One & Only Palmilla

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

One & Only Palmilla is among a handful of luxury resorts that travelers can choose from in Baja California Sur’s Los Cabos region, but its history may be the most interesting. Built in 1956, the hotel was commissioned by Abelardo Rodriguez, the son of Mexico’s president at the time. When it opened to guests, the property was accessible only by boat or plane, lending it an exclusive air that was highly appealing to Mexican and American celebrities seeking refuge from the limelight. Famous guests of the era included Lucille Ball and John Wayne. Since then, the 15-room hideaway has expanded exponentially; it now boasts nearly 200 rooms and is accessible by car, thanks to the Carretera Transpeninsular. It still retains its luxurious air and continues to draw famous guests—as well as the merely well-off—looking for relaxing vacations in a gorgeous area where the mountains, desert, and sea meet. Each one of the resort’s large rooms faces either the Pacific Ocean or the Sea of Cortéz, and all are decorated with traditional Mexican handicrafts.

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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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