Sunrise from the Hotel overlooking the pool is gorgeous. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas

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Passing by the blooming cacti display, I sauntered into the expansive lobby and found myself in a luxurious space with ornate candelabras, wood beams, overstuffed lounges and sofas and the blue Pacific beyond.

My personal “concierge,” Roberto, came to greet me and guide me to the Reserve section of the Hotel Paradisus Los Cabos, where I would be spending the next few days. “Spending” is an understatement – perhaps “exulting” might be more apt.

This 5-star hotel is all about indulgence and pampering, and I was ready and willing!

Mexico’s Baja Peninsula

The first time I visited the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula it was way back in 1984, when the airport was so small it had a rather charming thatched roof like a palapa. There was a smattering of hotels, mostly appealing to deep-sea fishermen from California.

Most of the beaches were beautiful, with soft and azure waters,  but not swimmable due to big waves and currents. 

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The Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo comprise what is commonly called “Cabo” (meaning ‘cape’ in Spanish.) At the tip of the 760-mile-long, 25-150 miles wide Baja Peninsula,  in the state of Baja California Sur. It’s where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, with dramatically pounding surf in some spots.

Getting to Los Cabos

The airport is no longer a thatched-roof tiny building. This area is considered one of the main resort regions of Mexico, with well over 10,000 hotel rooms, and endless condominium complexes and now, within the 20-mile stretch between the two “capes,” there are many properties in the so-called Tourism Corridor as well.

The Cabos have a special allure to well-heeled travelers, with many posh hotels, spas and restaurants and prices that can surpass those in the U.S. A bottle of Corona at the airport goes for $11.

Many of those travelers arrive via private jet. This region is the top one in Mexico for private flights.

But it is also known as an excellent area for nature and wildlife experiences, particularly for whale watching in the winter months. Not everyone is in Los Cabos to sit at the swim-up bar and soak in the sun, although those are not to be snubbed by any means. 

Hotel Paradisus Los Cabos

Sumptuous rooms and suites. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas
Sumptuous rooms and suites. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas

On a recent stay at the Cabo Melia Paradisus, I took in the delightful “wellness experience” offered to guests free of charge while staying in the Reserve section. We left at 7 a.m., took a 15-minute drive to a beautiful desolate canyon area, hiked for a short while amidst the vegetation and arrived to a sunrise yoga session.

It was the epitome of tranquility to see the pink and pale blues of the sky change to bright blue, accented by the cries of desert birds and the scurrying of tiny lizards. A soft breeze whispered through the leaves and other than the animals and the soft footsteps on the mat, we enjoyed total silence. 

The Cabo Paradisus, part of the Melia chain, is now an adults-only (over 18) resort, which to those of us traveling without children… well, frankly, it’s nice. The property has many quiet areas, while the main pool can at times have a “party vibe,” and its permanent food truck serves up tacos good enough to compare with any street taqueria – but they are part of the all-inclusive plan.

With ten different room plans, there is much to choose from, even suites with small private plunge pools. All room categories are very ample and are designed with a breezy cool vibe.

The Reserve Section

The Reserve section of the hotel offers its own concierge service, private check-in and check-out, unique experiences and a private lounge with full premium-brand bar and culinary arrays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

While the resort does offer 13 dining experiences, as well as that delightful and whimsical food truck by the main pool, it was nice and a bit “special” to have that private lounge. 

Those unique experiences might include an early morning hike, such as the one I experienced, one of the highlights of my weekend getaway.

Dining at Hotel Paradisus Los Cabos

Dramatic skies are typical in the Cabos area. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas
Dramatic skies are typical in the Cabos area. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas

About the dining at the Cabo Paradisus: it is exceptional. Those days of the lukewarm buffets at Mexican all-inclusive are happily in the past. Now, each resort vies with the others for the best chefs, teams and menus, and this property is one of the finest I’ve visited.

I was astounded by some of the items with which I was presented, both in presentation and in taste, up to par with any fine restaurant. The breakfast buffet, one of those hallmarks we tourists salivate over, was full of truly authentic Mexican dishes not found typically at tourist-focused properties.

I was delighted to find one of my favorite Mexican delicacies, huitlacoche, (don’t ask if you don’t know already, but I love it) for example, along with banana-leaf wrapped Oaxacan tamales.

My personal favorite is Cielo, the property’s Mexican dining spot, with a rather astonishing array of specialties from all over the Republic. Cielo’s ambiance is truly charming and well worth the necessary reservation – be sure to try it. 

Classes and Activities at Hotel Paradisus Los Cabos

Beachside walks from the Hotel. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas
Beachside walks from the Hotel Paradisus Los Cabos. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas

The property offers many classes and activities for guests, and I forced myself to leave the on-site ice cream parlor and next-door Nespresso coffee bar for a bit to try a few out. A make-your-own exfoliant workshop was not only fun but relaxing.

We used mortars and pestles to grind down fresh mint leaves into a paste, then added coffee grounds and honey. “Try some out on your hands,” the activities person told us.

At first, it felt very sticky, but as we rubbed it in, it blended into our skin. They then passed out moist towelettes, and to our surprise, our hands were baby-soft.  A morning yoga class on the sundeck was well-attended, with a charming instructor from Argentina. 

Other possibilities include such as meditation, stretching, water exercises, power dancing, beach volleyball or table tennis, Latin dance classes, sushi classes, art classes, wine and cheese tasting, tequila and mezcal tasting, and mixology classes.

The Spa at Hotel Paradisus Los Cabos

The plunge pool and relaxation lounge chairs at the Spa are a must-do. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas
The plunge pool and relaxation lounge chairs at the Spa are a must-do. Photo by Irene Middleman Thomas

A spa visit was blissful, and my 50-minute massage was so good that I never wanted to leave. Be sure to arrive early to fully enjoy the outdoor plunge pool, sauna and relaxation room. The essential oils my therapist used were so fragrant I decided not to shower them off and rather, to enjoy the aroma for a while.

A visit to this property is for relaxation, pampering and indulgence – with no pressure to experience anything but that. If whale watching, hot-air ballooning, deep-sea fishing or hiking is on your agenda, they will make it happen.

But if you just want to lie back, and enjoy a cold cerveza and excellent street tacos – YOU can make that happen.

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Author Bio: Irene Middleman Thomas is a Denver-based writer who never gets bored or jaded, and loves being that way. Endless curiosity is my modus operandi. www.irenethomas.com

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