There is something for everyone at sprawling 222-room Hacienda Encantada in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. But what sets this resort apart is the stunning location with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez. Multiple pools and a swim-up bar sit on the edge of the breathtaking crashing Baja facing straight to Cabo’s rocks and arch at Land’s End. Nestled above the sea, the gated compound with colorful Mexican hacienda-style buildings is decorated with handmade tile murals, vases, classical sculptures, Spanish colonial fountains, upscale traditional Mexican furnishings, and contemporary art for contrast.
The expansive laid-back resort offers an (optional) all-inclusive stay with a private beach (not swimmer safe) – at an attractive price. Here are ten reasons why staying at Hacienda Encantada is a perfect getaway for large groups or the whole family.
1. Dramatic coastline
Eloquently embracing the natural landscape, Hacienda Encantada sits on arching Baja cliffs where breathtaking rugged coastline views are at every turn. Find a cliffside comfy lounge chair to alternate your dips in the pool with a cocktail facing Cabo San Lucas’s distinctive rock formations at the southern tip or wake up to admire the crashing waves from your room’s balcony. At every turn, there is a view. Instagram-worthy locations abound, with helpful signs pointing the way to the best photo ops.
2. Luxury accommodations with rugged ocean views
Almost all rooms have private balconies with ocean views but we suggest booking a third-floor room in the Phase 2 building. Besides large guest rooms, there are 36 expansive suites donned in traditional Mexican style décor – old handcrafted dark wood furnishings, carved wood beds, and local artwork. Suites come with stocked kitchenettes, a sitting area, and bathrooms with walk-in showers and dual sinks.
For an upgraded experience, Vista Encantada, the boutique sister property with 32 suites, features unobstructed ocean views and plunge pools. Ground floors have mini pools. The rooftop’s gym, restaurant, infinity pool, and full-length jacuzzi offer mesmerizing 360-degree views. Or for even more privacy and luxury, 36 private villas (2-4 bedrooms each) with private swimming pools are available, with access to all luxury amenities of Hacienda Encantada and Vista Encantada.
3. Get fit and have fun
For those who have had enough relaxation while on vacation, options abound for the active lifestyle. Besides a fitness and cardio center, guests have sports options galore – tennis, basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, and pickleball courts. A putting green is under construction now too. Pool games like Bingo and volleyball are hosted daily at the activities pool. On-site horseback riding along the desert with dramatic views of Cabo San Lucas Bay can be arranged. Cabo del Sol golf is nearby while those who like to sweat it out in a different way can try the Temazcal – an ancient tradition of purification of mind and soul similar to a dry sauna. And every Thursday from 6-9 PM a buffet dinner comes with a complimentary Aqua Show, entertainment for the whole family.
4. Restaurant options
No need to leave Hacienda Encantada with 8 restaurants and numerous bars to mix up your stay – from a Mesquite Grill to Italian to authentic Mexican with el pastor tacos. Breakfast comes with unbelievable majestic views atop the ocean. During the day guests can order sushi and ceviche from the pool bar to nosh with the sound of the crashing waves.
Don’t miss booking reservations at gourmet fine dining Mexican restaurant La Trajinera with a tequila bar. Flaming Mezcal cheese is prepared tableside, Cochinita Pibil (marinated pork) comes with homemade tortillas, and Tortilla Soup and Pumpkin Flower Cream Soup are poured in front of you. Fun Mexican dishes include Cactus Rolls with Shredded Beef and Guacamole with Grasshoppers while piano playing adds to the nice atmosphere.
A Starbucks Café and mini market are on-site complete with soft drinks, souvenirs, snacks, medication, and more. Vista Encantada, a new boutique hotel property opened recently on the Hacienda Encantada compound, adding to your food options with a luxurious 360-degree view rooftop restaurant called Mestizo Del Mar. Plus, a chic juice bar and spa can be enjoyed at Vista Encantada. If you want to go off property, a Dine Out Privileges Plan includes an additional 9 restaurants and bars that can be chosen in the Golden Zone and Marina Fiesta, their sister property.
5. Shuttle carts run 24 hours a day
Since Hacienda Encantada is a grandiose property with hills, it makes a nice place to run and get exercise after a meal but for those who don’t want the added walking, a complimentary 24-hour shuttle with a driver is ready for your convenience. Guests call from their room for a pickup or hop in a shuttle when one is nearby.
6. Perfect for large parties or weddings
Atop a breathtaking vista, large gatherings can accommodate up to 500 people while the garden gazebo holds up to 200 people. A romantic rustic Mexican-style chapel sits high on a hill. Choose from 9 outdoor venues for wedding ceremonies and receptions, such as the beach, a fire pit area, and many restaurant terraces. Wedding and honeymoon packages can be found online and conferences or large parties can be arranged for special events.
7. Entertainment for Kids
A Kid’s Club with an activity pool and water playground for children in a separate area comes with a splash pad, games and several slides. Plenty of fun kid-friendly activities can be scheduled with the Activity Director and babysitting services are available to give parents some adult time while the kids play.
8. Close to downtown Cabo San Lucas
The resort’s free downtown shuttle takes guests to the Marina Golden Zone where a plethora of shopping and dining possibilities exist. Also, the Downtown area, about a 20-minute drive, is an exciting place to experience local culture and the Thursday Night Art Walk.
For those worried about safety, a high level of security exists at resorts in Cabo. Upon arrival, your name has to be on the list for the guard at the end of the gated community. Security is so strict in Los Cabos that you can’t even take an Uber out of most properties back to the airport because they aren’t allowed in.
Hacienda Encantada is more reasonably priced than most comparable Cabo resorts and once you figure in all-inclusive prices for food and drinks, staying seems like a steal, especially for the budget-friendly traveler who wants luxurious grounds and the freedom to eat and drink whatever they like. Whatever your price point, the Encantada properties deliver an unforgettable luxurious experience for an incomparable value.
Written by Melissa Curtin
Read more posts by Melissa Curtin