Words by Meredyth Gravely-Owen
Photos by Glen Owen and Meredyth Gravely-Owen
Three weeks ago, we returned home from an amazing stay at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, in Los Cabos, Mexico. I had traveled there with my husband and our youngest son for some much needed sun, relaxation, great food and pampering. We’ve spent a lot of time in the Yucatán Peninsula over the years but had never visited the Baja Peninsula, which features my two favorite landscapes--the desert and the sea. These two opposing forces collide in Baja, creating a portrait of jaw-dropping natural beauty.
We considered a few other properties in the area, but ultimately, Las Ventanas won us over with its impeccable reputation and enviable location (20 minutes removed from the "action" in Cabo San Lucas). After a long and somewhat stressful winter, I was seeking uninterrupted bliss. We have always been very impressed with Rosewood's combination of understated elegance, sophistication, and exceptional service.
From the moment we arrived, to the moment we departed, our stay at Las Ventanas exceeded our already high expectations.
We used the hotel transfer service and were warmly greeted by hotel staff and escorted to an awaiting SUV stocked with chilled lemon scented towels, water, and adult beverages. From the backseat, I took in views of the rugged desert landscape as we made our way to Las Ventanas.
After a twenty minute drive, we arrived and were welcomed by our butler and several staff members. We've stayed at several Rosewood properties over the years (and loved them all), but this was on another level: As soon as we stepped in the lobby, we were serenaded by a mariachi band, handed margaritas and spoiled with a ten minute "welcome massage” in the tranquil garden setting of the spa solarium. Healing hands left us feeling renewed and relaxed (and also ready to book our next appointment). This was truly a welcome like no other. Check-in is basically non existent, occurring in the privacy of your hotel room. While our upgraded suite was being prepared, we dined on fresh ceviche and savored cucumber margaritas as whales frolicked in the Sea of Cortez--a perfect start to our family vacation. It was from that vantage point that I truly understood the meaning of Las Ventanas al Paraíso, - "Windows to paradise."
The hotel and grounds are beautiful and meticulously maintained. Sand colored buildings are nestled into the hillside where they blend seamlessly into the natural terrain, allowing the eye to focus on the stunning natural beauty of the property. The landscaping includes indigenous plants like cactus and succulents while bold blooms provide subtle bursts of color. Follow the meandering pathways and serpentine waterways to the centerpiece of the hotel--a spectacular curved infinity pool overlooking the sparkling blue sea and inland mountains beyond. It truly is an oasis in the desert.
Rooms are oversized and tastefully appointed with furnishings and accents designed by local artisans. Our room, an oceanfront rooftop terrace suite, featured a large indoor/outdoor living space with Jacuzzi and a second floor rooftop terrace for sunning and lounging. Special touches in the rooms include an aromatherapy selection for turndown, a personalized sewing kit customized to match your wardrobe, a telescope for stargazing and an adobe fireplace for chilly Baja nights. Nothing has been overlooked—even the sand in the corner garden of our rooftop suite was raked to resemble the pattern of the waves.
Las Ventanas is more than a beautiful hotel: Style and Substance abound here. The employees are what make the property so special; they are the heart and soul of Las Ventanas. Everyone—and I mean everyone—greeted us with kindness and a smile. The staff is beyond attentive and well versed in the art of pampering. I seldom had to press the service button left near our loungers because there was always someone nearby to offer assistance the very second something popped in my blissed-out brain. And don’t even think about moving your lounger or adjusting your umbrella. My husband attempted to do so and within seconds, staff members were dashing across the sand to offer help.
