Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas

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.

Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort at Costa Palmas Courtesy of FS Los Cabos

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.

Nighttime shadows at Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort at Costa Palmas

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.

Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort at Costa Palmas

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!

Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort at Costa Palmas
Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort 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! Our Preferred Partner status provides additional amenities for our clients, call me!

Chileno Bay Resort, Cabo

Escapism and the Art of Discovery. The stream of new hotel properties, restaurants, guides and anything associated with a Journey, always arouses my desire for travel exploration.

After 13 prolonged months of not flying, once my vaccines were baked, I plotted a short escape, my first out the door fluttering of wings. Cabo San Lucas is a quick trip down the coast to sunny Baja, many of our clients love Cabo and I am still surprised at the plethora of new hotel offerings. Cabo is in a frenzy of construction along the coast and farther afield on the safe Sea of Cortez.  There are small coves with safe swimming at some five-star resorts; ocean swimming is essential to my visit. On my morning beach walks, the sapphire seas beckon, come in come in – but at many Cabo beaches, you will die from the dangerous undertow. Red flags wave warnings.

Come float in the pool!

My last visit to Chileno Bay Resort and Residences was a hard hat tour. One of the two Auberge Resorts in Cabo, our clients love their holidays here. I arrived late Easter Sunday afternoon and adored watching the kids playing baseball on the generous green lawn, a lawn studded with wavering palm trees, but near enough to the stretched stream of a pool for their parents to keep an eye on them. It was particular enthralling watching a young gymnast cartwheeling and doing back flips down the entire length of green! Gleeful youngsters doing what they’ve missed for over a year.

Chileno Bay Resort is set on a protected swimmable cove with pristine reefs, wade in with a snorkel and mask, bobble on the gentle waves as colorful sea life swims around as you float!  The suites and rooms reflect a modern contemporary design and include the legendary Auberge five-star service. The resort consists of spacious beautiful walls of glass suites, private villas and luxury casitas on the Baja Coast. There are 92 rooms and private villas. Located halfway between the authentic San Jose del Cabo and the nightlife of Cabo San Lucas, the setting is perfect for those who want to leave property and indulge in local restaurants or shopping. Honestly, I was so comfortable, I didn’t see any reason to depart.

Welcome Beverages

I am an arrival addict – set the tone of my stay, please! Chileno didn’t disappoint, the lobby entrance hosts a jaunty red antique beverage chest filled with an assortment of chilled libations, take your pick after accepting a moist cleansing cloth for a fresh up. Mosey to your suite and make your own cocktail with full instructions and fresh ingredients!

Amenities/ Golf – our golf clients love the exclusive access to the normally members only – 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed golf course.

Kiddos – A teen club provides a recording studio, games (pool, foosball, Ping-Pong), video games, a snack bar and a photo booth. Smaller kiddos have their own clubhouse with board games, a painting station and a library with English and Spanish books.

Sunday Sports on the Green

Pool – An exceptional set up at Chileno. A three-tiered infinity pool, a long lazy pool is centered amid palm trees, pool bungalows and cabanas and at the end, the adult pool features a swim up bar. Majestic palm trees and brilliant bougainvillea punctuate the 150-yard pool composed of three tiered sections, for kids, families and adults – each separated by a wooden terrace and a cascading infinity edge. At the upper level of the languid pool, toddlers frolic in mere inches of water with a bottomless crate brimming with pool toys, goggles and floaters. Located in the family pools, the Cabanas are the ideal setting for a fun family day and parents in need of rest while keeping a watchful eye on their kid’s swimming. Lower level adult pool, turn your day poolside into an A-list experience by booking a private bungalow with pool and ocean views and cocktail service. The Bungalows are elegantly designed with a daybed, ceiling fan, a chair and two chaise lounges on the outer terrace. Poolside massage treatments are also available to complete this outdoor oasis.

