Luxury Living at Cabo’s Capella Pedregal

This property sets itself apart from the destination’s luxury competition, literally and figuratively

By: By Kenneth Shapiro

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Capella Pedregal
www.capellapedregal.com
Rates: From $475 through Dec. 18; from $675 Jan. 3-April 30, 2010.
Commission: 20 percent through Dec. 31; 10 percent as of Jan. 1, 2010

When you arrive at Capella Pedregal, Cabo’s newest luxury resort, you can’t help but feel an air of mystery. First, your car winds through the narrow streets of Cabo San Lucas, then the driver makes a turn and you find yourself entering a tunnel — lit by chandeliers — through a mountain.

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Capella Pedregal’s unusual location helps it feel far away from the crowds. // © 2009 Capella Hotels and Resorts

Have you stumbled upon some villain’s secret lair?

When you emerge into the Baja sunlight, however, you are treated to a warm, welcoming and sophisticated resort on a gorgeous stretch of beach. And it just gets better from there.

The resort, one of the crown jewels in Horst Schultze’s Capella brand, does something amazing by introducing even jaded Cabo regulars to what feels like an unexplored stretch of beach. In an area as well-trodden as Los Cabos, it seems impossible to discover something new, but that’s just what Capella Pedregal does — and it only took digging through a mountain to do it.

The property is located on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez, and close to the area known as Land’s End. It is reached via the only privately owned tunnel in Mexico — nearly 1,000 feet long.

The resort itself has a Mediterranean feel, highlighted by ocean-facing cliffside buildings and the blue-and-white domed roof of the Auriga spa. But Capella Pedregal also feels Mexican chic, with lots of natural stone details, charming fountains, driftwood sculptures and two stunning infinity-edged main swimming pools.

The heart of the property is the 66-room Capella Resort and Spa, and it shares space with 31 shared-ownership Capella Residences and 20 private, full-ownership Capella Casonas. The hotel features Deluxe Rooms, Capella Rooms, Beach Casitas and several suite categories.

The Oceanview Deluxe guestroom where I stayed during a recent visit was surprisingly homey. Based on Schultze’s history as the founder of The Ritz-Carlton brand, I expected something a bit more formal. But my guestroom had the feel of a Mexican hacienda, with lots of wood, tile and textiles; a fireplace; a semi-open rainforest shower area; and an old-fashioned, clawfoot-style bathtub. Each room also features a flat-screen television, wireless Internet access and a minibar with complimentary soft drinks stocked daily.

I especially liked the smaller details in the room, such as the binoculars and the hotel guest information that is presented in an old-fashioned briefcase. Not to be overlooked is the fact that every guestroom comes with its own private terrace and a plunge pool — a perfect spot to escape from Baja’s heat.

One of the pillars of the Capella brand is service, and Capella Pedregal didn’t disappoint. A few days before I was set to leave, I received a phone call from my “personal assistant” at the hotel asking me if I had any questions or requests. Once I was on property, I found the staff relaxed and easygoing, but always prepared to respond to my requests. I especially appreciated the recommendations and service of the waitstaff in the resort’s fine-dining restaurant, Don Manuel’s.

With the addition of Capella Pedregal, Los Cabos will continue to draw plenty of upscale guests — and they should be thrilled to discover a new light at the end of the tunnel.

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