The traveler who will enjoy the unspoiled desert and Sea of Cortez paradise an hour from the bustling Cabo San Lucas area may not feel a sense of isolation, even after a year of pandemic seclusion. My initial visit to Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort at Costa Palmas didn’t disappoint, and now with extensive progress in adding chic private villas, my recent visit confirms the resort has preserved its Zen vibe.
The pure East Cape area lacks hordes of travelers; by nature, this wild undeveloped vast desert, home to Cabo Pulmo National Park is dotted with a landscape of ancient Cardón cactus, empty swimmable beaches on the sparkling Sea of Cortez with remarkable diving, wind sports and tournament worth fishing. Many of the sleepy fishing villages are known only to avid fishermen. The raw beauty of this sweeping coastline covering over 75 miles mesmerized Jacques Cousteau who described it as the ‘world’s aquarium’ and John Steinbeck who spent a six-week expedition on the Sea of Cortez chronicled in his Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research.
The pandemic slowed the expansion of new resorts in this area, which are just in the beginning steps of breaking ground. Cabo San Lucas proper is still teeming with high rise hotels along the well-traveled corridor. I’m hoping the almost 60-minute desert drive will keep this pristine area slightly undiscovered! The Four Seasons has continued their construction with private Villas, the Presidential Suite was completed, the harbor is showing signs of life with several yachts in slips along the banks of the jetty.
The numbers: Resort features 141 guest rooms including 23 suites, all with views of the Sea of Cortez; five dining options including world-renowned Estiatorio Milos on the beach; several authentic retail shops; a massive gym, Kids Club, outdoor sports; four pools, including an expansive kiddy pool, Jacuzzi pools, a lap pool behind the state-of-the-art gym, tennis courts with excellent pros, basketball court and golf! Small kiddy fountain is just outside the Kids Club. The deep, protected marina, once fully constructed will accommodate sleek yachts up to 250 feet, and a promised marina village with cafes and boutiques is on the drawing board.
I adore the remoteness; with miles of pristine white sand, the Sea of Cortez vista is enhanced by the enveloping backdrop of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountain range with a few small islands off in the distance. Where else do you feel the edge of the earth drops from sight from your beach lounger? My first pandemic Journey, it was the perfect combination of endless days of chaise reading, tennis lessons, limitless beach walks and drowsy napping. In the winter and spring, a breeze blows most days, keeping you cool and creating a few whitecaps in the sea. Part of the draw is the exclusiveness, surrounded by acres of undulating sand sprouting the oldest cactus in the world. The Sea of Cortez is one of the richest and most diverse on the planet. A UNESCO Marine World Heritage site, the nearby Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park is home to 695 species of aquatic plants and 891 species of fish. Jacques Cousteau called it “The Aquarium of the World.”
Plan a boat trip from the marina for unforgettable diving and snorkeling. Take a short hike and go for swim beneath a waterfall pouring off granite cliffs. Or head to El Triunfo, a 19th-century mining town where several old buildings have been restored and converted to restaurants, boutiques, art galleries and a museum. Further afield is La Paz where swimming with the gentle whale sharks is a favorite water activity.
On this visit, my driver stopped at a humble roadside stand to treat me to fresh Dragon Fruit Ice Cream. Also called Pitaya or Pitahaya, the prickly spiked fruit is the fruit of a cactus originally from Mexico and Central America. People describe the flavor as a mix between a pear and a kiwi.
The resort arrival is subtle, the meandering property is accessed by a sandy road noted by the iconic Four Seasons image on a rust-colored sign, an enormous spread of native cactus and tall palms punctuate the curving dusty road to the resort. The edges of the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II designed golf course appear before you reach the soaring sleek roofline of the arrival pavilion. Accented with reflecting pools of still and trickling water, broad expanses of shadowed walkways, the arrival foyer sets the stage with an alluring view of small pools and exquisite manicured native gardens, the view ends at the sapphire sea. A low-lying architectural footprint blends into the sanctuary setting. From the sea, the resort must appear as a pale white mirage.
