There’s plenty to love on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, in LOS CABOS
“Niño de mis ojos.” It’s what Frida Kahlo called Diego Rivera: “boy of my eyes.” I learn the phrase at a restaurant that’s named for and inspired by the colourful and iconoclastic Mexican artist. The backdrop is similarly wild, beautiful and full of ardour. Waves crash. The sun blazes. Palm fronds sway. Ah, Baja.
Frida is just one of seven evocative restaurants at the all-inclusive Grand Velas Los Cabos, which sits in the middle of the corridor between San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, the two towns of Los Cabos—or “the capes”—at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.
Go west, some 20 km, and Cabo San Lucas offers bars and revelry (hello, Cabo Wabo, rocker Sammy Hagar’s legendary joint) as well as the iconic El Arco (“the arch”) and aptly named stony appendage of Land’s End. A panga or water taxi will drop you off at Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach). But beyond this, past the serrated rocks and barking sea lions, it’s just thousands of kilometres of Pacific Ocean. Or, 15 km on the other side of the resort, are the colonial buildings and historic missionary church of San José del Cabo.
But at the Grand Velas Los Cabos, between the two, is a bit of a hideaway on a swathe of wild beach (no swimming here; stick to the three tiers of infinity pools or go to nearby Chileno Beach). I spend an afternoon settled on a day bed in the sand, set amidst craggy rocks that look like they could have crumbled from El Arco itself, and just listen. It almost feels as if I’m lounging at Land’s End. Except that I have a mezcalita in my hand (that’s a margarita made with mezcal, also known as a mezcalgarita and on-trend).
Other Mexican concoctions I sample: chelada (cerveza with lime juice), michelada (add Worcestershire or Maggi plus chili spice) and ojo rojo (add tomato or clamato for the “red eye,” which also happens to be a hangover cure). I could sip and sit on the sand, by the pool or in it all day, but there’s much more to do here: a spa with a workshop (make your own mask with natural ingredients) and guided tequila and mezcal tastings, from joven to anejo. Yes, back to the sipping. I discern notes of citrus, spice, grass…and learn another Mexican saying. “First one without water, second one with water, third one like water.” Indeed.
Next stop: the spa, where there’s a hydrotherapy ritual (and a thermal lounge chair with my name on it) and treatments with blue agave. After which the feast begins anew. After Frida, it’s hard to choose. I’d be happily sated eating bowl after bowl of ceviche poolside at Cabrillo, but just steps away, at Cocina de Autor, there’s a multi-course menu by two-star Michelin chef Sidney Schutte. Buen provecho. — Barb Sligl
[STAY] Grand Velas Los Cabos loscabos.grandvelas.com