Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 17.3, Corredor Turístico, Baja California Sur, Mexico
The newest luxury all–inclusive from Grand Velas brings out the bells and whistles, but in subtle, elegant style, from gourmet restaurants to a luxurious 35,000 square foot spa.
Architect Ricardo Elias makes a big impact with this Los Cabos high–tech and high touch–charmer. This is the newest property in the Velas Resorts family, adding to other highly regarded all–inclusive luxury resorts in the Riviera Nayarit and the Riviera Maya.
The first Grand Velas all–suites hotel in the Los Cabos corridor raises the already high bar in this Mexican beach region. The $150 million Baja California Sur resort remains true to its commitment to large suites (1,182 square feet), state–of–the–art technology, and upscale gourmet dining options. You will notice the owner's affinity to supporting local artists in the decor, as well as creating a sanctuary of peace and relaxation for families and friends in the design.
The stretch of beachfront here is strewn with rocks amongst the white sand and the current is unpredictable. You'll probably want to stick to one of three infinity pools for keeping cool. All pools feature glass mirrors at the tip of the fish eye of each pool. You'll only notice the shape of the fish from your elevated hotel room above, but the shape is a clever use of design space. It allows for all theater seats (aka pool lounge chairs) to have an unobstructed view of the ocean. Parents should take note of the adult–only pool, as this is the place to relax and recharge and take advantage of the poolside bar.
Table service is available at Cabrilla ceviche bar and attentive servers await your order of the namesake fish, shrimp, shellfish, or octopus poolside. I enjoyed the crab tostada accompanied by a frothy ice cream alcoholic libation. If this menu isn't to your liking, Azul restaurant is steps from the pool with beach views. The international restaurant offers all–day dining off the menu plus buffet options. You can order from an in–suite dining menu 24/7. An afternoon snack of beef tacos was delivered quickly to my room, along with chips and guacamole.
The 304 suites of the resort are divided into 6 categories: Ambassador Suite; Ambassador Pool Suite; Wellness Suite; Grand Class Suite; Presidential Suite, and Imperial Suite. All suites are priced in U.S. dollars based on double occupancy, but single supplement pricing is available. All suites are ocean facing, some with individual plunge pools, some with family–friendly adjoining rooms and all rooms offer a private balcony. Rooms feature digital cable TVs and beds have goose down pillows and comforters. For the coffee on demand folks, a Nespresso Coffee Maker will keep you caffeinated and tea options abound in your room. You have a choice of Jacuzzi tub with L'Occitane bath salts and a separate shower. Plush robes hang in the closet along with slippers.
New to Grand Velas Los Cabos are six wellness suites. The two–story suites offer an in–room exercise bicycle, one complimentary in–room massage, a spa dining menu customized to your liking, a Grand Velas smart phone app, as well as TV channel dedicated to a healthy you. This, of course, is in addition to access to Spa Se and their unique hydrotherapy water journey. The spa features dry saunas, cold plunge pools, whirlpools, vitality pools, clay, ice, and steam rooms. Both families and individuals will have access to Spa Se Atelier workshops such as making a floral mandala (for an additional fee) to allow guests to re–create that Zen feeling at home.
The Fitness Center at Grand Velas offers spanking new machines and weights, as well as Pilates, yoga, and Zumba dance classes, all with Gulf of California views. Water aerobics classes will eventually be a part of the fitness program.
The Grand Velas Teens' Club is state of the art, offering video and music booths with surround sound acoustics that will make millennials jealous. There's air hockey, ping–pong, karaoke, and plenty of snacks to keep your kids happy. While my kids are now grown, I would have loved the baby concierge service. Don't bother bringing the portable crib or stroller, instead, let Grand Velas do the heavy lifting. They even have pacifiers and baby food ready and waiting for you to take the stress out of traveling with little ones.
During my visit the resort was so new that the staff was overjoyed to have guests. With a staff ratio of 3 to 1, your wish is their command. Take advantage of concierge service to arrange a boat ride and snorkeling adventure to El Arco (additional fees apply), book a horseback ride on the beach at sunset, or arrange a romantic dinner for two on the sand. My personal butler arranged for a to–go lunch when I ventured into the beaches of Cabo San Lucas and hustled back to the pool to retrieve my forgotten camera on my behalf. She also made sure that my minibar was filled with my particular preferences. Again, it's the little extras that make this all–inclusive sparkle; complimentary shoe shining is available daily from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and look for a little in–room artistic keepsake to take home with you to remember the special people and crafts of Mexico.
From baby concierge services and private nannies to the beach tote and beach towels tucked into the bedroom closet, the entire concept behind Grand Velas Los Cabos is for guests to relax and not sweat the small stuff while on holiday. However, if you are at the resort for a working vacation, you will find a 16,370 square foot convention center with capacity for 1,700 attendees with up to 20 breakout rooms, as well as 24/7 internet access.
This resort is more expensive than most of the hotels sandwiched between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, but the phrase "you get what you pay for" applies here. Foodies will want to participate in Tequila, mezcal and wine tastings, while the adventurous palates in the group should try a hot sauce tasting. Amat Café, across from lobby check in, offers coffee drinks, cookies and additional nibbles. For those of us with a sweet tooth, chocolate truffles were available after 1 p.m. during my visit.
Premium liquors are served by an accomplished mixologist. Sommeliers are on hand at every signature restaurant, serving Mexico's finest wines, along with a broad California selection. My key take away from the restaurant scene here was the tasting menu at Cocina de Autor, with two–star Michelin Chef Sidney Schutte. It will blow you away—at no additional fee. The other gourmet restaurants include Italian–themed Lucca, French cuisine at Piaf, Frida, offering modern Mexican fare, and Velas 10 a seafood and steak restaurant. Several bars where your drinks keep flowing are scattered around the property to suit different moods.
Yet Los Cabos is not all about good food and Instagram–worthy sunrises and sunsets. NASA called this Baja Peninsula location one of the best places to take in the night sky. Grab a pair of binoculars, sit on a lounge chair and wait patiently for the stars to come out. Rather than paparazzi sightings, Grand Velas Los Cabos is its own shining star.
Web Address: www.loscabos.grandvelas.com/
Total Number of Rooms: 304
Published rates: $750 to $ 2,331 per person all-inclusive
Review and photos by Nancy D. Brown