Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide
Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach
A week after Hurricane Odile hit Cabo San Lucas, the clean-up efforts are only just beginning. While most guests visiting the resort town have now gotten out safely (if a little dehydrated and severely exhausted), the airport is still in shambles and will not be operating for a few more days, possibly even longer. Many parts of the town are still without power, water and phone access. There are no new reports of looting--for now--but Cabo remains a dicey area to visit from a safety perspective, especially given how much debris still needs to be cleaned up.
Despite the tragedy, which leveled residences and local neighborhoods as well, there have been some uplifting stories to come out of the storm. Guests who were stranded at resorts during the storm have been sharing their stories on social media, especially on Facebook, with one group devoted to the Hilton Los Cabos, called "Hilton Los Cabos Hurricane Odile Survivors".
We perused some of the comments and so much of it is positive toward the staff who did their best to keep guests safe, even while their own families were battling the storm at home. And the staffers are still there, working to get the resort back on schedule.
Here's a snippet posted on Facebook by a staffer at the hotel:
We are running a different kind of hotel....providing rooms to those employees who lost their houses and setting up a control center for insurance, engineers, contractors and other experts etc.... Still no phones... you know the rest but I am not complaining. Outside our walls there is no electricity or water... We are doing all we can to get back on our feet.
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The Playa Grande resort
We are starting to keep tabs on when the resorts of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico will reopen after being hit hard by Hurricane Odile but the resorts are tasked with another, bigger job--getting the guests who were there during the storm back home safe and sound.
It is reported that more than 30,000 tourists were in the area when the storm hit. The airport is still closed (it too suffered major damage) and the efforts to arrange trips out of the country are rather disorganized.
According to Instagrammer, MPWilli910, who has been providing updates throughout the storm's aftermath while at the Hilton Los Cabso, said the Mexican military is stepping in to transport guests to either Mazatlan, Guadalajara, Tijuana or Mexico City. From there, folks can get flights back to their hometown/airports.
But we received this email from a guest stranded in Cabo at the Playa Grande Resort and the situation is dire. Here's what she had to say:
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The Grand Solmar
As we told you earlier this week, Cabo San Lucas in Mexico was hit extremely hard by Hurricane Odile on Sunday night with much of the resort area effectively destroyed by the storm. The airport is still closed, homes are demolished, people are stranded without electricity, phone service, food and water and looting is happening at some stores. Meanwhile, resorts and hotels in the area are scrambling to get their existing guests home and at the same time, assess the damages to their property. It will be a long road to recovery and thus, most hotels are not accepting new guests for several weeks.
If you've got an upcoming reservation in Cabo, you should call the hotel's corporate number and find out how they plan on adjusting your reservation. Most hotels are offering full refunds or the opportunity to switch their reservation to another property within the hotel brand. Outside of Cabo, of course.
In the meantime, we're keeping track of the Cabo hotels reopening dates right here. Have an update to share about a property? Send it to us. Need more info? Check the resorts' Facebook pages as that's where many of the detailed updates can be found.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos: The resort plans on reopening on October 31.
Hilton Los Cabos: No exact dates but there is talk of reopening by October.
Capella Pedegral: The resort plans to open by October 15.
The Esperanza Resort, an Auberge Resort : The resort plans on reopening on October 13.
Las Ventanas Al Paraiso: No exact dates. The resort has said they need a week to assess the damage and then will determine when they can reopen. So for the next week, the resort is closed.
Westin Los Cabos: The resort is closed and working on getting all their guests out safely. There are no reopening dates listed at this time.
Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, Los Cabos: The resort is closed and working on getting all their guests out safely. There are no reopening dates listed at this time.
Melia Cabo Real: No reopening dates have been announced.
Dreams Cabo: The hotel is closed through at least September 23.
Solmar Resorts: The resorts are closed but no reopening dates have been announced. According to an update we received from a guest stuck at the Solmar, the resort was heavily destroyed and getting out is not easy. We've since heard that the resort will open on October 22.
Pueblo Bonito Pacifica:
The resort is closed through at least September 22. According to their Facebook page, they are hoping to receive guests by October 1.
Fiesta Grand Americana Los Cabos: A member of the resort says it will reopen on November 15.
Cabo Villas Beach Resort: The hotel believes they will be up and running with 80 units open on October 1 with the remaining opening on October 15.
Casa Dorada: The hotel plans to reopen on October 9.
Monte Cristo Estates: The estates, part of the Pueblo Bonita resorts, says they should reopen by October 1. The company has been posting pics on their Facebook page to update future guests.
Royal Solaris Los Cabos: The resort told a guest hey said will not reopen again until December 1. However, their Facebook page is saying sometime between October 15 and November.
