuses of this resort – cool multi bedroom units with plunge pools, BBQs and kitchens – perfect for extended stays! Private access point to one of the most coveted public swimmable beaches on the coast, and guests can also access the most “exclusive” golf course in the area, only available to guests and residences of the Chileno Bay resort community.

D is for…

Drivable – we were so happy to rent a car and drive around, it enabled us to experience some local flavor, do some shopping, and get that all important Starbucks boost!

E is for…

Esperanza, an Auberge resort –  Nestled in between two scenic bluffs on the Baja peninsula, this gem boasts some of the best views, secluded private beach and outstanding food on the coast. Choose from 59 ocean-view casitas and suites with private terraces to enjoy sweeping ocean vistas. Pro tip: make sure to enjoy some fresh off the boat tuna as you overlook some of the most incredible views on the coast at Cocina Del Mar.

F is for…

Four Seasons Resort at Costa Palmas.  This stunning resort (located in a new development 45 minutes north of San José Airport) envelops you in legendary Four Seasons comfort and service in a desert modern style with an expansive beach and great room decor.   Their spa, gym and tennis provide for more comforts or activity while you can also indulge in the sumptuous delicacies offered at restaurants around the property.  

G is for…

Grand Velas – legendary for all inclusive luxury, the Velas Los Cabos is no exception. The rooms are simply amazing in terms of their comfort level, size and views. The food defies every stereotype of an all Inclusive resort you may harbor. Their teen club is designed to make young adults feel at their most glorious maturity level; and their “baby concierge” program means that even parents of the tiniest tots can arrive with basically no gear and still be all hooked up. We adored every moment of our time here!

H is for…

Hilton Los Cabos – inviting, easy and adorable are great ways to describe this resort with a friendly price point, outstanding service level and a lovely swimmable beach. The rooms are well sized and clean with fabulous views, and the resort itself is a manageable size (compared with some of the more expansive properties along the strip), the Hilton is a great option for those that don’t want to walk 5-10 minutes to traverse from the beach. The open air lobby, fun beach bar and eager to please staff made this resort stand out to us as a winner!

I is for…

Incredible variety to choose from in terms of resort options –  work with your travel advisor to design the perfect vacation for your desires. Whether it’s romance, family, friends, or fun, there’s a perfect fit for every trip! 

J is for…

JW Marriott – this expansive resort in modern style has a big social vibe, perfect for groups and weddings and features a variety of stunning pools with amazing views, tons of options for great dining and youthful, fun atmosphere (note that the beach here is not swimmable).  

K is for…

Kids Rule at the Hyatt Ziva – their brand stands for family friendly, all inclusive experience – and the Ziva Los Cabos features it all – with multiple pools, a small water park, multiple dining options and their famous kidZ club, your whole family can enjoy the sweeping views and a fantastic vacation!

L is for…

Las Ventanas el Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort – arguably the most romantic of the resorts we visited, the scenery here was so other worldly it felt as if we had wandered onto a movie set (cue the honeymooners on horseback riding along the beach – for real!). This elegant property is intimate (with only about 80 rooms) and ultra-luxurious. While all of their rooms were magnificent, we were especially blown away by their villas – with retractable glass walls in both bedroom and living areas, an integrated infinity pool with unbeatable ocean views and an expansive terrace, and full time butler, you’d be hard pressed to leave to explore the rest of the resort.   This is one spot where pictures really do more justice than words!

M is for…

Montage Los Cabos – this mountain-meets-sea cove was arguably the best of the swimmable beaches we enjoyed on our trip. With a distinctly mediterranean coastal view featuring powdery sand and turquoise waters, we were impressed by the view, and also the “desert chic”  aesthetic, a spectacular set of infinity pools overlooking the cove and fabulous food outlets.   

