With luxury hotels and resorts popping up around the world like Starbucks, it says something that the lead travel story in the South China Morning Post’s luxury magazine was recently about a resort on the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean, in this case the Montage Los Cabos, which opened in May. Conde Nast Traveler already put the resort on its list of “New Hotels and Spas Worth Traveling For” with the headline, “You Can Finally Swim in Cabo,” a reference to its location on one of the destination’s few swimmable beaches.
The above media are not alone. Forbes wrote, “The location is breathtaking and fronts a tranquil enclosed Bay featuring the absolute best snorkeling in all of Los Cabos. Considering the dramatic views, most of the guest rooms are designed with sliding glass walls overlooking private patios and pools, with many of the rooms offering outdoor showers to seamlessly blend with the warm environment.” Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter predicts privacy, Montage’s service ethos and the design which “places a premium on indoor-outdoor living” will make it a hit with celebrities.
In terms of the basics, Montage is located 27 miles from San Jose del Cabo Airport and is part of the master planned community of Twin Dolphin, which has been on the map since the 1950s when it was frequented by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Lauren, and Lucille Ball. Montage features 122 guestrooms, suites and casas along with 52 Montage Residences across 39 acres where desert meets the sea. The resort includes three pools and Montage’s immersive children’s programming. There are multiple dining venues and in addition to lots of things to do onsite, there is access to Twin Dolphin Golf Course. There’s a 40,000 sq. ft. Spa Montage and over 35,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor event space making it a good venue for both family and corporate events. It already has several full takeovers booked.
It can often taken new hotels a solid year to get there service delivery down, however, Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of Preferred Hotels who recently visited for a girlfriends getaway says, “The fact that it opened in May, I was blown away by the service levels. They’ve already knocked it out of the park.”
She says the three-tiered pools do a good job of separating families from adults, and believes the resort will be a top venue for full takeovers. “I always ask to see the worst room,” she says, “And there really isn’t a bad room. Even the standard rooms are oversize, beautifully designed and furnished. It really is a terrific venue for an incentive because everyone is going to be happy.” Click on the resort map below for an enlarged version.
Early reviews I checked have been equally impressive. Out of 45 reviews on Tripadvisor, 43 were excellent, one was very good and the only poor review noted that the beach is public, as are all beaches in Los Cabos, but even that person was positive about service, design and noted, “Excellent facilities for large families and children.”
Who shouldn’t go? Stacy Small, CEO of Elite Travel International says, “It’s not necessarily for people who want all-inclusives or busy high-rise hotels. If you want to want to party all night, you can go into Cabo San Lucas. This is more for folks who prefer the artsy, high-end vibe of San Jose, and want to have nice cocktail in a beautiful setting with amazing service. For my clientele, Montage Los Cabos is already becoming a top choice. Everyday I want to go back!”
There are a wide variety of suites and casas, including inventory from the Montage Residences, which owners are able to then put into the resort’s inventory. Of the overall design of accommodations, “I really like the indoor, outdoor living and the privacy,” says Small. Both Small and Ueberroth say even the standard rooms – at 895 sq. ft. – are a good choice and provide more space than many hotels offer for one-bedroom suites. That said, below is a review of the various residences, casas, suites.
You’ll find two and three bedroom floor plans with gourmet kitchens and state of the art appliances, en-suite bathrooms in each bedroom, expansive terraces with views of Santa Maria Bay, and plunge pools on the ground floor residence. Each of the bedrooms offers a large patio area with daybeds and lounge seating. The open concept indoor living and dining room is adjacent to a large patio with an outdoor grill and dining table. Included are laundry room and private parking.
Three and Two Bedroom Montage Residences (52 in total)
The first floor units are 3,632 sq. ft. total space while the second and third floor units are 3,379 sq. ft., the difference being the plunge pool. All three bedroom units have a like 3,157 sq. ft. of indoor area. In the case of two bedroom units, you’ll find each at 2,444 sq. ft. of indoor space, with again ground floor units having a plunge pool.
Resort Suites and Casas
Casa Santa Maria (1 in total)
Five-bedroom, 5.5-bath Casa Santa Maria at 10,870 sq. ft. is better described as a private home with sprawling courtyards, its own infinity-edge pool and Jacuzzi featuring ocean and mountain views. Good for a pair of couples, there are two master bedrooms and three guest bedrooms.
There is a full BBQ, and open kitchen, and Ueberroth says her group had most of their meals there, prepared by their personal chef who worked in concert with the restaurant’s executive chef to come up with a variety of menus based on the group’s varied preferences. Casa Santa Maria sleeps up to 12. You also get daily breakfast, a Mezcal tasting experience, a private BBQ evening, two 60 minute spa treatments and a private beach bed which normally run from $300 to $500 per day.
At 10,870 sq. ft., this five-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom hacienda-style residence offers elegant interiors of classic wood and stone architecture. The master suite has sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez. Two of the four guest bedrooms have private entrances making it a good choice for friends traveling together or if you have adult children who want to come and go as they please. There’s a private garage, infinity-edge pool and expansive outdoor living spaces including courtyards and a palapa. You also get daily breakfast, a Mezcal tasting experience, a private BBQ evening, two 60 minute spa treatments and a private beach bed. Ueberroth, who stayed in Casa Cardon, says the only downside is you really don’t want to leave. “It’s hot and cold running staff, but not intrusive, just amazingly attentive,” she says.
