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Cabo Azul Resort & Spa, San José del Cabo

Mexico, North America
Paseo Malecon s/n
San José del Cabo
Mexico 23400
Tel: 52 624 163 5100
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

This 332-room property just outside San Jose del Cabo somehow remains tasteful despite its large scale. The centerpiece is the vast courtyard with three massive pools (all kept at the temperature of a warm bath) that stretch down to the beach and are flanked by bamboo pods with mattresses big enough for two. The pool's proximity to the outdoor palapa-covered bar encourages guests to stay in the warm water, margaritas in hand, until well after dark. The large one- to three-bedroom villas mix Mexican touches such as dark-wood antiques and oversize lamps with amenities including flat-screen TVs, whirlpool baths, double sinks, and full kitchens—each room also comes with a sizable terrace. Other draws are the cushy spa and the romantic beachside restaurant, Javier's, with its gauzy curtains and simple but well-done local dishes. The resort's overall effect is a successful merging of form and function, and for now it remains a well-kept secret. One caveat: Watch out for the rather aggressive concierges who want to sell you everything from tours to time-shares before even showing you to your villa.

—2008 Hot List

When to go: In January after the holiday school break, to have the place almost to yourself.

Which room to book: Oceanview rooms, such as No. 2503, for an unobstructed Sea of Cortes vista.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.