On past visits to Los Cabos, we’ve driven by the lush grounds of the One and Only Palmilla (near the town of San Jose del Cabo), lusting to know why the fabled resort is so special that Hollywood royalty flock to it in droves.
Now, after staying here, we know why. And it really is, well, the “one and only.”
Introducing the One and Only Palmilla
Built in 1956, the resort was originally used as a 15-room vacation getaway for the son of the Mexican president.
In 2004, it was expanded and turned into the One and Only Palmilla.
Service is beyond expectation.
Chill by the adult-only pool and you get free 10-minute foot massages, sunglass cleaning and mini sorbets.
The family-friendly resort also offers complimentary laundry for kids under two. And all 173 rooms and suites have a private butler who unpacks and packs your clothes – meaning more of that pampered pool time.
One and Only Palmilla rooms
Rooms and suites reflect a colonial Mexican flavor and are pretty dreamy.
Nestled in a setting of fountains, swaying palms and tropical flowers, they have red tile roofs, travertine floors, iron-studden doors, exposed wood beams and outdoor terraces.
Most rooms are beachfront terrace junior suites, with an indulgent 750 square feet of space.
You’re welcomed with a tequila platter; fruit and complimentary snacks (from spicy peanuts to cheese, crostinis and olives) are delivered daily. At turndown, scented candles await.
New to the resort is Villa One.
Perched on a hilltop, this 14,000-square-foot retreat boasts a separate butler suite, screening room and private infinity pool.
One and Only Palmilla restaurants
Dining is a gourmet treat at Seared, a steakhouse restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (try the black truffle pizza appetizer). New dishes include spring pea guacamole and roasted cabrilla (grouper) with mushroom yuzu broth and crunchy rice.
And if you snag a “moonlight” ocean-side table at Agua by Larbi, the resort’s al fresco restaurant, you’ll listen to the waves while noshing on farm-to-table Mexican cuisine.
Other One and Only Palmilla restaurants include Suviche – think a mix of Mexican and Japanese dishes, like salmon tartar guacamole and tuna ceviche with green apple and jalapeno.
Complimentary yoga is offered daily in the yoga garden; the gym has free spinning classes. There’s a chapel onsite for destination weddings.
The nearby beach is one of the few in Los Cabos that’s swimmable (strong waves and currents make most unsafe).
For golfers, a 27-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus offers ocean views from every hole, and new clay courts lure tennis fans to play a game.
Want to get out on the water? You can book the resort’s luxury 95-foot yacht for a day of snorkeling, kayaking, SUP and relaxation.
Just bring your credit card. And down a stiff nip of that tequila before checking out and settling your bill.
If you stay at the One and Only Palmilla, Cabo
What we loved:
- Being surrounded by lush tropical gardens and grounds, filled with bougainvillea, jasmine and waving palm trees
- Lounging on comfy daybeds on our private stone terrace, looking out at the Sea of Cortez
- It’s pricey! And on top of your accommodation and dining costs, you pay an extra 29% in taxes, fees, surcharges and mandatory gratuities
See the resort’s website.
Update July, 2016: After Hurricane Odile struck Los Cabos in 2014, the One and Only Palmilla spent $140 million on an extensive renovation before reopening again a year later.
While the resort kindly provided us with media support for our stay, our One and Only Palmilla review is entirely our own – we follow the ethical codes of the travel writing professional associations to which we belong.
Photos that aren’t ours are courtesy One and Only Palmilla.
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We’re Janice and George Mucalov, professional award-winning travel writers, sharing tales of luxury travel with a twist of adventure.