Premier destination’s top properties sweep 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards
Los Cabos, Mexico – Several outstanding resorts in Los Cabos, including six of the top 10 winners,have been recognized for excellence in Conde Nast Traveler’s 33nd annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey. Los Cabos placed more properties in the “Top 20 Resorts in Western Mexico” category—a total of 13 resorts—than any other destination in the region.
“The results of this year’s survey, conducted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are a testament to the lasting power of a meaningful travel experience,” said Jesse Ashlock, U.S. Editor of Condé Nast Traveler. “The winners represent the best of the best for our audience and offer plenty of trip-planning inspiration for all the adventures we can’t wait to have next.” More than 715,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe.
World-class golf is a prominent amenity at six of the reader-selected resorts. Each venue, built by a famed designer, partakes of Cabo’s unique mountain-desert-ocean ecosystem at the tip of the Baja Peninsula.
With a near-perfect survey score of 99.38, Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (No. 1) is an exclusive property situated within Puerto Los Cabos, a 2,000-acre resort community on the outskirts of San Jose del Cabo. Opened last year, the 115-room Reserve, Ritz-Carlton’s top-tier product, is spaced along bluffs above a secluded beach on the Sea of Cortes. Low-profile suites and villas are terraced into a broad slope thick with desert vegetation. Everything is best in class: the innovative 30,000 square-foot Spa Alkemia, the one-of-a-kind agave bar and four distinct culinary experiences, and the private attendants who ensure a memorable stay.
Zadun is a stone’s throw from Puerto Los Cabos Golf Cub, a 27-hole facility with an 18-hole course by Jack Nicklaus; and a nine-hole layout by Greg Norman. While the club dates to 2007, Nicklaus unveiled his second nine in 2018. The new holes emulate the original design style: subtly contoured greens, large sculpted bunkers, dramatic elevation changes. The Norman Course, a 3,590-yard, par-36 layout, is equally dramatic. Flashed-faced bunkers, inspired by Melbourne’s Sandbelt courses, signpost the fairways and defend the greens. Complimentary snacks and refreshments are served at a pair of on-course palapas.
One&Only Palmilla (No. 5), renowned as the “Grand Dame of Los Cabos,” is a legendary hideaway built in 1956 by the son of a former president of Mexico. Patronized then as now by an A-list celebrity clientele, the hotel was later transformed by One&Only into a world-class resort. This elite retreat, slated to reopen for the season on Oct. 29, is set on a rocky promontory that juts into azure-blue waters, its three coves calm enough for swimming. The hotel’s 173 oceanfront guest rooms and suites, embowered by lush tropical landscaping, have benefited from recent enhancements.
Palmilla Golf Club, tucked into a box-shaped canyon enclosed by stony brown peaks, set the stage for top-shelf golf in Los Cabos when it debuted in 1992. The original 18 (Arroyo and Mountain nines), the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Design in Latin America, is a firm, fair test that skirts boulder-strewn arroyos, long waste bunkers and several ponds. Broad fairways and open-entry greens accommodate players of lesser attainment. The club’s Ocean nine, added by Nicklaus in 1997, drops 600 feet from the first tee to the sixth green, transporting players from the mountains to the sea.
Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas (No. 9), located on the East Cape 45 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport, is a new seaside property framed by the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. Opened in late 2019, Costa Palmas, a 1,000-acre resort community, stretches along two miles of swimmable white sand beach on the Sea of Cortes. The resort offers five dining options, 18 acres of organic farm and orchards, a full-service spa and wellness center, four expansive pools and a private marina. The sports complex includes tennis, volleyball and basketball plus fitness facilities, a teen center and a Kids for All Seasons program.
Welcoming fairways and firm, fast conditions characterize the windswept, walker-friendly course at Costa Palmas Golf Club, which rises to 40 meters above the Sea of Cortes and sprawls across a rolling “dunescape.” Upland holes on this Robert Trent Jones II design bring mesquite trees and strategically-placed bunkers into play, while lower-lying holes invite golfers to play bump and run shots into the open-entry greens. The club also features a six-hole, par-3 loop and a 30,000-square-foot putting course. Bouchie’s, an open-air café located beside the practice green, is a popular gathering spot. The golf facility is offered as an exclusive amenity to guests of the on-site Four Seasons Resort.
