Accommodations options in Los Cabos extend well beyond the sprawling all-inclusives that dot the coastline between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. The cape cities also boast a wealth of boutique properties, hotels and resorts where the watchword is quality not quantity. The best of these offer 150 rooms or less–sometimes significantly less–but impress with one-of-a-kind décor accents and unique amenities.
The 96-room Resort at Pedregal is our top choice. It has been one of Cabo San Lucas’ benchmark properties since it opened in 2008, thanks to a magnificent setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean, as well as exquisitely appointed lodgings and a host of world-class amenities, ranging from a pampering spa to spectacular cliffside dining.
The Médano Beach adjacent Bahía Hotel and Beach Club is also a popular option for discerning travelers. Best known locally for its superb restaurants, Bar Esquina and Sur Beach House, the 81-room resort also counts a hip lobby art gallery, a private pool with swim-up palapa bar, and an onsite coffee shop among its many boutique attractions.
Casa Natalia is the top boutique hotel in San José del Cabo. The intimate lodging is set near the city’s historic Art District, and each of its 19 rooms is a canvas for the work of local artists and artisans. The onsite restaurant, Mi Cocina, is among the best in Los Cabos, and the central location offers close proximity to shopping and sightseeing. In fact, many of the premier downtown attractions–the main plaza, city hall, and the old Catholic church–are located within one block of the hotel.
Bahia Hotel & Beach Club has carved out a niche as one of the premier boutique hotels in Cabo San Lucas, with chic accommodations and an excellent pool area featuring daybeds and a swim-up palapa bar. The onsite restaurant, Bar Esquina, is one of the best in the city, and there is also a beachfront eatery on nearby Playa El Médano called Sur Beach House. The restaurants, like the hotel, manage a hip, easy-going vibe without ever seeming pretentious or ostentatious. This is far more difficult than it looks, of course, and many newer properties have tried to capture Bahía’s urban chic charm without ever quite equaling its service or its success. A lobby based art gallery and sponsored events like the King of the Beach Volleyball Tournament and Country in Cabo music weekends only add to the property’s cool cachet.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: A lobby art gallery and hip onsite restaurant are among the many boutique amenities at Bahía Hotel and Beach Club.
Todos Santos is one of the most frequent day trip and overnight destinations for Los Cabos visitors. It’s only an hour by car from Cabo San Lucas, and well worth a visit thanks to its eclectic mix of art galleries, arts and crafts shops, fine restaurants and boutique hotels. El Hotelito is one of the best of the latter category, an intimate bed and breakfast offering four private casitas, three rooms in the Hacienda de Chilicote, and a shared outdoor lounge area featuring, among other attractions, a 48-foot long saltwater swimming pool. Casitas are named according to their dominant color scheme (Violeta, Verde, Rosa and Azul), and all are equipped for vacation comfort with terraces and hammocks, plus soft beds shipped in from the U.S. Despite the property’s striking and colorful design – the owner is a talented architect and interior designer – El Hotelito also has its downhome touches. Guests, for instance, are often invited by the owner to meets some of her pets, which at present include dogs, goats, a sheep, horse and donkey. The headliner, however, is a pig named Colette, whose star qualities have quickly earned her a devoted fan following.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: This intimate B&B is one of the finest boutique hotels in Todos Santos.
Situated in the center of San José del Cabo’s historic downtown area, Casa Natalia is an intimate European-style boutique hotel with progressive contemporary architecture and relaxing decorative touches like bamboo, bougainvillea, waterfalls and tropical flowers. There are only 19 guestrooms, all of which feature king-sized beds, fresh flowers and colorful work from local artists, as well as sliding glass doors that open onto private or shared terraces. The hotel also offers an excellent onsite restaurant (Mi Cocina) in the courtyard, as well as a half-moon shaped swimming pool with a refreshing waterfall, and adjacent stone fire bowls that are lit at night for romantic ambiance. No children under 13 are allowed.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: Casa Natalia is the premier boutique hotel in San José del Cabo.
Few places on earth can match the setting of The Cape, a boutique luxury property that opened in June 2015 in the tourist corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. The hotel commands sublime views of the evocatively-shaped rock formations at Land’s End from its beachfront home on Playa Monumentos, which itself is famed as one of the premier surf sites in Baja California Sur. Architect Javier Sánchez’s greatest achievement is making these views available from each of the hotel’s 161 rooms and suites, as well as its infinity pool, its acclaimed restaurant, its fashionable rooftop nightclub, its pampering spa…basically, from every available space on the property. The exterior is sleek and contemporary, the décor a nostalgic blending of 1960s moderne and surfer chic. The many black walls, like the black façade, are intended to make the views “pop;” as if there was any doubt of that considering the majestic location. The most notable amenity is Manta, the first Los Cabos restaurant from celebrated Mexican chef Enrique Olvera, who currently has two restaurants – Pujol in Mexico City, and Cosme in New York City – ranked among the 100 best in the world.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: The Cape is the best boutique surf hotel in Los Cabos.
