Under-The-Radar Luxury Plus Destination Food And Service At Hilton Los Cabos

Food & Drink

I’ve ne­­ver used the words “Hilton” and “under-the-radar” ­­in the same sentence, given the brand’s worldwide name recognition, but the Los Cabos property, less than 30 minutes from the San Jose airport, delivers above and beyond in the food and service departments — not to mention its primo beach location.

More hotels than is reasonable claim to be on “one of Cabo’s only swimmable beaches,” but I can attest that Hilton Los Cabos actually is. There’s a protected cove-like section roped off on the southern end of the property, and the sandy beach directly fronting the hotel can be approachable, as well. Even little kids can enjoy the water safely on most days, a rarity in Cabo.

Cabo is a luxury destination whose rates are increasing every year, and Hilton Los Cabos is becoming a player in that game with the introduction of its Altamar level of accommodation and service. Just six stories high, the hotel stretches across a broad swathe of beach, so views are magnificent, and the low-key, hacienda-style architecture and design are welcoming and familiar. Altamar guests can choose a room on one of the top two floors or a splurge-worthy room or suite with a plunge pool overlooking the beach. Altamar bookings come with perks like ground transportation to and from the airport, dedicated private check-in, free 10-minute add-ons to spa services, French press coffee delivery to your room, and a free minibar that’s re-stocked daily.

The icing on the cake here is the stellar food and beverage program and the absolutely spot-on service, the latter of which is tricky as the hospitality industry generally struggles to maintain full staffing — it’s not an issue here. The global context makes this understated spot even more of a find.

Executive Chef Mauricio Lopez, who’s been with the hotel for 16 years, is one of the best in the business, grounded both in the regional cuisines of his native Mexico and in Italian, American and Pan-Mediterranean cooking, all represented across the property’s restaurants. A no-holds-barred private dinner on the beach was five exquisite courses paired with Mexican wines, from local tuna belly to braised short rib molotes. Sommelier David Reyes chose a handful of Mexican wines from the country’s finest wine-producing regions. Case in point: confit of suckling pig (with crispy skin!) and a Henry Lurton Cabernet Sauvignon from the Valle de Vicente.

The undisputed rockstar of my time here was spirits expert Ana Martinez, who hails from northern Spain and has the deepest knowledge of Tequila and mezcal a person can have. Her passion for artisanal spirits — and for education — is unabashedly joyful, and in one short hour, we got an overview of the elaborate production process, complete with legal standards for naming types and what makes for the highest quality spirits. The hotel’s “Biblioteca” is a sanctuary to all things agave and where Ana holds court.

The breakfast buffet is a thoroughly complete display of Mexican, American and European possibilities, my favorite being the quesadilla bar where you can order a freshly made corn tortilla griddled with your choice of fillings. Altamar guests can opt to have a “floating breakfast” delivered straight to your plunge pool. Next month, lobby coffee shop Los Arcos will open, featuring Chiapas-grown coffees, a move that will, no doubt, up the coffee game here.

The spa at the northern end of the building is contiguous with the overall relaxation vibe and offers a full range of facials and massages — my deep tissue massage was satisfying and restorative. An hour-long sound healing class on the terrace extended my inner calm and got me thinking about the color of my aura.

Rooms are spacious, simply adorned, quiet and comfortable, with good blackout curtains if you don’t want to invite the early sunrise in. My Altamar room with plunge pool had a private terrace with unobstructed beach views, along with a deep soaking tub and large shower.

Do not fail to reserve a cabana on the beach for at least one of your days here. The treehouse-like wooden structures have ergonomic loungers and bean bags, and you can order some of the best sushi in Cabo from your perch. I especially like the “Sunset” mocktail made with passionfruit juice, lime, and ginger ale, a great cocktail without the alcohol punch (hydrating, in fact).

If you live in the Western U.S., getting here is a snap. My flight from SFO was under three hours and it only took about 10 minutes to get through customs and immigration and out to the awaiting car, then another quick half-hour to the hotel.

If you want to pop up to San Jose del Cabo for lunch and shopping, downtown is just a 15-minute drive from the hotel.

Hilton Los Cabos is greater than the sum of its parts — and its parts are each wonderful in and of themselves — because of the elevated food and service across the board. And, of course, it’s the people working here who make it so. For more information and to book a reservation, visit Hilton Los Cabos.

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