Tourist Corridor CSL-SJC Km. 18.5, Los Cabos, B.C.S Mexico
Native plants, curated artwork, and bold architecture define the Starwood Luxury Collection's first foray into the Los Cabos Region with Solaz Resprt.
Solaz Resort Los Cabos feels a bit different than other hotels in the Cabo tourist corridor as soon as you enter the lobby. Instead of facing a reception desk wall or sitting down in an alcove, you check in at one of several long, open tables with a view of the sea beyond, with no glass in the way. Each way you look in another direction, you'll see unique art pieces made or curated by Mexican artist César López-Negrete. These include giant wood logs carved into furniture, a map of Baja, and a long mixed-media mural that gives a nod to the cave paintings found in the interior of the state.
These unique touches extend throughout the property, providing a real sense of place. There's the Gabinete del Barco museum with a full whale skeleton and artifacts explaining the history of this unique region at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. There are the plants endemic to the area planted throughout the property, starting with two giant cacti at the entrance, transplanted from the desert, that are probably 400-600 years old. Then there's the terraced design of the property, heading down to a 100-meter pool parallel to the crashing waves on the beach.
Solaz is a mixed-use development, with multi-million-dollar condos in towers flanking the low-rise hotel section with 128 rooms. Serious thought clearly went into the architectural design: this is not your typical U-shaped high-rise that tries to squeeze as many rooms as possible into the available footprint. Public areas and rooms all have a view, but often that view is over roofs covered by plants rather than over a gigantic central swimming pool complex.
Restaurant options start just around the corner from the lobby, with the Al Pairo Seafood Market that features catches of the day on ice-covered slabs for your choosing. Artistic fish mobiles and vertical sculptures are understated, while indoor and outdoor seating looks at the blue sea beyond. A few steps away is the wine cellar, where you can arrange a private dinner or a tasting of wines from the north of Baja. There's a dinner restaurant featuring high-end Mexican cuisine and steaks, while an Italian restaurant adds more international options.
To get really close to the water, head down to Mako by the swimming pool and beach. Creative cocktails join a variety of coastal Mexican favorites like ceviche, tuna tartare, or guacamole, but always presented with a visual twist. With a salty breeze coming off the water and hammock swings nearby, it's easy for hours to drift by here as the sun moves across the sky. Several bars and a coffee shop are on site, all highlighting products from Mexico as well as some international favorites.
The Olympic-length swimming pool that extends along from Mako Restaurant on one end to the bar on the other end is flanked by lounge chairs and works for a quick dip or workout laps. Another pool is in a different area of the property and there are two shallow pools for children. There's also a kids club available for an additional fee.
For a full-body workout, the well-equipped gym here has cardio and weights. Regular classes for guests are available and there's a personal trainer on staff for hire. There's also a full-service spa at Solaz for massages and nail treatments.
While large families can rent out the owned full-floor condos that are in the rental pool, the hotel itself has three main categories of rooms: Superior (i.e. standard), Gallery, and Grand. There are suites in the latter two categories. Rooms that don't have Gallery in the name are in the highest structures furthest back from the beach, while the others are in the buildings spilling down from there toward the water, on different levels.
The very smallest rooms at Solaz Los Cabos are about double the size of a standard hotel room, at more than 700 square feet. They have a furnished balcony or terrace, whirlpool, mini fridge, coffee maker, safe, and the latest and greatest technology available at the time of opening in late 2018. Tech touches include lots of regular and USB outlets, a sound system, 55-inch smart TVs, and electronic door locks with do not disturb lights. Note that you're forced to join the SPG/Marriott reward program to get your internet access included, however, which seems like a heavy-handed corporate anachronism in an age where it's included automatically at every competing luxury resort on this coast.
The next level up-Gallery Grand—gets about 150 more square feet of space plus a private plunge pool and outdoor shower. The suites extend from a one-bedroom ocean view Master Suite to Presidential Suites. The latter have two full bedrooms plus a sofa bed in the living room, three baths, a full kitchen with high-end appliances, and a large terrace with Jacuzzi and hammock. Full-floor suites from the condo owners' pool are listed as three-bedroom Imperial Suites. All suites have a kitchen and laundry facilities.
Turndown service, robes, butler service, room service, and a complimentary beach bag complement attentive service throughout the property. One less public outcome of the interesting architectural design here at Solaz is that most of the workers move through tunnels underneath the property, so guests are seldom dodging housekeeping carts or room service trays in transit.
Review and photos by editor Timothy Scott.