Discover Los Cabos while sipping a smoky Mezcal made from wild agave on an oceanfront terrace or sample a hot crunchy sugary churro from a local stand at the Thursday night Art Walk in the quaint town of San Jose del Cabo. Cabo (which means Cape) can mean many things to different people. At the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Cabo is easily accessible by air from many major US cities and is even ideal for a last-minute weekend jaunt from Los Angeles.
For a breathtaking getaway, consider staying at 7-month old Solaz Resort, a stunning architectural gem that emerges from the stark desert landscape designed in harmony with its seaside location. Perched on 34 acres overlooking the Sea of Cortez, luxurious Solaz Resort was built to blend with the environment. From the open ocean view lobby with driftwood furniture, 400-year old cacti, and water arteries on the floor, find your path to the sea through enchanting desert gardens with native trees, bushes, and flowers infused with nature’s flitting butterflies and birds. As you move throughout the beach retreat covered in ocean blue marble (known as Mexican marble), the angles and lines of the buildings and even the cacti placement cast mesmerizing shadows from sunrise to sunset. From my breakfast view above the gallery rooms, the flat roofs covered with endemic plants and a few lone artistic looking cacti blend with the natural world.
Located midway between bustling vacation city Cabo San Lucas and the historic town of San Jose del Cabo, the 128-room beachfront oasis was conceptualized by the award-winning architectural firm, Sordo Madaleno. Solaz Resort not only extols the virtues of the Baja California setting but pays tribute to contemporary art from Mexican artist Cesar Lopez-Negrete incorporated into the grounds and gardens for you to discover. El Gabinete “Del Barco” is the resort’s indigenous gallery, showcasing an impressive array of rare regional artifacts from the Baja California peninsula, such as a 43-foot long whale skeleton and historical map collection.
The tranquil native botanical gardens lead you to infinity pools that line the entire 40,000 square foot of Solaz’s white sand beaches so that from most views the sparkling ocean and pool become one. Arrive early in the morning to enjoy the 50-meter infinity pool to yourself while staring at the sparkling turquoise sea. Hop in and out of the infinity pool to a heated jacuzzi or lounge chair, or make your way to one of the only swimmable beaches in Cabo right out front, nestled between two natural rock beds. But always be mindful of the strong surf.
Some days you may wish just to retreat to your sophisticated room. Each modern guest room and suite features a private entrance and patio with unobstructed views of the sea. Upon my arrival, the curtain parted to reveal the warm sunlight glow thanks to Bluetooth technology. In bed, with the click of a button, I could control the curtain, music, TV, and room lighting depending on my mood. The elongated bamboo-textured marble bathroom with sleek wood paneling from local Huanacaxtle offered a seat with vanity mirror lighting, closed off toilet area with a nightlight, and separate shower area with rain shower and a handheld showerhead. The king bed and pillows were a nightly luscious haven with an original wall sculpture by Cesar Lopez Negrete. One- and two-bedroom room types are offered, along with 13 suites and one presidential suite. Gallery rooms come with a plunge pool and small patio with hammock. Next to the resort are Solaz Residences where you can own a palatial 3-bedroom penthouse with ocean dripping views from every room for $3.5 – 4.8 million with resort amenities included.
Since you are on vacation, order breakfast in bed or food to your outdoor terrace. If you can muster energy to the breakfast buffet, an incredibly curated feast awaits. Start your day with Mexican items and traditional breakfast fare, such as made to order eggs, pancakes, pastries, charcuterie, and fresh local fruit. Each morning I began with a fresh green juice, papaya slices, bacon, poached eggs, a croissant, and creamy homemade yogurt and oatmeal sprinkled with the restaurant’s granola, dried fruit, nuts, and coconut toppings. Sample Mexican dishes like black beans, mini quesadillas, chicken tinga sope and empanadas, eggs with red and green salsa, huevos rancheros, and more.
