Tourist Corridor KM 12.5, Int. Bahia Santa Maria, Twin Dolphins, Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico
Montage—a small luxury hotel chain known for serving the rich and famous in the USA—moves south to a beachfront location in Los Cabos.
Between the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo is an almost continuous stretch of beach that goes on for 20 miles, with the occasional rocky point interrupting the flow. For most of this coastline, the red flags are permanent on the beach. It's too rough for swimming because of a steep drop-off her at the end of the Baja Peninsula and the riptides can be fierce. The new Montage Los Cabos resort has a big advantage over most of its competitors in this respect. It fronts a public beach on a small bay where you can swim without being in danger.
So when you walk out of your luxurious room here and head down the terraces past the pools, here you can keep going and take a dip in the sea. You can then lounge in a beach chair, ordering a drink from the bar. You may not make it that far though: the swimming pools are enticing on their own and offer a great view out to the water. You may not want to go any further after ordering something to eat and drink and admiring the view.
Montage is a collection of luxury hotels in North America, with this location being its first one outside of the United States. It has a good reputation for pleasing picky guests, with properties in Beverly Hills, Sonoma wine country, and Deer Valley in Utah. So this location had a built-in set of fans to appeal to when it opened, guests already used to the brand and probably already used to visiting Los Cabos.
This Montage resort will not feel unfamiliar to guests from points further north, with Mexican touches limited to a few subtle reminders like cacti and framed photos from the region. The prices will make you feel like you're in Beverly Hills too, with $20 cocktails, $12 iced lattes, and $9 beers (not including 16% taxes and a 15% service fee).
Montage Cabo restaurants break down to a fine dining dinner restaurant, all all-day option, and a coffee shop with pastries and paletas. All have indoor and outdoor sitting areas. In the high Mexican cuisine restaurant Mezcal, the menu is clearly aimed at Hollywood starlets and Silicon Valley moguls who don't have to worry about such trifles as menu prices, since the average main dish price tops $50. You can settle in for a delicious meal delivered with an emphasis on surprise, however. Items make use of traditional Mexican ingredients and seafood, some sourced locally, but elevated to an upper plane of presentation.
The more casual restaurant is Marea, serving all three meals with a view of the beach, sea, and one of the pools. There's a wide variety to choose from here, with pizzas, salads, and burgers joining domestic specialties. There's an emphasis on healthy items and the best possible ingredients to be found in Baja or from across the Sea of Cortez.
Contemporary guestrooms that are California cool have a color palate of mostly creams, whites, and tans, with a few color pops from accent pillows and art on the walls. It's mostly brown and green out the windows, with desert or native plants, with a view of hillsides and/or the ocean in the distance. Most rooms do face the water from different terraced levels and most are the size of a spacious studio apartment at 895 square feet.
All have an indoor sitting area, an outdoor terrace with a day bed, a soaking tub, and a large shower area in the marble bath. There's a sofa at the end of the bed, a table for two, then a dressing area and bathroom behind the headboard partition. Amenities include robes, Nespresso coffee machines, music players, and large TVs. Parking and Wi-Fi are included in the rates and rooms have lots of recharging outlets.
The upgrade options are suites of one or two bedrooms that are double or triple the size. These have similar amenities, but an outdoor shower, larger terrace, and generally better views. The largest of these, the beach front presidential suite, has a direct view of the beach and sea. There are also owned residences in a separate area near the main complex that can be rented out, with choices ranging from 2,900-square-foot apartments to five-bedroom homes of more than 10,000 square feet.
The Montage Los Cabos spa is an extensive affair, with its own sizable adults-only swimming pool enclosed by high stone walls. This is quite a refuge on its own, with cushioned lounge chairs, umbrellas, and a few day beds where you can find some shade. There are 12 treatment rooms, relaxation rooms, and various hydrotherapy options in 40,000 square feet of space. Menu options are extensive, starting at $275 for massages and $288 for facials.
When staying here, you have access to the Twin Dolphin Golf Course, designed by Fred Couples. This is one of the newest courses in the region and has a lot of hills and sea views, with much of the natural topography and plant life kept intact. Waste water and desalinized water are used to keep it green.
With its spot at the end of a gated community and a swimmable beach on a small bay, Montage Los Cabos hotel stands apart from many of the luxury resorts between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. With polished service from the start, it is aimed to please international jet-setters who are used to experiencing the best of the best wherever they unpack their suitcase.
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.