The Place at the End of the Rainbow: Los Cabos, Mexico

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Physician's Money Digest, February 2006, Volume 13, Issue 2

As you leave the plane, you hope yourfriends were telling the truth about theirrecent trip to Los Cabos, Mexico. "Trust me,it's not just college kids on Spring Break or touristspiling off cruise ships. You'll love it," they said. Asyou begin to relax on the drive from the airport, youget the feeling your friends might be right. A day or2 later, you'll be sending them a thank you note.

Los Cabos (Spanish for "the capes") is really twotowns about 20 miles apart—Cabo San Lucas to thesouth and San Jose del Cabo to the north. In betweenis an area alternately called resort row or the hotelcorridor, and this is where you should stay. While LosCabos is world-renowned for fishing, in the corridoryou will find world-class resorts and a breathtakinggolf course for all abilities. San Jose is about 5 milesnorth, and Cabo 15 miles to the south.

A Plush Retreat

While the new resorts strive to achieve an identity,the established leader is the Rosewood resort LasVentanas al Paraíso (888-ROSEWOOD; www.lasventanas.com). As you enter the unassuming gates,the faces of those who have just checked out look asif they found nirvana but were asked to share it. Yousoon realize why. The staff knows your name uponarrival, and within 24 hours, you feel as if they haveknown you all of your life—down to your very personalityand preferences. The buildings are whitewashed,like clouds set against a clear blue sky. Therooms are impeccable. But it's the people who set itapart, giving Las Ventanas a calmness and casual elegancethat simply can't be duplicated. The resorteven has a director of romance.

The spa at Las Ventanas offers interesting variationsof massage and facials and unusual therapies,such as "raindrop therapy" where fragrant oils andmassage combine with reflexology to help guestsunwind. The tequila bar serves the famous localliquor with a twist: They teach you everything aboutthe making and drinking of tequila, much like thewineries of Napa. The restaurants are not inexpensive, but they are top notch with theupper rung occupied by La Cava, a privatetable within the resort's own winecellar. The meal is prepared withregional ingredients including localwines from the Guadalupe Valley, aburgeoning area to the north. If youget the feeling you don't need to leavethe hotel, you're right.

If you do venture out, head north toSan Jose del Cabo. Its main street islined with shops and restaurants, andit's certainly more quaint and delightfulthan its counterpart to the south.When tired of shopping, stop for adrink at the Tropicana Hotel, a cutecolonial-style hotel. Stay in town fordinner at Morgan's, one of the manynew world restaurants springing up onthe old world streets.

At the southern end of the corridoris the Hotel Twin Dolphin (800-421-8925; www.twindolphin.com). Therooms are rustic and comfortable butdon't offer televisions or telephones.With so much to do in the area, it'sunlikely you will miss them. The poolis the center of the social scene withits cabanas and swim-up bar. Theclientele seem laid back and slightlyyounger than elsewhere.

Party Central

If it's nightlife you want, head toCabo San Lucas, where anything goesat mainstays like Cabo Wabo (011-52-624-143-1188; www.cabowabo.com)and El Squid Row (www.elsquidrow.com). For dinner try Cabo's originalslike Edith's (011-52-624-143-0801;www.edithscabo.com) or the "Original" Original Trailer Park Restaurant(011-52-624-143-3705). For lunch, gowhere the locals go—La Picazon (011-52-624-142-3410). Among its localdishes, this family-owned hideawayserves swordfish and marlin tacones, abetter version of the burrito.

As you reluctantly return to the airportyou are already planning yourreturn visit. Make sure to thank yournew best friend for their recommendation.Or better yet, bring them the nexttime. In the interim, relish your newrole as the friend telling everyone,"Cabo, trust me, you'll love it."