“Has anyone ordered the $25,000 tacos?” we ask upon arriving at the resort. We’re booked to stay for this Grand Velas Los Cabos review (and for a travel article for a Canadian newspaper).
(The resort’s actual name is “Grand Velas Los Cabos” but more people know it as “Los Cabos Grand Velas.”)
No matter, this ultra-luxury Cabo resort, one of several new hotels in Cabo to open recently, has upped the wow factor in the sunny desert-meets-the sea destination of Los Cabos – where Hollywood celebs jet in for their regular dose of Vitamin D and luxury hotels glitter like diamonds on the finger of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
Grand Velas Los Cabos review: What’s special?
At this Grand Velas Mexico resort, you can book a $2 million birthday party for your pampered teen (complete with private jet flights and a concert by pop musicians Pitbull or Maroon 5).
And if you get married at the resort, you can have your first dance personally choreographed by a celebrity dancer from the hit TV show “Dancing With the Stars” or “So You Think You Can Dance.”
So maybe a guest has chowed down on the world’s most expensive taco?
Perhaps Juliette Lewis, one of the first stars to check in? Or Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee? (He recently celebrated his 55th birthday here.)
After all, the famous Grand Velas Los Cabos taco – a lobster and Beluga caviar creation – is served in no less than a gold-flaked tortilla.
“Oh yes, we’ve sold two,” came the answer.
The best of the best all-inclusive Cabo resorts
Eye-popping extras are just a small part of satisfying guests’ high-end tastes, we discover during our three-night stay at the Grand Velas.
Most guests are content with what’s included though. Because like its sister Mexican properties in the Grand Velas collection, this Los Cabos resort is all-inclusive.
But don’t cringe.
The Grand Velas resort in Cabo is nothing like your ordinary all-inclusive.
Picture instead an ultra-luxury resort, where the bill has been taken care of. (Indeed, just in case you’ve forgotten how much your stay costs, you even sign a bill at the end of each meal detailing what the charges would otherwise be.)
We’ve stayed at many luxury resorts in this part of Baja, Mexico, including other all-inclusive 5 star resorts in Cabo San Lucas.
And without hesitation, we can say it’s one of the top luxury resorts in Los Cabos – certainly the best of the Cabo San Lucas all-inclusive resorts.
Need more proof? The Grand Velas Cabo recently snagged the honor of being one of the best AAA Five-Diamond resorts in the world.
Grand Velas suites
After happily submitting to a complimentary three-minute shoulder massage at check-in, the next hint our Grand Velas sojourn is going to be quite different from the Club Meds, Couples and other all-inclusives we’ve previously stayed at is our modernist room, er, suite.
We usually think of a suite as having a bedroom closed off from a living room.
But all 304 Grand Velas suites are huge (at almost 1,200 square feet or more), and each has a separate lounging area (with the most humungous flat-screen TV we’ve seen). So even though occupying one space, in our books, these can aptly be called “suites.”
Most (264) are Grand Velas Ambassador suites. A few others (21 Grand Velas Grand Class suites) have private plunge pools on their terraces.
Goose down comforter and pillow menu? Check.
Ocean view from the bathtub and L’Occitane products? Check.
Welcome gold-chocolate-dipped strawberries, Nespresso coffee maker, premium mini-bar stocked daily, wine from Ensenada and a big cut-glass bottle of Grand Velas brand tequila? Check.
And what’s this? There’s even a flat-iron styling device in the bathroom (as well as a hair dryer).
A 5 star Cabo beach resort must have pool butlers
Eager to catch some rays, we dawdle no more and dash down to the three tiers of pools. We snag deck chairs on a palm island in front of the adult infinity pool – with prime views of the sparkling turquoise sea in front of us.
The gold sand beach below also beckons. But ocean swimming at the resort is a no-no because of the deadly undertow.
We decide to walk the beach later and succumb instead to the ministrations of the pool butler.
