Destination: Mexico: Cabo
Everyone knows the importance of first impressions. At the Capella Pedregal, the newest of Cabo’s luxury resorts, the arrival road takes guests through a mountain tunnel, where chandeliers hang and cast a dim, almost eerie light on the roughly hewn rocks. The tunnel emerges at the resort with a direct view to the sea. As you blink your eyes, a butler opens the car door, welcomes you by name and hands you a margarita. As first impressions go, this is a pretty good one.
But what makes the Capella Pedregal special isn’t how it shows first but rather how well it wears. The décor feels distinctly Mexican, blending modern design with more rustic touches. Beamed ceilings, carved wooden headboards and wrought-iron chandeliers look straight out of a hacienda, but the luxury linens, deep soaking tubs, plasma televisions, Bose iPod docks and WiFi (free!) are all from the modern era. Every room has ocean views as well as a terrace with a private plunge pool and fire pit. As beautiful as the resort’s infinity pool and palapa bar may be, the comfort and privacy of these terraces may keep couples closer to home. Capella also offers three- and four-bedroom residences that are excellent choices for families. Their bedrooms are spacious and the kitchens outfitted with professional Viking appliances. Like the hotel rooms, the residences also all have private terraces and plunge pools.
The Capella serves as both a romantic escape for couples as well as a luxurious resort for families. With both a zero-entry family pool as well as the more adult-focused infinity pool (children aren’t banned but plastic pool toys are), there are places where every guest will feel comfortable. Capella also offers a half- or full-day kids’ club where activities range from Spanish lessons, cooking classes, scavenger hunts and castle building “seminars.” For couples, there are romantic beach dinners and a spectacular 100,000-square-foot spa, where the treatment rooms sit in individual island pods in the spa pool. Other amenities include a fully-equipped gym and two excellent restaurants.
With only sixty-six rooms, Capella is much smaller than Palmilla and Esperanza and seems to have placed itself in direct competition with Las Ventanas. From the looks of it, the newcomer is putting up a good fight. Capella’s finishes are newer, their amenities more generous and the spa a real wow. Although I can’t speak for the service at Capella’s competitors (and I hear very good things), it would be tough to top the friendliness and efficiency of the staff at Pedregal. Las Ventanas recently started a massive renovation on their spa and hired a new GM, which may indicate that I’m not the only person who noticed that a challenge has been issued.
ROOMS TO GET: While the beachfront suites sit just steps from the sand and have private beach butler service, my pick is the Corner Estrella Suites. Located on the top floor of the buildings (four stories high), the suites have views not only of the sea but also a second terrace that overlooks the small mountain behind the resort and feels a tad more open than the beach suites, which have windows only on the front.
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