Californians have a habit of shortening the names of places they frequent: SoCal, LA, OC. So depending on which coast you favor, you may think of Los Cabos—the Pacific’s favorite Mexican hideaway—in the singular. “Cabo,” as Angelenos are prone to casually calling it, might mean Cabo San Lucas or San José del Cabo, but the image either conjures is roughly the same: margarita-fueled fiestas at luxury resorts dotted with cascading infinity pools on the edge of a golden beach. These days, however, Cabo (we’ll acquiesce to the slang) isn’t quite so one-note, thanks to a collection of new and soon-to-open hotels that are shaking up—or rather, quieting down—the old Baja Peninsula scene.
California-based luxury brand Montage is the first newcomer to arrive, joining the all-inclusive resorts that line the “golden corridor,” the flashy designation given to a 20-mile highway that connects the two Cabos. It’s immediately clear that something’s different there: The clinking margaritas and glittering infinity pools are all in place, yet the vibe is low-key. The beach isn’t made for partying it’s one of the only stretches of ocean in the area that’s calm enough for actual swimming—and the design isn’t clichéd either: Secluded freestanding casas come with private pools and subdued interiors, and the guest rooms and suites all have ocean views.
The Montage is a mold for what the new Cabo looks like—not buttoned-up but certainly better dressed than its old self. Other fresh resorts in the corridor, including Chileno Bay Resort and forthcoming openings from Nobu and 1 Hotels, are pushing a more stylish hook, too, as is Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort that will claim 2,000 acres of Sea of Cortez coastline for just 115 suites and villas when it opens this summer. And then there’s the arrival of yet another Cabo altogether: the East Cape, home to the Cabo Pulmo marine sanctuary and an isolated swath of desert beach that is being reborn as Costa Palmas. The luxury community will include resorts from two more big-time newcomers, Four Seasons and Aman, both of which are going sleek and sophisticated in a clear rejection of wilder times. It’s all proof that Cabo is finally growing up… we may even have to start addressing it by its proper name.
Say hola to the new Cabo and book a stay at one of these four resorts.
1 Hotel Cabo San Lucas
Billionaire Barry Sternlicht’s wellness-focused luxury brand brings eco-conscious design and organic cuisine to the sugary sands of Medano Beach.
Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos
Part of the East Cape’s new Costa Palmas community, the Four Seasons will open this summer on the edge of a 250-slip superyacht-ready marina.
Aman’s first Mexican resort is still shrouded in mystery, but we know this much: The 20-room property, which opens next year, will lead the pack in high design.
Ritz-Carlton’s ultra-exclusive Reserve brand is behind Cabo’s most anticipated opening in decades. Expect two championship golf courses, sprawling villas, and three miles of private beach.