By Jennifer Kramer
It only takes a few seconds on the property at Rancho Pescadero to get a feel for the unique vibe of the hotel. This is not your typical Baja motel nor is it a glamorous Cabo resort. This is chicly understated luxury with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The resort is about six years old and is located in El Pescadero, an area that just a few years ago was not much more than a small local village with a great beach and popular surf spots. The area has now grown into a region of lux boutique hotels and farm-to-table restaurants. This is the new Pescadero.
Rancho Pescadero has 28 rooms but the hotel still has a very personal feel to it. Staff members remember the guests’ names and give a lot of personal attention. The term “boutique resort” seems completely apropos. Signs around the property remind guests of events, activities and classes in a casual and chummy way. “We are so glad you’ve chosen to hang with us!” begins the welcome note in the binder up in the room.
All of the rooms have air conditioning, a safe, binoculars and a few kitschy board games (our selection included an Etch-A-Sketch and a slinky). There was a welcome basket with snacks as well as handy items like bug repellant, a flashlight and matches for use during your stay. The bathrooms are fully stocked with toiletries from Teva and Los Cabos Soap Co. In the morning, you can expect a breakfast basket to be waiting outside of your door with continental breakfast (fruit and pastries) as well as coffee or tea.
All stays include free welcome drinks, so we immediately headed down to the poolside bar after checking in. Mixology cocktails make up the drink menu. In addition to the classic Rancho Pescadero margarita, five other gourmet-flavored margaritas are available (from cilantro to tamarindo). As we sipped our carefully-crafted cocktails we took in our subdued surroundings. The property feels very Zen-like with minimalistic adobe-style structures with palapa roofs and palm trees all around the property. Fire pits are scattered around the property with seats that look like they’ve been cared out of giant boulders.
The guests around the pool seem to blend right in with the posh surroundings. All the lounges around the pool are occupied but no one is in the pool. Nor does anyone appear to be talking much louder than a whisper. The resort seems to be filled with young hipsters from San Francisco and LA, looking for a chic alternative to the fratty Cabo party scene. The resort is only 45 minutes away from Cabo, but feels worlds away in terms of the quality of relaxation and the sophisticated scene. No kids under 18 are allowed at the resort, which helps to contribute to the tranquil vibe.
If seeing and being seen isn’t your thing, there’s another pool with a more casual atmosphere or you can head down to the beautiful beach that the property is located on. Down at the beach, guests will find a number of palapa umbrellas with Adirondack chairs as well as palapa cabanas with day beds for lounging. More fire pits are situated along the sand so that guests can enjoy evening beach bonfires.
The Rancho Pescadero spa offers a variety of facials and massages in oceanfront rooms for total relaxation. There’s a restaurant on the property that’s known for having great food and drinks (we also love Hortaliza Hierbabuena just down the road). The resort has a number of activities and items available for free use: bikes (for tooling around the neighborhood), surfboards (long and short), fishing poles (they will cook any fish that you catch) and yoga class every morning at 10 (all levels welcome). Excursions that are available for a fee include surfing lessons, horseback riding, scuba diving, kayaking, island excursions and fishing trips. Mixology classes as well as farm-to-table cooking classes are offered.
$210-$435 per night