Introduction: Hotel Hopping In Amazing Los Cabos

Introduction: Hotel Hopping In Amazing Los Cabos

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Welcome to my next trip report series, which will consist of several reviews of hotels in Los Cabos. I’m hoping to crank out these reviews pretty quickly, as I’m admittedly a bit behind here.

Why we traveled to Los Cabos

As I explained in a post this spring, we’re currently living in hotels, and have been for quite a while. Long story short, we’re waiting for our (severely delayed) new home to be ready, and this has seemed like the best option all around (I went into a bit more detail in a previous post, so check that out).

For the most part we’ve just been hopping around the United States, spending a few weeks at a time in various cities, but earlier this year we decided to go to Los Cabos for an extended period of time. Why?

Well, in July 2020 there was an amazing points redemption opportunity at The Cape Los Cabos, which is a Thompson hotel. For 50,000 World of Hyatt points per night you could book a three bedroom villa that retailed for $3,700 per night. So I had speculatively booked that for this spring.

As the cancelation deadline loomed we were going back and forth on whether or not to cancel our stay. Ultimately we decided to not only keep our reservation, but we figured we might as well stay for an extended period if we were there already. In the end we booked five hotels, and stayed there for around three weeks.

View from our villa at The Cape Los Cabos

Where we stayed in Los Cabos

During our time in Los Cabos we stayed at five different hotels — three were booked with points, and two weren’t affiliated with any points programs. Specifically, we stayed at:

I’ll be reviewing these hotels in great detail in the coming days (I’m still going back and forth on whether or not to review Solaz, given that it mysteriously closed, and there’s no timeline for it reopening — let me know if this review would interest you, or if it would be a waste of time).

Pool at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

We felt extremely safe in Los Cabos

This is less of an issue now with widespread vaccinations, but this spring there were a lot of concerns in general about the “safety” of going to Mexico in terms of coronavirus (being from Florida, it’s not really a concern I understand, but…). I have to give the Los Cabos tourism sector huge credit for how well things were handled. Since the start of the pandemic, I haven’t felt safer traveling anywhere than Los Cabos.

Among other things:

  • At the time hotels were capped at 50% of capacity, though in reality hotels were emptier than that
  • The precautions in place were truly unrivaled; everyone from hotel employees to taxi drivers work masks correctly, without exception, there were full hand sanitizer stations all over the place, etc.
  • If you’re going to be traveling, you can’t beat being in a destination where virtually all dining and activities are focused on the outdoors, so you can stay here for weeks without even being tempted to eat inside
  • The hotels took impressive additional precautions; for example, at one hotel they told us that they proactively test all employees for coronavirus every week, while at another hotel the servers would use hand sanitizer every single time they got to your table and were about to serve you something (admittedly this is more for show than anything else, but still)
Outdoor dining at Zadun Los Cabos

It was my first time in Los Cabos, and I loved it

Incredibly enough, this was my first time visiting Los Cabos. I’ve been to Mexico several times, including Mexico City (amazing city), Cancun/Mayakoba (being from Florida it has little appeal to me, since the climate and beaches feel similar, and there aren’t many amazing hotels there), and Puerto Vallarta (I prefer it to Cancun, but don’t feel like I need to return).

Well, I have to say that I absolutely adored Los Cabos, and would return in a heartbeat. It might just be one of my 10 favorite places in the world. Let me explain.

Let’s start with the negatives:

  • Los Cabos probably isn’t the most culturally interesting place in the world, but rather you come here to relax; heck, when you drive between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, it’s basically just a highway with one resort after another
  • Los Cabos is a beach destination, yet the ocean in most of Los Cabos is too rough to swim
  • As is the case in much of Mexico, where’s a frustrating 34% tax & service charge on everything, which can make the cost of things add up quickly (the beauty of redeeming points for hotel stays is that you at least don’t have to pay that on your room rate)

But then there are the things that I love about Los Cabos, which far outweigh any negatives:

  • Los Cabos has endless luxury hotels to choose from, most of which are very good by brand standards; the choices also keep expanding, and there are plenty of new hotels under construction, ranging from a Park Hyatt to a St. Regis
  • The climate can’t be beat — it rains very rarely, there’s a lot of sunshine, and while it can get hot, it’s not as humid as in Cancun
  • I love the juxtaposition of the landscape, as you basically have a coastal desert region with amazing Pacific Ocean views and beaches
  • The service in Los Cabos is exceptional — I’ve never been somewhere in North America with such consistently genuinely friendly service
  • The food is excellent — I love Mexican food in general, and Los Cabos has some of cute restaurants serving amazing food
  • While the ocean largely isn’t swimmable (which I’d consider to be a positive, because I don’t want to get in the shark’s house), the beaches are mostly beautiful, and great for walking
  • There are some cool activities in the area that you won’t find at many other beach destinations, ranging from whale watching (it was my first time, and it was amazing), to ATVing in the desert, to swimming with whale sharks in La Paz
  • Usually when I go to a relaxing destination I choose to travel for 24 hours and deal with a 12 hour time change, but there was something so nice about flying just a few hours away and not having to deal with jetlag
Whale watching in Los Cabos
Swimming with whale sharks in La Paz
Beach at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
Beach at Zadun Los Cabos

