Los Cabos is seeing its busiest tourism year on record with more people flocking to the tip of the Baja California’s peninsula than ever before. More flights than ever thought possible are landing in record numbers, mostly coming from the U.S., bringing thousands of tourists per day to the coast. But what does that mean for travelers?
Well, the massive increase in Cabo’s popularity does serve as a double-edged sword. On one hand, it means more options have become available for accommodations, restaurants, and events, but it also means the once quaint and peaceful vacation spot can get overwhelmed with crowds. Unless that is, you know where to stay.
For Cabo-bound tourists looking for a tranquil stay in an atmosphere the exact opposite of a bustling burn-and-churn resort, I’ve discovered the perfect haven for you. Mar Del Cabo boutique hotel.
This charming beach-front property is owned by Velas Resorts, the kings of luxury hospitality in Mexico. Although many of their properties are on a larger, and usually all-inclusive scale, this dreamy gem with only 40-something rooms is in its own league of accommodation.
Why should you stay at Mar Del Cabo? The answer is simple; to get the most out of your vacation without all the noise and distractions, in pure sojourn fashion. The property is exceptionally exclusive being a tiny original maze of unique rooms, in a location where mostly everything original has been devoured in favor of glitzy new towers. Visitors still have an opportunity to visit Cabo in a scene as if it were 60 years ago, a time before travel got so complex.
As the CEO of Travel Off Path, I often get invited to try different hotels and resorts, with many being beautiful properties, but not many with their own personalities and spirit. During my recent visit to Mar Del Cabo, I was instantly transported back to the 70s in a setting that reminded me more of Greece than Mexico. I found myself singing ABBA’s Mamma Mia as I walked through the Mediterranean-mood corridors. I got massive nostalgia when I saw the amber-colored corded glass lamp in my room. And then I almost got sad thinking nothing like this will ever be built again. One more reason to enjoy it while we can. I was told by someone at the hotel the building was one of the first resorts on the beach in the early 1950s, which is why it feels so special.
Below I’m going to go over my stay at Mar Del Cabo so you can decide if it’s the next place for your well-earned Cabo vacation, including the food, amenities, pros, cons, and everything else you’d want to know before you book.
Where is it?
Mar Del Cabo is located right on the beach, smack dab in the middle between San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. When you land at the San Jose Del Cabo airport, it’s about a 15 to 20-minute drive from terminal to lobby.
When you arrive, they give you a very delicious pink drink to start immersing yourself in the property. The lobby has an infinite view of the sea and is covered by bougainvillea flowers that instantly calm the soul.
Who would enjoy staying here?
The kind of travelers who would enjoy Mar Del Cabo are definitely 16+, with a more refined outlook on accommodation, those who like attention to detail, and those who like to romanticize their vacation. Couples on their honeymoon or anniversary, a girl’s trip with the intention to relax and not party, and even solo travelers who seek peace and quiet.
It’s not the right place for young singles looking to mingle, families with young kids, or anyone who doesn’t like to be in their own head for the day. It’s a quiet, bespoke kind of accommodation that really emphasizes relaxation.
Due to its intimate size, Mar Del Cabo is also the perfect property for wedding buyouts.
How big is the hotel?
It’s adorably under 50 rooms, which makes it big enough to have amenities but small enough to feel more like a European apartment instead of a hotel.
The rooms are spread out through different hallways and balconies, separated by stairs and bridges, going upwards from the beach. There are plenty of places to take amazing photos for the ‘gram, if that’s something you look for in a property.
What are the rooms like?
Thank god, not your standard boring hotel rectangle. Each room at Mar Del Cabo is slightly different from the next, all very unique and full of character, and what’s more, all suites. Even the entry-level garden-view suite starts at over 600 sq ft, so no matter what you choose you won’t be stuck in a box.
Each suite has at least one separate bedroom, a living area, and even a kitchenette. The styles and colors all differ slightly between rooms, with some having varying colored tiles or other unique décor elements. Although the public and outdoor areas of the hotel are reminiscent of Greece, Mexican history can be found inside the rooms with local art and handicrafts.
I stayed in the two-bedroom ocean view suite, which is over 700 sq ft, has a terrace and a master bedroom with an amazing view of the sea from bed.
What kind of amenities are on site?
Even with its small stature, the hotel still has some great amenities on site, like a gym, pool, beach access with chairs and umbrellas, restaurant and bar, lobby with front desk/concierge, room service, and of course daily housekeeping. For spa services, guests can walk or take a golf cart next door to get access to sister-resort Grand Velas world-famous spa.
What kind of food is at the hotel?
The food is exceptional, likely due to the fact it’s almost entirely farm-to-table fresh, with the majority of ingredients coming from local farms, fishermen, and purveyors. Guests can eat at Encanto, the on-site ocean-view restaurant, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or opt for room service if desired.
On the first morning, I had the avocado toast with beet hummus and feta cheese, and it was so good I just kept repeating it for the next two breakfasts. While it’s tempting and convenient to get room service breakfast, go to the restaurant, as the early morning view and lighting are the best way to start the day and will give you incredible photos.
For lunch and dinner, you can choose a la carte main dishes, or stuff yourself from their taco bar. While I don’t personally eat red meat, I had the opportunity to taste what ‘pastor’ style tacos are like with a chicken version they’ve created, alongside a few veggie options.
Other amazingly vegetarian-friendly options included the parmesan-crusted cauliflower, sweet potato and quinoa fritters, leafy green plates with freshly cooked vegetables, an heirloom and burrata salad.
My guest indulged in an Angus filet mignon with cooked carrots and spinach salad, glazed pork belly, and Spanish paella.
They serve snacks and drinks both poolside and beachside from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, so of course, we had some fresh guac, French fries, and cocktails brought to the beach. For drinks we went with the Encanto Spice, Chipotle infused vodka, mint, ginger, passion fruit, agave honey, tonic water, and Pink Farm, with Tanqueray ten, camomile tea, cardamom syrup, guava, tonic water.
How is the beach?
The hotel has direct beach access in what seems like its own private slice of sand because it’s a very quiet and low-traffic area. There are gorgeous rocks to take photos on, but also rock-free sandy areas to walk directly into the ocean from.
The ocean is a little chilly in the winter, around 20 degrees Celsius, but warmer from August to November around 26.
In closing, why should you stay in a boutique hotel in Cabo? Because you will always be able to find a massive all-inclusive palace, but will be you able to find something like Mar Del Cabo? Time is running out to be able to experience what seems like an untouched slice of paradise from the 1950s, truly a hidden gem in the exploding Cabo area.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com