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Affectionately known as "Cabo," the two resort towns of Los Cabos (Spanish for "the capes") are set at the southern tip of the 775-mile-long Baja Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Separated by 30 miles of dramatic coastline, the two towns in this sunny, desert climate have drastically different personalities.
Cabo San Lucas is the most famous, known for its gorgeous resorts like Las Ventanas al Paraiso and One&Only Spa at Palmilla, great golfing, and sport fishing. The traditional colonial town of San Jose del Cabo, with its pink church and lovely zocalo (town square), is more laid back, with organic food markets and art galleries.
Spa lovers will find what they're looking for in the four- and five-star hotels and spas of Cabo San Lucas. These luxury resorts are quite expensive, especially for Mexico, with most of the luxury room rates starting around $600 to 800 a night.
There are also some more affordable options in the all-inclusive resort Grand Velas Los Cabos and Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos, which both have excellent resort spas.
This is also a region renowned for its whale watching. If that's what you're after, December through April is the best time to go.
The Spa at Esperanza, An Auberge Resort
Exuding barefoot elegance and sensual relaxation, this contemporary seaside sanctuary encompasses a 57-room resort, 60 privately owned villas, 36 private residences, a full-service spa, and several signature dining outlets. It is located on the bluffs overlooking two private coves at Punta Ballena near Cabo San Lucas.
The Spa at Esperanza is a lush tropical paradise complete with the signature water passage experience, which includes a warm-spring soaking pool, steam caves, and a cool waterfall rinse to stimulate your lymphatic system and loosen stiff muscles. The spa features 14 treatment rooms and cabanas, a couples’ relaxation area, plunge pools, outdoor showers, lush private gardens, and a private sunbathing area.
The outdoor relaxation lounge is set under a large palapa, and you can pick up local art, housewares, textiles, and accessories sourced from artisans from various regions throughout Mexico at the spa boutique.
There's a definite emphasis on wellness with offerings like the “Find Your Balance” four-night package, complimentary fitness classes, an "Auberge Trainer In-Residence" program, kids yoga, and complementary vegetarian cooking classes. You can also get healthy aguas frescas Mexican drinks and seasonal vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes at Cocina del Mar.
Spa treatments range from Baja Lime Brightening, Lightening facials, and beachside massages to Sol Relief, an avocado-based treatment geared towards soothing sunburned skin. After treatments, guests can enjoy aguas frescas, made-to-order juices in flavors such as watermelon ginger and cucumber chili pepper.
Luna y Mar Spa at The Resort at Pedregal
The Resort at Pedregal’s 96 rooms and suites all offer private balconies with plunge pools and dramatic views of the crashing waves over the rocky beach. The beachfront suites feature private swimming pools and hammocks. The perks include free WiFi, a complimentary minibar, Nespresso machine, and edible amenities like guacamole, chips, and Coronas delivered daily.
Designed by superstar spa designer Sylvia Sepielli, Luna y Mar spa is a lovely 12,000-square-foot oceanside retreat at The Resort at Pedregal, within walking distance to Cabo San Lucas' vibrant downtown. Luna y Mar's inspiration comes from three central themes—the moon, the ocean, and Mexican folk healing—which inspire its signature spa treatments.
The different energies, phases, and qualities of the moon impact the body in very specific ways. Luna y Mar’s six signature "moon" treatments represent these varying energies of the lunar phases and its connection to the earth.
For example, the Nourishing Moon features honey, brown sugar, and jasmine scrub followed by a jasmine-infused body wrap and scalp massage. A rose and jasmine oil massage ends the treatment. The Ocean treatments use 100 percent certified organic seaweed and pure algae extract to restore beauty, health, and spirit.
Mexican folk healing is known as “curanderismo.” Steeped in tradition, it still maintains a prominent place in the life of the Mexican people. Luna y Mar honors this tradition by using rituals, herbs, and healing to address the material, spiritual, and mental realms. Every visit starts with a cleansing foot scrub with local herbs and lime. These services range between 120 to 180 minutes and include a combination of scrubs, wraps, and massages.
One&Only Spa Palmilla
This is the original luxury resort, a small luxury hotel built in 1955 and only accessible by yacht or plane, a draw for the Hollywood crowd who still goes there. Today it has 174 rooms, most in single- or three-story houses on 55-acres along the Sea of Cortez. The sea is one of the few swimmable beaches in Cabo. There are three serious golf courses, four restaurants, a 20,000 square-foot spa, and a 90-foot Catari yacht for the day or overnight use.