So yeah, purely for relaxation, I think Los Cabos might just be one of my favorite places in the world. Many of us have been to amazing bucket list destinations like the Maldives, for example, which are perhaps more exotic and picturesque. However, there’s something oh-so-nice about not dealing with 24 hours of flying (even if it’s in first or business class), speedboat or seaplane transfers, terrible jetlag, very bad heat and bugs, etc.

Pool at the Four Seasons Los Cabos

Bottom line

Earlier this year we spent a few weeks in Los Cabos, and had the chance to check out five very different hotels. I look forward to reviewing them, because for the most part they were excellent, and I can’t recommend a trip to Los Cabos enough.

I can’t believe this was my first trip to Los Cabos, but it certainly won’t be my last. Talk about a destination with friendly service, awesome hotels, great food, and breathtaking beaches and views.

If you’ve visited Los Cabos, what was your experience like? Anyone love Los Cabos as much as I do?

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  1. Andy

    I can certainly echo that hotels, restaurants but also taxis in Mexico, Central and South America are generally taking COVID19 seriously and apply the respective measures consistently, based on my experience. I already visited about half a dozen countries in Latin America this year and felt very safe in all of them.

  2. Joe74Dona65

    Yes, I would also like to see a review of Solaz

  3. Malc

    @Lucky or @Tiffany -- a couple of typos:

    > "where’s a frustrating" > should be "there's a frustrating" 

    > "some of cute restaurants" > should be "some cute restaurants"

  4. Fed UP

    Based on your description, you would hardly know you are in Mexico... the Waldorf Astoria --- that's real, old world Mexico, so authentic... could have stayed in Miami, you probably would experience more latin culture...

    1. Eoj

      Feel free to follow other blogs you sarcastic twat

  5. Sam

    Cabo also has some incredible non-points ultra-luxury options. Las Ventanas Al Paraiso (Rosewood), Chileno Bay (Auberge), Esperanza (Auberge), and Montage Los Cabos are all spectacular. Chileno Bay and Montage have swimmable beaches. While they are non-points and obscenely expensive, you can some value back by booking through a Virtuoso travel agent since they are all Virtuoso properties.

    Another selling point for Cabo is that, due to its dry climate and distance from tropical areas, Zika...

    Cabo also has some incredible non-points ultra-luxury options. Las Ventanas Al Paraiso (Rosewood), Chileno Bay (Auberge), Esperanza (Auberge), and Montage Los Cabos are all spectacular. Chileno Bay and Montage have swimmable beaches. While they are non-points and obscenely expensive, you can some value back by booking through a Virtuoso travel agent since they are all Virtuoso properties.

    Another selling point for Cabo is that, due to its dry climate and distance from tropical areas, Zika is much less of concern compared to the Caribbean for example.

  6. schrap2755

    For a trip that long -- Winston goes with? Do you find your options and choices are significantly restricted now? We also have a dog and love to travel with, but it does limit things quite a lot! We just stayed in Incline Village Tahoe and eek, while pets allowed, it was $50 per night (not per stay) and that adds up!

  7. Jamie

    I'd like to hear about Solaz. My wife and I have stayed there a couple of times and really enjoyed it. We liked WA Pedregal more due to the atmosphere and level of service, but if paying the Solaz would have been a better option because it was new/modern and pretty damn nice. Doesn't have the views nor charm of Pedregal, but it's plenty nice for a lot less. Our favorite standard resort is Hilton...

    I'd like to hear about Solaz. My wife and I have stayed there a couple of times and really enjoyed it. We liked WA Pedregal more due to the atmosphere and level of service, but if paying the Solaz would have been a better option because it was new/modern and pretty damn nice. Doesn't have the views nor charm of Pedregal, but it's plenty nice for a lot less. Our favorite standard resort is Hilton Los Cabos. It has very reasonable rates, large rooms and the pools and beach deck/hammocks and views are fantastic. Not to mention they also have one of the few swimmable beaches in the area. We are looking forward to your reviews as we have been to Cabo many times and it's one of our favorite places too. We hope you got to experience some restaurants and San Jose Art Walk too.

  8. Lukas

    Ah, I was wondering if the review of Thompson The Cave is still coming. I had an issue there that I eventually sorted out with the manager so I'm sure your stay there was fabulous (as mine *almost* was).

  9. uldguy

    Ben, where is Winston? Is he traveling with you? We haven’t seen any recent pictures of him. Please post some!

  10. Nikki Mac

    Went to Los Cabos about 4 years ago. Absolutely loved it. While we didn't stay overly luxurious (Holiday Inn then, now closed), it was very nice.
    It was near a beautiful beach, a gorgeous cemetery and I think an aviary. It was gorgeous to take mornings and walk around. Even alone I felt safe.
    The boutique store & restaurant strip was in walking distance when we needed a change for a few hours....

    Went to Los Cabos about 4 years ago. Absolutely loved it. While we didn't stay overly luxurious (Holiday Inn then, now closed), it was very nice.
    It was near a beautiful beach, a gorgeous cemetery and I think an aviary. It was gorgeous to take mornings and walk around. Even alone I felt safe.
    The boutique store & restaurant strip was in walking distance when we needed a change for a few hours. We even walked further to La Comer (which wss like the American Sam's Club), got on the public bus to downtown Cabo. Perfectly safe & very inexpensive.

    If you prefer to be away from the fun but more touristy Cabo area, this is the place!

  11. Kathleen Pavel

    Hopefully you had dinner at El Farallon while staying at Waldorf Astoria! My all time favorite when in Cabo!

  12. NYGuy24

    ", I haven’t felt safer traveling anywhere than Los Cabos." Well I guess coming from Florida anywhere will feel safe, but Los Cabos is currently having its highest covid numbers of the pandemic thanks in large part to the American tourists. I know hotels in Mexico say 50% capacity caps but hundreds of hotels at these tourist destinations are getting exemptions from the government to allow them to go well past 50% capacity at least...

    ", I haven’t felt safer traveling anywhere than Los Cabos." Well I guess coming from Florida anywhere will feel safe, but Los Cabos is currently having its highest covid numbers of the pandemic thanks in large part to the American tourists. I know hotels in Mexico say 50% capacity caps but hundreds of hotels at these tourist destinations are getting exemptions from the government to allow them to go well past 50% capacity at least in cancun. Don't see why Los Cabos would be any different.

  13. David

    Lucky-
    Would you feel safe traveling to the Maldives during the pandemic, particularly with the requirement of a negative test to return to US?

  14. DCS

    For my 2018 birthday I accepted an invitation by Marriott to go check out a timeshare opportunity at Westin Los Cabos. Of course, I had no intention of purchasing anything, but I love the property, which you can see at this link: https://bit.ly/2VAz7Jv

  15. Gonzo

    I’d like to read the solaz review please. Cabo is our 2nd home, but we never got around to staying there.

  16. Mark

    I think Cabo is nice if you like, don't live in Los Angeles or any city with a great beach. Otherwise, the water is plain blue like anywhere else you'll get in the Pacific or Atlantic off the coast of the US and there's really no need to leave. THAT'S why people go to Maldives or anywhere with turquoise waters. Can't really compare anywhere in Mexico that's not on the caribbean side. No point to me going to Cabo when I get just the same living in LA, if not better.

    1. Michael

      The water in LA’s beaches is miserably cold most of the year.

  17. STP

    You missed two of the best properties - Esperanza and Chileno Bay. I know they don’t offer points, but neither do the Four Seasons (which is not in Cabo) or the Ritz. Solaz is closed. Time to go back and do this correctly!

  18. Nsc

    Just got back from the cape panoramic suite
    Its incredible!

  19. FNT Delta Diamond

    Why are you reviewing a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property since Ritz-Carlton Reserve does NOT participate in Marriott Bonvoy? This is a miles and points blog first and foremost.

    1. Dave

      You get credit card rewards points and that definitely counts towards miles and points.....

  20. Alec

    You should review flying in/out of Tijuana and using the CBX to cross the boarder at the airport into San Diego. Flights are often a fraction of the cost than SAN or LAX.

  21. Kristen

    We're looking to go in January. Any recs where to stay where you can swim in the ocean?

    1. Jimbo

      Resorts in San Jose del Cabo proper like Hyatt Ziva are on a beach safe for swimming

    2. Luis

      Any of the resorts on Medano Beach you can swim. But most of them are older and not as nice. Chileno Bay is another swimmable beach and there's a fantastic newish resort there, but $$$$.

    3. Nate nate

      Cabo Hilton has a swimable beach. Not high-end luxury, but highly recommend.

  22. Ryan

    I stayed at the 3 bedroom villa thanks to this blog back in January. Was incredible. That lobster benedict is probably my favorite breakfast in the world.

    Going again in December. Can't wait.

