LOS CABOS, Mexico Stylish and striking, the Marquis Los Cabos is
not only one of the newest luxury hotels to open on the Baja beach
corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, it’s also a
work of art. Finished last December, the oblong five-story building
showcases a dramatic three-story arch in its center, under which is
the open-air lobby and reception. As you enter, the welcome scent
of sea spray fills your nostrils, and the first thing you see is
the glorious aquamarine expanse of the ocean beyond.
Owned and operated by Hoteles Marquis a Mexican company based in
Mexico City that also owns the Marquis Reforma in Mexico City the
237-room Marquis Los Cabos is a member of both the Small Luxury
Hotels of the World and Leading Hotels of the World. It’s also the
only completely non-timeshare property in Los Cabos, according to
Ella Messerli, the hotel’s general manager.
But its tribute to art and design is what really distinguishes
“We’ve invested in the belief that a beach vacation need not
jettison the world of aesthetic delight, and that art can be the
perfect reflection of nature,” said Messerli.
The hotel commissioned a special collection of some 400 original
oil paintings by Latin American artists. Colorful clay jarritos,
watermelon slices, guitars and other Mexican icons painted by the
notable Mexican artist Agustin Castro Lopez brighten the walls of
each guestroom. In the open-air bar sit two monumental bronze
sculptures of Indian women.
Artistic touches carry through in the design of the guestrooms.
The bathrooms, for example, have an arched opening above the
bathtub, framed by a muslin curtain, through which natural light
streams in. Washing my hair in the marble-and-glass shower, I could
look out to the Sea of Cortez beyond.
In fact, all guestrooms take in this view. Luxuriously
appointed, they have large balconies, high ceilings, king beds
draped with goose down comforters and Frette bed linens, and
contemporary, dark-wood, Mexican-style furniture that contrasts
nicely with the cream marble floors and white-washed walls.
Honeymooners the setting is spectacular for a wedding, on the
beach or perhaps under the arch and clients celebrating a special
occasion may want to book one of the 28 Casitas or five Marquis
Suites. Each comes with a separate living area, wet bar and, best
of all, its own private outdoor pool.
The property itself is very desert-chic. Golden sand in color,
it blends in with the surrounding landscape.
For a dip, you can cool off in one of two serpentine-shaped
infinity pools nuzzling the water’s edge. Lying under a pool
umbrella on a cushioned teak lounge chair, I was quite content,
watching the thunderous surf crashing on the shore and the
occasional ultralight airplane buzz overhead and land on a sand
cliff beside the hotel.
I was even more content (if that’s possible) after my spa
treatment. No detail has been overlooked in the design of the
oceanview spa. Think floors of marble, wall alcoves with Mexican
pottery and stone sculptures and raised alabaster bowl sinks.
Ten large treatment rooms await to coddle clients, including
three couples’ massage and body-wrap rooms. A signature treatment
is the ultra-indulgent “Holistic facial.” You begin seated with a
cup of warm herb tea, while an attendant pours a pitcher of
eucalyptus-scented water over your feet, which are then bathed and
massaged with an exfoliating scrub. For the face, a small electric
scrub brush is used to massage in a peeling mask.
The 15,000-square-foot Spa Marquis also includes a well-equipped
fitness center. (But the air-conditioning isn’t turned on unless
you ask an attendant.)
In addition to casual dining venues, the Marquis offers the
20-seat Canto del Mar for fine dining. There are no printed menus.
Rather, chef Thierry Dufour, who boasts experience in a Michelin
two-star restaurant in France, prepares the five-course dinners
using only the freshest ingredients of the day.
Sample dishes include goose foie gras with artichoke and
wine-soaked pears, frosted mussel bisque and lamb chops with
cilantro couscous and red pepper sauce. For dessert there’s a
hazelnut macaroon with a tarragon cream, and blackberries and
tequila grapefruit sorbet.
“Our sights are set on being the best restaurant in Los Cabos,”
said Messerli. Judging by our dinner, the Canto del Mar is likely
Corporate and incentive clients will be interested in the 9,000
square feet of meeting space, which the Marquis claims is one of
the largest and most state-of-the-art in Los Cabos. Everything from
automatic projection screens to individual air-conditioning
controls and Internet access is available.
Nestled between the signature Jack Nicklaus-designed El Dorado
golf course (considered the top course in Mexico) and the Cabo Real
course, and only minutes away from two other courses, the Marquis
is ideally located for playing golf. Other activities include
deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, mountain biking and eco-tours.
With so much going for it, the Marquis is sure to be at the top
of any discerning client’s wish list of places to stay in Los
Marquis Los Cabos
San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Hits: Each morning, a complimentary breakfast
is placed in a small cupboard in the outside wall of each
guestroom. Clients will awake to find a Thermos of coffee, fruit
and a basket of chocolate croissants and sweet ricotta buns, along
with a daily fax news sheet.
Misses: Bulgari toiletries and bottled water
were not automatically restocked each day. Despite requests, I
couldn’t get my mattress turned over from the firm to the
pillow-soft side (as promised in the promotional material). You
must struggle to open your own pool umbrella.
Be Aware:You cannot swim on the beach in front
of the hotel because it’s too dangerous. But there are swimming
beaches a short drive away.
Plugging In: Each room offers multiple
telephones and high-speed connections for fax and computers.
Clientele: The adult-oriented property attracts
many American couples of all ages. It’s ideal for honeymooners.
Rates: Until Oct. 10, rooms go for $325 a
night, and casitas/suites with a private pool start at $455. From
Oct. 11 to Dec. 18, rooms go for $400 a night, casitas/ suites
start at $560.
Commission: 10 percent