Carretera Transpeninsular km 7, Manzana 10, Punta Ballena, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
What distinguishes Esperanza in Los Cabos from other top luxury resorts is the stellar view from almost every point on the property, with ocean waves crashing against the rocks on both sides below.
When you arrive at Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection you pull up to a small, circular courtyard that gives a glimpse of the ocean views. This sets the close-to-ocean expectation. Since almost all of 59 casita-style guest rooms and the 96 villas face the ocean and bay with a similar view, the great first impression doesn't disappoint later.
Upon check-in, you receive a personal concierge who directs your short walking tour to the room to explain the property layout. The Watermelon Margarita or Mexican Lemonade upon arrival helps to set the mood. Open the door and there's fresh guacamole and jicama pineapple salsa to provide more of a welcome. A hint of the level of amenities in each room is a rather large telescope pointed to the bay and ocean so you can watch for breaching whales or jumping rays.
At Esperanza the navigation is easy. Public buildings are all relatively close and going from your accommodations towards the ocean eventually leads to one of the restaurants, the bar, the pools, or the spa. Each room or suite is extremely private in feel, yet accessible as a springboard into what you want to do on the property.
Room choices start at 925 square feet and work up to almost 4,000 square feet for the 4-bedroom villas. Here rooms are expansions on a theme, going up in accommodation size just means the amenities get more immense and more lavish. If it's only two of you, the junior spa suite at 1,200 square feet is the best choice. Families or groups of up to eight can enjoy the Ocean View Villas complete with personal butler and in-villa chef option.
Sometimes in Mexico, there is just a bit too much concrete in construction and finish. Not so at Esperanza where the operative feel is upholstered elegance with custom bedding, pillows, and wall hangings. Each room is incredibly luxurious while having a comfortable feeling of relaxed elegance. Certain features are consistent, no matter which level of room you choose. For example, a complete Nespresso area, minibar with top-shelf libations, and an iPad charging and use station in each room. It takes a while to go from one end to the other to see all the amenities and options. Service is remarkably quick; when we requested something for our room it was there in less than five minutes.
Storage is multi-faceted both a huge walk-in closet; a chest of drawers and a unique beach cabinet for swim and water gear. The bathroom area is where Esperanza really sets the grade, with at least two significant sink areas in each room with ample counter space, plus a separate make-up area for women with the required counter space and makeup mirror. Each bathroom also features an over-sized soaking tub complete with bath salts and an oversized vertical shower. Lots of extras such as bug spray, lip balm and even earplugs.
Bedding and towels are all plush and high thread count, and the seating, in or out is equally appropriate. Each room features extensive outdoor seating, with multiple chair/lounge options facing toward the ocean with an infinity hot tub. While you really can't swim on this beach, both pools have close-up ocean proximity so you can lounge or float next to the ocean.
The spa and fitness center are a bit hidden, but lavish with super wet areas, lockers, and good equipment. The ultimate for two is the Romancing the Stone, a combo of heated stone massage and private spa soak, finishing with a scalp and foot treatment. Way above average lockers in size, amenities (forget even bringing the travel kit to the spa), and spacious lounging areas with numerous water features add to the experience.
Dining and libations run a diverse course. The tequila tasting is a high point with eight different blends, plus two made-on-property palate cleansers and capped by jicama and shrimp tacos. You might know a fair amount about tequila, but you will probably sample something different here.
La Palapa, a casual restaurant is just on the other side of a small cove, next to the residence section of Esperanza. It offers traditional Mexican food with an exhibition kitchen and swim-up bar. A lively spot if you want lunch or dinner a bit more relaxed.
Cocina Del Mar is their signature seaside restaurant. The view is spectacular. However, the food may just have a shade less impact than the view. The food is excellent, just rarely exceptional and menu items are a bit limited for more than a long weekend stay. Salads are very good, but need a little more volume, and some entrees fail rise above average. Like any 5-star property in this remote area at the end of the Baja Peninsula, expect costs to be on the high side. Still, the view and exceptional service make up for any minor quips, especially for romantic couples. Chefs are used to dealing with dietary restrictions and waiters are accommodating with special requests. Two sommeliers are on staff and there are 450 labels in the wine cellar, rounding out the dining experience with optimal pairings.
In a sign of continual improvement, the property will soon undergo a renovation to update colors and finishes.
Esperanza Auberge Resorts Collection is a classic, one of the top Los Cabos luxury retreats. It is just big enough to provide ample space and drinking/dining choices, but small enough to get away from it all in an idyllic location to enjoy exceptional service, stellar furnishings, and responsive service.
Web Address: www.esperanza.aubergeresorts.com/
Total Number of Rooms: 55
Published rates: $895-$4,000 plus taxes
Review and photos by Neil E. Wolkodoff