[Last Updated: 9.22.14, 9:16am PST]
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The airport remains closed, several hotels and resorts are ruined, homes have been destroyed and people who were visiting the resort town have no way of getting out. While help is on the way, the area is currently without power (save for generators), internet access and phone lines, making it difficult to get any word out about what's going on.
We've been piecing together some reports on Facebook but it is hard to determine what's for sure and what's just a rumor.
Here's what we do know---Most hotels are closed to new arrivals and will be for several weeks. If you have reservations in Cabo in the next two, three or even four weeks, call the hotel's corporate number to find out when the resort will re-open. Some hotels are saying they will re-open by October 15, others are saying November 1. Yeah, it's that bad. The good news is your reservation will most likely be refunded. Your vacation however has been cancelled.
We're still working on tracking down updates from other resorts (namely Las Ventanas and Capella Pedegral, which have gone dark on social media). Got any updates to share? Please pass them along.
[Photo of the Hilton Los Cabos via MPWilli910/Instagram]
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Yikes. Hurricane Odile tore through Cabo San Lucas last night and since the area is mostly made up of hotels and resorts, we're seeing nothing but frightening scenes of destruction, from the resort corridor down into the marina.
On Instagram, MPWilli910 has been posting videos of the storm and its subsequent damage and it's heartbreaking. She posted a video of the aftermath which left the tennis courts at the Hilton Los Cabos in sandy shambles.
Here's how the Melia resort looks today.
MPWilli910 also captured the storm in action last night.
And here's what she had to say on Instagram about heading for the hotel's safety shelter:
Our ridiculous late-night run through the halls of the hotel to get to a safe location. This is scarier than Hurricane Sandy. Our room on the second highest floor has flooded. It sounds like a freight train outside and the building is shaking. The windows on several floors are blown out. We had to evacuate through the open-air hallway, through flooding, torrential rain and whipping winds, dodging debris. Now, we're here in the hotel's shelter, sleeping on the carpet with hundreds of others, sweating bullets. Biggest weirdest slumber party everrr! Happy anniversary
In a comment on one of her other photos, she mentioned the Hilton is without electricity and is not letting folks back to their rooms because the damage is so great. Ugh, we sincerely hope everything turns out ok.
Keep reading for more on the hotels and resorts in Cabo after Hurricane Odile!
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While we showed you a quiet alternative in Cabo San Lucas earlier this week, today we're looking at a more lively hotel spot--The ME Cabo. This is where pool, beach and party all come together in a neat little package, ready for you to rip open with life-affirming gusto. But before you go buckwild, we have some important tips to share.
1) Bring your best bathing suit—This is no time to shrink down into your beautiful white Bali bed. The ME experience focuses on the senses and this includes sight, so show what ya got even if you think what ya got ain’t good. Here, attitude counts. With Bali beds for two to eight, sharing and showing a little skin is what it’s all about.
2) Wear your party hat—Nikki Beach Club, known worldwide as party central for house music revellers, can be found right at ME Cabo. We’re talking bikini dancing here, folks. There’s a DJ spinning tracks in an open-air booth while the Nikki Girls (that’s right) try to get the crowd moving to the beat of the electronic drum. Make sure to try the Nikki Mojito, the signature drink Bacardi approached Nikki Beach to create and is found at all Nikki Beach Clubs.
ME Cabo also knows how to throw a good party at Passion, their indoor/outdoor club and lounge. When the music dies down at Nikki Beach, Passion gleefully takes the baton. We were there during the annual Halloween party (if you can, we recommend you try to go during a celebration of some sort as well) and it was packed with both guests and locals. To best describe the vibe that night and the well-dressed or well-costumed patrons, imagine a big-city nightclub owned by Salvador Dali. (We’re digging what you’re thinking right now.)
Capella Pedegral may change any of your previous conceptions about Cabo San Lucas, which probably involve thoughts of LA/OC folks partying or celebrities paying top dollar for a romantic rendezvous.
True, Capella Pedregal, situated on a stony hillside above The Marina (home to Senor Frog's and a quick boat ride out to El Arco), is often referred to as the "Beverly Hills of Cabo" and room rates are similar to those at the top places in Beverly Hills, at around $650 a night.
But it's also where you will find touches of the real Mexico, making Capella far more interesting than being just some resort on the beach. And when you're paying that much a night, the last thing you want is some same-old, same-old, luxury resort. So here are 7 Authentic Mexican Touches at Capella Pedregal that we found during a recent visit.