The pool butler has laid out our towels and delivered fresh mint mojitos along with an ice bucket of bottled water.
He’s now moving our umbrella to allow just the right amount of sun to warm our pasty bodies. (Did we mention the staff-to-guest ratio is 3 to 1?)
Grand Velas spa
We’re coddled some more the next day at the Grand Velas Los Cabos spa. We’re booked for a seven-step “water journey” – a guided, hot-and-cold hydrotherapy experience.
Led by a “spa valet,” we begin by soaking in the warm pools and trying different water jets for massaging the back, shoulders, calves and other parts of the body.
The metal underwater bubble beds are the most fun; we have to hang on or we’ll float away.
A cold plunge pool then sets us up for the sauna, where we’re given cucumber slices for the eyes and an iced facecloth for our brows.
Next, in the tiled ice room, we spread aloe vera on our skin, before stepping underneath a mist shower. By the time we enter the dark eucalyptus-scented steam cave, we’re ready to nod off underneath its starry lights.
Good thing the last stage is devoted to reclining on heated stone loungers, reviving on watermelon popsicles – or we might not make it to dinner!
And that would be a shame. Because the food is where the Grand Velas really shines…
Grand Velas Los Cabos restaurants
The resort has eight restaurants, offering a choice of 51 complimentary wines, including several fine Mexican wines from northern Baja California like Casa Magoni and Casa Madero.
Raw seafood bar:
For lunch, we go light at the raw seafood bar serving fresh sashimi, oysters and ceviche.
Mexican and French specialty restaurants:
At dinner, we let loose.
The first two nights are reserved for Frida (haute Mexican, where you can get that $25,000 taco) and Piaf (where a glass of Kir Royale kicks off a French-themed menu featuring foie gras, escargots and white truffles).
Cocina de Autor Grand Velas:
Our last night is saved for Cocina de Autor, led by two-Michelin-star Chef Sidney Schutte of the Netherlands, and the crème-de-la-crème of the Grand Velas restaurants.
We’re invited to start with a drink in the adjacent bar.
Mixologists whip up cocktails unique to each bar. We won’t find the “Germain’s Garden” – the gin, sage, rosemary, chamomile, lime, ginger, agave syrup and St. Germain liquor concoction that we’ve ordered here – at the toes-in-the-sand bar with firepit.
And there are no little parasols topping these artisanal cocktails. (No doubt too kitschy.)
Upon moving to the contemporary-styled restaurant, our server explains the ten-course tasting menu at Cocina de Autor. We’re offered sparkling or still water with our choice of garnish (orange, grapefruit or lime), and the sommelier pours the first of our wine pairings.
Mini-bites of octopus with red cabbage and tuna with jalapeno then appear.
Over the next couple of hours, we oohh and ahhh over langouistine cooked in whiskey cream, Kobe beef with black bean beetroot, avocado-and-cucumber yoghurt with Chartreuse, and more.
Foams, sauces and edible flowers garnish the dishes, and we savor every bite.
Grumbles? No, we’re simply enjoying the best Cabo all-inclusive resort
With so many things the Grand Velas does right, it’s hard to find any faults.
We could point out the fellow guests whose exuberance one day meant we had to move from our pool chairs to a more peaceful perch. Or that there’s a charge for the hydrotherapy experience ($70) unless you book a massage or other spa treatment, in which case it’s included.
Or we could just relish our time at this extraordinary Cabo all-inclusive resort, knowing that we’ll be returning to our everyday lives all too soon.
Where’s the resort?
It’s about half-way between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas (the two towns anchoring the Los Cabos resort area).
Our other review of Grand Velas Los Cabos
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As professional travel writers, we were invited to stay at this Los Cabos all-inclusive resort for review purposes. But as always, our opinions are our own, and we are always free to write what we want. (We took Photos 7 and 9, but credit for the remaining photos goes to the Grand Velas Los Cabos.)