Owned by Beanie Baby and toy-making billionaire Ty Warner, it’s little surprise that Cabo coastal retreat Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, is an entertainer of heroic proportions. Big kids, little kids, come frolic in seven pools (including a lazy river with a Jacuzzi grotto), perfect your serve at the world-class tennis academy, make tacos, watch films on the beach, bomb about on a UTV, and bob about on a yacht. And for over-21s, have a tequila master nail your perfect shot, heal with shamanic Mayan ceremonies or mole scrubs in the spa, and have the ‘department of romance’ bring the love. The fun extends to your suite, villa – or mansion – which might have a pool and bar, putting range or arcade games; add global eateries and bars dedicated to different boozes and you have a getaway that brings you more joy than hunting down a rare plushie.
84, including suites, villas, decadent residences and the Ty Warner Mansion.
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £1063.82 ($1,350), including tax at 35 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of $1.91 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include an à la carte breakfast, butler service and small bottle of Clase Azul tequila, plus a take-home glass heart. Over Christmas, a seven-night stay is required for villas; over New Year’s Eve, seven nights for suites, eight for villas.
At the hotel
Spa and salon, gym, art gallery, two tennis courts and an academy, seven pools (including a lazy river), myriad indoor-outdoor hang-out spaces, boutiques, pétanque court, mini golf course, arcade of boutiques (including handicrafts, art, resort wear and a Beanie Babies shop), charged laundry service, DVD library, free WiFi. In rooms: Butler, TV, small bottle of tequila and tasting notes, adobe fireplace, telescope, turndown service, Bulgari bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The Ty Warner Mansion, named after the hugely successful billionaire that got you hooked on Beanie Babies back in the day. It’s a residence befitting of someone with a fortune – specially commissioned artworks and fine handicrafts from all over Mexico are displayed throughout; there’s much to keep you entertained (several pools, a snooker table, video-game arcade, cinema room and musical instruments, two private gyms); and the extras are legion: a butler, of course, your pick of wines and tequilas from the well-stocked cellar, a massage for each guest, a private chef and chauffeur, and even a fireworks display if you wish. But, if you don’t have the bank balance of a mogul, try one of the Signature Villas with their sizable pools, media or spa rooms and generous treats.
We hope you like water, because there’s a good chance you’ll be in it here with seven pools to splash about in, many suites and residences with their very own pools and even beach cabanas with spots to soak in – sorry aquaphobics. You’ve got the vast curving and swerving infinity pool by the beach (with a swim-up bar); a literal Oasis, which tails off into a sensorial lazy river with underwater speakers linked to the DJ booth, artworks lining the sides, a swim-up bar dispensing ice-cream as well as drinks, and a surprise Jacuzzi grotto. Adults can keep the waterfront twin pool to themselves, and those who want to get their laps in can go up and down the 45-metre whale-tail pool; the tranquillity pool is tucked away and has inflatable lilos to borrow, and the harmony pool is equally serene, hidden away behind the spa. And finally, the bougainvillaea pool is all set for swimming lessons. Some are heated and some sun-warmed, pets are welcomed at most poolsides, and all have different services and extras, from sunglasses cleaning to suncream and water sprays, to chargers and magazines, to teppanyaki ice-creams and popsicles (many free for guests). And cocktails (at an extra charge), of course.
Under the spreading palms and palapas of the largely open-air spa, even a simple massage or facial feels magical, but throw in a few ancient Mayan rituals and you get something transcendental. Twilight ceremonies with singing crystal bowls and shamanic sage ‘cleansing’, meditation sessions with crystals, moonflower scrubs, nopal cactus exfoliation (not as prickly as it sounds) and massages with sun-baked desert stones will restore both body and soul. Or get slathered with a mole sauce-inspired concoction (no, don’t lick it) before botanic bathing, be well and truly unsnarled with a 20-finger massage, or bring a plus one for top-to-toe pampering and a rose-petal bath with a round of cocktails. The beauty salon has you covered for cuts, blow-outs and mani-pedis – but lathering gets an uplift in the shampoo lounge, where you relax in an air-shiatsu massage seat, fitted for light and sound therapy, as you get an aromatherapy head massage. The 2,900-square-foot gym is kitted out with Technogym equipment and Peloton bikes, and guests can attend a wide range of classes from Ashtanga yoga to Zumba, or request a yoga or Pilates instructor for a private class.
