Los Cabos is a singular vacation destination where the desert literally meets the sea. In my humble opinion, the crown jewel of the region is the Grand Velas Los Cabos, an opulent all-inclusive resort strategically situated between La Baja’s iconic towns of San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.
Awarded #1 luxury hotel in Mexico on TripAdvisor in 2023, the Grand Velas Los Cabos was the first of the brand’s family of resorts that we stayed in several years ago (the other equally lavish properties include Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Caribbean coast and Yucatan jungle and Riviera Nayarit in Puerto Vallarta).
For that initial visit, we had our then pre-teen kids in tow and each generation absolutely loved everything about our respective experiences. So much so that my husband and I leapt at the opportunity to revisit last month – this time as an adults-only vacation accompanied by friends who had long heard us rave about our previous escapes – long weekends away defined by exceptional service and hospitality, exquisite cuisine, incomparable accommodations, luxurious spa treatments and panoramic azure ocean views.
Once here, you feel utterly removed from your everyday life – a sojourn that can take many different forms. A four-day family vacation with a focus on adventure, rejuvenation and simple togetherness. A relaxing couples retreat (think luxuriating spa services and whiling away a leisurely afternoon at one of three stunningly gorgeous pools overlooking the crashing waves and white sand beach below). Golf aficionados, outdoor enthusiasts, girlfriends and foodies will all find something exceptional at this all-inclusive oceanfront resort.
Incomparable Accommodation and Amenity
Just as we remembered, our accommodations were superb – simply magnificent in every way from the expansive space (over 1,180 sq. feet with private terraces and some with personal plunge pools) and refined decor to the premium amenities.
Each of the property’s 307 luxuriously appointed suites offer beachfront vistas where the shimmering shores of the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean and overlooks the pools (including one for adults only with a swim-up palapa bar) and perfectly manicured landscaping of the expansive grounds.
For spa enthusiasts, the Grand Velas offers one of the most spectacular sanctuaries for the spirit (services here are not part of the all-inclusive, but are a wonderful opportunity for true pampering). As you might expect, SE Spa by Grand Velas features a comprehensive menu of holistic, wellness-inspired treatments, cleansing facials and therapeutic massages, based on age-old rituals and treatments; but it also offers a world-class experience, with 20 spa suites, a lavish water ritual, beauty salon and spa boutique.
Included with any treatment of 50 minutes or more, the seven-step water journey features a eucalyptus-scented steam room with chromotherapy, polar pool, aromatherapy sensory shower, sauna, jacuzzi and multi-sensory pool. A spa valet provides personalized direction to make sure guests make the most out of the truly relaxing hydrotherapy experience (how to alternate the various hot and cold rooms and pools, and how long to linger in them).
The dining experiences at the Grand Velas stand on their own and are likely the reason that many guests (repeatedly) travel long distances to visit. Seven on-property dining venues offer something for every taste, mood and interest. For more sophisticated palates (by that I mean parents vs. younger children), the Grand Velas features an unsurpassed pair of dining destinations: the French-influenced Piaf and the resort’s signature restaurant – Cocina De Autor, an elegant-casual dining experience for guests 18+ led by celebrated Two Michelin Star Chef Sidney Schutte of the Netherlands and characterized by “creative cuisine” – each meal an extraordinary culinary journey – presented with exceptional service.
My husband and I fancy ourselves fledgling foodies – so an all-inclusive dining experience tantamount to a veritable gastronomic journey around the globe (and paired with the finest of varietals)? You don’t have to ask us twice.
Aside from Piaf and Cocina de Autor, there are three casually elegant eateries: Velas 10 (steaks and seafood), Luca (Italian-Mediterranean) and Frida (gourmet Mexican) and the family-friendly Azul for casual buffet and a la carte menu.
One of my personal highlights each day was time spent lounging by the pool and indulging in the ceviche offerings at pool-casual Cabrilla. I’m not generally a “hang out by the pool for hours” vacationer, but I literally spent the better part of each afternoon under a cabana working my way through the “cevicheria’s” menu exploring the true flavors of Mexico with an exquisite array of ceviche (the freshest of seafood and shellfish marinated in citrus and seasonings).
Although we didn’t need it this trip, I would be remiss in not mentioning the built-in amusement of Grand Velas’ Kids Club and Teens Club. Reserved especially for the younger set, the resort serves up an impressive, all-inclusive platter of activities for the kids to choose from in their very own 1,000-square- foot retreat (for kids ages 4 to 12) replete with storytelling, board games, arts and crafts, bingo, movies and more for the younger set. Teens (ages 13+) enjoy their own state-of-the-art 2,700-square-foot facility to partake in everything from healthy cooking classes, movies and foosball to Xbox and Wii. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., the Club is complimentary with the resort’s standard package, including dinner and group activities that stretch well into the evening hours.
With all that the Grand Velas has to offer in activities, amenities, services and dining, the delight of being there is ultimately of the atmosphere, and that comes down to two things: beauty and people.
While hospitality professionals are typically welcoming, the staff at the Grand Velas are matchless in their dedication to guest satisfaction (from the seamless check-in process upon arrival to 24-hour in-suite room service). The personal concierge service here sets a high bar in hospitality excellence.
As to the unrivaled beauty of its aesthetic, the Grand Velas is simply exquisitely designed. Its majestic, tiered architecture embraces the golden sand and turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico so at every turn you are inspired to tranquility and delight.
Between the sumptuous Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort and the soon-to-be-opened Grand Velas Boutique Hotel (see sidebar), there’s really nothing holding you back from stepping into a day-to-day of exceptional service and astounding luxury. You won’t even have to write a book report on your trip afterwards, I promise.
Grand Velas Boutique Hotel. An Ode to Personal Luxury and Anticipatory Service
In college I wrote a paper on an assigned text for the year, written by Kazuo Ishiguro, British Nobel Prize winner. The Remains of the Day details its protagonist’s long history of service as a butler at Darlington Hall. No surprise that what stood out as a college student was the lack of specialized servitude accessible to me at the time. When I tell you that my ears perked up (‘went through the roof’ as my husband tells it) at the first glance at Grand Velas Boutique Hotel’s ‘coming soon’ announcement, I mean it.
An adults-only luxury all-inclusive hotel with exclusive facilities and amenities sounds like another amazing installment of the Grand Velas brand – but add a tailored service distinctive to each guest’s tastes, needs, and preferences? I realize that the class of literature which we know as a pastoral was named such because of the actual pastures and sleepy love ballads, but I guarantee Grand Velas’ boutique resort will be equally as free from the complexity and corruption of city life.
Look no further than the sparkling infinity pool overlooking the Sea of Cortez, 900 square feet of beautifully appointed accommodations in each of its 79 spacious rooms with private terraces and a separate living room with sofa, walk-in shower and jacuzzi, a daily replenished minibar with premium products and a 24-hour personal concierge.
The new resort’s infinity pool overlooks the ocean and showcases a beautiful cactus garden in keeping with the brand’s incomparable architectural style and taste.
Breeze down to the all-day restaurant, or step lightly to a dinner at Loto Robata Grill, Grand Velas’ Asian-Mexican fusion gourmet restaurant. Enjoy a tequila or mezcal tasting, or visit a neighboring gourmet restaurant at Grand Velas Los Cabos – its sister resort literally steps away.