CABO FOR NEWBIES: THE ALL-INCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE


I love traveling to Mexico. It's close. The food is amazing. Prices are cheap. And there is so much to experience when it comes to culture, sightseeing and the outdoors. But what I realized earlier this year is that I've really only explored the country's Yucatan and Quintana Roo states. My adventures have taken me all over Tulum, Merida, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, but not to Baja, Sayulita or Puerto Vallarta. I'd been itching to see more of the Pacific, so when the Hard Rock Los Cabos Resort invited me to stay at their brand-new property, I jumped at the chance. I knew Cabo San Lucas was synonymous with all-inclusive resorts, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Well, I can now say that it's one of the few places in the world where the all-inclusive route is definitely the way to go. There are hotel options for every budget, and the all-encompassing resort experience really does shine here. And because there are so many options in Baja, I've put together a quick checklist of what to look for when selecting an all-inclusive, as well as a few daytrip suggestions to help round out your Cabo itinerary.

California to Cabo was a two hour direct flight - the perfect long weekend getaway.

At the Hard Rock Los Cabos Resort, the Legendary guests have exclusive access to the Legendary Pool including its wet bar, luxury cabanas and poolside fire pits.

CHOOSING AN ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT

Renowned for its abundance of all-inclusive resorts, Cabo offers a several choices for vacationers looking to lie low on holiday. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming, and selecting a resort that is a match for you can make or break a trip. For me, the Hard Rock Los Cabos Resort was the perfect option for several reasons - use the checklist below when doing your own hotel research.

1. LOCATION: I always want the best of both worlds - a resort that is close to town, but far enough away that it feels like an escape. Sounds simple enough, but it's not always easy to find. Thankfully, Hard Rock Los Cabos Resort sits just 15 minutes away from Cabo San Lucas within the exclusive Diamante Resort. No crowds and no beach hawkers out here in this gated community. It feels completely removed with town still accessible by private resort shuttle that runs throughout the day, complimentary for resort guests.

2. IS THE ALL-INCLUSIVE TRULY ALL-INCLUSIVE? Yes, it is. In fact, all guests are treated to the resort's unique Limitless All-Inclusive experience. It includes all meals as the resort's eight incredible restaurants, drinks at the eight pool bars, shuttles to and from town; and access to on-site resort entertainment. Additionally, if guests book spa treatments at the gorgeous Rock Spa, a round of golf or an off-site excursion (i.e. a sunset cruise), they only pay 25% of the listed price. For example, I booked a 90-minute massage my first evening at the resort - the listed price was $300, and I paid $80.

3. FOOD: All-inclusive resorts are notorious for being hit or miss when it comes to food because it's essentially all-you-can-eat dining. I can assure you, food at the Hard Rock Los Cabos Resort is DELISH!. The property is home to a variety of restaurants - teppanyaki tables and sushi at Zen; handmade pastas at Ciao; fresh seafood at Toro; local Mexican fare at Los Gallos; and Brazilian rodizio service at Ipanema. I treated my stay as a three-day seafood feast that included fresh grouper, fish tacos, scallops, tamales, tiger prawns and bottomless champagne cocktails.

4. OVERALL EXPERIENCE: The resort opened less than six months ago, and everything feels incredibly new. I loved the simple, contemporary design of the property - the pool scene especially feels beautifully posh with the pool fire pits, luxury cabanas, infinity jacuzzis, the red pool, etc. And the 1,500-acre resort is sprawling, leaving plenty of space for quiet at the Adults-Only pools, and zen spaces.

Mid-day feast at the resort's Mexican restaurant Los Gallos.

The resort is home to five expansive pools, all just steps away from the beach.

Deco goals at the resort's colorful rooftop bar.

Visitors should take the resort's free shuttle to Cabo San Lucas to explore the colorful tourist town. The ride to town is just 15 minutes - such a fun place to spend the afternoon!

VISIT DOWNTOWN CABO SAN LUCAS

Get out of the resort! Yes, the pools are amazing, but you can't say you truly experienced Cabo if you only see the hotel grounds, right? Take advantage of the Hard Rock's free shuttle service and plan a trip to downtown - it's just 15 minutes away! We spent an afternoon shopping and eating our way through the streets of charming Cabo San Lucas. Highlights included lunch at charming Mi Casa and a visit to Plaza Amelia Wilkes to see the city's colorful flags.

Welcome treats Hard Rock style.

I love staying at new hotels, and the Hard Rock Los Cabos opened less than six months ago.

The eight restaurants are all a part of the resort's all-inclusive experience, and I fully took advantage of the abundance of delicious food - fresh grouper, fish tacos, scallops, tamales, tiger prawn, mango cocktails ...

I'm obsessed with the Frida Kahlo tabletops I found at the resort's rooftop bar.

TAKE AN EXCURSION

Round out the Cabo weekend with an excursion - maybe a boat trip to the iconic Arch of Cabo San Lucas or a sunset sailing on the Pacific. There were several choices at the Hard Rock Los Cabos Resort, and all part of the resort's Limitless All-Inclusive experience.

Quick dip after my morning spa treatment at the resort's Rock Spa.

Farewell, Cabo!

Thank you to Hard Rock Los Cabos Resort for hosting my stay and sponsoring this post. All honest opinions are my own! xx

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