Follow the hotel’s pack-it-all-in approach – with the vast range of activities, eateries and spaces to explore, you’ll need a wardrobe for all occasions.
Need to sweeten up your sweetheart? Delight your darling? Pamper your – er – puddin’? Call on the hotel’s dedicated Department of Romance, who might sound officious, but whose business is helping you get down to business.
VI-Pets (under 40 pounds) can stay for US$60 a stay. They’ll get a made-to-order menu, massages, their own beach cabana, special dining ware, walkies with your butler, ‘doga’ classes and even birthday parties on request. See more pet-friendly hotels in Los Cabos.
Extremely welcome, although best brought in the summer when the hotel’s free activity programme is running.
There really is something for everyone here – hell, even your dog has a butler – but juniors and up will probably appreciate the fun to be had here the most.
Rooms fit at least one rollaway bed or cot, but Signature Villas with media rooms are all set for movie nights, the Signature Penthouse Residence has a putting range to play on, and the Ty Warner Mansion has an arsenal of fun distractions.
Throughout July and August the hotel puts its entertainer hat on, running family beach bootcamps, treasure hunts, dances, games, gardening sessions, arts and crafts, sandcastle building, cookie-making and fitness classes, all for free, from 9am to 5pm daily. Otherwise there’s pétanque and mini golf, tennis (lessons can be taken in the world-class academy) and snorkelling and scuba-ing. The hotel spa also has a range of mini facials, massages, mani-pedis and more specially for little ones aged five to 13.
Little ones will love swooshing down the lazy river through the hotel’s grotto as submerged speakers pump DJ jams through.
The hotel has wireless baby monitors, portable cribs, changing tables, diaper pails, baby bath tubs, bed rails, bottle warmers, mini bathrobes and slippers and even baby-proofing for your room, all of which lighten your suitcase load. And, there’s a Beanie Baby store where a whole new generation can get hooked.
Use of plastics has been reduced onsite, and any bottle-caps are sent to an organisation that turns them into trinkets to be sold to raise funds for a children’s cancer charity. Food and plant waste is composted to be used on the grounds, and glass bottles are recycled into glass hearts which the guests are given at check-out as a souvenir of their stay.
Choices, choices…A lantern-lit beach cabana for two? Arbol’s sunken dining lounge? A yacht? In a grotto with its own Jacuzzi? Dining at Las Ventanas has a flair for the dramatic and we are here for it.
Each eatery has its own style. Bring the big guns for Arbol, be fashionably flirty in Alebrije, throw something on over your swimsuit for Sea Grill, and anything goes at the La Taqueria.
Are you kidding us, Arbol? With pink-tinted lighting, indoor trees with lanterns hanging from their limbs and circular dining lounges sunk into the pool, romance reaches ridiculous levels at the hotel’s de facto date-night eatery. Chef Anand Singh has many travels under his toque, picking up techniques as he goes, so expect Indian tandoor cooking, fancy wok work, coastal cookery learnt in the Maldives and other tasty journeys that end on your plate. Or pull up a stool to the raw bar, which is loaded with lobsters, stone crabs, oysters, clams and other treats from the sea. Whereas, Alebrije is an homage to the hotel’s home turf, with a quick detour through foodie hub Oaxaca. The menu is inspired by the city’s nickname ‘the land of the seven moles’, so expect a lot of the chocolatey-spicy sauce, alongside other authentic Mexican eats, served family style. And if tequila (or mezcal) makes you happy, you’ll be thrilled to know Alebrije has the largest selection in Baja. Sea Grill celebrates the dramatic-sounding ‘cocina del fuego’, which translates to grilled-to-perfection fish and meat and dishes cooked in the wood-fired clay oven (using two kinds of wood to make a more complex flavour), alongside palate-cleansing ceviches. For snacking hit La Taqueria, where tacos go gourmet and ice-cream is served fried and rolled.
