A First Fam Trip In Los Cabos, Mexico

Working in the travel industry, we are lucky enough to be able to go on something called a “FAM” trip sometimes. The term refers to a familiarization trip that allows us to better get to know a destination or hotel so that we can sell it to clients. 

While this can often be a treat, it is also a lot of work. Long days touring hotels (often in off-season meaning the weather can be less than ideal), but typically ending with amazing hosted dinner and drinks, learning more about this industry with colleagues and new friends. 

In August, I was invited to go on a FAM trip with one of our favorite partners, Classic Vacations, to explore a variety of Virtuoso and 5-star properties in Cabo San Lucas. I think I am probably one of the few people in the United States that has been out of the country multiple times and never visited Mexico (my family was partial to colder weather). 

Having never been to Mexico, I didn’t know what to expect, but I can genuinely say that everything about Cabo blew my expectations out of the water. The destination is teeming with 5-star hotels, world-class dining, and a multitude of activities that will have something for everyone. 

 Los Cabos is the area on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico that includes the cities of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and the space in between referred to as the tourist corridor, where most of the hotels are. 

The first thing to note about Cabo is how easy it is to get there. A quick flight from most major airports makes it an extremely accessible destination. The contrast of the striking Sea of Cortez and the desert mountain range is both unexpected and stunning. 

My first stop in Cabo was the lovely One & Only Palmilla. This five-star property is under the ownership of one of my favorite hotel groups- One & Only. Their attention to detail, design and service was truly impeccable for my two nights on property. The property is set on a peninsula that allows for amazing views of San Jose del Cabo and the entire area. 

The property first began construction in the 1950’s under Don Abelardo Rodriguez, the son of the Mexican president at the time. At only 15 rooms, it was the first resort in Los Cabos and hosted guests such as John Wayne, Lucille Ball and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The property still draws a wide variety of well-known celebrities and politicians. 

Today, the hotel has 174 guest rooms of all different sizes and styles. I was lucky enough to stay in one of the Oceanview Junior Suites with amazing views of the bay. If you visit in the right season, there is a good chance you can see whales from your windows during their annual migration. 

Palmilla is unique in that it is one of the only properties in Cabo that is on a swimmable beach. Due to the fact that the currents can be so strong and unpredictable, the vast majority of beaches in Cabo have been deemed unswimmable. The grounds are lush, green and tropical in contrast to the dry, desert chic style in most parts of this destination. With a variety of pools, a stunning spa, numerous bars and restaurants including some that boast Michelin-starred chefs, I think it would be difficult to find someone who didn’t love this amazing property. Some of the highlights for me were definitely the margaritas at Breeze overlooking the pacific, amazing cuts of steak from Chef Jean-George’s Vongerichten at Seared and the half-moon style, cliffside seating at Agua. 


Our home for the next two nights was the newly opened Zadun, A Ritz Carlton Reserve, which sits on 20 acres. Now, Ritz Carlton properties are already very high-end, but the Reserve resorts take that to a different level. The Reserve properties are meant to pay special homage to the landscape and culture of the area.  Zadun is unmistakably Mexican in style and the hotel grounds don’t let you forget that you are in the desert of the Baja Peninsula (in the best possible way).

The property has 115 rooms, each of which have stunning views of the Sea of Cortez. My room truly had such a wow-factor, with a private pool, huge outdoor space and an outdoor shower as well. The style of the room is clean and upscale, yet cozy and lived-in, featuring decor made by local artisans. Each room also comes with a dedicated tosoani (meaning dream maker in Spanish) that is your personal concierge for your time on property. Whether you need a golf-cart ride to the main pool or extra water bottles in your room, they are here to make it happen. 

Some of my favorite things at Zadun were the amazing tacos from casual pool taco spot El Barrio (including the best churros I’ve ever eaten), the sensational spa treatment (the spa is truly an oasis in the desert and is one of the most beautiful spas I’ve ever seen), and the star-gazing on our last night with a guide who helped us learn about astronomy with lots of kid-friendly references to animated movies (ie Moana and the Lion King). 

Some of the other hotels we visited were the ever masculine and chic Cape Hotel, the amazingly high-end, all-inclusive Grand Velas, the made-famous by the Kardashians Rosewood Las Ventanas Al Pariso, the borderline flawless Esperanza Auberge, and the budget-friendly, boutique Mar del Cabo. Each of these properties has so much to offer and a completely unique style. While I could have easily stayed at any of them and been happy, some are certainly more suited for different clientele and having the insight on each is beyond helpful. Between the hotels that I visited and many others in the Los Cabos area (Montage, Four Seasons and Viceroy to name a few), an advisor with first-hand knowledge of this destination is crucial in finding the right fit for you. 

As with most new destinations, Cabo has a piece of my heart and I truly can’t wait to visit again. I picture four-wheelers, whale-watching and margaritas in that future.



December 10, 2021

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