Villa Del Arco Joins the Fam

New offering has upscale appeal

By: Kenneth Shapiro

Some people feel that the last child in a family often turns out to be the most well-adjusted because they benefit from the mistakes their parents made with the older siblings. Of course, there are plenty of older siblings that would probably disagree with that, but at least when applied to the Villa del Arco, the Villa Group’s third resort in Cabo San Lucas, the theory seems to hold true.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the Villa Group’s first two hotels in Cabo. Both Villa del Palmar and Villa La Estancia are top-notch resorts that have been a huge hit with visitors, helping to propel the chain’s growth to nine properties throughout Mexico, with more on the way. While the first two Villa properties serve very strong niche markets Palmar is a great value option for families and Estancia is an upscale “adults-preferred” resort Villa del Arco seems destined to combine the best of both worlds by being upscale and sophisticated, but still comfortable for families.

If you looked at all three resorts as a group, it would seem logical for Villa del Arco to fill the mid-priced market niche (with Palmar on one end and Estancia on the other), however throughout my recent visit there, it became clear that what the Villa Group actually did is create a second upscale property that is nearly as luxurious as Estancia, while still maintaining a unique, down-to-earth flavor.

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The new Villa del Arco will be an
especially big hit with upscale families.
The resort features 231 deluxe suites that are nearly as posh as those at La Estancia. Each of the one-, two- and three-bedroom air-conditioned suites have marble floors, Jacuzzi tubs, walk-in showers, two TVs with satellite service, high-speed Internet (for a $9.95-$14.95 fee) and spacious balconies with ocean views. The suites also have complete kitchens with full-size refrigerator, stovetop burners, microwave, toaster, coffee maker and utensils and dishware. The two- and three-bedroom suites even have a washer and dryer.

The resort also features studio units that have a kitchenette with a mini-fridge instead of a full kitchen.

Not only are the kitchens a plus for families, but most of the units have connecting doors, allowing for a wide variety of room configurations for groups vacationing together.

The resort itself features a number of family-centric touches beginning with the replica pirate ship “anchored” in one of the resort’s two pools. The ship houses the casual El Bucanero restaurant serving tacos, wraps and burgers, and it’s understandably a popular hangout for kids. In addition, the pools also have shallow areas that are ideal for toddlers. There are tennis courts on the complex as well.

The location of Villa del Arco, as with its two sister properties next door, is a major plus. Stretching along El Medano Beach considered one of the safest beaches in Cabo San Lucas the hotel has unobstructed views of the iconic El Arco rock formation. An on-site watersports center assists guests with snorkeling, boating, fishing, boogie-boarding and more. As safe as El Medano Beach is, however, be sure to warn clients that the currents are very strong up and down the coast.

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The Desert Spa is one of the largest in Baja.
Around the Resort
The three Villa properties form a highly secure gated community that also includes the Desert Spa and a shopping complex. A trolley bus shuttles guests between the three properties and throughout the complex, even though everything is close enough to walk.

The shopping complex includes a grocery store, a deli and Internet cafe, an ice cream parlor, a DVD/video store and boutiques selling jewelry, clothing, arts and crafts and other items. These provide guests with a convenient on-property option for supplies, but there is also a Costco in the adjacent neighborhood as well.

Guests who are less excited about cooking for themselves have plenty of dining choices.

Besides El Bucanero, there is El Faro, a chic oyster, sushi and fresh fish eatery that also specializes in fine tequilas. El Faro boasts an especially nice location on one corner of the property with great views of the ocean and El Arco. It is open for tapas and cocktails from 4-11 p.m.

La Perla is the resort’s main restaurant, featuring seafood, steaks and international cuisine along with a large selection of wines. La Perla is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Guests are also welcome to try the restaurants at the other Villa properties as well. (An all-inclusive meal plan is available also.)

For those looking to explore the area, the Villa del Arco is just a short taxi ride from the boutiques and nightlife of Cabo San Lucas. In fact, down the road from Villa del Arco is the Me by Melia hotel and its uber-hip Nikki Beach and Passion Club nightspots.

Rates at the Villa del Arco run $250-$1,990. If agents want to see for themselves what the newborn in the Villa Group family has to offer, a travel agent rate of $109 per night is available through Dec. 20 (with a meal plan of $66 per person, per day). The company is also offering an agent rate at Villa del Palmar of $89 per night for a junior suite and $119 per night at Villa La Estancia.

Overall, Villa del Arco will almost certainly be a hit with guests. And if indeed the owners of the Villa Group learn more with each new endeavor, then we all have a lot to look forward to.


Villa del Arco
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Rates: $250-$1,990. All-inclusive plans are available.
Commission: 10 percent


In conjunction with the official opening of the Villa del Arco in July was the opening of the Desert Spa. Located next door to Villa del Arco in the Villa hotels’ complex, the Desert Spa aims to be one of “the largest and most elaborate facilities in all of Baja.”

Using a line of desert-inspired products created exclusively for the Desert Spa, therapists wrap, bathe and pamper guests.

The brand-new 31,000-square-foot facility features 17 treatment rooms, two exclusive VIP suites with private Jacuzzi and shower, a full-service beauty salon and an extensive menu of exotic treatments. The spa also features Baja’s largest hydrotherapy centers for both men and women, with a spacious Jacuzzi, a cold plunge pool, cold pressure showers, body temperature pools, steam room and sauna.

The spa’s design is modeled after Mexican haciendas, utilizing earthy tones, ample natural light and classical touches.

“Our spa director, Francois Cimon-Kingsley, has given utmost attention to every detail to assure that the Desert Spa is among the top facilities in Cabo San Lucas,” said Ricardo Orozco, corporate director for the Villa Group in Cabo. “Our guests will find the service and atmosphere will exceed their expectations.”

As part of the complex, there’s also a brand-new 4,500-square-foot fitness facility with a wide assortment of state-of-the-art equipment. Use of the fitness center is $10 per day for guests of the Villa hotels not on an all-inclusive plan.

For a listing of spa packages, consult the Villa Group Web site.