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of tequila you might be, there’s no need to go searching for a Buzzfeed quiz, because the masters at the hotel’s Tequila & Ceviche bar will enlighten you with a blindfolded taste test. Once that’s all worked out, you can stay at this cheery casual joint and and take sure-thing shots, or you can swish things up a bit at La Cava, an intimate wine cellar where sommelier Genevieve Rioux gently coaxes you out of your comfort zone, with pairings and picks from around the world. And, speakeasy La Botica is a throwback-to-Prohibition cocktail bar where drinks might arrive smouldering or curiously garnished and nights are soundtracked by the jazzy stylings of singer Rosalía de Cuba. We won't spoil the surprise but it's safe to say things can get a little lively…
Arbol, dinner runs from 6pm to 9pm. At Alebrije, breakfast is from 7am till 10am and dinner from 6pm to 11.30pm. Breakfast at Sea Grill from 7am to 11am, then food runs from 11.30am to 10pm. And ceviche is served from noon till 9pm.
Roughly equidistant from San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, Las Ventanas al Paraiso sits between the sea and the scrub dunes and palms of Bajan desert.
Los Cabos International is just a 25-minute drive from the hotel. The hotel can arrange transfers (from US$160 in a Mercedes Benz, Cadillac Escalade or a luxury van for groups of up to 12). Signature Suites and above include transfers in the room rate.
Once you’re at the hotel you’ll either be too distracted by the beach, eight pools, tennis courts and so on to bother with wandering offsite, or you can be driven to desert and sea activities (if you’re staying in the Ty Warner mansion you’ll even have your own chauffeur).
Worth getting out of bed for
If you’re in need of a mood boost, Los Cabos gets a whopping 350 days of sunshine a year (and we’re betting that those last 15 aren’t all that bad). Also, Cabo has tequila – a lot of it, the good stuff – and there are even dedicated staff members to help you find your footing before you lose it, using blind taste tests, personality matches and good old shots. But, you’ll need something to pair those with, so stop into the hotel’s Taco Academy for an authentic lesson in handheld snacking, or maybe head out into the ocean for a spot of sport fishing – this is, after all, the ‘marlin capital of the world’. While you’re out on the water, you could keep your eyes peeled for whales (don’t worry sunbathers, if staff see one offshore they’ll alert you with a conch-shell call), whose pods first pass by in fall, then return with their calves from winter to spring. Or you could ride the sizable waves that roll in here with a surfing lesson. Sail or sea kayak to islands, coves and caves, and get to know the locals (hammerhead sharks, moray eels, turtles et al) with a scuba or snorkelling session – there are also lurid reefs and sunken wrecks to explore. Of course, underwater adventuring is more fun when it’s done from a private yacht, especially when there’s champagne and a dessert platter awaiting you; charter the hotel’s 58-footer to do the Sea of Cortez in style. The desert landscape offers opportunities for adventuring too. Hop on horseback to Hidalgo your way across Baja Sur; or take the rugged route by bashing about in a UTV over mountains and dunes and through canyons and cactus forests. Less adrenaline-churning are yoga and pilates, grunty tennis matches (or a lesson in the hotel’s own academy) genteel games of pétanque or mini golf, or even life-size golf: there are two Jack Nicklaus-designed courses, one by Robert Trent Jones II and a Tom Weiskopf course close by. Then, there’s the beach, which – with its silky golden sands and tracking shot of the Sea of Cortez – you’d think couldn’t be improved upon; but you’d be wrong, because you can book a four-person cabana with its own pool or Jacuzzi, lounge, day-beds, butler to bring drinks, iPods and iPads loaded with maps of the galaxy, Evian spray, sunscreen, or food. And on request, you can have a cinema set up, telescope or rose petals and candles. And, throughout the year, the hotel has seasonal experiences with floristry workshops and food trucks, making personalised hats with artisans from Corazon Playero or themed dinners.
