The name is a little unusual, we admit that. But it won’t take you long to start thinking of One&Only Palmilla as your “one and only” resort. The readers of Condé Nast Traveler placed One&Only Palmilla on their 2013 Gold List and Travel + Leisure ranked One&Only Palmilla on its list of the World’s 500 Best Hotels for 2013. It’s so special some reviewers have worried that they’d run out of stars to award it.
We say, don’t worry about that: you’ll find plenty of stars in the sky over Los Cabos at night!
What makes One&Only Palmilla shine?
Los Cabos, at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, is an absolutely breathtaking spot—the sort of location that you’d need some serious clout to acquire. And, in fact, the resort started its life in 1956 as the 15-room private vacation home of Don Abelardo Rodriguez, the son of the president of Mexico. His serious clout brought houseguests that included some of the most celebrated figures of the day, from Ernest Hemingway to Lucille Ball to U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower, who came for the beauty of the location, the fantastic fishing, and most of all the privacy. When the Transpeninsular Highway was built in 1970, the area became easier to reach. That led to Don Abelardo’s hideaway being converted into a hotel, and later into a full-service resort.
One&Only Palmilla, which opened after a top-to-bottom renovation in 2004, now has 172 rooms and one villa, yet it has kept the wonderful sense of seclusion and privacy that Don Abelardo’s guests adored all those years ago. If all you want to do is settle into a quiet spot to read a good book or work on your siesta skills, you can do just that. Then somehow (and we’re still trying to figure out exactly how they know!) just as you’re feeling a little thirsty, a member of the resort staff will come by to offer you a drink.
Which brings us to the service: Top of the line all the way! Even if you’re a demanding guest (and sometimes we are!) you’ll feel like you’re being spoiled. Honestly, complimentary foot rubs by the pool? Yes, please! The typical day-to-day service makes you feel as if you don’t have to lift a finger. And if you want something extra-special, it will be carried out beyond your wildest expectations. Marriage proposals and romantic honeymoon rendezvous are a specialty. Want your beloved to be serenaded by musicians or bathed in rose petals? It can be arranged. (Let Ultimate Jet Vacations know and we’ll help with the planning.)
Guestrooms are incredibly spacious, from the 500-square-foot Superior Rooms overlooking the Sea of Cortez to the 1,780-square-foot Beachfront Pool Casita Master Suite. For larger families and groups, there’s the 10,000-square-foot 4-bedroom Villa Cortez. All come with thoughtful perks and amenities, including butler service. (Remember what we said about not lifting a finger?)
The marquee restaurant is Market, with a Euro-Asian menu created by Michelin-star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Equally fabulous is the “Mexiterranean” cuisine served under the stars at Agua.
There’s a golf course and full-service spa on the property, plus a private white sand beach and a full slate of activities for kids. For us, though, the adults-only Vista Pool was the place to be, especially when they offered us those foot rubs and the tangy popsicles. We could have gazed at that infinity pool overlooking the Pacific forever!
What Do You Think?
Have you vacationed at One&Only Palmilla? Comment below. And, if you’d like assistance planning a spectacular getaway at One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico, contact Ultimate Jet Vacations at 1-800-231-4095.
—Emma Sandoval for Ultimate Jet Vacations