Romantic Retreat

Cabo’s first luxury resort still sets the standard for romance

By: Maryann Hammers

Las Ventanas al Paraiso Baja’s first luxury resort and celebrity hideaway is not the kind of place that a person should walk through sopping wet, sand-covered, bedraggled, barefoot and alone after being assailed by a vicious, sandal-stealing wave.

This I learned the hard way.

But for your clients who are suitably attired with designer flip-flops on pedicured feet and a significant other at their side and who will revel in being surrounded by beautiful, rich and famous people this is definitely the place to seek a siesta.

The resort’s whitewashed adobe villas are set back from the road, hugging the beach. Within its walls, desert-scaped pathways wind past the garden spa, open-air restaurant, tequila-ceviche bar and an infinity pool lined by plush, white lounges. Staff members whisk by in flowing uniforms, looking cool and debonair, even as they perform mundane tasks, such as raking the sand, sweeping walkways or supplying Evian misters to sunbathers.

Posh, Perfected

Some say Las Ventanas set the standard that Cabo’s newer deluxe resorts have merely imitated. Without getting in the middle of five-star wars, one thing is certain: Since it opened a decade ago, this resort has perfected the art of providing highly personalized service, cultivating romance, serving fine cuisine and offering comfortably luxurious accommodations with all the wonderfully frivolous touches.

In the effort to cater to celebrities and other finicky folks who are accustomed to being catered to, no detail is overlooked. Sewing kits are personalized according to the colors of each guest’s wardrobe; a tequila setup is in every room; in-room telescopes are offered for stargazing or whale-watching; and pool butlers will even clean sunglasses. Cuddly sarapes are whisked out to drape shoulders on chilly nights, and guests get complimentary digital cameras to use and receive their photos on a CD.

Romance on the Beach

While Las Ventanas has perfected the art of posh, girlfriends on getaways and singles should be forewarned the resort is relentlessly romantic, and just about everyone here is paired off. In the midst of all the canoodling couples, singles might feel self-conscious. This is the kind of place where the only sounds in the restaurant are intimate giggles over a privately shared joke; where lovers stroll hand-in-hand from the beach to the pool to their villa; where housekeepers sprinkle red rose petals on king-sized beds in the shape of a giant heart.
The resort had starry-eyed duos in mind when it launched its latest batch of offerings. Most fun (unless you’re a party of one) is the new private on-the-beach screenings of newly released movies, showing on flat-screen, 50-inch plasma TVs. Guests who sign up for “Cinema al Paraiso” ($150), as the program is called, snuggle on lounge chairs on the sand while a “cinema butler” serves popcorn, botanas (Mexican appetizers) and refills champagne glasses.
For a daytime date, guests can sightsee on their own in one of the resort’s cool, little Mini Cooper S Convertibles ($200 per day), available in an array of bright colors. BMW Rockster motorcycles ($185 per day; $25 for second rider complete with leather riding suit and helmet) are also available. And for off-roading in Baja, what could be more impressive than a Hummer ($220 for three hours or $400 all day)?

Come evening, chef Pablo Loza has concocted the ultimate aphrodisiac a seven-course chocolate dinner menu ($180), with items ranging from savory mole to rich desserts. For guests staying in oceanview or oceanfront luxury suites (which also come with a dedicated butler), there’s a new “sheet menu” with four different silky, satin and Italian-linen choices.

Want more ideas to heat things up? Consult with Maria Elena Soto the resort’s “director of romance” and she’ll coordinate carriage rides on the sand, private beach dinners, desert picnics or some other sexy scheme. She’ll offer advice on the perfect way to pop the big question, celebrate an important anniversary or just make a memorable night.

One Italian gentleman requested a private beach dinner, with torches, musicians, and sposami (marry me) spelled out with tiny rocks on the sand. Weeks later, the pebbly proposal still remained.


Las Ventanas al Paraiso now offers a destination spa experience with its newly opened live-in spa suites. At almost 4,000 square feet, each two-bedroom residence features a private treatment room with side-by-side massage tables, sauna, steam room, waterfall and rain shower, plus expansive living areas, full kitchen and terrace with infinity plunge pool.

The suites come with an assortment of gear, from yoga mats and props to inversion devices and a foot massager. A personal Spa Butler creates a customized program of treatments, rituals, remedies, meditation, yoga, personal training and healthy cuisine. Even the mini-bar is all organic no sodas, no coffee, and no processed or sugary snacks.

Spa suites are available “a la carte” from $2,100-$3,600 nightly, and include $400 of treatments. But they were really devised for guests who have signed up for the resort’s new comprehensive, all-inclusive spa lifestyle programs that focus on fitness, beauty or weight loss (fasting/liquid diet).

All programs include everything from accommodations to airport transfers and meals, fitness classes, daily spa treatments and/or massages, and various evaluations and consultations. Prices for four nights range from $13,425-$17,725; seven nights, $23,875-$32,625; 10 nights, $34,225-$46,675; and 14 nights, $48,075-$66,050.


Rooms rates start at $450. Agents who book a reservation with a package receive commission on the entire package.

Commission: 10 percent