Premier destination’s leading resorts sweep 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards
LOS CABOS, Mexico – Several top-class resorts in Los Cabos, including nine of the top 10 winners, were recently recognized for excellence in Conde Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey. Los Cabos placed more properties in the “Top 20 Resorts in Western Mexico” category – a total of 15 resorts – than any other destination in the region.
“For our 34th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey, registered voters weighed in on their favorite resorts around the globe,” the publication stated. “As the world has begun to reopen and readjust, the results reflect the kinds of properties you longed to visit when you couldn’t travel and the ones you returned to first once you could.
“More than 800,000 of you filled out our survey, and while we’re always curious about where you’ve been and where you’re going, we’re especially excited to learn about the truly memorable places that sparked your imagination and stayed with you when travel seemed out of reach.”
World-class golf is a prime amenity at nine of the magazine’s reader-selected resorts in Los Cabos. Each golf course, built by a name-brand designer, fully partakes of Cabo’s dazzling desert-meets-ocean environment at the tip of the Baja Peninsula.
With a near-perfect survey score of 99.66, Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve (No. 1) is an elite getaway situated within Puerto Los Cabos, a 2,000-acre resort community near San Jose del Cabo. Opened in 2019, 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, featuring colorful textiles, objets d’art and terraces with firepits, are carved into a rocky slope thick with desert vegetation.
Everything is best in class: the oasis-like Spa Alkemia, the agave-focused Candil Bar, the attentive staff who remember each guest’s favorite pool lounge. “In one of the world’s most elevated hotel towns, Ritz-Carlton shows that the bar can always be raised,” the magazine reported.
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. The club offers three 18-hole combinations. Subtly contoured greens, large, sculpted bunkers, sharp elevation changes and dramatic coastline views characterize the Nicklaus I & II nines. Flashed-faced bunkers, inspired by Melbourne’s Sandbelt courses, defend the fairways and greens on the Norman Course. Complimentary snacks and refreshments are served at a pair of on-course palapas.
One&Only Palmilla (No. 2), renowned as the “Grand Dame of Los Cabos,” is a refined hideaway built in 1956 by the son of a former president of Mexico. Patronized then as now by a celebrity clientele, the hotel was transformed by One&Only into a first-class resort in 2004. This lushly landscaped retreat, set on a promontory that juts into the sea, has three sheltered coves with sandy beaches and calm waters. Hacienda-style guest rooms, accented by wrought-iron chandeliers and updated Mission-style furniture, evoke the colonial pueblo Cabo once was. The hotel’s mix of authenticity, elegance and old-world glamour is unmatched in Los Cabos.
Tucked into a box-shaped canyon enclosed by stony brown peaks, Palmilla Golf Club, five minutes from the hotel, set the stage for top-shelf golf in Los Cabos when it opened 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 accessible greens accommodate players of lesser attainment. The club’s Ocean nine, added by Nicklaus in 1997, transports players from the mountains to the sea.
Montage Los Cabos (No. 5) fronts Santa Maria Bay, a protected marine sanctuary known for its perfect crescent-shaped beach. The hotel, opened in 2018, was built in a bold, contemporary style, its sleek lines and neutral tones accentuating the beauty of the desert and the sea. More than 40,000 rescued desert plants were used to landscape the subtle, low-rise property. Guest rooms are done up in granite, sandstone and indigenous hardwood, with antique marble countertops. The heart of the resort is Spa Montage, a 40,000-square-foot temple of renewal.
Resort guests have exclusive access to Twin Dolphin Golf Club, a Fred Couples Signature design routed across a broad sloping plateau bisected by three major arroyos high above the sea. This naturalistic, unembellished course, framed by tall rocky peaks, has welcoming fairways and open-entry greens. The golf club occupies the site and retains the name of the iconic Hotel Twin Dolphin, a Cabo hospitality legend. Guests have access to a Tour-quality practice facility and two “Red Door” refreshment stations.
Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection (No. 6) is a sophisticated, family-friendly property nestled in the 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) is a fine example of “deformalized luxury” and a study in beachside chic: white stucco, natural wood and hand-cut stone walls accent the public areas. TnT, overlooking the beach and the bay, vies for the title of Cabo’s best taco ‘n tequila bar. The resort’s three-tiered swimming pool, inlaid with iridescent blue tiles, simulates a river flowing to the Sea of Cortes.
