Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas – Luxury Resort with Clairvoyant Staff!

Recent visit to the still divine Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas. When travelers reserve beach resorts, I assume most travelers need to escape hectic lives and are pursuing a calm soothing location. One can always add heart jarring sea activities i.e., jet skis, kite surfing, and on land, quad bikes, or galloping ponies for beach rides.

Sunrise from my residence Terrace Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas

Most of the Cabo Corridor does not provide an oasis of calm – many resorts are lined up along the busy 2 lane highway, most with non-swimmable beaches. We do have a handful of favorites along the corridor. I still crave the quiet, endless horizon of the sparkling sapphire Sea of Cortez. It’s like being on the edge of the earth.  

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.

One new discovery for our VIP guests, the property has an extensive nursery where expert gardeners tend to the resort landscapes, including some that only flower every 100 years. One can enjoy a private dinner here in the rambling garden nursery.

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 complete sense of isolation. There’s extensive progress with the addition of chic private villas, multi-storied residences with sizable infinity pools on the terraces overlooking the Marina. The presidential Villa offers the ultimate luxury lifestyle, the beach location is heavenly! Just a hop away, there are two exceptional private six-bedroom Villas right on the beach, grassy knolls and secluded – no paparazzi invasion, ever.  My recent visit confirms the resort has preserved its Zen vibe.

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; 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 prime Oceanfront Six-Bedroom Villa is a six-bedroom, six full bathrooms and includes one powder room in addition to one staff bedroom and bathroom with a configuration of five king beds and two queen beds. The villa boasts the very best of beachfront living with a chef’s kitchen, thoughtful design elements, and a heated pool and whirlpool, in addition to full access to Four Seasons and Costa Palmas amenities. 

Residences: Ranging from two to three and four bedrooms the Ocean View Residences combine extensive indoor and outdoor living space with three-bedroom, four-bathroom unit with an endless view of the Sea of Cortez. The residence features private marina access, a terrace pool, and an outdoor dining area. Full kitchen if you are inclined, dining area inside and on the cozy terraces.

My two-bedroom residence was the perfect landing space for me and my friends.

Sunrise coffee delivered at precisely 7.15 am every morning, served on my terrace for a quiet easing into each day. There are some who know it isn’t wise to speak to me pre-coffee!

Our private Concierge/butler, Poli, was essential to all our needs! We were convinced he placed tracking chips in our beach bags – Ms. Gwen, do you need a ride from your tennis lesson?  We tried pulling his leg with false locations, but everyone on property knew us and alerted Poli, in the event we were too tired or too hot to walk back home! Always an alert- mind readers, how can we help?!

The little Marina has expanded, a few yachts are berthed, fishing boats cruise in at dawn to take guests straight to sea, a distinct advantage to driving at the crack of dawn to the busy Cabo Marina. World class sailing and fishing at your doorstep. With direct access to Cabo Pulmo, considered to be one of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the world, to sunset cruises, Four Seasons is the only luxury resort with a private marina access. 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.

A new yummy restaurant, Mozza, owned by famed Nancy Silverton, is a short water taxi voyage of 5 minutes across the harbor. The captain departs the dock every ten minutes ferrying hotel guests. I loved my two dinners here and it was fun to ferry over for sunset cocktails in the Duffy electric water taxi with canvas surrey top.

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.

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? It was the perfect combination of endless days of chaise reading, tennis lessons with Bruno, 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.

There is a wraparound kiddy pool, a very separate adult’s pool and in a more remote corner of the resort, a small private pool and jacuzzi with overhead shade trellis. Very convenient to the residences, Ruben was our dedicated Cabana helper. He looked for us 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. When he had to mosey about property, he gave me a big black Beach Butler Button to call him back to our loungers!  Maintaining our essential 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 Ruben is an expert mind reader!

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.

Ginger’s – Sit and stay or grab and go from this all-day eclectic café. From local coffee to Baja beer, handmade gelato to superfood smoothies, Ginger’s has something for the whole family. Healthy snacks, and a kid magnet with ping pong tables outside, it’s a meeting place!

It’s comfortable to spend your entire sojourn at the resort. 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!

Highly Recommend!

Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas

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.

More on experiences in my next post!  Our Preferred Partner status provides additional amenities for our clients, call me!

Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas

Four Seasons Hualalai: As Expected.

Four Seasons Hualalai: Predictable: to be expected; unsurprising; formulaic…Would you consider this description a negative if I used it to describe a hotel or a guide or…

My recent visit to the Four Seasons Hualalai on the big Island was predictable. Our clients are all-encompassing enthusiasts of the brand, with good reason. Although, I have stayed multiple times at many Four Seasons, if I haven’t stayed at a particular resort, and a client wants to stay, we can confidently reserve knowing it will be predictable, ie very reliable. Excellent service, impressive dining, and superb service, over the top luxury, perfection.

Four Seasons Hualalai

Several decades ago, Four Seasons introduced a mission statement based on The Golden Rule: To treat others as we’d wish to be treated ourselves. This has never failed to impress me, and I see it practiced at all the Four Seasons Resorts I visit.

Hotels must practice and strive for brand perfection, something the Four Seasons takes very seriously. I hadn’t been to Hualalai in years and was greeted as if I had visited last week. Not everyone at these hotels knows me, it’s always a lovely surprise to be so warmly welcomed.

On landing, I had forgotten about the small outdoor luggage carousels, so unique that they still exist! A Four Seasons rep met me as I exited the plane, and we strolled a short distance to the casual outdoor baggage area. Bags collected and off to the resort –  mere minutes away through a black lava field. So close, yet you never hear any planes overhead.

The Four Seasons Hualalai is located on the Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii Island. It’s a roughly 15-minute drive from Kona International Airport (KOA). It’s about a 20-minute drive to the town of Kona, But, why leave?  Entering the resort, the landscape quickly transforms to a lush tropical oasis of palms and red blossom hibiscus. Truly a tropical paradise, black lava shows itself in some locations, however this is truly a tropical retreat.

Surrounded by white-sand beaches and black-lava landscapes, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is perfectly situated for all kinds of island adventures. The spirit of Hawaii, from its long-held traditions to its inspired art, informs every detail of this idyllic retreat.

The islands lack no shortage of five-star properties, many are tucked into ultra-touristed rows like a Las Vegas row of swanky hotels. Many things set this property apart from other hotels, the setting and location. The Four Seasons Hualalai has an incredible amount of coastline, and there’s a pathway along the entire beach. A quiet expansive ribbon of land.

Stop a moment, a lavish lei of orchids slipped over your head, a chilled hibiscus scented towel in hand, balanced with a frosty drink. Leave your busy world at the doorstep, the view of paradise is straight ahead: past the lawns, past the pools, the sparkling Pacific Ocean beckons. Room ready, yes – beautiful amenities in room – yes. Room explanation, perfect- I recently covered a room lamp with an ice bucket as I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off – plug was obscured by a massive desk…and no, it was not a Four Seasons!

Four Seasons Hualalai

The open-air reception area and most of the other public spaces are all traditional Polynesian spacious architecture, consisting of buildings no higher than two stories, maximizing indoor/outdoor living. Aside from the rooms, and since I never close my screens, I was rarely in a closed room, except for a spa treatment.

The property seems expansive and for one who gets lost at many resorts, it was compact and easy to navigate. This is an ideal family destination, as there’s something here for everyone, whether you want to swim, golf, tennis, hike – a long list of activities. Kids Club for the kiddos as well.

I stayed in an ocean view superior suite, which had a comfy living room, with a large couch that could be turned into a bed, to tuck in a kiddo if one tags along. Two bathrooms and a double lanai terrace overlooking a beautiful ancient pool, beneath soaring palms, and gigantic ferns – the water attracted dozens of dancing iridescent dragon flies. The resort is built on the site of an ancient Hawaiian fishing village and in the initial development, a historic Hawaiian trail and several anchialine pools were found. The hotel has gone to great lengths to preserve the pools. With an array of feathered birds pecking for brekkie crumbs and the wildlife below, I could have sat for hours.