A visit to Cabo is also not complete without tasting the region’s Baja cuisine, with major ingredients coming from the ocean, such as chocolate clams, lobster, shrimp, and varieties of fish like red snapper and tuna. If you don’t want to leave the extraordinary property, there are five restaurants and lounges to satisfy every palette. Mako became our favorite beachside lunch and dinner location on this open terrace where Baja fish tacos, guacamole, oysters, and ceviche became regular requests. We learned a local man who floats from a tire and bobs down to the ocean floor was the reason we were savoring such meaty fresh wild Mexican clams.
At night, Mako presents heavier dishes like grilled bone marrow and chorizo scooped into freshly made soft tacos with sides of cactus and charred organic leeks. Wagyu from New York is expertly cooked and lobster from Cabo is grilled over sustainable Mexican woods and charcoals. At sunset each evening we delighted in spending time at Arabica, a coffee bar that showcases a menu of coffee-inspired libations like a Coffee Mule or Insomnio made from tequila, espresso, and Kahlua. The resident Cocktail Whisperer Itzel Alvarez who came from Mexico City can make you just about anything your heart desires, but we strongly recommend not only ordering the elegantly presented extraordinary coffee from Mexico City’s Quentin Cafe but returning for the resort’s special Mezcal tasting and education. We sipped Mezcal made from wild agave, ancient corn, and a plant called dasylirion (in the asparagus family) plus liquors made from native Mexican flowers.
Our gastronomic journey continued another night at Al Pairo, Solaz’s restaurant specializing in local fresh fish and seafood with an eye-opening wine cellar boasting over 2,500 bottles including many local vintages. This trip fully turned my palette on to Mexican reds like Vena Cava’s Big Blend from Baja California and Calixa’s Tempranillo from Valle de Guadalupe. For those who wish to venture outside the resort, Cabo’s farm to table restaurants include trendy (pricey) Flora Farms and Los Tamarindos in a farmhouse, both with food farmed the same day you eat. At Flora Farms, dine outside on the catch of the day, a massive pork chop, or a wood-fired pizza along with over 90 varieties of heirloom veggies. The chef is changing up the menu with playful medleys (even rabbit). For a more local experience, find Koi Restaurant in the Walmart plaza where you can feast on “tropicalized” sushi beautifully presented with melt in your mouth fish (tuna, yellowtail, jurel, squid, shrimp, and sea bass ribs) for an affordable price.
When you feel like taking a break from the sun, spend a few hours or more at Solaz’s Ojo de Liebre Spa, a 10,000 square foot space where guests can try out a Himalayan Salt Igloo touting numerous benefits for detoxifying and calming. Before or after your massage treatment, facial, or body wrap, enjoy a steam, infrared shower, or thalassotherapy, where seawater used in numerous water circuits pounds the back and soothes and refreshes the body and skin. A similar water journey is also offered with regular water too.
If you feel like leaving the property, Cabo is known for outings like fishing, surfing, golfing, boat trips across the coast by the rock formations, snorkeling, whale watching, zip lining, diving, and ATVs across the desert. But for those looking for exclusive and authentic experiences with local knowledge designed to bring guests closer to the soul of Baja, Solaz knows. An “artisan” or butler is assigned to your room when you arrive to make really any wish come true. They can curate your own unique adventure.
Solaz arranged a driver/tour guide to take us on a 50-minute off-road jeep trek to rare rock paintings some 3-5,000 years old preserved on a giant free-standing rock in the desert thanks to the sun’s rays hitting the opposite side of the rock. Discovered by farmers some 6-8 years ago in the Sierra de la Laguna region, the well- preserved small red handprints, lines, and what appears to be cactus, are thought to be the result of pigment from the sap of a tree mixed with animal fat. The journey through the desert landscape via dirt roads passing roaming goats and cows, soaring birds, and desert foliage was an exciting exploration in itself. You may wish to sample an unknown side of Cabo too, like hiking to thermal pools, an hour and a half away, or snorkeling in Cabo Pulmo, a natural marine park once a former fishing village a few hours away.
Part of Marriott International, room rates at Solaz Resort start around $670. Peak season is the last week of December. Whale season occurs from December 15 to March 30, although whales have been spotted in April.
Absorb the ocean breezes. Savor a resort that values and treasures the historical beginnings of Baja with their art, architecture, and artisans. Escape to Solaz to find the balance between entertainment and rest.