Chileno Bay Resort & Residences (No. 13) is a family-friendly Auberge Resorts Collection property nestled in the sheltered cove of Chileno Bay, one of the finest swimming beaches in Los Cabos. The 92-key resort (60 hotel rooms and 32 multi-bedroom villas), a fine example of “deformalized luxury” and a study in beachside chic: natural wood, native landscaping, hand-cut stone walls, and traditional Mexican design elements accent the property. The resort’s focal point is a 450-foot-long, three-tiered swimming pool that simulates a river flowing to the Sea of Cortes.
Chileno Bay guests enjoy exclusive access to the golf club’s splendid Tom Fazio-designed course. Reopened four years ago after a major makeover, the 7,260-yard layout, manicured to perfection, is framed by hillsides of flowering shrubs and defended by bunkers filled with bright white sand. Meandering arroyos weave through the layout. Elevated tees offer magnificent views of the mountainous interior and the glittering blue sea. Displaying his trademark artistry, Fazio created flowing landforms intended to simulate rolling ocean waves. Chileno Bay’s two on-course comfort stations are a culinary match for the excellence of the course.
Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, (No. 15) is renowned for its stunning location amid soaring granite pinnacles a few hundred yards from Cabo’s iconic sea arch. A short walk from downtown Cabo San Lucas, this beautiful resort hotel features spacious suites and penthouses, infinity pools with swim-up bars, and a deluxe oceanfront spa. Restaurants, notably La Roca, tap local farms and fishermen to bring the freshest flavors to the table. The hotel offers a European Plan with accommodations only; as well as an optional All-Inclusive Plan.
Guests of Solmar Group hotels can tee it up at Rancho San Lucas Golf Club, Cabo’s newest venue. Located 15 minutes from Land’s End, the club’s Greg Norman Signature course, opened in February 2020, anchors an 834-acre resort community. This breezy links-style layout, set back from the Pacific, spans three different ecosystems, rambling through massive windswept dunes and a thick cactus forest before returning players to the beach and sea on the back nine. The well-groomed layout features a 300-foot elevation change, revetted pot bunkers and an island green at the par-3 17th hole. Comfort stations serve Mexican specialties and refreshments.
Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort (No. 20), an adults-only, all-inclusive hotel tucked in a secluded valley 10 minutes from Cabo San Lucas, commands a spectacular location at the place where the Sea of Cortes meets the Pacific Ocean. Fronting a magnificent 2.5-mile stretch of pristine beach, the resort has redefined the upscale Cabo vacation experience for couples. The hotel transitioned into the deluxe category four years ago with the debut of The Towers at Pacifica, a “resort within a resort” featuring beautifully appointed accommodations and 24-hour butler service. The hotel’s culinary jewel is Peninsula, a beachfront restaurant featuring regional Baja cuisine.
An epic layout grafted by Jack Nicklaus onto a jaw-dropping site at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Quivira Golf Club, the sixth Nicklaus-designed in Los Cabos, is an aesthetic tour de force and a triumph of engineering. Marked by sheer granite cliffs, huge windswept dunes and rolling desert foothills, the layout has twisting arroyos, acres of cactus, lots of rock…in sum, a sampling of everything Cabo has to offer. An unforgettable test from any set of tees, Quivira is arguably the most daring, eclectic course Nicklaus has ever built. Mexican specialties and refreshments are served at the club’s four comfort stations. The golf club offers exclusive access to Pueblo Bonito Resort guests.
The additional resorts voted to Conde Nast Traveler’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards are convenient to numerous golf courses in and around the 20-mile corridor that links San Jose del Cabo, a charming colonial city; and Cabo San Lucas, revered as a deep-sea fishing and nightlife capital. These properties include Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection(No. 2), Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal (No. 4), Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences (No. 6), Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort (No. 11), Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa Cabo San Lucas (No. 16), and Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Beach Resort (No. 18).
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. This year’s results are published on the magazine’s website at www.cntraveler.com/rca and will be celebrated in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler’s US and UK print editions.
About Los Cabos:
Situated at the tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos is home to award-winning hotels, resorts, championship golf courses, rejuvenating spas and world-class sport fishing. With a unique landscape of dramatic desert and dazzling beaches, Los Cabos is an exotic escape within easy reach of most U.S. and Canadian cities. For more information, images and videos from Los Cabos, visit www.visitloscabos.travel, follow us on Twitter @LOSCABOSTOURISM and visit us on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.