One & Only Palmilla

Carr. Transpeninsular, San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico

At the edge of the Baja Peninsula, One&Only Palmilla was originally built in 1956 as a 15-room hideaway for Don Abelardo Rodriguez, son of the then-president of Mexico. Today, it’s one of the region’s most luxurious resorts, composed of 174 oceanfront rooms and suites and two villas decorated in neutral hues and splashes of red; many have infinity pools and patios that face the Sea of Cortez.

One&Only Palmilla has one of the area’s few swimmable beaches, plus three private rocky coves complete with floating beds, lounge chairs, and dedicated butlers. Activities include snorkeling, surfing, parasailing, and golfing the award-winning 27-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The massive spa’s wellness garden features a juice bar and 13 treatment villas; several have private plunge pools, rain showers, and swinging daybeds.

One&Only Palmilla is a member of EarthCheck, a scientific benchmarking certification program, for its sustainability efforts, which include a state-of-the-art water purification system that produces and bottles filtered water on site. The resort works with the Red Committee for the Protection of the Sea Turtle by helping with daily patrols of nearby nests, an activity guests can join.

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The Art of Unplugging

I rarely unplug from email and leave behind my “to-do” list. I’ve traveled the world, and seen my share of gorgeous beaches, so I get that it’s tough to leave it all behind. That said, One&Only Palmilla is an absolutely idyllic place to chill. With an abundance of secret hideaways, amazingly attentive service, and no detail overlooked, unwinding becomes effortless here. Of course, there’s still plenty to do, if you’re so inclined — hiking waterfalls and canyons, diving, fishing. And then there are some of my favorite activities — dining at Market (Jean-Georges’s restaurant), soaking up a bit of spa time, and keeping my margarita fresh! AFAR Travel Advisory Council member Malaka Hilton has put together a package that includes a complimentary fourth night, resort and spa credit, and complimentary chauffeured airport transfers.

Nothing Says Bienvenidos Like Artisanal Tequilas

What a thoughtful and fun welcome amenity! One&Only Palmilla consistently adds touches that complement your stay with the touch and feel of authentic Mexico. The resort’s collection of Artisanal Tequilas, as well as Mezcal, can be sampled in-depth. A large collection of local wine, with authentic personality and full of flavor and quality have been produced in the region’s vineyards in the recent years. Guided by our team of expert and passionate Sommeliers, discover these wines in your stay at One&Only Palmila. Mexican wine Pairings are available at Agua Restaurant in any of your meals or if you prefer a private tasting for you and your party can be organized.

Agua Bar

There’s something magical about the way the mammoth, brightly colored Moroccan light fixtures dance in the breeze overhead as you sit at the Agua Bar. Add to that the marinated olives, chunks of parmesan cheese, and tangy margaritas and you’ve got a winning recipe for kicking off your evening. Be sure to stay for dinner and request moonlight seating for one of the most romantic meals of your life. Each booth provides a front-row seat facing the coastline of San Jose del Cabo. If it’s chilly, blankets are available upon request.

A Relic from the 1950s

We found this on the grounds of One&Only Palmilla. I was surprised to learn that the church stems from the 1950s and was here since the property was first being developed. Great care was taken to preserve it amid all the development.

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