Who else offers Virtual reality pool snorkeling? Experience this full sensory, underwater adventure. The underwater headset enables you to enjoy virtual reality in a neutral environment, while a stationary motor emits jets of water and bubble sensations synced with the virtual content. Ocean Reef Dive Snorkel a vibrant, teeming reef full of fish, sharks, turtles, whales and more… without ever leaving the comfort of the swimming pool! Space – Experience what astronauts must feel in this near zero-gravity exploration of an International Space Station.

The Beach – The Blue Flag-certified beach is also home to one of Los Cabo’s best snorkeling reefs, where you’ll discover a hidden underwater world brimming with colorful sea life. Chileno Bay sits along one of Cabo’s most swimmable beaches, a half-mile stretch of golden sand that leads to some of the calmest, most tranquil waters in the region.

Rooms and Suites – Generous room size of 760 square feet, guest rooms are airy with floor to ceiling glass and include spacious balconies, many with ocean or pool views. The décor is subdued with sand-colored tile and brilliant dashes of green mimicking the lush landscape and a pale sky blue, hues that don’t compete with the natural surroundings, another BAMO design project. Villas consist of one- two, three or four bedrooms with a garden setting or an upper level with plunge pools. The spacious and contemporary one, two, three and four-bedroom villas retain the unmistakable comforts of home while offering a modern Baja aesthetic that effortlessly blends with the natural surroundings. I also viewed a stunning six-bedroom ocean front Villa, plopped in the middle of the resort surrounded by walls that provide the utmost in privacy.

I am a tub aficionado and every room has a to die for drowning soaking tub accentuated by a wall and floor of custom hand-painted tile, the blue frescoed ceiling is the perfect punctuation point. The bath also includes an outdoor shower. Take your pick, submerge every morning and shower under the stars and moonlight the evening!

For families we will help you reserve one of the villas or large multiple suite options, which have private pools or Jacuzzis and full kitchens, a chef can be added to your stay. I toured several perfectly located Villas, one is sublimely situated on the edge of the sea providing white capped ocean views. Do consider a large family Villa compound, the six-bedroom Brisas villa is located in the center of the resort, the proximity is perfect, high walls and sea view provide the ultimate in privacy, a pool and lawn encourage staying in and never seeing another guest except at dinner! The 6-bedroom Casa is that spacious!

Chileno Bay Spa

The Spa – My site inspections always include a management team member, but I also like to wander on my own to get a personal flavor. Meandering through the spa entrance, two lovely women, Vanessa and Karina, offered me a cucumber flavored bottle of water – how they knew my name is a mystery – but they both reminded me to hydrate in the heat. Vanessa offered: let me give you a tour. Amazingly friendly staff who enthusiastically shared the art filled spa, the secret garden and the numerous spaces for lounging before or after a treatment. Treatments inspired by the Aztec healing traditions of Baja; pause in the refreshing mist alcove before moving to the Himalayan salt meditation room, energize your senses with a handful of crushed ice just steps from the sauna. Indulgence is on the menu and the comfy loungers and echoes of trickling water will restore your energy. The epicenter of spa scrub’s, healing waters, and even a Metabolic Melt! Feeling the effects of too many margaritas or priming for poolside? This infrared body wrap detoxifies skin and body, amps the immune system and eases pain, enjoy a scalp massage and hair treatment while you are detoxifying your body and burning calories, all in the privacy of a private cabana. Truly worth leaving home for this miracle cure! Soothing percussive beats of pre-Hispanic music is the soundtrack to Huichol inspired rituals. Instruments made with turtle shells, wood, bone and sea shells intertwine rhythmically, calming and easing your mind to clarity, peace and an openness to the cleansing and purification. More than 500 years ago, Huichol Shamans performed these rituals with herbs, holy water and by sweeping a feathered wand over their patients, venture to the Chileno spa and enjoy a post pandemic release of pent up emotions!

