ENTREE couldn’t help but jump at the thought of a quick indulgent getaway to Mexico’s sunny seashore. And there was no question that the Grand Velas Los Cabos was just the place to charge ourselves up before the hustle and bustle of summer things to come.
Set on a stunning stretch of ocean, the Grand Velas is everything you would expect from a top flight beachfront resort: pristine sands, pools that stretch infinitely into the horizon, expert staff catering to every whim or fancy and luxurious rooms where we could de-stress to our heart’s content. But there’s also something different here. An experience that took a few days to master… but now that we have, it’s one we won’t soon forget.
After an easy flight into Los Cabos International Airport, we were quickly swept up, dare we say saved, from the humid chaos of chattering tour guides by a knowledgeable Velas chauffeur. Iced water and cool towels scented slightly of tropical fruit eased us into the carefree. And from the moment we arrived on the property, the Grand Velas Resort teased with warm breezes and signature cocktails. An expansive lobby greeted us as whispering bougainvillea petals danced in the wind… a staple of the Grand Velas landscape that we would come to cherish almost as old friends.
We were ushered to our room, which was a bit of a walk. But, oh, was it worth it! The stunning suites are everything the lobby promised. Cool colors and billowing draperies. Opulently-appointed bathrooms and expansive views of the Cabo shoreline, of crashing waves and an ever-expanding tourism corridor. It’s clear that the buzz has begun, as hotel after hotel frame dot the coast. And it’s no wonder. Situated directly between the charmingly authentic town of San Jose Del Cabo and the younger and more adventurous Cabo San Lucas, there’s something here for everyone.
The layout of the resort is unconventional. Different elevators are required for accessing different floors. We found ourselves wandering a bit on our way to the pool for the first time. But when we finally arrived, archways opened upon a stylish oasis. Once we got the lay of the land, the property quickly began to feel less like a resort and more like a sprawling home, vast and yet oddly cozy. This is due, at least in part, to the simple and elegant design of the buildings, which we’re told were astonishingly built in only nine months. Kudos to the Vela brothers for creating such a property without cutting corners…a testament to the construction certainly, but more so the brand’s attention to detail and luxury. And while the property is young, it doesn’t succumb to so many of the obvious pitfalls of new construction. It feels classic…like a towering staple of the coastal-desert landscape.
The property boasts seven restaurants, many named after pioneering artists of the cuisine’s culture. Edith, for French with its foie gras lollipops. Frida, for Spanish with exquisite rabbit mole. But the star, without question in our eyes, was the Cocina de Autor. Lavishly designed and lit, and helmed by two Michelin star Head Chef Sidney Schutte, the experience from start to finish exceeded not only our expectations of a world class all-inclusive resort but really our expectations of global fine dining. And this is exactly where the Grand Velas makes its mark. This property has tapped into a niche market for the accomplished traveler—the ease and effortlessness of everything in one place with the trappings and exclusivity of the highest caliber luxury travel. We’ve never experienced anything quite like it. To say, “all-you-can-eat” in the same sentence as, “two Michelin stars” is something we never even fathomed we could be missing. And now that we’ve experienced it, a new box has been checked on ENTREE’s bucket list. To be clear, the meal at Cocina de Autor was pre-fixe and not a buffet—Azul Restaurant provides for more casual dining of the sort—but still we watched as patron after patron requested additional plates, another helping here, two more short rib and veal tongue there.
Our experience at the spa involved new age rituals amidst intricate, handmade bougainvillea art and soft edges.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Cabo Adventure Tours, a fun and kitschy company based in the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Offering any number of adventure activities, we opted for a day out on a small sailboat. With the sun on our backs and the margaritas flowing, we spent an afternoon seeing the sites and swimming with fish. The staff was friendly, and the waters pristine. A lovely way to pass the time.
We must describe a moment, sitting in the hot tub, as the sun ceremoniously set, that captured the magic of the Grand Velas best. Our margarita was, proverbially speaking, half full. In a seamless sweep, the glass was taken from our hands and replaced with a fresh libation. The sun finished, and we moved on to dinner. But the gesture wasn’t lost. It was precisely this attention to detail, this exceptional service that, more than anything else, set the Grand Velas apart. There’s no sacrifice here. All-inclusive in the description almost does a disservice.
The Grand Velas isn’t without its growing pains. After all, it is relatively new. While an under-booked property can at times feel private and upscale, when situated fifteen minutes from town, having so few other guests can be lonely. On the other hand, this is a relatively new concept, just a little over a year old. And like any good innovation, it will require a bit of getting used to. In ENTREE’s opinion, it won’t be long before this gem of the Cabo coastline sparkles at its most brilliant. Don’t wait. Go now. Melt in. The Grand Velas is a dream. http://www.grandvelas.com