An all-white watery retreat in Baja California, Viceroy Los Cabos is a taste of the future, with floors made of water, bird’s-nest-shaped restaurants and looming white buildings straight out of a sci-fi blockbuster. The close-to-San José setting means mezcal, margaritas and mariachi bands on tap, along with tempting taquerías serving Baja’s breaded-fish specials. Every room has a terrace with lounging perches, so you might not make it very far from your bed… but if you do, super-fresh ceviche, fancy fine-dining, film screenings and a whole lot of architecture-ogling await.
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A welcome bottle of sparkling wine; GoldSmiths also get late check-out (subject to availability)
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm, also flexible.
Double rooms from £542.95 ($662), including tax at 34 per cent.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast.
The hotel is on a beachfront, but hold fire before diving right in: the majority of beaches in Los Cabos aren’t good for swimming, thanks to a pesky rip current – stick to the four pools instead.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, bicycles to borrow, gym, beach, cinema, valet parking. In rooms: free bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making kit, 65-inch smart TV, iPod dock, air-conditioning, minibar and Roil bath products.
Our favourite rooms
If you dream of waking to uninterrupted Pacific views, go for one of the ocean-view rooms – though even the ‘partial’ categories will give you enough pleasing glimpses to be getting on with. All rooms are winners, though, with a day-bed-enhanced terrace, as well as a pool if you've booked wisely.
Take a dip in one of the five pools. The first is for adults only, tucked away on a rooftop. There are two on the beachfront, one of which has a hot tub; and another that's family-friendly. The main pool is an oval, with a ring of sunloungers.
The spa has assorted treatment rooms for Natura Bissé rituals, including mani-pedis, hot-stone massages and reflexology. Pilates, yoga and other fitness classes are held regularly. It's adults-only, since clothing is optional, but there are some special treatments for under-15s, as long as they're accompanied.
Bring tan-showcasing colourful kaftans and cover-ups. Swapping your sun hat for a sombrero is optional.
The resort is easy to navigate for wheelchair users and there is a specially adapted bedroom available.
All ages are welcome. Extra beds and cots can be added to rooms. Babysitting, booked at least a day in advance, costs from US$25 an hour (three-hour minimum), plus a taxi surcharge of US$20 after 11pm. A kids’ club is coming in 2019.
Babies and up
Extra beds and cots can be added to all rooms, and interconnecting options are available.
Little Smiths from four to 12 are welcome in the kid’s club, where they can build sandcastles, splash about in the (gentle) waves, go on mini nature walks and meet new friends. Advance booking is required and prices start at US$40 (for one child) for a half day of supervised fun.
Three of the four pools are family-friendly.
Kids are welcome in the resort restaurants – there are no special menus but staff will be happy to cater to Little Smith palates. Children are allowed in the bar, but can’t sit up at it (obviously).
Babysitting, booked a day in advance, and starts at $30 an hour (three-hour minimum), plus a taxi surcharge of US$20 after 10pm.
No need to pack
The hotel does its bit for the environment by using locally sourced, fair-trade produce where possible – and its cleaning products, light bulbs and toiletries are Mother Earth-minded, too. That straw in your drink? It's biodegradable and made from recycled avocado pips. Your colourful salad? All sourced from local farm Cabo Organics.
Nab a spot along the edge of Casero to admire those espejos de agua, the formal term for those pretty reflective water features, which aptly translates as ‘water mirrors’.
There are two: Casero and Nido Cevicheria. Breakfast is served in Casero; expect classic American dishes such as buttermilk pancakes, smoked-salmon bagels and eggs Benedict, but this modern kitchen has Mexico at its heart. Cocineros are constantly pressing out fresh tortillas, you can try a brined-cactus salad for size, and don’t miss dishes such as Baja-style chilaquiles and langoustine tacos. You can’t miss the bird’s-nest-shaped Nido, set adrift in the middle of the reflective pools, which serves just-caught ceviche and sashimi that’s as impressive as the surreal setting. At aptly named rooftop restaurant Cielomar (sky and sea), you can settle in for sweeping ocean views, fresh seafood, hot-off-the-grill dishes and wood-fired pizzas.
