After a great three days at the One&Only, the Journese team took us to Esperanza for lunch and a cooking demonstration. I was especially excited about the cooking class considering the property’s association with Relais & Chateaux, one of my favorite hotel associations that hand-selects its independent properties for their sense of place and outstanding dining experience.
The head chef, a fun-loving guy who kept screening phone calls from his wife, prepared a delicious paella before we enjoyed our lunch and site inspection on property. Out of all of the properties we’ve toured, Esperanza is definitely the quietest, a nice getaway for travelers who truly want to unplug and enjoy some amazing food and wine.
To get to our next destination, Capella Pedregal, we drove through Cabo San Lucas. Something to note: if you have only ever experienced Cabo San Lucas, you have missed out on the best parts of Cabo. The destination itself, collectively referred to as Los Cabos, consists of two main cities: Cabo San Lucas, a highlight for spring breakers and cruisers, and San Jose del Cabo, a charming town lined with art galleries, boutiques, and delicious restaurants – the latter is much more appealing to any luxury traveler and definitely worth a quick taxi ride to enjoy while in Cabo.
One of the selling points to Capella Pedregal, however, is that it is located close enough to Cabo San Lucas for travelers to enjoy more of a party scene. However, the resort itself is secluded beyond the gorgeous Pedregal Mountain, a perfect barrier between the town and the resort.
As we drove through the chandelier-lit tunnel through the mountain, my heart raced at the opportunity to see Capella Pedregal. Ever since I researched it for clients (see my blog post on it here), I’d fallen in love with the idea of the property. I wondered nervously if it would live up to my expectations…
Capella Pedregal is exactly as I imagined it. From outside of our balcony, beyond the private plunge pool, you can hear the waves crashing as loud as thunder. It’s a beautiful juxtaposition, especially when sitting beside one of the pools, located directly on the beach. Despite the majority of Cabo’s beaches not being swimmable, the dramatic effect that the ocean creates is really mesmerizing.
That night, Laura and I took a private transfer, provided by Terramar, one of our fantastic partner tour companies (Terramar is consistently ahead of schedule with their friendly service and luxury cars), to our dinner at Sunset di Mona Lisa.
Unfortunately, because of the time change in Cabo, our reservations were a little late and we missed the actual sunset. However, even at night the restaurant is breathtaking, with tables situated onto the terraced cliffs overlooking the crashing waves. Naturally, they gave us the most romantic table, right at the oceanside…
The next day we dedicated to both work and play. We woke up bright and early to do a couple of site inspections, which I hope to write about more in-depth in the near future. In a nutshell: we toured Zoetry Casa del Mar, a boutique all inclusive property that caters to a more adult, wellness-centered crowd. Cabo can be a bit of a hard destination for all inclusive options, especially for honeymooners – I’d consider Zoetry in a league of its own for upscale all inclusive options in the area.
After this, we did a site inspection of the soon-to-open Secrets Puerto Los Cabos. I’ve never toured a property still under construction and it was fascinating to see the process – workers milled about, tending to every square inch of the resort. Laura compared it to an anthill, which was a pretty accurate description. Even in this stage, I can still tell that the property will be a great all-inclusive option in the very up and coming area of Puerto Los Cabos and right down the road from San Jose del Cabo (the JW Marriott will open here by the end of 2014; the Ritz and Park Hyatt are slated for 2015).
For the remainder of the day, we lounged by the pool, got some work done, and enjoyed the Auriga Spa, voted by Travel + Leisure as the one of the best in the world. Curious to know if it lived up to this honor? You’ll just have to let me send you to Capella Pedregal to see it for yourself.
For our final night in Cabo, Laura and I had the fantastic opportunity of dining with Kim Daley, the president of Journese. On our last day at the One&Only, Kim had led a round-table discussion about the travel industry and, specifically, Journese’s role within it. We were fascinated by the discussion, which turned into a debate on why we choose the partners that we do and how the modern day travel agent has transformed into a necessity for savvy travelers.
Since I made it to this event as one of Journese’s top producers, I’m clearly already a fan of the brand. However, to see the behind the scenes of the company, to witness Kim’s passion and the entire leadership team’s dedication, and to understand the heart behind a company like this, one that’s so dedicated to providing the resources necessary for agents to bring their clients’ dream trips into fruition, that is a remarkable experience and I’m so honored to have been a part of it.
Thank you, Journese, for a fantastic trip, great partnership, and for serving as the kind of company that I look forward to growing with and learning from.
For anyone interested in the properties mentioned in this blog, please fill out a Request a Trip for more information on my services and how I can ensure that every vacation you take is the trip of a lifetime!