I like to move room locations to understand a property- i.e., do you hear guests from the rooms and suites near the pools or restaurants. The sunrise suite hadn’t been completed on my last visit, so I begged to stay near the jetty for the brilliant sunrise. The jetty entrance is now active, so one might not want to see or hear fishing boats headed to sea at dawn, but I enjoyed the morning welcome. This far end of the resort many not even be discovered by many guests, which I also love! A small private pool with overhead shade trellis is convenient and attended by the most attentive Cabana staff, Augustin! He looked for me each day either farther out on the beach loungers under a massive white umbrella, or at the mini pool, kindly shifting the umbrella every hour or so to keep me out of the sun. Augustin maintained my hydration with gallons of water, a Margarita or two, lunch and frozen watermelon pops or wedges of pineapple sprinkled with Tajin. Five-star service translates to mind reading and Augustin is an expert mind reader!
I was recently asked how I would define the differences between a 4 or 5-star hotel – it’s mostly the little things, which add up to perfection! One sign of a five-star property – the moment you plop in a lounger, an ice bucket brimming with chilled water is at your side before you open your book. Another petite note, if you order a drink, the server should make sure there is a table next to a lounger – recent experience by young staff delivering drink – where do you want me to put this? Ahh, could you rustle up a table and bring water as well? Site inspections are important and people think I am just lounging about when I escape! This does not happen at a five-star hotel, No flaws if Augustin is watching out for you at Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort at Costa Palmas!
Arranged in several horseshoe zones, the resort doesn’t feel vast. My one-bedroom oceanfront suite was literally less than a dozen steps from the beach. Upstairs suites have massive terraces and downstairs rooms, and suites have same terrace and plunge pools. I prefer upstairs to keep the doors open 24/7 to catch the sea breeze and listen to the bird chatter. The beautiful art filled Presidential Suite is beachfront – and multiple villas are ready to welcome you for a long Journey.
Five restaurant choices translate to dining on property for a week without driving or waiting in lines. The options include world-renowned Estiatorio Milos on the beach. Recognized as one of the finest Mediterranean seafood restaurants in the world, Estiatorio Milos was founded by acclaimed chef Costas Spiliadis who has made it an unparalleled culinary destination in Montreal, New York, Athens, Las Vegas, Miami, and London. International flair meets local ingredients at this chic beachside restaurant and bar.
Keep it casual at Casa de Brasa, the poolside Baja brasserie, serving fresh favorites such as grilled shrimp tacos, chopped salads and guacamole made to order. Choose from craft beers, classic margaritas, and frozen cocktails. Lounge dining is delivered fresh from Casa de Brasa.
Limón, a farm-to-table al fresco dining venue featuring produce harvested from Costa Palmas on-site orchards and farm is situated amid a small lemon orchard. Massive grills roast catch of the day, organic grass fed steaks and ribs. Lovely dining setting accented with swaying paper lanterns and strings of white lights above the umbrellas.
Ceviche Bar – Taste the freshest local ceviche’s, tossed with your choice of chili vinegars and herbs from our garden. Or try the tostadas, topped with sailfish, jicama, and jalapeño.
It’s comfortable to spend your entire sojourn at the resort, I didn’t venture out due to Pandemic precautions, next visit I will take advantage of the off-property activities. The Four Seasons is partnered with Aventura, an activity team at Costa Palmas, with a roster of escapades that reveal the East Cape’s adventurous side. Hike to a natural water slide in Sol de Mayo, try your sand racing skills in a sunrise Polaris RZR excursion, fly over Sahara sized dunes, golf all day or snooze- whatever tickles your fancy, the resort provides activities for the restless or the fatigued!
Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort at Costa Palmas is near enough for a long weekend escape, the generous footprint makes one feel you have paradise all to yourself!
Up your golf or improve your overhead smash with the excellent tennis pros, or drag a satchel of books and plop and gaze at the sapphire seas! Our Preferred Partner status provides additional amenities for our clients, call me!