Beach Front Presidential Suite (1)
If you want to be right on the beach, the 2,695 sq. ft. Beach Front Presidential Suite features two master bedrooms, 2.5 baths and expansive living spaces highlighted by a private terrace featuring an outdoor shower, pool and Jacuzzi.Small says, “I stay in this suite, and what really sold me is the massive living space with picture postcard ocean views. You have your own private courtyard. It’s great for a family or four or two couples. You get your own dedicated butler. Mine would What’s App me every morning to see when I wanted my coffee delivered. There’s a separate service entrance so he comes in and will set up whatever you want wherever you want.” She says after posting pictures on Instagram she received three bookings from her clients.
Ocean Front 2-Bedroom Suite (1)
The 2,700 sq. ft. Ocean Front 2-Bedroom Suite features 2.5-bath and is steps from Santa Maria Bay with expansive living spaces, and a private terrace with an outdoor shower.
Ocean View Townhouse (1)
The 1-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom 2,560 sq. ft. two-story Ocean View Townhouse features views over Santa Maria Bay and a private terrace.
Baja Beach Front Suite (1)
Inspired by its Baja California Sur locale, and steps from the beach, this 2,460 sq. ft. 1-bedroom, 1.5-bath hideaway offers lots of privacy above the sweeping shores of Santa Maria Bay with its own terrace.
Deluxe Ocean View Suite (8)
The Deluxe Ocean View Suites feature expansive views of the Pacific with one bedroom and 1.5-baths over 1,645 sq. ft., typically a size you might see for suites with two bedrooms.
Ocean View Suite (10)
Set between desert and sea with partial views of the Pacific, the 1,645 sq. ft. 1-bedroom, 1.5 bath Ocean View Suites can sleep up to four with two rollaway beds.
Dining and Bars
Of dining at Montage Los Cabos, Small says, “I was super impressed. They’ve put a lot of attention into having great food, not too fancy, just fresh, tasty, terrific. They are super accommodating with any dietary needs, and really knowledgable, not just the chefs, but the servers.”
Mezcal features Chef Alexis Palacios and his modern Mexican kitchen serving his interpretations of ancestral culinary traditions. Think Lobster Ceviche with Local Passion Fruit, Preserved Lemon Puree and Manzano Pepper; Suckling Pig with Baja Farm Pickled Vegetables and Pineapple Puree or Grilled Spinalis Steak, an American Ribeye with Spicy Potato Confit, Mole Amarillo and Nopal Cactus Puree.
Marea by Night
An open air beachfront restaurant with Instagram worthy views of the Sea of Cortez, Marea by Night features top cuts of aged meats and freshly caught seafood. Grilled steaks, lobsters and whole fish as well as homemade pastas and even a Baja Bouillaisse can be found on the menu.
Marea by Day
From fresh fish tacos to healthy salads, sandwiches and burgers Marea by Day provides a casual daytime dining if you want a break from the pool, beach or between a round of golf and your afternoon spa treatments.
A contemporary marketplace featuring Mexican sweets, sundries and coffees Paletas serves a wide array of options from freshly baked Mexican pastries to gourmet sandwiches. You can even get hot chocolate or a traditional homemade paleta.
Spa and Fitness
There are a dozen treatment rooms or schedule a treatment (they run 60 to 180 minutes) in your suite or residence. At the spa you’ll find luxury changing rooms and relaxing garden lounges – complete with steam rooms and jetted hot and cold plunge pools which allow for pre and post treatment relaxation experiences. There’s also a hair salon and nail studio. Fitness In addition to a full gym with weight and cardio machines, there are fitness classes and training sessions, including private training and daily yoga classes at 7:30 am and 9:00 am. Pilates instructors will guide you through rings, exercise balls and other equipment to improve posture, balance and strength.You can challenge yourself with a combination of cardio drills, plyometrics, strength training at the Beach Boot Camp. There are also cycling and aquatic fitness classes.
There are a variety of programs for kids, including the popular Montage Merit’s program that is on offer at all of its hotels.
For guests 5 to 12 years of age Paintbox is an activities-based children’s program with thematically planned days that tie together arts and crafts, games and creative activities both indoors and out at the pool, beach, tide pool and events lawns. Paintbox activities are offered each day of the week in half-day and full-day sessions. For hourly care of little ones, baby-sitting services are available.
Young guests at Montage Los Cabos can collect 12 different Montage Merit Badges for a wide range of outdoor experiences, from snorkeling in Santa Maria Bay, visiting the famous Arch to hiking at Twin Dolphin Trail. Upon achievement of all 12 activities, guests will be awarded with the over-sized ‘Marlin’ pin.
Beach and Pool
There are three pool areas, including one for families and an adult oriented pool with bar area. Small, who spent a day in one of the private cabanas, says, “They were super attentive, but not in an annoying way. They have dedicated staff for poolside cabbanas.
The pool is close enough to go back and forth to the beach. It was really comfortable to hang out for a great child day.”
There’s plenty to do with a swimmable beach with walk-in access to snorkeling and diving, complimentary use of non-motorized water sports equipment including stand-up paddleboard, snorkel gears and kayaks, access to the Twin Dolphin Golf Course, mixology and culinary classes, plus two tennis courts.
The hotel will also arrange private catamaran cruises, deep sea fishing, horseback riding, desert camel rides, whale watching, hiking and biking, Jeep and ATV Tours, swimming with whale sharks and dolphins, wave runners, zip-lines, kayak tours, archery and more.
Meetings and Gatherings
With 4,800 square feet of indoor event space and over 35,000 sq. ft. of outdoor event space, Montage Los Cabos is an ideal oceanfront venue for corporate meetings, incentives, small high-level board meetings, executive retreats, family celebrations and weddings. There is a 3,200 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom with its own 4,750 sq. ft. event lawn and a 1,600 sq. ft. Gallery Ballroom with its own 900 sq. ft. event lawn. For outdoor events, the Ocean Lawn and Santa Maria Beach can seat up to 400 guests while the Arroyo Lawn can seat groups up to 500 people.