The Center of Attention

Casa Dorada, on Medano Beach, is near the action in Los Cabos

By: By Maryann Hammers


Casa Dorada Los Cabos, Resort & Spa 
Rates: Rooms start at $204.
Commission: 10 percent

The three-night Helicopter Adventure Package includes Junior Suite accommodations, a $50 food and beverage credit and a helicopter tour of downtown, the corridor area, Land’s End and the Pedregal community on the Pacific Ocean side of the peninsula. The price starts at $1,360 for two, including tax and gratuity.

The three-night Wild Canyon Package includes a daring ziplining adventure, with 10 ziplines, including Baja’s longest, plus a bungee jump and pendulum swing (not for the faint of heart). Package includes Junior Suite accommodations, a $50 food and beverage credit and two Wild Canyon ziplining tickets. The price starts at $913, including tax and gratuity.

Casa Dorada // (c) Maryann Hammers
Casa Dorada

Casa Dorada Los Cabos, Resort & Spa, Cabo’s newest and hippest hotel, may not be for the exclusive Esperanza or Las Ventanas set. With its location in the midst of the noisy beach scene rather than the quiet beach corridor, the hotel isn’t private, secluded or expensive enough for your A-list clients.

But for travelers who go to Cabo for shopping, dining, wave-running, parasailing, kayaking, partying and overall fun in the sun — and also demand first-rate accommodations, a spa and fine dining — it’s a great option. One of the few beachfront hotels right in Cabo San Lucas, the 186-room Casa Dorada is walking distance to restaurants and nightlife. It fronts popular, swimmable Medano Beach, the center of Cabo’s watersports. And its views are among the best in Baja.

The resort is designed to appeal to a variety of different groups. Honeymooners will love thoughtful touches like in-room Jacuzzis and the romantic candlelit restaurant; families will appreciate that children under 12 stay free — plus there’s a kid’s club and separate kid’s pool; groups of fun-loving friends won’t feel crowded in the huge suites (up to 4,500 square feet) and will enjoy the beach bars, such as Billygan’s Island and The Office, right next door. Even the packages are exciting, offering adventures ranging from helicopter tours to ziplining.

Though Casa Dorada doesn’t pretend to contend in Cabo’s five-star hotel wars, your clients are sure to be more than pleased at the accommodations. Ranging from deluxe rooms to spacious one- two- and three-bedroom condos and penthouse suites, guestrooms are ultra-modern with creamy colors accented by splashes of bright orange, bold abstract art on stretched canvas, tall sculpted vases and whirling ceiling fans. Flat-screen televisions and free Wi-Fi are in every room. Bathrooms are big with marble floors and sleek modern fixtures. Rooms also have private, furnished balconies and most look out at the famous Land’s End, where the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean converge.

Outside, day beds surround a winding, two-tiered pool, with warmer water above, cooler below, and a cascading waterfall separating the two levels. A swim-up bar has irresistible underwater bar stools (for belly-flopping up to the bar) and the poolside restaurant Okianus serves casual food (sandwiches, burgers and guacamole with chips). If you’re craving Mexican food, the beachfront dining venue, Maydan, will whip up all the chorizos, chilaquiles and "Nachos Machos" you desire.

A casual "I’m in Cabo" vibe permeates the place by day. The sentiment partially comes from the dance music floating in from neighboring bars, as well as vendors roaming the sand, hawking everything from silver jewelry to tattoos to glass-bottom boat rides.

For those who want to stake out a quiet spot on the sand, never fear. The hotel’s private beach club, with plush lounges, umbrellas and waiter service, is slightly set apart from the hustlers.

Come evening, tiny, pale blue underwater lights turn the pool into an enchanting replica of the night sky, and the open-air candlelit B Lounge, which serves 50 kinds of beer including a signature mango brew, becomes a groovy, incense-scented hangout.

The hotel’s dinner restaurant, 12 Tribes, is one of the nicest in town with candlelit tables, gorgeous sea and sand views and an outside terrace perfect for watching the sun set. The eclectic, worldly menu with its 30-country cuisine is a fun surprise. Where else in Cabo can you find dishes from places as far afield as Armenia, Ethiopia, Iran and
Russia? Our diverse choices spanned vodka- and herb-marinated grilled salmon over eggplant and mushrooms, garnished with beet puree, fried capers and mint coulis; sashimi-style salad Nicoise; rice with roasted nuts and almonds; or baby vegetables sauteed in a Persian sabzi, or stew, of basil, coriander, fenugreek, tarragon and watercress.

Overall, the resort manages to be both comfortable and hip, upscale yet fun. So while it’s true that A-listers or those seeking pure peace and quiet might head elsewhere, the resort nicely caters to the rest of us.