Carretera Transpeninsular km 7, Manzana 10, Punta Ballena, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Esperanza is a prestigious boutique resort drawing on its Los Cabos landscape in a design reminiscent of a Mexican village. Spread across 17 lushly landscaped acres, the oceanfront hotel is perched on the bluffs of "Punta Ballena"(Whale Point) above two secluded coves on the Sea of Cortez, creating a natural barrier exclusive to registered guests.
Four miles outside of Cabo San Lucas on the Tourist Corridor, Esperanza is a mixed resort and ownership community with Esperanza: An Auberge Resort as the focal point. The entry into the resort is reminiscent of a Mediterranean village's winding descent to the sea. Access into the piazza–like lobby is completed via a handful of steps and then you descend into an open reception area with the sound of crashing waves rising from the sea below. The resort's focus is on privacy and relaxation, bringing it all together in the accommodations by making full use of both indoor and outdoor living space.
Landscaped and meandering paths take you from the lobby to the hotel's 50 casitas and seven luxury suites, ranging from 925 to 4,000 square feet, all facing the sea. Typical Baja décor accents comfortable living quarters, and the spacious bathrooms include deep soaking tubs and the resort's private line of bath products. The living room pocket doors disappear into the walls to merge the balcony with the indoors. Outdoor relaxation is encouraged by providing private balconies with hammocks, palapa–style roofs and private plunge pools. Naturally all the expected gadgets are in place
The top luxury retreat here used to be the hotel's two– and three–bedroom oceanfront luxury suites. Guests receive the ultimate in pampering from their beachfront location to their expansive living space. Soft music and fresh flowers greet you upon arrival and you can bring a private chef to your room for in–villa dining. Dip into your private plunge or infinity pool, or lounge on the expansive covered patio. Other in–room treats include a dedicated butler service.
Then Esperanza added one more showpiece room for guests during the last renovation: a glamorous penthouse with panoramic views and its own elevator. There's one bedroom, but two terraces and two tubs: one a whirlpool on a deck that also allows for "discrete sunbathing."
Each of the suites is stocked with original art commissioned from Mexican artists. But you can also enjoy the hotel's collection of Mexican paintings, textiles and pottery throughout the resort, from Oaxacan black pottery to abstract impressionist paintings. (All available for purchase.)
Palm trees wave in the sea's breeze providing a tall umbrella for the lounges on the terraces built into the bluffs. These terraces are oversized relaxation ledges with steps leading to the sea below. The bonus is every sunbather has an unobstructed view of the Sea of Cortez. Next to the swimming pool, you can really feel pampered by the complimentary amenities that go beyond a disposable plastic water bottle: pick from paleta popsicles, snow cones, Aloe cubes, or a foot massage. Fully–loaded iPods are available if you're sick of your tunes.
Housed under a welcoming palapa, the Spa at Esperanza again brings the outdoors inside. Hibiscus flowers and bougainvillea drift in carved stone bowls, and the spa gruta, a seaside grotto environment of steam caves and waterfalls, greets you at the entrance. Seven treatment rooms feature a lush private garden with an outdoor shower and soaking pool covered by a latilla canopy. Even in the competitive spa climate of Los Cabos, Esperanza frequently comes out on top in the "best spa" awards.
The hotel's menu is a nod to fresh ingredients from local organic farmers and the flavor of the Baja: lime grilled prawn skewers, pineapple–mint salsa and coconut cream or tuna tartar, lime cream and crispy mango flautas or grilled lobster tail with red chile corn cream and pistachio lasagna. Fish are caught locally, so many names, like cabrilla (similar to sea bass) might not be familiar, but the menu offers tasty descriptions. An extensive wine list including several Baja wineries and a tequila menu with more than 100 selections provide the compliment or finishing touches to any meal.
The Signature Restaurant at Esperanza is located directly off the lobby. Carved into the bluffs overlooking the sea, the restaurant features a circular palapa–roofed dining area merging into three levels of stone terraces etched into the bluffs available for scenic dining. Steps on either side lead down into the two sandy coves.
The adjoining bars offers indoor and outdoor seating with the same ocean view, serving appetizers and light meals. When the sun sets, a tequila and cigar menu is complemented by live entertainment. The newest restaurant TAPAS features specialty bars serving ceviche, sushi, salsa, and Mexican tapas on tiered trays.
The Hotel at Esperanza stands apart by being a celebration of a Mexican open–air village with restrained Mediterranean overtones. From its perch atop the bluffs, it excels with a menu featuring local seafood and ingredients and accommodations subtly intertwining the indoors with outdoors in its Baja décor and oversized patios.
Web Address: www.esperanzaresort.com
Total Number of Rooms: 57
Published rates: $475 to $7,000 BB
Review by Diana Rowe, photos and updates by Timothy Scott