The hotel covers at least four days of dining – although you’ll want to hit repeat on those menus. You might be in the desert, but this is Cabo’s ‘tourist corridor’, so there are plenty of luxurious outposts feeding people very well along this strip. Cocina de Autor has lovingly scribed tasting menus served in a lacquer jewellery box of a dining room. Dishes veer to the east: lobster comes with jicama, yuzu kosho and smoked yolk; wagyu with black garlic and shimeji; and carrots with mustard seeds and coconut foam. Azul gastroteca calls on its network of local producers and makers to compose its comfort food menu with sharing plates of yellow tiradito with a mango-citrus sauce and jicama-carrot slaw, or brussel sprouts with Caesar sauce and mesquite bacon, and mains of almond-lemon-thyme-crusted fish and scampi risotto that’s heavy handed on the white wine. Or head west along the coast to Comal at Chileno Bay Resort, where ceviches and crudo are diced and sliced in real time at the raw bar, and an authentic Mexican menu serves up wagyu barbacoa style with pulque and garbanzo and corn; Baja mussels with chorizo and mezcal and plantain stuffed with Requeson cheese, with red salsa for dipping.
With a tequila bar (and dedicated experts on hand), wine cellar and speakeasy-style cocktail joint, Las Ventanas covers the three major food groups, but Cabo San Lucas is a fun drinking buddy with bars for all tastes. In downtown, look for Cantina Mexico’s neon sign; this pseudo dive bar has monster margaritas (that’s literally what they’re called) and a merry crowd. La Lupita has a taco menu you’d need weeks to finish and a mezcal list to match – and in San José del Cabo’s Drift hotel, the barkeeps sling out small-bath mezcals and microbrewery cervezas.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Mex-to-the-max hotel along Los Cabos’ desert stretch and unpacked their custom-woven hat and smooth-drinking tequila, a full account of their world-of-imagination break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort in Baja…
Remember Beanie Babies? And the maddening dash to collect them all like fuzzy Pokémon before we all, as a society, moved on. Well, Las Ventanas al Paraiso – the Rosewood group’s Bajan resort and temple to leisuretime – is owned by plushie-pusher Ty Warner; but here, rather than light a fire in you to get all the things, all the things are brought to you. There are butlers to cover all bases (including to look after your pet, find your tequila personality and keep your residence in order), no less than seven pools (including a lazy river with a hidden Jacuzzi grotto), spa with plenty of Mayan mágico, eateries that cover top-tier date nights down to post-swim tacos, beach cinema screenings, gallery of local art, an entire ‘department of romance’, Bajan activities for little ones, and even a hat-customising studio. And, suites, villas and residences are similarly generous, all with a butler and tequila-tasting kit as standard, some with lavishly kitted out media or wellness rooms, private pools with swim-up bars, rooftop putting greens and more. Stay in a Signature Residence and you’ll get free massages, daily snacks, help with unpacking; and book the baller Ty Warner Mansion and you’ll have vintage arcade games, a private chef and chauffeur, and even a fireworks display. A stay here goes some way towards making amends for those years lost to tracking down toys. But, acquisitiveness aside – beyond all the DJ parties and theme-night dinners, private yachts and tequila chugging – Cabo’s natural charms shine with the same lustre here, in this heady haven of rippling dunes, gilded beaches and the sparkling Sea of Cortez.
You’ll also find Rosewood Las Ventanas al Paraíso in: