There are certain things one expects from a luxurious vacation getaway at a Los Cabos resort. Ocean views and access to a beautiful beach are expected (at least they should be!), as well as stylish accommodations, pampering spas, abundant swimming pools and poolside services, plus upscale on-site wining and dining destinations.
Almost every resort of note in Los Cabos meets what might be termed the “basic luxury resort criteria”, including the influx of high-profile properties that have opened in the area during the past five years; a list which includes ultra-luxury resorts and residences from benchmark hospitality brands like Waldorf Astoria, Ritz-Carlton, and Four Seasons.
The competition is fiercer than ever, in other words, and the clear winners are consumers, who are now able to pick and choose from among a wealth of attractive luxury resort options in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, based on the criteria most important to them…be it location, rates, service, or over-the-top extras.
But which resort brand is objectively providing the best vacation experience right now? That’s an almost impossible question to answer, but as someone lucky enough to have visited virtually every property of note in the Los Cabos municipality, I will say this: as we turn the calendar to 2021, no one is doing the luxury Los Cabos resort experience quite like Pueblo Bonito.
What sets this particular brand apart? Let’s start by looking at what they’re doing differently.
Multiple Locations Offer a Multiplicity of Vacation Experiences
One of the primary advantages enjoyed by Pueblo Bonito is its portfolio of local resorts (four of them, to be exact), which not only allows them to offer a wide range of vacation options to guests – from all-inclusive to à la carte, family-friendly to adults only – but just as importantly, allows them to showcase spectacular beachfront locations on both the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean side of Cabo San Lucas.
It’s an undeniable advantage over resort brands with only one Los Cabos based location, and guests at any PB resort can enjoy the amenities and geographical attractions of the others, since dedicated shuttles run between the properties every hour on the hour.
This geographically and thematically diversified local portfolio developed organically. The Pueblo Bonito Resorts brand began in Mazatlán in 1987, with the opening of its first resort in one of the premier beachfront destinations in mainland México (there are now three properties in Mazatlán). Pueblo Bonito followed up that success with its first Los Cabos based property in 1991, Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos, which has since more commonly become known as “Blanco” to differentiate it from Pueblo Bonito Rosé, the pink-hued property which nearly a decade later became its neighbor on Playa El Médano, the largest and most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas.
Today, the Pueblo Bonito brand is still concentrated in the Mexican resort destinations of Mazatlán and Los Cabos; and unlike larger international hospitality brands, whose offerings all have a discernible style, PB has tailored its resorts to individual locations in the two destinations it knows best. In recent years, this has translated to increasing luxurious golf and spa resorts like Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach and Pueblo Bonito Pacifica – both set beachfront on the gorgeous Pacific coastline of Cabo San Lucas – as well as upscale residential developments nearby like Quivira, Copala, Novaispania, and Montecristo Estates (which also has villas available for high-end vacation getaways).
In terms of luxury, the adults-only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica and its boutique resort-within-a-resort concept The Towers at Pacifica, are the top of the line for the PB brand. But despite the chic and pampering amenities there (more on those below), guests also have access to beach club services and swimming on Médano Beach, as well as the restaurants and other amenities offered at the Blanco, Rosé, and Sunset Beach resorts.
First-Class Amenities Are Nice, World-Class Amenities Are Unforgettable
There’s no shortage of great golf courses in Los Cabos. Since legendary champion Jack Nicklaus designed benchmark courses at Palmilla and Cabo del Sol in the early 1990s, the region has seen an unprecedented run of first-class resort courses from major champions/designers like Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, Tom Weiskopf and Davis Love III.
But there’s first-class, then there’s world-class. Nicklaus’ iconic layouts at Cabo del Sol (formerly the Ocean Course, now the Cove Club) and Quivira are undeniably the latter. The Quivira Golf Club premiered in late 2014, and was immediately showered with acclaim, with GOLF Magazine proclaiming it “Best New International Course” for 2015. It has subsequently been named one of the “World’s 100 Best” by Golf Digest.
What’s so special about the 7,085-yard Quivira Golf Club course? Start with the seven holes hugging the coastline above crashing Pacific Ocean waves, some with sheer cliff drops of up to 300 feet; then consider historic sites like El Faro Viejo, the picturesque old lighthouse that is the oldest extant structure in Cabo San Lucas, and offers great views from the 6th and 7th holes; and then wonder at the fact that the course finishes at an unbeatable 19th hole: the best steakhouse in town.
We could also mention Nicklaus’ mastery in routing through rolling hills and windswept dunes, or the superb on-course comfort food stations, or even the frequent sightings of colorful roadrunners and (seasonally, at least) transiting whales…but you get the picture. This is a wow-factor resort golf experience of the highest order.
Quivira Golf Club is perhaps the signature amenity for Pueblo Bonito Resorts (tee times are available for guests at all five Los Cabos properties), but it’s not the only world-class offering. There’s also The Market at Quivira, a 15,000 square foot boutique food hall concept patterned after iconic examples like those at Harrods in London and The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Since debuting at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach in 2017, The Market at Quivira has proved to be one of the brand’s most popular amenities (like Quivira Golf Club, it’s open to guests at all five PB properties in Los Cabos). Small wonder, really, when you consider that not only does the market offer a staggering variety of mouthwatering food tasting opportunities – from Asian, Italian, American, Mexican and other international cuisines to deli items, healthy salads and juices, and freshly made chocolates – they also offer an on-site sports bar where guests can watch the latest U.S. games and events, or sip cocktails on an ocean view terrace. There’s even a 1950s style diner with a full line of specialty burgers and shakes.
The Market at Quivira wasn’t conceived of as a meal destination, however. Pueblo Bonito has close to two dozen restaurants at its various local properties, including some of the best in the area (notably, Peninsula at Pacifica, Frida at Sunset Beach, and Fellini’s at Rosé). Rather, it’s the ultimate luxury amenity, a place to wander and sample, or stop for a quick bite, or a specialty cocktail.
One thing is certain: there’s nothing else like it anywhere in Los Cabos, which when you think about it, is really the point. Sure, Pueblo Bonito is committed to doing things better than their competitors, whether its restaurants, pools, or pampering spas. But the brand also realizes the value of one-of-a-kind amenities, the kind of experiences that aren’t merely memorable, but unforgettable.
One-of-a-Kind is the Only Kind That Really Matters
Speaking of one-of-a-kind, there’s also The Towers at Pacifica, which to-date remains the only resort-within-a-resort concept anywhere in Los Cabos. The two accommodations focused towers are set at the already luxurious Pueblo Bonito Pacifica property, but up the ante with 47 rooms and suites featuring private terraces (six with private plunge pools), as well as 24-hour butler service (all butlers are certified by the British Butler Institute…naturally). There’s also a third tower – accessible by sky bridge – hosting a VIP lounge reserved only for guests at The Towers as Pacifica, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a stylishly designed restaurant, Península, which showcases regional Baja cuisine and breathtaking ocean views.
Pueblo Bonito’s Pacifica resort has also built a roster of one-of-a-kind on-site experiences, which include beach-based clambakes and hook and cook programs, the latter allowing guests to fish for their own meals from shore (spoiler alert: the chef has some fresh local seafood on hand if you don’t catch anything). There’s also the seasonal sea turtle release program (Baja California Sur is a breeding ground for five of the world’s seven endangered sea turtle species), which invites guests to help hatchlings safely navigate their first perilous journey from beach to ocean, when they’re most at risk from predators; and beach bed experiences with eight hours of food and drink service direct to a private canopied oasis, complete with pillows to optimize the relaxation factor.
Sure, other resorts offer mixology and cooking classes, as PB Pacifica does. But where else can guests enjoy a romantic sunset “teepee” dinner for two on the beach, inside a comfortable and beautifully woven indigenous style hut built of bamboo, palm fronds, and flowers?
The answer, of course, is only at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica.
NOTE: For information about Pueblo Bonito’s commitment to guest safety, as well as safety and sanitization protocols enacted in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, click here.
All photos and videos courtesy of Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts.
Saludos from Co-Founders…
Chris Sands – Writer and Michael Mattos