If you’re game for the best the Four Seasons Hualalai has to offer and price isn’t a factor, the property has several private villas. The Ho`onanea Villa, can be configured as a two- or three-bedroom villa, is the perfect friend or family Villa. Spacious rooms, an enormous kitchen-living room space with floor-to-ceiling glass doors which open onto an expansive lanai with an outdoor table, fire pit, and plunge pool. There’s also an external staircase leading to a sundeck/outdoor living room perfect for whale watching or sipping sunset cocktails at the end of an afternoon. Although the villa is mere steps from the beach and is really in the heart of the resort, it feels very private. All the villas are quite special, one is located with views of the golf course and overlooking another Sacred Pond, a short trail leads to the edge of the pond, where two chairs sit side by side. Perfect for contemplation.

The adult pool has lodging surrounding it, pretty much dedicated adult rooms- the hotel is very observant at managing the guest ratio near the adult pool, something I truly love.

Pools- who has so many pool choices?!  A morning stroll along the beach path led me to count and photograph all the pools: The King’s Pond and King’s Pool. The Seashell Pool. The Palm Grove Pool. The Beach Tree Pool. The Lap Pool. And the final most expansive pool: The Ocean Pool!

One of my favorites was the King’s Pond, which is a 1.8 million gallon “aquarium” for swimming. I brought my underwater camera to catch the ancient manta ray in the pond. The pool is carved out of lava rock and has more than 1,000 tropical fish in it. The sandy bottom and multiple stairs for entering the pool, make it accessible to all. The Kumu Kai Marine Education Center is here, where you can learn more about the marine life, as well as join daily ray and fish feedings. Kiddos can hold sea horses in a small on land tank. I did photograph the ray, who apparently survived under piles of debris in the last big hurricane. King’s Pond is also surrounded by lounges and chairs for a quiet pool aquarium setting.

Villa Views – Contemplation

Activities – wow- something for everyone! A world class tennis club with 8 courts, a world-class 18-hole golf course, a four-lane lap pool, and I discovered a beachfront aquatic center where you can learn how to paddle a traditional canoe, try out a stand-up paddle board, or join a snorkeling adventure. The resort provides a cart over to this stretch of beach, but I walked to it along the long resort path. There are also night swims with Manta Rays in the ocean, I was a little afraid, my horoscope predicted: Do something different today, I did inquire – the trips were full- pagan girl prayers do work!

Golf – Crafted with sensitivity to its unique environment, this 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus-signature, championship course winds over 7,100 yards, beginning in a lush oasis, flowing across bright green fairways contoured against black lava, then returning to the ocean for the final hole. Exclusive Golf Experiences

The Spa is over the top fabulous, the Zen inspired tropical treatment rooms are indoor and outdoors. Gift shops are always supported by me- so easy to add to m y tropical wardrobe and a treasure trove of distinctive attire to be found! Clothing that can be worn at home as well as the resorts…

Dining – There are several on-site restaurants, including the casual open-air Beach Tree, set on the edge of the beach, white surf laps the beach…kids were playing in tide pools while parents dined.

The beachfront Ulu Ocean Grill with an adjacent sushi lounge, and the Hualalai Grille. Enjoy local seafood with flavors inspired by the Pacific rim, served steps away from the ocean surf and beneath a canopy of stars at our award-winning. Enjoy local seafood with flavors inspired by the Pacific rim, served steps away from the ocean surf and beneath a canopy of stars at the award-winning restaurant. The culinary philosophy is to begin with ingredients from the island and beyond – ensuring the freshest, most sustainable ingredients available. Working with over 160 local farms, approximately 75% of the food served is from the Island of Hawai’i, prepared oven roasted, flame grilled and wok fired – fusing the flavors of Hawaii with Pan-Asian techniques.

Off property unique experiences Blacksmith experience. Journey to a secluded coffee farm on the hills of Hualalai where the famed, Hawaii Island-born blacksmith Neil Kamimura forges his state-of-the-art specialty knives. After an initial consultation, assist Neil in creating a unique, personalized knife: forging, pounding and adding a custom handle to complete the one-of-a-kind chef’s knife to use in your kitchen, or to treasure as a piece of art. A chef by trade, Flora Kamimura, Neil’s wife, will create a custom lunch to enjoy between the efforts of constructing your creation. After your time spent with the knife master, return to the Resort, and receive a knife-skills cooking class with a tenured Resort chef, using your new creation for the first time.

Natural Pools View from my Suite

If Predictable Perfect Luxury is your Jam, then please ring me, as I Highly Recommend Four Seasons Hualalai!