Feel free to rate this next sentence a “10” on the obnoxious meter, but sometimes you just need a vacation from your vacation. Hear me out: on the heels of an amazing, action-packed honeymoon in Italy, I had the chance to visit Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe in Mexico. Cue the Calgon sigh of relief as I envision a week of sand and sun—just the decompression needed after 10 fun-yet-frazzled months of wedding planning. Bags packed, I kissed my understanding new hubby goodbye and headed for the border.
Upon deplaning on the tarmac in Los Cabos, the tension melted away as I felt the warm sunlight on my shoulders. (Not even the overzealous timeshare peddlers at the airport could steal my sunshine!) On the 25-minute drive to Barcelo, I learned a lot from the friendly driver about the place I’d be calling home the next week. Apparently, the region most people call “Cabo” is actually Los Cabos, comprised of two distinctly different towns: Cabo San Lucas (tropical, lively, and bustling with nightlife) and San Jose Del Cabo (the colorful, quaint, quiet yin to Cabo San Lucas’ bold yang). Luckily, I was about to experience both on my dreamy Mexican jaunt.
When I arrived at Barcelo, I was escorted to the Club Premium lounge to check in. There I was treated to my first view of the Sea of Cortes (say it with me…”ahhhh”), along with a welcome glass of champagne and an inviting sushi buffet. (California rolls in Baja California….how appropo!) I received keys to a junior suite and went to check out my temporary abode. Turns out the junior suite is one of several different types at the resort, along with Master Suites, Family Suites, Presidential Suites, and—my personal favorite—the Swim-Up Suite.
Awaiting me inside was a champagne bottle and a tasty array of fruits and cheeses, which I later learned is standard greeting for all Club Premium guests. Also on hand were a pillow menu (love that—feathers, please!) and a KITT-esque “Smart TV,” which can apparently do everything from order room service to close your curtains. Other features of note were the rain dance shower and the recently-debuted “Barcelo Bed,” replete with 400-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
My first stop after settling in was the pool, where the bartender clued me in on the most popular specialty cocktails. Though the mudslides were tempting, I settled on the “Miami Vice” as my poison of choice, as the fruity concoction seemed just right for my tropical surroundings. (Later on at the resort’s resident Martini Bar, I’d try a blue agave nectar tequila-based martini, which also ranked high on the tasty libation scale.) Armed with my Miami Vice—sans Don Johnson—I found an in-water chaise lounge where I could bask in the Mexico sun, relax and read my newest Glamour.
At night, I met up with a group of fellow travel writers to experience Barcelo’s French restaurant, Bon Vivant. As someone who loves to eat, I was excited for the chance to try the first of six restaurants at the resort—they have something for every palate from Japanese (Lotus) to Italian (Capri) to tapas (El Cortijo). And since it’s an all-inclusive resort, I knew I’d be eating my way across the proverbial spectrum in the days to come! For my meal, I ordered the Freshwater Prawn Soup (when in Cabo!) and the Salmon Steak in Champagne Sauce, with a little Mexican Blanc de Blancs champagne to top off the festive feast. Another signature staple of the menu is the Lamb Persillade, aka “exquisite cuts of lamb with a thyme fragrance served on a bed of ratatouille of peppers and fine herbs accompanied by baby potatoes.”
Afterwards, the other writers headed to Skipper’s, a piano bar situated near the lobby, but feeling sleepy after my sun-kissed day, I decided to hit my feather pillow and rest up. After all, a full day of spa and exploration awaited! Read all about it in Part Two of Whirlwind Weekend: Barcelo Los Cabos.