Editor’s Review of One & Only Palmilla
This is the kind of resort where even the gatekeeper knows to say "Welcome back" when our taxi approaches, noting that we stayed at the property five years ago. At the entry, a bellman whisks luggage to the room while a greeter proffers guava, strawberry or raspberry frozen ices. Before a staff member escorts guests to accommodations, he unfurls a white parasol to provide sun protection for the journey. There's also no need to line up at the front desk since registration happens in the guestroom.
Then the butler arrives. Even though we share him with several other lodgings, we remain impressed as he acquaints us with the room, pointing out the telescope for star viewing, the Bose CD player and the complimentary tequila.
Such service and details matter at this AAA Four Diamond beachfront resort, located within the 21-mile Los Cabos corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. The rich and famous have visited the resort since its inception. Don Abelardo Rodriguez, a flight instructor and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force during WWII, purchased Punta Palmilla, constructed 15 rooms, the chapel and an air strip, and opened the resort in March 1956. Guests could arrive only by plane or by boat because the Transpeninsular Highway wasn't built until 1970. The isolated location and the area's natural beauty made the resort an A-list magnet. The property drew luminaries such as John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, as well as Ernest Hemingway, who was attracted to Cabos' deep-sea fishing.
The hotel was sold over the years to various businesses. In January 2004 the resort reopened after a $90 million refurbishment and a rebranding as part of Kerzner International's One&Only upmarket portfolio. As part of the debut sparkle, John Travolta brought his friends to celebrate his 50th birthday at the resort. Natalie Cole crooned "Unforgettable," and Jose Feliciano sang "Light My Fire," cueing an elaborate fireworks display.
Channel your "inner celebrity" and prepare to be coddled at this luxury resort, which has 173 mostly oversized rooms and suites, 27 holes of golf, plus a world-class spa. In 2008, a $30 million renovation added 16 beachfront suites, a four-bedroom villa, and Market, the first west coast venue by Michelin starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
The hotel looks wonderful. The grounds bloom with hibiscus, bougainvillea, oleander and scores of other flowers. Bamboo and palm trees shade the walkways, giving the resort the lushness of a desert oasis. Families with children ages four to 10 are likely to be happiest at this resort because of the children's program. less
Our Editor Loves
- Luxurious accommodations with telescopes for stargazing
- Exceptional service that includes butlers
- Excellent food and children's program
- Water Sports
- Children's Program
- DVD Player
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Kids'/Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
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Most of the guestrooms are oversized and all come with surprises, the first of which is the butler, who points out the complimentary tequila, the telescope for stargazing and the terrace with an inviting daybed. The butler also assures that you receive your preferred daily cocktail, snack and fruit. We call the room decor "Mexican hacienda gone elegant." The Spanish style, high wooden border frames an embroidered fabric that forms the headboard, a Spanish style chest conceals the coffee maker and the white wooden doors in the room have iron inlay. Most rooms come with a sitting area and couch and all rooms feature some type of water view. Two children under 12 stay free and cribs and rollaways are complimentary.
All of the guestrooms feature sea views from the private patio or terrace. The units in the Tres Palmes building, among the smallest and least expensive, are close to a green lawn for playing, the family pool and near the swimmable beach.
There are a variety of suites from with to choose and each has a small private pool. The master pool casita, along with a dining and living area, comes with a bigger pool and an outside shower.
The large four-bedroom villa offers beautiful, indoor and outdoor spaces. It can accommodate up to eight adults and two children. It features a private infinity pool and fitness suite, a home theater and home office and a fully equipped kitchen.
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