Both spa assistants were charming and professional, the tour included the well-appointed fitness center (stocked with the latest in Technogym equipment), the hotel also offers a plethora of daily work out options: boot camp, yoga, barre and even aqua-spin classes. The spa also contains an intriguing art collection. The hotel has wisely prepared a pdf of their art collection, an amenity I always appreciate.

Dining: My golf clients mentioned that they frequently gravitated to the Taco Hut – after I saw it, I understood why! An exalted ‘taco hut’, it’s a stand-alone tequila bar on the beach, TnT, Tacos and Tequila. The upbeat beachside taco bar is all about fun: with shots of Sotol and Mexican games like Loteria. The floating bartenders ring a bell when they head out to the pool with cocktails. Authentically prepared tacos are filled with juicy al pastor and crisp deep-fried shrimp.  Savory Menu items: Short Rib Flautas With Salsa Verde + Queso Fresco. Pozole Verde with Chicharrón + Avocado + Radish, Orégano. Chicken Tamal with Mole Oaxaqueño.  Mood is beachy casual, lunch and dinner served on the sand!

At TnT, don’t miss the famed rattlesnake, displayed prominently on the counter of the open-air beachside taco bar. Coyame Sotol, has a intact rattlesnake curled up inside along with several scorpions. They’re said to give special healing powers At TnT, they view “Caroline the Rattlesnake” as a cure-all, and bestower of good energy.

TnT Bar Tequila and Tacos on the beach!

And then there is the highly regarded Comal! Here’s where to find Cabo’s most innovative takes on regional flavors and traditions like braised short rib with cacao broth-set against a contemporary indoor-outdoor space spread across three levels, and the dramatic Sea of Cortez backdrop.

Like the traditional Latin American cooking pan that inspires its name, COMAL brings lively and authentic regional flavors to life, offering fun and creative new twists on famous Mexican dishes, such as ceviche, chicharrón, and chilpachole broth. A contemporary mix of open indoor-outdoor seating on three levels, relaxed atmosphere and iconic oceanfront bar all set the stage for a unique Los Cabos dining and culinary experience. Comal hosts an extraordinary culinary and mixology team, it’s well-known for innovative cocktails and for crafting impressive tipple menus. Arrive early for a cocktail in one of the floating basket chairs and then move to the edge of the sea and be wowed by nature and the cuisine. I enjoyed a delightful evening under the stars with a musical backdrop of a dynamic duo and the pounding surf at the edge of my table.

“Cooking was always a big deal in my house growing up. My favorite memories are ones gathered around food and telling stories,” says chef Yvan Mucharraz, who started his lifelong passion with cooking in his mother’s Mexican kitchen at the age of 15 before going on to work for three years under lauded chef Thomas Keller at the French Laundry in Yountville, California. Comal serves breakfast & dinner.

Cocktail service is an art form at Chileno. Award-winning mixologist Osvaldo Vasquez oversees the resort’s beverage program, crafting signature cocktails like the Chilenito, a smoky mezcal drink prepared with poblano pepper liqueur, pineapple and ginger. Celebrated for his extensive knowledge of regional spirits and avant-garde approach to cocktails, Vazquez prides himself on using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. His own line of Mexican aged bitters, Bitter and Barrel, is carried in high-end bars around the world, from Paris to Tokyo.

Comal on the edge of the sea.

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences is an ultra-luxury property with a chic, casual ambiance. Spacious light filled rooms and suites clustered around the stunning tiered pools which drop off to the sandy beach, be comfy on your terrace or in a pool cabana. I loved the authentic bougainvillea dotted desert landscaping and the very cool art gallery boutique featuring local artists, it all adds up to an exceptional sense of place.  Snorkel, paddle, kayak, or pedal a state-of-the-art water bike along the blissfully serene Sea of Cortez. Many off property activities can also be organized.

Comal fine dining

The atmosphere is upbeat, but tranquil, and if the surroundings don’t deliver a sense of calm, the sensational spa will provide the proper chill factor!

Highly Recommend!