Avenida Solmar #1A, Centro, Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur, Mexico
Located at the point where two seas meet, just behind the famous arch of Los Cabos, Grand Solmar Land's End Resort & Spa boasts great wave watching and fine food beside soaring rock formations.
Hoteliers sometimes have a great origin story and the late Don Luis Bulnes, the founder of Solmar Resorts, worked at the tuna canning factory of Cabo San Lucas before the tourists started coming. He eventually bought land in a forsaken area where they discarded the fish bones and opened a small hotel for sport fishermen in 1965. His empire continued to grow and go upscale, with the eventual Grand Solmar Land's End Resort now being among the best in the area.
That forsaken patch of land is now very valuable real estate, walking distance to the Cabo San Lucas marina but on a secluded stretch of wide beach with only a few other well-spaced resorts around. One of the favorite activities at Grand Solmar Land's End is to watch the powerful waves crashing on the shore from the infinity pool or the guest room balcony.
The check-in experience here provides a high wow factor with the vast, high-ceilinged lobby providing a strong sense of place. A cool towel and a welcome drink will put you in a happy place and once in your room, you'll find delectables and "Welcome to Los Cabos" spelled out on your bed.
The main pool complex here is impressive on its own with three pools plus a shallow one for kids, but that's just the start. There's another "Sunset" pool on one end of the complex, an adults-only pool at the other Land's End side, and "Las Brisas" in between. In all there are four infinity pools that are perched over the beach, facing the waves.
Restaurant options are extensive here and the quality is uniformly high. La Roca is the signature high-end restaurant, a circular building above the beach next to the main swimming pool complex. It has outdoor or air-conditioned indoor seating and a chef who will wow you with his take on traditional seafood and steak options. Las Brisas is also right on the water, next to one of the infinity pools, and is open for lunch and dinner. A sushi lounge with a view and a koi pond is also open for lunch and dinner. Don Luis "Baja Mediterranean" restaurant takes a side trip to Argentina one theme night and also features a grill night and a Mexican night with mariachi music.
There's one bar by the pool, then a full sports bar off the lobby where you can join the bartender in a cocktail class or tequila tasting. There's also a separate menu here, featuring the kind of comfort food you expect to see in a place with huge TVs on the wall broadcasting games. (For a mellower vibe, you can sit outside and look at the blue sea instead.) You can also order drinks or food at any of the pool areas from one of the fast-moving attendants.
The 244 rooms at Grand Solmar come in several configurations, none of them small. Even the studio rooms have a fully equipped kitchen, dining area and a hidden Murphy bed for extra guests in their 737 square feet. The furnished balcony has comfy lounge chairs. It goes up from there through master suites, multi-bedroom suites, and four-bedroom penthouse suites that are larger than most luxury homes in the area. All feature granite kitchen counters, lots of marble, and hardwood finishes that are all high quality. The large flat-screen TVs get plenty of English channels, the Wi-Fi works well, and the bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and separate shower are well-stocked. Robes, slippers, fluffy towels, and turndown service add extra touches of luxury.
With the resort buildings squeezed between rocky cliffs and the sea, it's not hard to get a room with a view at Grand Solmar Land's End. All have a furnished balcony or two to make the most of it.
The spa here doesn't close you off inside dark rooms inside, instead taking full advantage of the beachfront location. You take your massage in an open thatched cabana at one of two ends of the complex, the ocean breezes wafting through and the sound of the waves providing a perfect soundtrack. Regular massages start at $135 and my talented masseuse found and fixed all my kinks and knots. For special occasions go for more indulgent experiences of 80 minutes or more that include lots of extras, including a moonlight couples massage for two with snacks and drinks rolled into the experience. They also offer facials, body wraps, and beauty treatments.
The Cabo Grand Solmar also has one of the largest and best-equipped fitness centers I've seen in any hotel, all of it bathed in natural light through large windows. The Solmar Foundation is a 100% non-profit operated by the company that contributes to 30 local charities trying to cope with the region's rapid growth and housing issues. Helping those in poverty with direct aid, donations of bedding and linens, and guest contributions of gently used clothing.
With a superb location on a wide beach but near town, plus a great array of amenities, Grand Solmar Land's End offers a true 5-star experience in one of the most competitive beach resort markets in the Americas. This is definitely at the top of the heap of the Cabo San Lucas resorts away from the highway corridor.
Web Address: www.grandsolmarresort.com
Total Number of Rooms: 244
Published rates: $320 - $2,900 plus taxes, all-inclusive plan available
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.