Authenticity. A sense of place. Cultural touchstones. These are the catchphrases of new resort developments throughout Latin America, especially in Los Cabos, Mexico’s trendiest destination. Combining luxury, heritage and simplicity under one roof? Easier said than done. But there is one Cabo newcomer that blends effortlessly into its desert-meets-sea setting and delivers Mexican warmth, charm and elegance.
It starts with the huge iron “X” tilted on its side at the center of a porte cochere. Pirates ruled the tip of the Baja peninsula in the 16th century, preying on Spanish galleons. “X” marks the spot. Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is the treasure.
Tucked within Puerto Los Cabos, a resort community on the outskirts of historic San Jose del Cabo, Zadún is the ne plus ultra of the region’s premiere hotels. Opened November 2019, Zadún (a mash-up of the English and Spanish pronunciations of ‘dunes’) is spaced along bluffs above a lovely beach on the Sea of Cortez. The property’s 115 low-slung rooms, suites and villas are terraced into a broad slope thick with desert vegetation. They almost disappear into the site’s rugged natural contours. Most are equipped with a plunge pool and terrace. Private attendants ensure that everything is comfortable.
The guest rooms offer a modern expression of Mexican design. The decor is highlighted by handwoven textiles from Mexico’s culture-rich regions, such as Oaxaca. The color schemes are blue and pale brown—to signify where the sea meets the land.
Zadún is not just another Ritz-Carlton; the Reserve category is the luxury brand’s top-tier product, and Zadún is just the fourth resort in its portfolio. The attention to detail is impressive and vibrant. If the typical Ritz-Carlton is a Cadillac, Zadún is a Rolls Royce.
The resort’s restaurants are splendid but not ritzy. In a colorful, open-air setting, El Barrio offers street fare, fine dining and a “Mexican Experience” breakfast that … well … must be experienced. HUMO, a rustic dinner-only restaurant, uses woodburning fires to turn out spice-infused, only-here cuisine. Specialty cocktails? Candil, an agave bar encased within a tall square metal edifice, offers a definitive collection of Mexican spirits.
Spa Alkemia is more than a spa. It’s a 29,535-square-foot sanctuary of wellness. The Agua Grande hydrotherapy pool, shared by men and women, is an oasis in the desert. Tropical plants are used in many of the spa’s locally inspired treatments.
Finally, there’s Zadún’s gracious staff. Ritz-Carlton hired the most personable and talented bilingual hospitality stars they could find. Everyone—from the kitchen staff to the marine biologists—is best in class. Like Zadún itself.
Beautifully appointed but not showy, this enchanting retreat does not miss a beat. Zadún earns its sobriquet: Inspired by nature, so you can discover your true nature.