Seriously, the service is on another level, We began to wonder if staff members were communicating with us through ESP. Even in the wonderfully appointed gym, I was offered cold towels and chilled water during my workout. One afternoon, my husband jokingly told our butler that we wanted to go to Los Angeles for dinner - without a beat, he responded with: “We can make that happen.” He wasn’t kidding. If you're wondering about the food, we dined at all of the restaurants (except La Cava). All of our meals and cocktails were exceptional. The berries and melon on my morning fruit plate looked like they were just picked from the garden. The steak tacos were melt in the mouth good and every fish dish we had was super fresh and delicious. We also loved the atmosphere and views of the shimmering Oasis pool in the new restaurant, Arbol, a lively, sophisticated evening destination where a DJ spins chill tracks and the talented chef serves up amazing Asian-inspired dishes.
We spent our days under a beach umbrella on a dazzling stretch of golden sand, indulging in the lovely scenery, and sipping refreshing concoctions, hypnotized by the sound of crashing waves and deep blue sea. We ended our afternoons with a long walk on the beach and a refreshing dip in the pool before watching the sunsets from the terrace before getting ready for the evening. If you like your bubbles with an ocean view, grab a seat and curl up next to the bonfire at the nightly Pop-up Champagne Bar before heading to dinner.
Our stay went by much too quickly. Although leaving was hard, the staff at the airport (yes, we were met at the airport by a LV rep) made our departure easier and a little less painful.
We had an amazing time and we are already making plans to return this summer (without the kid). My only complaint is that there isn’t a button to magically transport us back sooner.
If you've never traveled to the region, I highly recommend a visit and a stay at Las Ventanas, but be forewarned: After all the attentive service and pampering, it will be very difficult to find another hotel that compares.
Need to Know:
* Las Ventanas feels private and exclusive without being pretentious. With only 81 rooms, the hotel is a small and intimate romantic hideaway with a quiet ambience. I kid you not, there is a Department of Romance, dedicated to making your amorous dreams come true.
*During our stay over spring break, there were many families traveling with children; yet the atmosphere remained peaceful and serene. Although it's a great place for couples to disconnect and reconnect, it also provides the perfect backdrop for a girlfriends trip or family getaway. There are several pools spread across the property which provide separate spaces for adults and families. If ultimate escape is your goal, there is an adults only pool where attendants will cater to your every whim, just out of earshot of the main pool.
*Like most beaches in Cabo, there is a strong current which makes swimming hazardous. Many guests spend their days at the freshwater infinity pool, located a few paces away from the sand. At certain times of the day, the shimmering turquoise water of the infinity pool appears to merge into the Sea of Cortez. It's a perfect setup for adults and children alike, featuring a swim up bar for mom and dad and a shallow section for the little ones. Or, if you’re feeling playful, grab a cocktail and float the afternoon away in the new Lazy River. I'm a beach bunny and not once did I miss not being able to swim in the sea. I loved the wildness of it all. For me, that was the allure; nature is a force and I was mesmerized by the sheer natural beauty.
*The resort gift shop and gallery should not be missed. The gift shop has a small but curated collection of caftans, dresses, jewelry and other great vacation pieces by some of my favorite brands including; Jaline, Loup Charmant and A Peace Treaty, just to name a few. A lovely selection of Otomi textiles can also be found across the hall in the Gallery.
*If you decide to leave the sanctuary of the hotel, Las Ventanas is conveniently located between livelier Cabo San Lucas, (with its famed arches and vibrant culinary scene) and the more authentic (and less developed) San Jose Del Cabo. Be sure to check out the weekly Thursday Art Walk in the Gallery District.
*It’s also worth renting a Jeep for the drive to Todos Santos, one of Mexico’s Pueblo Magicos. Spend the day wandering the charming cobblestone streets, lined with restaurants, shops and galleries. Also, don’t miss stopping by the historic Todos Santos Inn for a drink in the classic hotel bar.
Thanks for your support. If you have any questions (or if you've just enjoyed reading the post) please let me know in the comments section below.
LAS VENTANAS AL PARAÍSO, A ROSEWOOD RESORT
KM 19.5 Ctra. Transpeninsular, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur 23400, Mexico
Tel: +52 624 144 2800