The siren call of Los Cabos, the magical desert-meets-ocean enclave at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, has segued to a subtle drumbeat with the recent debut of Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, a fine example of “deformalized luxury” courtesy of the Auberge Resorts Collection.
The setting dictates the theme. The low-rise property occupies the site of the 1961 Hotel Cabo San Lucas, a legendary hideaway patronized by Hollywood moguls and film stars such as John Wayne. Thundering surf prevails in Los Cabos, but Chileno Bay fronts a broad crescent of sand that indents the coastline, protecting its cove and marine life from strong currents and big waves. Closer to shore, reefs and shelves of rock create tranquil waters ideal for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding.
As conceived by Auberge, the coveted beachfront inspired a chilled-out retreat where families, friends and active couples can enjoy a relaxed, free-spirited, shoes-optional holiday. This understated newcomer is the yang to the yin of Esperanza, a nearby Auberge resort that qualifies as a study in tropical elegance.
Chileno Bay is beachside chic: clean lines, native landscaping, natural wood accents, curving hand-cut stone walls. The resort’s focal point, a 450-foot-long, three-tiered swimming pool inlaid with iridescent deep-blue tiles, looks like a river flowing to the sea.
The signature restaurant, COMAL, headed by an alum of The French Laundry, serves contemporary Latin American cuisine, though the whimsical beachside TnT, with its high-top tables and bleached white palo de arco (woven stick roof that filters sunlight), vies for the title of Cabo’s best taco and tequila bar. It’s also a great spot to watch for whales during the winter months.
Accommodations at the 92-key resort (60 hotel rooms and 32 three- and four-bedroom villas) take their cue from the natural environment, with a toned-down color palette of tawny desert, succulent plants and shades of blue. Bathrooms have indoor and outdoor showers, a soaking tub, Mexican tiles and smooth plaster walls.
Among the highlights at the Auberge Spa are a salt inhalation room embowered by exterior walls of flowering plants and an outdoor reflexology pool where guests trod stones on the floor of the pool to derive benefits.
Stylish, low-key and oriented to the outdoors, Chileno Bay Resort & Residences delivers luxury in a different and, for a destination synonymous with fun in the sun, very welcome way.