Affordable luxury alternatives to Cabo all-inclusives

An alternative for people who do not want to deal with the restrictions imposed by all-inclusives

Greg Gazin - Bon VoyageCABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico, Aug. 31, 2013, Troy Media/ – When I think of travelling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the first thing that comes to my mind is all-inclusives.

Sure, all-inclusives, in which all your meals, as well as many activities and possibly even your beverages are included in one-price, might be a great idea for a couple or for people who want to eat and stay at the same place for a week or two and don’t mind crowds. They may not, however, be the ideal choice for those groups and larger families which prefer choice, convenience, privacy and even luxury.

Just think about it. You’re heading to Cabo for a wedding, a family reunion or just a getaway from Canada’s sub-zero temperatures. Trying to find adjacent rooms for your group, even rooms in somewhat close proximity, in a quiet part of your hotel can prove challenging. You might even need a few suites – something larger than a small boxy hotel room for the wedding party or a place to gather. Even if you could get those, you’re still competing with all the other parties. And besides, you’ll all likely end up being on different floors, anyway.

I discovered, however, much to my surprise, that there are solutions – spacious, luxurious and surprisingly affordable. Even better, unlike all-inclusives, you don’t have to stay at the same place for a week.

The Villa Desierto patio and pool
The Villa Desierto patio and pool – Photos by Greg Gazin

During our last visit to Cabo San Lucas, we opted to split our holiday between two different locations to enjoy two different experiences. And this is how we did it.

You can’t get much closer to the heart of the action than The Hacienda Resort. Just a few years old, it’s located right on Medano Beach with a view of Land’s End and the famous Arch.

At the far end of the complex, just steps from the beach in case you want to take a dip in the ocean, are the amenities, complete with ocean view. They include a dining room with patio, a Spa, a games room as well as three pools, including an infinity edge style which makes it seem that it extends out to the horizon.

There are various sized units in the complex; the abode for our stay had a rustic motif with four bedrooms, 3.5 baths in 3,500 sq. ft. that could easily accommodate up to 10 people.

No joke, the master ensuite alone rivaled the size of some hotel rooms.

While sleeping in during your holiday sounds like a great way to get a little R&R, waking up at the crack of dawn to experience an ocean view sunrise from the comfort of your balcony is nothing short of heavenly.

The kitchen featured humungous stainless steel appliances and laundry. There’s a formal dining room and living room with big screen TVs throughout. The Hacienda gives a new meaning to 5-star luxury and we could have easily camped in if we had nowhere to go.

However, we did! We were literally a stone’s throw from the Cabo San Lucas Bay and Marina. There’s no shortage of restaurants and bars offering dining delights and entertainment. And the fish! You’d be hard pressed to find fresher tuna, scallops and shrimp – and we even had marlin. Strolling along the Marina, there’s fabulous shopping including Puerto Paraiso Mall and Entertainment plaza and Luxury Avenue boutique mall that can keep you busy for days. Dos cervezas por favour!

Our short stay passed way too quickly at the Hacienda.

View of Cabo Marina and Lands End - Photos by Greg Gazin
View of Cabo Marina and Lands End

Our next stop was something a little more private. About three miles up the Los Cabos Corridor that connects Los Cabos to San Jose is the secured gated community of Punta Ballena. It features Esperanza Resort and Spas as well as a number of elite homes and luxury Villas connected by roads and beautiful scenic walking paths.

Our selection was Villa Desierto, which features 5200 sq. ft. of living space with five bedrooms, great for a family of 10.

Downstairs there’s also a wet bar, laundry facilities and a games room.

A sliding glass door that stretches almost the width of the house opens onto a huge patio and barbeque pit with a view of the Sea of Cortez. It also has a Jacuzziand private infinity pool, so you can hang out and, when in season, watch the whales from a distance and cuddle up with your significant other and take in a breathtaking the sunset.

Our Villa had a massive kitchen, so you can dine in or cook yourself. There’s a Costco and Walmart just a few minutes away, but you can also arrange for a private chef to cook for you, which we did on our last night’s stay.

There was a private resident’s Beach club a short two minute walk from our villa, with restaurant and swimming pool right on the ocean’s front. There is even a bed on the beach to take in a quick snooze.

Of course, a night in either the Hacienda or the Villa Desierto costs more than a single hotel room. Prices range from $450 to $1,500 per night. (Time of year, number of days and advanced booking price may vary). However, if you do the math and you look at the actual cost per person, it’s really right in line with hotel prices. Plus you get the luxury, security and privacy you likely wouldn’t get in your 10’x12’ hotel room.

Our holiday, except air, was booked through Sun Cabo Vacations. They are a 10-year old U.S.-based agency with staff and offices in Canada, the U.S. and Cabo.

If you go

The Internet can certainly provide a wealth of information; however there’s nothing like having help from experts who know the people, places and the properties.

David Girard, Partner and Villa Specialist at Sun Cabo, made all of our arrangements. He also tried to get to know us a little better so he could offer the best solution for our needs.

In fact, before we left we were contacted by Leslie Morgan, our concierge during our stay, who, based on our interests, provided us by e-mail with a suggested daily itinerary for dining, tours and activities, which we’ll cover in future articles.

We found Leslie to be quite delightful: a Canadian from Toronto, she moved to Cabo nine years ago and never left. Leslie is bilingual (English and Spanish), and she arranged our airport pickup and return, private transport, private chef service, tours and activities. She also made sure we had what we needed when we got there. We just reimbursed her on arrival.

Leslie even met us at both the Hacienda and Desierto when we arrived and saw us off upon departure. She even accompanied us on a shopping trip and Art Walk. Now that’s personal service.

We’ll be back!

Both the Hacienda and Desierto were incredible experiences, each with a different flavor. We had just the right amount of privacy, we felt safe, not alone or isolated. It was something new, something we had never tried before. We experienced luxury and still came back with a few Pesos left over.

So before you decide to book that Cabo all-inclusive, give David a call (800-710-CABO) at Sun Cabo and look at these alternatives. You can discover affordable luxury and still come back with some pesos left over for your return trip.

The only real issue we had with our trip was that we weren’t able to stay longer.

Greg Gazin is a Senior Editor with Troy Media.


The views, opinions and positions expressed by all Troy Media columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Troy Media.

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