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Standing in front of me was the legendary Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, with only a sushi counter — full of fish sourced from nearby rich waters — between us.
While slicing pieces of tuna, he explained how he and Robert De Niro, his longtime friend and business partner, were repeatedly approached by hoteliers to open Nobu restaurants inside their properties. De Niro eventually proposed a more lucrative option: to open their own Nobu-branded hotel. The duo first took their plan to the Las Vegas Strip, where Nobu Hotels opened within Caesar’s Palace in 2009. A decade later, the Nobu brand is on its way to have 20 hotels across the globe by 2020.
One of the newest Nobu properties is also the company’s debut in Latin America: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, which opened in April. My trip here coincided with chef Nobu’s family vacation, which led to my fortunate circumstance of eating fare crafted by the master himself. Creating these beloved dishes — including signature items such as miso-glazed black cod and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno — is second nature for the talented chef. And, according to Nobu, just as inherent is his desire for providing excellent service throughout a hotel stay.
The multi-hyphenate had me convinced, and for good reason: Set on Baja Peninsula’s southernmost tip, the 200-room Nobu Los Cabos looked and felt like a retreat, with superb service included. Here, a Japanese minimalist design philosophy harmonizes with textiles and furniture made in Mexico. A muted palette of natural hues — dotted with intentional pops of intrigue, such as abstract Japanese art — adds to the calming ambiance.
Showing off a view of the Cortez Pool (one of four on-site pools) and the Pacific Ocean beyond, my 738-square-foot junior suite was essentially move-in ready with its private terrace, spacious living area, walk-in closet and Nespresso machine. In the junior suite’s large bathroom, a wall of hand-stacked gray river stones served as a striking backdrop to a teak onsen (Japanese hot spring) soaking tub, a double sink and an open shower.
Select suites at Nobu Los Cabos include butler service; my butler, Caesar, was happy to attend to any requests via the WeChat messaging app. He was undoubtedly responsible for the almond milk in my minifridge (due to my dietary restrictions, this was a small but impactful gesture). When I left my treatment at the 13,691-square-foot Esencia spa, I found myself in a blissful daze. And, like clockwork, Caesar checked in to confirm whether the massage was satisfactory. (Spoiler: It certainly was.)
In addition to the on-site Nobu restaurant, the hotel’s dining venues include Malibu Farm, an expansion of the original Malibu, Calif., outpost; Pacific Restaurant, which cooks up local cuisine; and Playabar, a casual spot by the Cortez pool. Malibu Farm’s healthful options such as an acai bowl and a cauliflower-crust pizza may beckon to those who yearn for a clear conscience; however, I was more taken by the novelty of ordering Nobu delicacies from the comfort of my guestroom.
Of course, chef Nobu’s iconic black cod, which requires the fish to be steeped in a sweet miso marinade over several days, is on the room service menu. The dish is often imitated, but never duplicated — and, considering my outstanding stay, I have a sneaking feeling that this will be the case for Nobu Los Cabos, too.
The DetailsNobu Hotel Los Caboswww.loscabos.nobuhotels.com