1. Mexican Cooking Classes: Capella Pedregal's Don Manuel's restaurant features Su Cocina, a dual-kitchen where guests can learn traditional Mexican cooking techniques and recipes, including a variety of ceviches and salsas. Cooking lessons are also offered here to kids who learn to make tortillas à mano, quesadillas, flautas, and churros.
2. Daily Delivery of Coronitas, Tortilla Chips and Guacamole. Every afternoon, this selection arrives at your door. It's included in the room rate and if you're not there to accept it, room service will leave a note telling you to call down when you would like it delivered.
Sure enough, just as we compile a list of our favorite killer hotel views comes another view that nearly tops them all.
This is the view outside room 336 at the luxury resort, Capella Pedregral, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. What more can you ask for? The ocean, the beach, a couple of palm tree, a boat happily sailing by and in case you can't see it, your own private plunge pool on the terrace. Muy bonita!
Rates for this Ocean View King Room, the starting room category at the hotel, are currently going for about $650 a night. That rate includes complimentary WiFi, complimentary minibar refreshments (non-alcoholic) and a daily delivery of Coronitas, tortilla chips and guacamole. We'll have more on that and other authentic Mexican touches at Capella Pedegral next week.
The famous "Arch" in Cabo
Yesterday as we cruised the beachfront "tourist corridor" in Los Cabos, Mexico where all the hotels are located, we learned that both Montage Hotels and Four Seasons would soon be setting up shop in Cabo.
We had heard about the Montage back in August but Four Seasons? That was new to us. So we did a little research and found that indeed Four Seasons is joining the party.
LosCabosGuide.com reports the hotel will open in The Cabo Riviera development which is located on more than 900 acres in the town of La Ribera, only 38 miles east of Los Cabos. That puts it pretty far from the tourist corridor and the action of the marina but it will still front the Sea of Cortez, ensuring lots of relaxing on the beach and water activities. The Cabo Riviera development will also include a golf course and its own 280-slip marina, along with an artists village, and plenty of high-end residences. (Sorry, no Senor Frog's here!)
In our research, we also uncovered a website for the Ritz-Carlton Reserve (essentially, a super luxe Ritz-Carlton) in San Jose del Cabo that was announced the other month. This Reserve should open in 2015 but sorry, your dollars won't go any further here as the dollars to peso exchange rate is pretty much the same. But we can all hope that the Reserve will keep prices below a $1,000 a night.
Rumors have been swirling lately that the thought-to-be rock-solid rock n' roll marriage between Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon is now, well, on the rocks. Ozzy has apparently admitted on Facebook that he's been using drugs and drinking alcohol again and has just been a total nightmare to his family. Yet he denied that they are splitting. SooSharon is just taking some much-deserved "me" time at the Esperanza.
She's probably booked one of the resort's villas which include gourmet kitchens, spacious bedrooms and baths, garden courtyards and sweeping ocean views, although she would probably be equally happy in one of the casitas or suites at the Auberge hotel which start at 925 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor living space and have private terraces (with hammocks!)
Well, we'll assume we stumped you with last week's edition of Guess the Hotel. None of you could guess! We gave you some killer clues and a damn-good picture of one hungry hot tub, but now we'll help you out: That oasis belongs to the Ridge Luxury Villas at Playa Grande in Cabo San Lucas.
The rooftop pool club is only available to guests of The Ridge, which offers one, two, or three bedroom villas with full kitchens and living rooms. There's also a restaurant and infinity pool overlooking the property/ocean (along with another hungry hot tub, see photo).
We know that downtown Cabo San Lucas screams puke and rally, but you really can have a luxurious experience outside of the hotel corridor - we swear.
Oh, the two bodies of water that converge are the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. The famous rock structure is the arch of Los Cabos, and The Ridge is one of five Solmar properties grouped on the southwest side of the harbor. Rates start at $308 a night.
[Photos: Will McGough for Hotel Chatter]
Now that his time as Mexico's President has come to an end, Felipe Calderon has begun a year-long fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston. We're sure he's freezing his tail off, no doubt in need of an early spring break. Where do you think his in-class daydreams are taking him?
We're guessing back to Cabo, which he chose as the site of the 2012 G20 Summit last summer. Obama posted up at the Esperanza Resort, but where did Mr. Calderon decide to rest his head? We figure the host president had his fair share of open doors when it came to where he would make camp for the conference, an assumption that makes his selection all the more telling. His choice? The Imperial Suite at the Fiesta Americana Grand.
The two-bedroom suite is housed in a private building and features an ocean-front pool, sunken outdoor Jacuzzi, fire pit, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that allow the scenery and Sea of Cortez to pour into the master bedroom. Check out the photos of the room and the resort in the gallery below. The Imperial Suite is one of those rooms you have to call to book, but $5,000/night is the approximate starting point.