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One & Only Palmilla: There’s only one

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

Oysters and bubbly at the One and Only Palmilla
Oysters and bubbly at 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, the property was expanded and turned into the One and Only Palmilla.

One and Only Palmilla
Fountains and intricate stone work grace the One and Only Palmilla grounds

Exceptional service

One and Only Palmilla
The resort’s mission? To be the best luxury hotel in Los Cabos

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

Mexican colonial-style villas house the guestrooms - photo One & Only Palmilla
Mexican colonial-style villas house the guestrooms

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.

Villa One master bathroom at One and Only Palmilla
Master bathroom in 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.

One and Only Palmilla restaurants
Expect dining at Seared to be a creative culinary journey

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.

Sushi at Suviche
Sushi at Suviche

Fun activities

The One & Only Palmilla fronts a beautiful beach.
The One & Only Palmilla fronts a beautiful beach

Complimentary yoga is offered daily in the yoga garden, and the gym has free spinning classes.

There’s also a chapel onsite for destination weddings.

The nearby beach is one of the few beaches 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.

Where to go snorkeling: Get the full scoop on the best snorkeling in Cabo San Lucas (and best snorkeling tours)

Gulp!

Just bring your credit card.

And down a stiff nip of that tequila before checking out and settling your bill.

Interested in more fabulous Cabo resorts? See our curated collection of the best 5-star hotels in Cabo San Lucas

One & Only Palmilla review in brief

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

Be aware:

  • It’s pricey!
  • And on top of your accommodation and dining costs, you pay an extra 29% in taxes, fees, surcharges and mandatory gratuities

One and Only Palmilla, Cabo

Check rates and availability here

Experience more of Los Cabos!

Read our posts on:

Whale watching | Between December and April, there’s awesome whale watching in Cabo! Check out the best tours here.

Day trips | Hiking in the Canyon of the Fox? Shopping in Todos Santos? Check out the 9 best day trips from Cabo San Lucas.

Recommended restaurant experience | In Cabo, do yourself a favor and eat at the beautiful farm-to-table Flora Farms restaurant.


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. 


Photo credits: 3 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Remaining photos One and Only Palmilla


About the authors:

Janice and George Mucalov

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews and information, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Beckster

Wednesday 4th of September 2019

I made the mistake of popping in for lunch, and have been dreaming of going back to stay for the last ten years. I’m finally going in a few weeks.?

Janice and George

Wednesday 4th of September 2019

Here's hoping your taste buds will thank you for visiting again! Let us know if you think the food is as good as it was ten years ago :-).

Vicki

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Wow, those views are so stunning, looks like a great place for a sunset cocktail even if I'm not staying there

Mary {The World Is A Book}

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Wow! What a lovely resort and so full of unique activities and amenities. The food and that infinity pool is enough to draw me in but yikes on the taxes. We're thinking of going back to Cabo in a few months. I'd like to drive by and check it out since I think this is way beyind our budget.

Janice and George

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

It's an astonishingly beautiful resort - and do pop in to check it out; perhaps have a drink or lunch (it's so pretty just to see).

Irene S. Levine

Monday 2nd of September 2013

The resort is worth a visit even just to soak in its rich history! Irene