Incredible view from our balcony at the Westin Los Cabos. I can still hear the relaxing lull of the crashing surf.
Back in September I would have never imagined that I’d celebrate the first of December with my husband in absolute paradise…80 degree temperatures, sun, no humidity, and sipping a margarita while I looked over an infinity pool to the blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. But I did. We did.
Neither of us had ever even applied for passports when I received an email invitation from the PR rep with Starwood properties, which owns the Westin Resort & Spa in Los Cabos, as well as the Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar, which I’ll be writing about next week. Although both are Starwood properties, these two resorts are very different.
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect or worse, depending on who you ask. For me it was a great opportunity to bring a guest, my husband, to celebrate his December birthday a little early, as well as give him the ultimate early Christmas and 15th anniversary present (which isn’t until May, but hey when opportunity knocks…) It’s really tough, though, for my workaholic husband to get away, and if you’re married to a small business owner or if you, yourself, are a small business owner than you can empathize with the difficulty of getting away for 5 days from your business. Still, this was an amazing opportunity to travel somewhere we both have dreamed of visiting, sunny Los Cabos! We hadn’t been on a trip without our kids in more than two years so we were overdue. WAY overdue.
We were both surprised at what a relatively “easy” trip Cabo was from Nashville. We had a 7 a.m. departing flight and although that was a bit rough as it involved a 4 a.m. wake up time we knew it would be worth it. We had a connecting flight in Dallas, and before we knew it we were eating lunch and enjoying cold cervezas overlooking the beach and marveling at the beauty of this deep blue water, different than the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida that we grew up visiting. So basically an hour and a half flight to Dallas and then a connecting 2 1/2 hour flight to Mexico was all the flight time we logged. Not bad at all, considering it’s nothing for Nashvillians to drive 7 to 8 hours to the Gulf Coast. Going through customs in Los Cabos was also relatively quick.
A few notable things about our stay at the Westin, which is a AAA Four Diamond Award winning resort, and our first time in Cabos:
- Because of the resort’s unique design, each one of the 243 rooms at the Westin offers a private balcony as well as an incredible view of the beautiful Sea of Cortez. The resort is designed for breathtaking vistas at every turn. To me it was almost as if the resort was designed to frame the ocean view like a majestic, architectural picture frame.
- It’s not uncommon to see whales from your balcony. That’s right. Whales. We also shot a great video of baby sea turtles that were going to be released from the beach in front of the resort that I’ll be posting soon to YouTube.
- The resort offers Westin’s signature heavenly bed and high-speed Internet access (which, of course is important to the social media obsessed mama like me).
- The breakfast buffet at La Cascada was an amazing start to our day and you can choose to dine outdoors with a view of the ocean beyond an infininity pool, as we did, or dine indoors. I tried fried bananas for the first time and they were incredible. And I’m a Southern girl. I know my FRIED. Offering everything from a Bloody Mary station to mimosas and coffee to custom omelettes, sushi, fresh fruit, and even tamales, the buffet was impressive to say the least. I went through a little dose of reality withdrawal when I got back to work and ate a protein bar at my desk and called it breakfast.
- We had one of the most amazing meals ever at Arreciffes, the Westin’s award-winning fine dining venue which is built into the rocks and has one of the most incredible entrances I’ve ever seen (open to the sky) as well as views of the Sea of Cortez.
- Are you a golfer? The resort offers access to six 18-hold championship golf courses, including courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones.
- Other activities include tennis courts, a gym, a spa, and since my favorite “activity” is lounging poolside I was thrilled to learn the Westin has seven swimming pools.
- The resort is a relatively short 20-minute drive from the Los Cabos International Airport.
- Although crime is up in certain tourist areas in Mexico, we felt very safe the entire time we were in Los Cabos, which is located at the tip of the Baja California Sur. We even ventured into town Friday evening with our group of fellow parenting and family travel writers for a little night life, Sammy Hagar style, at Cabo Wabo! There may or may not have been multiple opportunities to try top of the line tequila that night. Ahem.
As soon as we arrived at the Westin I was instantly struck by the architecture. The open air lobby offers an incredible view of the resort and water beyond. The Westin is designed as a tribute to Cabo San Lucas’s famous natural arch rock formation where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific meet. Famed Mexican architect Javier Sordo Madaleno designed the unique, contemporary structure to blend into the surrounding landscape. The colors mimic the mountains and desert and the occasional pops of color, such as blue and pink, reflect the ocean and bright desert flowers.
The view walking toward La Cascada, which features an amazing breakfast buffet. The large arch you see is also used at night for showing outdoor movies (lots of Disney flicks shown during the busy family season.)
We saw several families with little ones at the resort, mainly toddlers or babies in strollers. For those with older kids, the Westin Kids Club provides parents with a safe and fun place for kids ages 4 to 12 to play for a few hours while mom and dad enjoy dinner or a spa treatment. Babysitters are also available at the resort (and are required to know CPR.) The Westin also offers the SPG Kids Pass program, which is an all-inclusive dining program for a low, daily rate. Kids can enjoy meals, snacks, and beverages at the amazing La Cascada buffet, as well as snacks and beverages at poolside La Playa.
The Westin is located near the historic district with an array of shops, art galleries, and amazing restaurants. We enjoyed a delicious lunch outdoors at Mi Casa with our group and I had one of the most amazing margaritas (oh and lunch) I’ve ever had! I loved the quaint feel of the old town.
On the way to old town we made two stops to learn more about two great family activities. A surf instructor with High Tide Los Cabos told us about their surf lessons and noted that Cabo has several prime areas for surfing. High Tide also offers kayak, hiking, and off-road tours. We also toured the nearby Dolphin Discovery center which offers families the amazing opportunity to interact, swim or kayak with dolphins. The dolphins live in an ocean cove designed to mimic their natural habitat. Our girls would LOVE this place!
This was just part one of our amazing Los Cabos experience. I’d recommend the Westin as a honeymoon venue or destination wedding location, as a vacation spot for families with toddlers or babies, for couples looking for a romantic getaway, or girlfriends wanting to book a fun beach and spa vacation. It’s a little more removed from the modern downtown area (which has a shopping mall and lots of nightlife and restaurants) than the Sheraton property, so the Westin would be more your speed if getting away from the resort is not a high priority. Still, we were an easy 15 to 20 minutes to lots of amazing activities.
I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with details from our Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar experience. Until then, you can check out my pictures of the beautiful Westin on Flickr.
Have you ever been to Cabo? What did you think? Do you have any questions about the Westin?
Disclosure: Our hotel accommodations and meals at the Westin, along with my roundtrip airfare were paid for; we paid for our passports, my husband’s roundtrip airfare, gratuities, and souvenirs.