Growing up a quarter Hispanic with a dad and grandma fluent in Spanish, I always wondered when I would get a chance to visit Mexico. I finally got that chance in February this year. After a rough few months between work and personal life, a vacation was exactly what the doctor ordered.
As a 25-year old I knew that the word “Cabo” to most of my friends would mean “let’s party.” I was looking for the complete opposite type of vacation. I wanted, rather, I needed a relaxing, quiet getaway. So I invited my aunt along with me instead.
We found a deal on Groupon for Villa La Estancia. We were bummed that the dates of our trip didn’t coincide with the deal on Groupon but when we called the hotel they granted us the discount anyway! (Score!) You can set up a shuttle from the airport to the hotel which is a really easy and stress-free process once arriving to Mexico.
The Villa La Estancia is on a piece of land that holds two other hotels: Villa Del Arco and Villa del Palmar. We actually stayed in Villa Del Arco for one night because they messed up our reservation slightly. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because we actually really enjoyed getting the chance to take a look at both hotels (and use both pools!)
Come to find out, Villa La Estancia and Villa Del Arco are mostly timeshares rented out by their owners and cleaned by the property’s staff. This meant less people at the pool because owners can pick and choose if they want to rent out their timeshare or just keep it for themselves. The staff told us that the properties are usually only at 50% occupancy or lower. We were pretty impressed to hear this as this meant more peace and quiet while taking in the serene views of the ocean from the beautiful pool area or the blocked off section on the beach. (We came to the conclusion that the third property, Villa del Palmar, was more of a typical hotel style with a bit less luxury than Estancia and Arco.)
Sidenote: If you’re a workout fanatic like I am, they have a beautiful gym at Arco (I ended up spotting Colin Cowherd on the treadmill next to me) but when you move to Estancia you have to pay a tiny fee to use the big gym. A smaller gym is available at Estancia but I chose to pay a small fee to use all the weight equipment at the bigger gym.
Now to the staff at Villa la Estancia… they were absolutely incredible! So incredible, in fact, that some of us ended up adding each other on Facebook by the end of it. O’Neil and Evani were our favorites! They were so attentive and we found ourselves picking our seats at the pool based on what section they were covering that day. Let me give you one example where they went above and beyond the call of duty:
Being part Mexican, all I wanted was to try an authentic tamale. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one on the menu (nor were they on the menu at the few restaurants we visited.) On our last day, Evani told me to meet him at 9AM right by the front gate to the property and he brought me a bag full of hot tamales from his favorite place! They were TO DIE FOR. He definitely didn’t need to go out of his way to find me tamales so I could try them before I left…but he did. And boy was I glad he did because those things were the bomb dot com.
Now for our favorite discovery of our trip – MASSAGES! If you walk along the beach there will be men offering these massages. Sounds totally sketch at first but trust me. For 25 American dollars they take you to this little hut on the beach where there is a line of about 10 massage tables in the sand with a view of the ocean and the sweetest ladies ever are there to give you a full body massage. A damn good one, too. Here’s the best part… $25 for 75 minutes!!!! What?! A 75-minute massage at the hotel spa was $150. So we got a $25 massage every single day of our vacation for the price of one at the hotel.
The hotel has special themed nights of the week and whether you stay at Arco, Palmar or Estancia you’re welcome to join in on the fun. We went to a fiesta with performers and a buffet meal. While the entertainment was cute, I’d recommend skipping this part. We felt sort of un-amused by that evening and the food.
For a restaurant, I recommend The Office. Now, I have heard this is a major party spot during the day – however at night, it had live music, you eat at tables and chairs that are literally in the sand. They provide you with a blanket as it gets a little chilly by the ocean when the sun is down. It’s a great vibe.
Finally, my last discovery from this trip was one I definitely wasn’t expecting. Did you know that Caesar Salad was actually invented in Mexico? Neither did I. Everywhere I went I tried the Caesar salads because each restaurant had their own take on the Caesar dressing. In some cases they make the Caesar salad tableside just like you would see tableside guacamole being made. Super yummy!
Whether it’s a walk along the harbor as the sun goes down or just lying by the pool with a blended strawberry margarita in hand, Cabo is absolutely stunning. The weather is perfect and the people are so sweet. I will definitely be back and I will book my stay at Villa la Estancia again. There is so much more to do in Cabo!