The view-toting Otro is a cocktail lounge next door to Casero, where you can try out traditional Mexican spirits in a traditional Mexican vessel (officially a cantorito) or a porrón, a handily sized jug for one. There’s all the tequila and mezcal you could wish for, but the bar also champions forgotten local spirits, such as Sotol, Pox (maybe avoid this one) and Tapache. There’s the Nidito beach and pool bar, as well.
Breakfast hours are 8am until 11am. Food is served all day (lunch: noon to 6pm; dinner: 6pm to 11pm). Otro is open from 7am to 11pm. Nidito’s hours are 10am to 6pm.
A 24-hour menu is available, including steaks, a fish of the day and various sandwiches, pizzas and burgers – all with a Mexican and American flavour.
The Viceroy is in holiday hotspot Los Cabos at the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
Los Cabos has its own airport, a 20-minute drive from the resort. Hotel transfers are US$110 each way.
It’s an eight-minute drive to the town of San José del Cabo, but if you want to fly and flop, no-one’s judging. There’s free valet parking at the Viceroy.
Worth getting out of bed for
Once you’ve made a splash in all five pools, checked out the spa and worked (out) your way around the gym, it’s time to head out into Los Cabos. Make a start with San José del Cabo, a colonial town a couple of miles north, with all the margaritas and Mariachi bands your Mexican dreams are made of – as well as weekly art walks every Thursday evening. If you’ve hired a car, head up the dirt road that leads to Cabo Pulmo National Park, one of only a handful of coral reefs along the west coast of North America (don’t forget your snorkel). Water babies will also enjoy a trip to El Arco, the point where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez officially meet. If you want to feel young (or, at the very least, intoxicated), join the spring-breakers disporting on Playa El Médano. The hotel can also arrange activities such as days out with local fishermen, sailing, jet-skiing and zip-lining. Day trip up to the nearest pueblo mágico (a government-bestowed honour upon Mexico’s most magical towns), Todos Santos – this laid-back surfer-favoured village is packed with galleries, beachside bars and a big dose of boho vibes.
In the foothills of the Sierra de Laguna, try the farm-to-table fare at Flora Farms– the 25-acre organic estate has no shortage of its own ingredients to use, and there are some bijou boutiques next door. Another Soil Association-friendly smallholding, Los Tamarindos may be down a dirt track, but there’s nothing basic about this elegant fish restaurant. Baja-style fish tacos washed down with an ice-cold Pacifico is the dish of the day in these parts: there are plenty of low-frill (but delicious) taquerías in San José del Cabo, especially Taquería Rossy. El Farallon at the Resort at Pedregal serves up superb seafood on the terrace – it’s a bit of a drive, but worth it for the view.
Commandeer a patch of patio at La Lupita, a mezcal and taco bar in San José del Cabo.
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 luxury hotel in Mexico and unpacked their tequila and tankinis, a full account of their beach-side break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the ViceroyLos Cabos…
If you want to rub shoulders with holidaying celebrities, San José del Cabo is the seaside Mexican town for you. And now, Viceroy has landed on this fabled patch of playground. The new resort has a futuristic appeal, and its architecture is striking: you might feel like you’re in some high-spec spaceship, but it’s really a stylish holiday hideout. Everything here looks impressive. The main pool, for example, is a sunlounger-ringed architectural masterpiece, and there’s a bird’s-nest-shaped ceviche restaurant, an inviting island in the middle of the vast reflecting pools. In the rooms, though, it’s all about the breezy, beach-house vibes, with wooden feature walls, floor-to-ceiling windows and a whole lot of white (out on each terrace, you’ll find a day-bed and possibly a soaking tub). From where we’re standing, the future looks pretty good.