One of my favorite beach destinations is the Los Cabos area at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. It is a six hour trek from my home base, Washington, DC, with a quick connection in either Phoenix on US Airways or Houston on United using my preferred Star Alliance carriers. I recently headed down there for six days of rest and relaxation at the AAA Four Diamond-rated Hilton Los Cabos Resort. This was my third stay at the property, and the hotel’s amenities and service did not disappoint. It makes sense that TripAdvisor recently gave the property a 2012 Travelers Choice Award and Expedia named the resort to its 2012 Insiders Select list.
The resort is located 30 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport and halfway between the towns of San Jose del Cabo and the larger Cabo San Lucas. The property is perched on a hillside overlooking an expansive beach along the Sea of Cortez with its beautiful turquoise and dark blue water. The design is Spanish-mission inspired style with open air corridors throughout the building to capture the fresh sea air. It has 375 rooms and suites, all with either partial or full sea views. All rooms have balconies and large bathrooms with separate soaking tubs and large walk-in showers. I took advantage of Hilton’s instant upgrade promotion and was given a deluxe full ocean view junior suite for a small upcharge on the room rate.
Room prices start from the $180s for a double partial ocean view and increase to $250+ for deluxe full ocean view and beyond. The hotel offers various package options to bundle different services with the nightly rate, such as golf and spa activities. The prices are quite reasonable for the area, especially compared to the neighboring AAA Five Diamond-rated Las Ventanas Resort, where a garden view room starts at $800+ per night.
Activities at the Hilton Los Cabos
The best feature of the resort is the large infinity swimming pool with amazing views of the beach and Sea of Cortez located in the center of the property. There is a second smaller pool, which is typically less crowded. My itinerary included extensive time lying by the infinity pool. The poolside service is outstanding and the attendants ensure that you never go without a full margarita. My favorite touch is the staff member that walks around each afternoon cleaning guests’ sunglasses. Hotel guests quickly stake claim to chairs around the pool early in the day, so you need to be outside by 11:00 a.m. to secure your preferred location.
The resort’s Spa Oasis offers a relaxing respite from the sun. I booked a 50-minute Swedish massage and it was perfect. The spa’s facilities are clean and not huge, but adequate. The prices are standard, with Swedish massages ranging from $120 for 50 minutes to $150 for 80 minutes. Located near the spa is the fitness center, which has plenty of new machines and is worth a visit after several days of sugary margaritas and numerous bowls of guacamole.
For activities in the surrounding area, the resort’s concierges are helpful and can book excursions and make dinner reservations. There is also a National Car Rental desk on the property, as well as a staff member to help book golf tee times at nearby courses.
Dining at the Hilton Los Cabos
The hotel offers room packages that include the daily breakfast buffet in its El Meson restaurant. This is a great deal and better than paying à la carte prices. Although I do not typically like buffets, this one is very good with extensive Mexican and standard American breakfast items. My favorite is the chilaquiles, which are baked flour tortilla chips with red onion, cilantro, cheese, and a chili sauce that alternates daily between green and red. So delicious. El Meson has indoor seating, as well as tables on a large veranda overlooking the infinity pool and the Sea of Cortez. I definitely recommend eating outside.
The best place for lunch is poolside, where the food is very tasty from the outdoor Madero restaurant located next to the infinity pool. It offers sandwiches, salads, and tacos, as well as pizza cooked in a large brick oven. There is also a sushi menu from Le Barco, the restaurant located by the smaller pool. I was somewhat hesitant about eating sushi outdoors in 90+ degree heat, but it was very fresh. Both Modero and El Barco have swim-up bars in case you do not want to get out of the pool.
For dinner, the resort has two restaurant choices. El Meson serves traditional Mexican dishes and Fenicia offers Mediterranean fare. Tables are set up poolside at Fenicia for a romantic dinner setting. There is also a bar off the main lobby called La Vista that serves appetizers and other light snacks. Additionally, room service is available 24 hours a day.
Where to eat beyond the Hilton Los Cabos:
- Flora’s Field Kitchen: Located in the hills above San Jose del Cabo, this unique restaurant grows all of its own produce and raises all of its own animals. Dine al fresco under the stars and enjoy a home-grown carrot juice margarita with fresh brick oven pizza.
- Restaurante Patagonia (Argentine Steakhouse): Located in downtown Cabo San Lucas, come here for delicious steaks prepared over a wood fire as they do in Argentina.
- Sea Grill at Las Ventanas: Situated on the beach, this casual dining restaurant in the luxurious Las Ventanas Resort offers grilled steaks, fish, and Mexican tapas.
- Agua Grill at the One and Only Palmilla: Located in the famous One and Only Palmilla Resort, the casual restaurant serves Mediterranean fare overlooking the property’s infinity pool and the Sea of Cortez.
What to see and do:
There are so many things to do during a visit to Los Cabos, but here are a few suggestions that you will definitely enjoy:
- Spend as much time as possible relaxing by the Hilton’s infinity pool.
- Visit downtown San Jose Del Cabo and spend hours exploring endless small cobblestone streets and pop in and out of the many art galleries.
- Take an evening catamaran sailing excursion from the marina in downtown Cabo San Lucas. I recommend the Tropicat. It offers a wine and jazz sunset sail and the boat is nice and not overcrowded. There is an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. The boat passes by the famous Cabo Arch and then opens the large sail for a one-hour sailing cruise on the Pacific Ocean. The price is $59 per person and well worth it.
- Rent a car and head one hour north to visit the quaint town of Todo Santos, favored by artists for years and home to the famous Hotel California. The road from the Hilton to Todo Santos is a new four lane highway that makes for easy travel. While there, have lunch at the festive Tequila Sunrise restaurant and enjoy one of its cadillac margaritas. After lunch, explore numerous art galleries and local handicraft shops. On the drive back to the Hilton, stop along the highway and visit untouched stretches of beach on the Pacific Ocean side of Baja (note: a Jeep is recommended, as any deviation off the well-maintained highway essentially involves off-roading).
If you are thinking about a beach trip to Mexico, Los Cabos at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula should be on your list. Second, if you are looking for a mid-priced deluxe hotel with a fantastic pool and gorgeous views, the Hilton Los Cabos should be a top contender. I guarantee you will never want to leave – I cannot wait to return for a fourth time soon! This destination is definitely TripBadger favorite.
Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) is served by all major U.S. carriers. Sample nonstop flight options:
- Alaska: San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Los Angeles, Seattle
- American: Dallas, Los Angeles
- Delta: Salt Lake City
- Frontier: Denver
- United: San Francisco, Houston, Denver
- US Airways: Phoenix and Charlotte
- Virgin America: San Francisco