Intimate and luxurious, Esperanza’s 57-room seaside resort features an exquisite array of suites, casitas and villas, as well as some of the most pampering amenities in all of Los Cabos. The property underwent a major renovation five years ago, and it has never looked better, with exquisitely designed suites and guestrooms courtesy of HKS Architects in Dallas. Special touches include personal concierges, room service and other amenities that can be accessed via in-suite iPads. The resort’s spa has been rated as the best in all of Latin America, and in addition to its massages and romantic couple’s treatments, features a spacious outdoor relaxation lounge. The integrated wellness program includes approximately 35 yoga and fitness classes per week, and the resort often hosts well-known instructors from the U.S. and elsewhere. Dining options at Esperanza are highlighted by the spectacular seaside restaurant Cocina del Mar, where Argentine chef Guillermo Gomez and his staff will cook to order, including dishes to fit any dietary restrictions.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: This 57-room boutique resort is one of the best in Los Cabos, with a spa that has been rated as the best in Latin America.
Los Cabos’ hippest boutique hotel – the name is a portmanteau word combining the Spanish word for goose (ganso) and gonzo, the outlandish journalism style pioneered by the late Hunter S. Thompson – opened in 2012 at Puerto Los Cabos, a high-end development just outside San José del Cabo. El Ganzo features 72 stylishly decorated suites, all with king-sized beds and Sea of Cortés views, but what sets the property apart is an artsy concept and one-of-a-kind amenities (it’s the only hotel in Los Cabos, for example, with an onsite recording studio). Artists in residence are free to decorate interiors and exteriors as they wish, so El Ganzo is essentially an ongoing art project…a work in progress. What is constant are the luxe amenities, which range from a pampering spa to chic restaurants and rooftop sushi and vodka bars, as well as an enormous 2,000 square foot infinity pool. Panga service is offered to the nearby beach club, and the hotel maintains bicycles for romantic rides around the marina area.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: El Ganzo is the hippest hotel in Los Cabos, with an onsite recording studio and other boutique amenities.
One&Only Palmilla has often been rated by travel magazines as the best resort in México, and it’s easy to see why. The commitment to service is unmatched in the region, as evidenced by the 3:1 staff-to-guest ratio, and the some five dozen gardeners working constantly to sculpt the lush and luxuriant grounds. The resort has been around since the 1950s – when it was founded by pioneering Los Cabos developer Rod Rodriguez – and it has remained a benchmark area property through several expansions and upgrades, most notably upon receiving the One &Only imprimatur in 2004. In addition to its excellent accommodations and amenities – private butlers are standard – the resort hosts two world-class restaurants and a 22,000 square foot spa and fitness facility. Boutique beauty and salon services include the OBO Salon from Beverly Hills stylists Jonathan Antin and Amanda George, Barber&Blade for men, and manicures and pedicures in a studio designed by famed French podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: Palmilla is the oldest boutique property in Los Cabos, and still one of the best.
Pueblo Bonito is a brand that may not be familiar to many U.S. travelers. It’s resorts are found only in México, and to date only in the destinations of Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas. The latter hosts four PB properties, including an adults-only property called Pacifica, which is notable both for its spectacular Pacific Coast location and its unique hotel-within-a-hotel concept. That would be The Towers at Pacifica, which offers its guests lodging in 47 luxuriously designed rooms and suites, all with private terraces and spectacular Pacific Ocean views. Pampering amenities at the boutique property include 24-hour butler service – each room gets its own butler, certified by the British Butler Institute – a private VIP lounge, a state-of-the-art ocean view fitness center, dining privileges at Peninsula (a gorgeously designed shrine to regional Baja cuisine), and preferred tee times at the nearby Quivira Golf Course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Special signature experiences are also offered, and include “hook and cook” fishing and dining outings with an onsite chef.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: This is the best resort-within-a-resort concept in Los Cabos, with luxurious amenities and pampering privileges.
Las Ventanas al Paraíso means the windows to paradise, and this Rosewood managed seaside resort delivers the expected spectacular views, as well as luxurious accommodations and amenities distinguished by exquisite attention to detail. How exquisite? Rooms are appointed with wood-burning terracotta fireplaces and telescopes for seasonal whale watching, shower doors boast moon or mermaid shaped handles sculpted by famed Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante, and sunbathers are cooled down with misted Evian water by dedicated “pool butlers.” Drinking and dining are likewise world-class. French chef Fabrice Guisset shows off his Mexican bona fides at El Restaurante, and master tequiliers work up flavor profiles for guests at the well-stocked Tequila and Ceviche Bar. Championship level golf is available at the nearby Cabo Real course, and the spa features elemental therapies inspired by earth, air, fire and water.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: Las Ventanas al Paraiso was the first true luxury resort in Los Cabos, and set the local standard for boutique accommodations and amenities.
Enter through the only privately owned tunnel in México to luxurious surroundings and jaw-dropping views at this acclaimed boutique beach resort, which boasts 96 elegantly designed rooms, suites and villas in Cabo San Lucas’ most exclusive neighborhood. The wow-factor tunnel with its chandelier lighting is merely a prelude to the open-air lobby, where guests check-in against a backdrop of breathtaking Pacific Ocean scenery. Luna y Mar, the pampering onsite spa, also impresses with soothing, organic treatments based on the phases of the moon, while onsite restaurant El Farallón provides one of the most romantic dinner experiences in the world, with a Champagne terrace and tables perched cliffside above crashing waves. Recent news that the Waldorf Astoria brand is taking over management of The Resort at Pedregal by the end of 2019 only adds to its luster. It’s the top lodging in Cabo San Lucas, and the finest boutique property in all of Los Cabos.
Recommended for Boutique Hotels because: The Resort at Pedregal is the best boutique hotel in Cabo San Lucas.