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Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort—San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Carretera Transpeninsular, Km. 19.5, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Brand names like the Hilton might be safe bets, especially when traveling in Mexico, but sometimes that's not enough to ensure only the best. Hilton Los Cabos is one of those exceptional exceptions.

Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort

From the moment my van rolled down the cobbled streets to the lobby, I knew this Hilton was a step above the norm. Visually I am greeted with bright landscaped gardens and fountains, and uniformed valets welcome me in English and Spanish, immediately opening my door and escorting me through the marbled foyer to the no–waiting, open–air reception desk.

The reception area feeds into the lobby bar, which overlooks the infinity pool with views of the Sea of Cortez. Although most of Cabos' waters are not swimmable, at the Hilton you can enjoy one of a few safe swimming beaches and jet–skis are also available. For relaxing in the sun, opt for the traditional lounge chairs either poolside or oceanfront. Even more private and romantic are several draped lounge beds, strategically located throughout the property and draped palapas at the beaches.

This new lavish Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort is under the ownership of Beny Alagem, who also owns the world–famous Beverly Hilton. Alagem plans to reposition this Hilton on a much higher level in Los Cabos. Already under Alagem's direction, the resort recently completed a dramatic remodeling of its 375 ocean view guestrooms—to the tune of $15,000 per room. The richly styled guestrooms are the creation of renowned designer, Paul Duesing of Paul Duesing Partners, specialists in lifestyle designs for high–end properties, including the nearby One & Only Palmilla.

Deluxe king or queen rooms are a comfortable 546 square feet. The décor is warm with the welcoming colors of Mexico: yellow–gold, soft green, pink, and red contrasted with white accents. Sculpted headboards frame the bed that holds a flowered greeting just for me: Bienvenida Diana. Later that night, while watching the flat screen television, I discover the comfort of the Italian–made Mascioni 100% Egyptian cotton bed linens on mattress that I'd liked to take home. Special touches from local artisans are trickled throughout the room in framed prints and antiqued hand–hewn cabinetry reminiscent of colonial Spanish heritage.

But the final test is always the bathroom, and here hand–painted ceramic bath accessories accent the richly hued marble. Besides its full bath and separate roomy shower, a one–person Jacuzzi is framed by French doors that open to overlook the bedroom. When I slide the private balcony door ajar, I can hear the undulating ocean waves while soaking in the tub.

Hilton Los Cabos offers plenty of upgrade options, with 35 junior suites and 31 true suites with a separate bedroom. All offer the same warm Mexican décor, with special touches like fresh flowers and varying Mexican art, plus private balconies with ocean views in varying sizes. The square footage begins at 619 for the junior suites and progressively increases to the presidential suite, which is the size of a large villa. The presidential suite is in a secluded corner of the fifth level featuring a super–sized bedroom, dressing room and bathroom with both an indoor whirlpool and outdoor Jacuzzi for four. The opposite side of the suite is a second bedroom with two queen–size beds and full bathroom, same set–up but an outside Jacuzzi for two. Centered between the two bedrooms is the living room with marble dining room, half bath, and kitchen. The large, wrap–around private terrace offers a view of the Sea of Cortez and a perfect setting to entertain.

Located on the lobby floor in a secluded area, the Ixchel Spa is in touch with the spa culture, offering Balinese and Thai treatments amongst other more traditional options. Besides the treatments, the best feature is their walk–out relaxing area overlooking the mountains.

If you yearn to swing a club, three golf courses are within a few minutes of the Hilton: Cabo Real Golf Club, Palmilla, and the Raven Club.

Culinary options are plentiful at the Hilton. The poolside Sun Fun Hut Bar serves fresh and made–to–order sushi and tacos seasoned with a special recipe. (The Hilton snagged a cook from the streets of Cabos to share his tasty secrets.) If your experience is like mine, the Fenicia Restaurant will probably be the favorite. The Fenicia offers an amazing selection of wine paired with Mediterranean cuisine such as oven–baked range chicken stuffed with cous–cous and raisins, asparagus risotto, homemade gnocchi, and fresh local mahi–mahi. Live classical and jazz piano serenades you.

Dining here while sipping a Vinas Pijoan, watching the floating candles flicker in the infinity pool while listening to the ebb and flow of the Sea of Cortez, it is clear that the Los Cabos Hilton has earned a spot among the top hotels in the area.

Web Address:
Total Number of Rooms: 375
Published rates: $160 to $4,000

Review and photos by Diana Rowe