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Weekender: Three Nights in Los Cabos
Sara Deseran | Photo: Courtesy of Hacienda | March 28, 2013
Spring Break for Anti-Spring Breakers
It might be spring, but the last few days have felt like winter—those 70 degree days that warmed us last week are now only a sweet memory. Which is to say that I don’t blame you if you’re looking south for some last-minute beach respite. South to LA? Nah. The forecast is showing a paltry 70-degree high. South to San Diego? 67 degrees—even worse. Cabo San Lucas? High of 93. That vision of a margarita in one hand and your toes in the sand? It’s not a mirage.
Flights to San Jose del Cabo are only 3 hours 5 minutes and will run you about $400 roundtrip right now. Compared to some Mexican airports, customs and security here are organized, making getting through that much easier. And yes, Virgin Atlantic flies directly here—the only airline that makes me feel like maybe flying isn’t pure punishment. And I can’t get enough of SFO’s Terminal 2.
All in all, it’s a painless proposition for even a quick three-night getaway. But with this little time, forgive yourself for not searching out the ultimate street food, or even renting a car. Just head to Los Cabos with the idea of putting your feet up for a few days at a resort.
To mix it up, I chose to stay at two resorts: The Hacienda Beach Club & Residences, which is nice—like really nice. And one night at Las Ventanas, a resort that’s so gorgeous and sophisticated that I’m not sure that I should have been allowed in.
Hacienda has luxe full-time residences on the property, but you can rent a place for a few nights like any resort. An ocean-front three bedroom with equipped kitchen, for example, will run you around $1600 (or $533 per room per night). Though today it’s a sweeping, relatively new property, the original Hacienda hotel was famous with the Hollywood insider group fifty years ago. Tucked away from the fray, Hacienda has a private stretch of beach on the calm bay side, which means swimming is an option which isn't always the case in the waters of Los Cabos. Paddleboarding is the activity of choice, though there are kayaks to rent too. Wake up early, and you’ve got a tranquil Sea of Cortez practically to yourself. Should you want to walk into the heart of Cabo San Lucas, it’s just a five minute jaunt—though I preferred to pretend we weren’t so close to the likes of Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo.
Days here should be spent strolling down the beach or lounging by the infinity pool sipping a tamarind margarita while looking out onto Land’s End. At the most, you might want to set down your iPad to experience a spa treatment at the spa. Though dinner is good at the resort’s main restaurant, which serves traditional Mexican food, breakfast here shouldn’t be missed. A crisp tortilla topped with a smear of black beans, a bright tomato sauce, a sunny-side up egg, and little cubes of fresh cheese made up the best huevos rancheros I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot).
On the second night, walk down to Bar Esquina, a beautiful, two-year-old open-air restaurant owned by a New Yorker, with food that will remind you of something you might find in LA or even San Francisco. Take a seat at the bar, drink some good wine, have a beautiful salad with something like melon and proscuitto, and just relish the night air.
Any kind of Chowhound cravings should be satisfied before arriving at Las Ventanas (recommended spots for tacos are Los Claros, Asi & Asado, Rossy’s, and Gardenias), because I promise you once you’re there, you’re not going to want to leave. San Jose del Cabo is about 15 minutes away, but most guests stay on the property from beginning to end.
The rooms at Las Ventanas start at $985. Which is why you might want to make this a special occasion. However, you'll understand why you're dropping this much when you walk into your beautiful room or head out to the breathtaking set of infinity pools winding through the property, all a shade of azure that matches the sea on the horizon.
The property is gorgeously landscaped with a restrained (OCD?) attention to detail. Patterns of agave plants are set in sand that’s raked into perfect patterns. Not to mention the words “Las Ventanas” are etched onto the beach and highlighted with spotlights in the evening. Of course there is tequila here—upon your arrival, there is complimentary bottle waiting for you. I asked the director of the resort if anyone had ever gotten drunk and run through all this art—a thought so outrageous that he had clearly never considered it. Las Ventanas is not that kind of place. Spring Breakers, take note.
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