The Mexican resort retains the exclusivity that characterized it in the 1950s when it had 15 rooms and could only be accessed by boats and private aircraft. Today, it offers a more comprehensive international service for a luxury holiday.
By Federico Tibytt
Mexico is a country of exuberant nature and rich cultural history that has emerged in recent decades as one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the luxury segment. The paradisiacal beaches of the Gulf of California—an extension of the Pacific Ocean located between the Baja California peninsula and the states of Sonora and Sinaloa in northwestern Mexico— attract thousands of travelers every year.
And just at the southern tip of the peninsula, in the municipality of Los Cabos, in the state of Baja California Sur, we find one of the most exclusive resorts in the country: the idyllic One and Only Palmilla.
The building that currently houses the complex was built in 1956 by Don Abelardo Rodriguez —(son of Abelardo L. Rodriguez, the former interim president of Mexico from 1932 to 1934) —as a secluded holiday retreat with only 15 luxurious rooms.
Originally, access to the hotel was possible only by boat or private aircraft. For its exclusivity, it was a favorite destination for Hollywood stars like John Wayne, and American politicians such as former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In 2004, the hotel was refurbished and expanded with an investment of more than US $ 90 million, but it retained its original style. The current One and Only Palmillas offers comfort, luxury, and elegance, maintaining a strict privacy for each of its guests.
Among a broad variety of rooms, guests can choose from suites of 130 square meters (1,400 square feet), which have spectacular panoramic views of the Gulf of California— also called the Sea of Cortez— spacious bedrooms with lavish bathrooms, living room, dining room, an exclusive terrace with a private pool, and complimentary butler service.
For those who want even more privacy, the resort offers some Casitas of 63 and 185 square meters (680 and 2,000 square feet) all with one bedroom, oversized lounges, dining room, private terraces with pool, Jacuzzi and —of course—stunning panoramic views.
But perhaps the resort`s most impressive attractions are their private villas with four or five bedrooms. They are splendid houses of over 1,000 square meters (10,000 square feet) exquisitely decorated with an aesthetic that highlights local styles and uses the natural resources of the peninsula to deliver a dream vacation for families or groups of friends.
The variety of available activities and excursions is amazing. The resort has one of the few beaches in Los Cabos where the waters are not dangerous and is safe to swim: Pelican Beach. The guests can also enjoy luxury yachts for sea outings, a multi-award winning 27-hole golf course designed by the renowned Jack Nicklaus firm, basketball courts and tennis courts, a state of the art gym, perfect beaches for surfing with world-class instructors, and a specially equipped spa to ensure the relaxation of every guest.
To complete an unforgettable experience, the resort boasts five restaurants of international renown. Especially noteworthy is Seared, specializing in beef and seafood from the Pacific Ocean. The eatery is led by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, awarded with several Michelin stars.
You can access this complex through Los Cabos International Airport, which has direct flights from most cities in the United States.
One and Only Palmillas offers a varied choice of excellent services for all tastes. It is an oasis set in an easily accessible earthly paradise that retains the exclusive privacy of its early years. ■
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