Resort guests can tee it up on the Tom Fazio-designed course at Chileno Bay Golf & Beach Club. This flawless layout, manicured to perfection, is framed by winding arroyos, hillsides of colorful shrubs and bunkers filled with bright white sand. Displaying his trademark artistry, Fazio created flowing landforms that simulate rolling ocean waves. Elevated tees offer superlative views of the mountainous interior and the azure-blue blue sea. Chileno Bay’s two on-course comfort stations are a culinary match for the excellence of the course.
Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas (No. 8), situated on the East Cape 45 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport, is tucked within a 1,000-acre resort community that stretches along two miles of white sand beach on the Sea of Cortes. Backdropped by the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains, this two-year-old resort opens a window to a whole new side of Cabo. Guests enjoy excellent dining options, a full-service spa and wellness center, numerous pools and a 250-slip marina. The sports complex includes fitness facilities, a teen center and a Kids for All Seasons program.
Broad fairways and firm, fast conditions characterize the windswept course at Costa Palmas Golf Club, which sprawls across a rolling “dunescape” set above the sea. Upland holes on this Robert Trent Jones II design bring a mesquite grove and strategically placed bunkers into play. Lower-lying, links-style holes invite golfers to play bump ‘n run shots along the ground. There’s also a six-hole, par-3 loop and a one-acre putting course. Bouchie’s, an open-air café at the practice center, attracts adults and kids alike. The golf club is offered as an exclusive amenity to Four Seasons guests.
Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort (No. 10), an adults-only, all-inclusive hotel tucked in a secluded mountain valley 10 minutes from Cabo San Lucas, commands a spectacular location near the place where the Sea of Cortes meets the Pacific Ocean. Fronting a 2.5-mile stretch of pristine beach, the resort, which moved up 10 spots from last year’s Readers’ Choice Awards survey, has redefined the upscale Cabo vacation experience for couples. The hotel’s culinary jewel is Peninsula, a beachfront restaurant featuring regional Baja cuisine.
Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort (No. 12), a family-friendly property adjacent to Pacifica, is a multi-level resort terraced across a seaside bluff. It features ocean-view suites, several themed restaurants, an Armonia Spa and a Sky Pool perched high above the sea.
Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Beach Resort (No. 16), situated on El Médano Beach in Cabo San Lucas, is a Mediterranean-style property that offers safe-for-swimming waters, beachside dining and fine views of El Arco, Cabo’s iconic sea arch.
All three Pueblo Bonito resorts grant guest access to Quivira Golf Club, an epic layout grafted by Jack Nicklaus onto a jaw-dropping site at Land’s End. Marked by sheer granite cliffs, huge windswept dunes and rolling desert foothills, Quivira has twisting arroyos, acres of cactus, lots of rock…in sum, a sampling of everything Cabo has to offer. Arguably the most daring, eclectic course Nicklaus has ever built, this tour de force presents an unforgettable test from each set of tees. Mexican specialties and refreshments are served at the club’s comfort stations.
In a separate Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards category, a stylish newcomer, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos (No. 4), claimed a prominent spot on the list of the “Top 20 Hotels in Mexico.” Created by Japanese celebrity Chef “Nobu” Matsuhisa and Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro, the Nobu Hotel blends contemporary Japanese minimalism with locally sourced Mexican materials. Drawing inspiration from a simple but sophisticated palette that embraces a Japanese aesthetic, this low-rise, white-washed hotel on the Pacific fuses architectural elegance and laid-back Cabo luxury.
Subject to availability, Nobu guests can play the golf courses at Diamante, a resort community renowned for its Davis Love III-designed Dunes Course, a breezy, roller-coaster layout set in towering sand hills set back from the sea. It’s ranked No. 1 in Mexico by Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine. Guests can also play El Cardonal, which marked the architectural debut of Tiger Woods when it opened in 2014. The sturdy 7,363-yard layout is defined by its undulating greens and bold, flashed-faced bunkers. Tiger also designed Diamante’s Oasis Short Course, a fun layout with 12 par 3’s ranging from 41 to 143 yards.
Additional resorts that received Conde Nast Traveler’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards are convenient to golf courses in and around the 20-mile ‘Tourist Corridor’ that links San Jose del Cabo, a charming colonial city; and Cabo San Lucas, a deep-sea fishing mecca and nightlife capital. These properties include Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection (No. 3), The Cape, A Thompson Hotel (No. 4), Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal (No. 9), Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa Cabo San Lucas (No. 15), Viceroy Los Cabos (No. 18), Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos (No. 19), and Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort (No. 20).
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry.
This latest results are published on the magazine’s website at https://www.cntraveler.com/inspiration/readers-choice-awards