Nestled in lush tropical gardens, The One&Only Spa at Palmilla has 13 private treatment villas with outdoor beds and soaking tubs, with air-conditioned massage pavilions and gardens. Six are considered double villas, and these luxurious spaces are meant to be shared with a partner and include outdoor rain showers, whirlpool baths, and palapa-covered Mexican day beds. The treatments use ESPA, an aromatherapy line that is known for its high level of staff training.
The Secret Garden Remedy signature treatment includes a body scrub, massage, and facial, using organic herbs from the resort’s garden. The Palmilla Chocolate Synergy Spa Treatment features four different massage techniques using a Mexican herbal compress and chocolate oil. Both begin with a floral foot wash and are finished with a tea ceremony that includes fresh fruit.
Women’s and men’s lounge areas include steam showers with eucalyptus, saunas, outdoor hot and cold plunge pools, and complimentary teas and coconut cookies. The spa also offers daily exercise and yoga classes and has a hair and nail salon.
The two ocean-side palapas (near the resort’s Vista Point) allow the sound of lulling waves and sweet ocean breezes to become part of the spa experience.
The Spa at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort
Since opening in July 1997, Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort has brought an unprecedented level of luxury and hospitality to Los Cabos. The romantic Mexican getaway of choice for celebrity couples like Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, the resort offers holistic spa therapies inspired by the ancient healers of Baja and the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water
Daily at dusk guests are immersed in the Holistic Twilight Ceremony, a purifying and cleansing ritual. With many candles burning and crystal bowls playing, an acting shaman uses sage smoke, prayers, and a large eagle feather to drive negative energy out of their bodies and imbue guests with positive energy and balance. Followed by a short quiet time of thoughtful meditation, the ceremony prepares guests for the treatments they are to receive.
Days are spent enjoying the natural riches of Los Cabos, including the sea, mountains, and desert; playing the many championship golf courses; having drinks under the thatched palapas and fresh fish at the Sea Grill; gazing at the nighttime stars through the telescope in their suite or enjoying the evening on their suite's rooftop patio.
Somma Wine Spa at Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos Golf & Spa
One of the more affordable hotels in Cabo, this 249-room all-inclusive resort is perched on 33 acres between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. It overlooks Shipwreck Beach and the Sea of Cortés. SOMMA Wine Spa focuses on the calming, cosmetic and antioxidant properties of grapes and wine, using grapes from the Valle de Guadalupe wine region in nearby Ensenada.
The spa features 15 treatment rooms (indoor and open-air), a fitness center, wet and dry saunas, a juice and wine bar, a geothermal hot spring, and treatments that range from a champagne mud wrap to a wine massage. It also offers massages right on the beach.
After descending an enormous staircase into the cool and cavernous spa area, you select vino-based massages like the sauvignon blanc Swedish or chardonnay deep tissue, as well as a variety of wine-related body wraps, scrubs, facials, and other exfoliation treatments. You can also drink wine; a glass or two is encouraged.
SE by Grand Velas Los Cabos
Grand Velas Los Cabos is a contemporary all-inclusive resort with two-level wellness suites that include a Lifecycle exercise bike, crudité minibar, aromatherapy kit, and personal spa concierge. Of course, you can get in-room massages.
The spa, called SE, is a 35,000 square foot, two-level, ultra-sleek wellness center with 16 uniquely designed treatment suites (some with their own exotic foliage).
Personalized hydrotherapy rituals provide an introductory journey through the many water-based treatments, from Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms to sensory showers that mimic falling rain and bracing polar pools that strengthen the immune system. The jets, geysers, and bubble beds in the multi-sensorial pools, meanwhile, are designed purely to heighten one’s sense of relaxation.
Mexican- and pre-Columbian-themed treatments such as Tequila Cream and Ancestral Stone massages are featured and the healing properties of Blue Agave, the base of Tequila, appear in a variety of massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures.
The Xocolatl is another evocative regional therapy, with a natural coffee exfoliation followed by an invigorating chocolate body mask. The 50- to 80-minute workshops are custom-tailored to the needs of guests and include topics like aromatherapy, tea ceremonies, nutrition, and Ayurvedic medicine. Another lovely touch: spa staff (referred to as “body artisans”) often appear with revivifying teas, elixirs, and palate-pleasing treats.