  23. paul

    Stayed at the Cape/Thompson in Cabo and it was extraordinary. Safety was first in terms of the staff. The grounds, accommodations, amenities, restaurants... were all fantastic. Would go back in a heartbeat. (The pool and the rooftop were a bit party party party so if you have smaller kids, you might want to think of other options). Best stay in a long while. And btw GORGEOUS.

  24. Mrreilly007

    I agree with most of this message. Cabo is great to visit but the cost of visiting is starting to compare to Southern California and Hawaii. You get what you pay for though.

    The one area you should visit is Punta Mita/Riviera Nayarit....but more specifically, Punta Mita (St. Regis or Four Seasons if you want a hotel but the beauty of this destination is renting a villa and experiencing all of the amenities for homeowners...

    I agree with most of this message. Cabo is great to visit but the cost of visiting is starting to compare to Southern California and Hawaii. You get what you pay for though.

    The one area you should visit is Punta Mita/Riviera Nayarit....but more specifically, Punta Mita (St. Regis or Four Seasons if you want a hotel but the beauty of this destination is renting a villa and experiencing all of the amenities for homeowners and their guests).

    I develop resorts and residential projects in Mexico and this is one of my favorite areas.

  25. AKP Cabo

    I stayed at both places last month.

    Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
    Four Seasons at Costa Palmas

    While I didn't pay attention if people or hotel in regards to "safety" , we had a great time. We played and stayed as we had done in the past. The staff was fantastic.

    We ventured out to old Cabo, went to a few bars.

    Love it in Cabo

  26. Kevin M

    San Jose del Cabo, the “old town” part, has lots of interesting culture, and it’s a cheap Uber ride (or a pleasant 45-minute stroll) from hotel row. So even the culture I’d say is a positive, certainly compared to Cancun.

  27. ECR

    Have a stay booked at The Cape next month, looking forward to that review...

  28. pstm91

    My experience with Cabo and hearing peoples' reactions to it has always been:
    - Those who know what to expect, or have some idea of where they are going, love it.
    - Those who don't, and are expecting a fantastic beach/ocean vacation, do not love it. Most people who I have spoken to and fall into this category at least acknowledge that it's more on them for not doing any research.
    It...

    My experience with Cabo and hearing peoples' reactions to it has always been:
    - Those who know what to expect, or have some idea of where they are going, love it.
    - Those who don't, and are expecting a fantastic beach/ocean vacation, do not love it. Most people who I have spoken to and fall into this category at least acknowledge that it's more on them for not doing any research.
    It is a gorgeous location but coming from the East Coast, I find it's way more worth while to visit the Caribbean. Cabo is a nice change of pace once in a blue moon.

  29. Nate nate

    I'm a big fan of Cabo as well, so glad to hear others like it too.

    Did you rent a car? I've rented from Cactus Car Rental in the past and have been very happy.

  30. Izz

    I may be in the minority here - I for one, would love to read a review on the Solaz, even more so now that it has closed down, perhaps understand a little more about this hotel.

    Cannot wait for this report, it has been a long wait since the last one!

    1. Steve

      Yes lets see the report. The blog readers/people like me who read every single post come to this site for the reviews and your commentary. I know your (unbiased) reviews are not what draws the masses, gets the page views and pays all the bills but its what we want to see more than the credit card content that provides the income and keeps the lights on (we get that everywhere else) there is nothing...

      Yes lets see the report. The blog readers/people like me who read every single post come to this site for the reviews and your commentary. I know your (unbiased) reviews are not what draws the masses, gets the page views and pays all the bills but its what we want to see more than the credit card content that provides the income and keeps the lights on (we get that everywhere else) there is nothing better than your trip reviews, your organization, photos and commentary. So of course if you stayed somewhere post it please!!

  31. Nathan

    OMG I have a seven night stay over Thanksgiving booked at the Solaz. I guess I won’t be able to find comparable booking now. Marriott has definitely not contacted me.

  32. Benjamin J

    Please do a review of Solaz as I had reservations there multiple times but always felt something was weird and ultimately did not go and now I am glad I didn’t. If I had to deal with the timeshare pitch to get past the front desk I would not have been happy!

  33. Adam Wood

    I also booked the villa at The Cape for two nights and went with a group of 6 in January and had an amazing experience. I'm really looking forward to read what you thought of the hotel. I agree with your comments regarding the wide variety of options for resorts in Los Cabos and the quality of food and service and the perfect climate. Combined with how easy it is to get there from the west coast it has become our favorite vacation destination.

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Izz

I may be in the minority here - I for one, would love to read a review on the Solaz, even more so now that it has closed down, perhaps understand a little more about this hotel. Cannot wait for this report, it has been a long wait since the last one!

uldguy

Ben, where is Winston? Is he traveling with you? We haven’t seen any recent pictures of him. Please post some!

Schar

shocked you didnt visit the Montage

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