It’s not everyday that one gets to stay at an all-inclusive beach resort in Mexico. Although I’m a bohemian by nature, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation at a chic hotel along the beach. After all, “bohemian” is not restricted to a way of life; it’s also a school of thought.
Having never stayed anywhere close to 5-star resort on an international trip, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Barceló Los Cabos Palace Deluxe. What I wasn’t expecting was the immediate realization that I was in fact, mere feet from the Sea of Cortez. If you feel like you are in a dream upon entering the art-deco lobby, don’t fret. The whiff of the salty ocean will quickly wake you up. That alone is worth a trip to Los Cabos.
Heading up to the Club Premium lounge, I checked in and continued to my suite. The first thing I noticed (besides the modern design, fluffy pillows and surprise bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries awaiting me in my room was the outdoor balcony. There are three separate buildings at Barceló, each offering a different angle of the pools and ocean. I was in the center building on the sixth floor and the view of the resort and Sea of Cortez was absolutely magnificent.
Guests who pay a little extra each day are upgraded to “Premium” status which allows them free room service, a VIP minibar, personalized concierge service and free wireless (essential for any travel writer!) Since I was a premium guest during my stay at Barceló, I was adorned with a purple wristband, which essentially meant that for five days I was treated like royalty. I’m exaggerating of course, but being upgraded definitely has it’s perks. Because Barceló is an all-inclusive resort, all meals and drinks are included in the price. For anyone who has taken a cruise before and nearly had a heart attack when they received their drink bill on the last day, this is an invaluable benefit.
Tip: Barceló charges each guest individually due to the all-inclusive services. Keep this in mind when you are booking your stay here. Even if you cram three friends into a single room, you will be charged individually.
The great thing about this resort, besides the obvious top-of-the line amenities, is the proximity to historic San Jose del Cabo and lively Cabo San Lucas. Unlike a Carnival Cruise, where your stops are limited to a few hours, you have both time and flexibility to explore these neighboring towns at your leisure. For the art lover, San Jose del Cabo is definitely worth a visit, especially if you like meeting local artists and bargain shopping. For the water-adventurer, Cabo is the perfect place to swim with dolphins, snorkel and kayak or just hop on a boat for a leisurely beach tour.
Tip: For the art-lovers, make sure to go into San Jose del Cabo on Thursday evenings for a weekly art festival in the streets. If you want to hear music, there are sometimes local bands performing in the main square on Saturday nights. For outdoor water sports, I recommend Cabo Adventures. They offer a variety of specialty tours and friendly and knowledgeable guides. For a unique horseback riding experience along the beach, Carisuva is a local and very reputable tour operator.
Even if you never make it out of Barceló, there are plenty of activities here to keep any bohemian-at-heart happy. On my second day here, I checked out their various spa services. Although select treatments are an additional charge, you have access to their steam room, jacuzzi, pool and lounge area. I received a full-body massage that lasted 50 minutes. There are also three separate pools (main, swim-up, and adult) and a water aerobics class offered daily. Since drinks were unlimited, I tried several: margarita, daiquiri, mojito, and even a dirty monkey (resembles a chocolate milk shake).
Tip: For those of you who want a luxurious experience but can’t fit it into your budget, a good option would be to head to Los Cabos during off-season. In many ways, I think this is a more preferable option. The rooms are less expensive and you have a better chance of snagging your first choice reclining chair by the pool rather than fighting over who flung their towel on the chair first.
For more information on Barceló resorts, find them on Facebook.