N is for…

Nobu – the feeling of zen tranquility envelops you as soon as you step out of your car and into the soaring, open air lobby. Blending into the desert around you, this wellness focused resort emphasizes the natural beauty in its surroundings. The spa is a feature, as is (of course) the signature Nobu dining on site.

O is for…
One & Only Palmilla – arriving into the O&O Palmilla feels like taking a step back in time to a glamorous Hollywood version of Cabo. The winding pathways and mature, lush landscaping makes you feel that you’re staying in a small village rather than a resort. The crystal clear waters are visible from almost every spot at this fabulous resort; and the dining outlets maximize those views. Attention to detail in the rooms – from the handcrafted margaritas in the minibar to the bespoke ceramic basins and super luxurious shower bath set up – have made this resort a favorite of sophisticated travelers visiting Cabo. Sitting by the infinity pool and watching the whales frolic really was the epitome of a Cabo experience!

P is for…

Pedregal, a Waldorf Astoria Resort – the arrival experience lets you know that this resort is really going to be something special. You enter what can only be described as an underground tunnel of craggy rocks, magically lit with twinkle lights, and emerge into daylight and the open air lobby of this mountain-side luxury resort.  All the rooms have infinity pools overlooking the water, gas fireplaces create an ambience which is both intimate and cozy, and the bathrooms have every detail attended to (a comfy covered bench for resting and reading between the bathtub and the shower? brilliant!). The spa at Pedregal is world famous, and for good reason. Pro tip: make sure to dine at El Farallon, a magical restaurant built into the side of a mountain, bespoke seafood dishes and a hopping champagne bar where you can enjoy a spectacular sunset or moonrise.  

Q is for…

Questions about Cabo? Make sure to reach out to Rebecca (rebecca@smartflyer.com) or Mauricio (MBuenaventura@smartflyer.com) and ask!

R is for…

Rock and Roll all night at the Hard Rock Los Cabos – a great option for fun loving and active families, this resort (only a couple of years old) has a Vegas vibe with glitz and glam around every corner, and features nonstop entertainment, multiple outlets for drinks and dining, and oversize rooms.

S is for…

Solaz – one of the newest additions to the area, this expansive and stunning modern resort has something for everyone! Featuring a small swimmable beach, lovely rooms and a happening scene around the pools and bars, the Solaz is an easy choice for a family or couples getaway. Pro tip: make sure to check out their on site museum featuring relics and fossils from the area!

T is for…

The Cape, A Thompson Hotel – a super cool, bohemian surfer’s paradise, this slick and fun resort is perched on craggy shoreline overlooking the famous arch of Cabo San Lucas. Rooms have ample balconies with spacious chaises, the views are incredible – and the rooftop bar is buzzy and features an amazing sunset view. Pro tip: traveling with friends? Make sure to check out their multi bedroom residences with private patios!

U is for…

United and others: nonstop flights offered daily on United, American and JetBlue, and Saturdays and Sundays on Delta.

V is for…

Velas Resorts: Mar del Cabo – this charming boutique property is simple and elegant, with a white expansive staircase that enhances the rich azure blues of the sea behind and the scarlet flowers adorning the hallways.

W is for…

Whales – from mid-December to early April, these playful giants can be observed leaping, playing, spinning and spouting along the coast!

X is for…

X-tra amenities available for our clients at all of these resorts – including breakfast and spa credits!

Y is for

Yes! Cabo is a destination where you can travel beyond the walls of your resort. We enjoyed time in town shopping and dinners off property.

Z is for…

Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – this stunner distinguishes itself from the moment of check in, when you are greeted by your Tosoani (private butler for the duration of your stay) who guides you through the check in process and to your room privately – no traditional lobby or reception area here! In keeping with the Reserve brand, this expansive resort is perfectly built in harmony with the surrounding desert environment, features signature dining experiences and every creature comfort you could desire. A standout experience was the spa – almost indescribably lovely and tranquil, with a central bubbling pool beckoning to all who walk by to breathe slowly and take it all in.

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