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Issue: March 2010
The Perfect Vacation

by: Anthony Dias Blue

The exclusive Villas Del Mar in Cabo leave reality far, far away

It was hot, steamy and noisy as we pushed our way through the crowd of vacationers in the San Jose del Cabo airport. Three full planes had landed at once, and chaos reigned. We had about 15 bags between us, and the porters seemed to be on break.


Everything changed when we straggled out onto the sidewalk in front of the terminal. We were met by two Villas Del Mar employees in crisp white uniforms, who took charge of our luggage and hustled us into an air-conditioned, leather-lined Suburban stocked with cold water, sodas and beer. Our perfect vacation had begun.

 
Club Ninety Six offers several pools plus the beach swimming beach in Cabo.
PHOTO COURTESTY OF VILLAS DEL MAR


For the past several years, I have taken my family to Cabo San Lucas in December. Located at the tip of Baja California, this Mexican resort is just a two-hour flight from LAX. The weather is always great, and the available accommodations range from beach shacks to palatial villas. Nightlife options span from raunchy tequila bars to exquisite Jean-Georges Vongerichten haute cuisine. This time we opted for the high end of the spectrum. We have stayed at various hotels and resorts, but this year we decided to go for the gold and stay in a villa at the ultra-exclusive Villas Del Mar at Palmilla.


Built on a rocky rise that stretches along two miles of pristine oceanfront property overlooking the Sea of Cortez and adjacent to one of the world’s most luxurious resorts, One&Only Palmilla, Villas Del Mar offers the comforts of an über-luxury vacation home along with the services and amenities of a five-star resort.

Just outside the heavily guarded gates of Villas Del Mar, there are 27 holes of Nicklaus championship golf, state-of-the-art tennis facilities at the Palmilla Tennis Club and an amazing selection of restaurants, as well as access to the extraordinary spa at the One&Only Palmilla.
 

Villas Del Mar is one of the jewels of Cabo.
PHOTO COURTESY OF VILLAS DEL MAR

The Suburban came to a smooth stop in front of our villa. Standing at attention in front were two members of the Villas Del Mar staff and, in white coats, our butler, Rolando, and the chef, Geraldo. Our luggage was quickly and silently whisked into the house and placed in the appropriate bedrooms. There were eight of us: my three daughters, two sons-in-law, my three-year-old granddaughter, my wife and myself.

The villa could have held ten or more comfortably. There were five roomy bedrooms, a large living room that opened out onto a pool deck, a spacious kitchen and a dining room. In addition, there was a lovely outdoor dining area where we had breakfast and lunch every day. Another covered seating area with a fireplace adjoined the pool. From our terrace we had a sweeping view of the sea and a front-row seat for whale sightings, of which there were many each day. Included in the cost of the rental was three hours of daily maid service, including laundry and bed-making.

 
The always abundant lunch table.
PHOTO: ERIC WATERMAN

We quickly settled into a routine. Breakfast at nine. Huevos rancheros—fried eggs with spicy tomato sauce, guacamole and tortillas; refried beans; omelets; fresh-cut tropical fruit; fresh squeezed juices; coffee and chilaquiles—tortillas, cheese and avocado with eggs. This was followed by a few hours of reading, sunning and swimming.

Then came lunch. Chiles rellenos—poblano chiles stuffed with cheese; fish tacos made with fresh sable; enchiladas; stuffed lobster tails; wine, beer and colorful exotic salads. This was followed by a few hours of reading, sunning and swimming.
 

In the afternoon some of us (not me) played golf or tennis and went to the beach. Villas Del Mar has the nicest and most swimmable beach in the area. Beaches that face the Pacific Ocean are not recommended for swimming because of the danger of powerful rip tides. The VDM beach faces on the Sea of Cortez.

Once the sun went down, we had many options. The nearby town, San Jose del Cabo, is quite pleasant and authentic. There are a number of good restaurants including Tequila, Morgan’s, El Chilar and, our favorite, Don Emiliano, which serves remarkably skillful and high-end Mexican food prepared by chef Margarita de Salinas.

Club Ninety Six is the lavish establishment for the exclusive use of Villas Del Mar residents and guests. It includes a large clubhouse; an outdoor bar that offers excellent Margaritas, plus burgers and other casual food; two handsome, free-form pools, a children’s pool and access to the best swimming beach in Cabo; a fitness center containing every exercise machine anyone could want; a temperature-controlled members’ wine cellar, as well as fine dining, inside or outside, and an excellent wine list. There is also a private catamaran for the use of the club.

Most evenings we dined outside at a table near the fire pit and overlooking the beach. Club Ninety Six was easily reachable from our villa via our golf cart. The food is contemporary Mexican mixed with traditional grill items. All is adeptly prepared and quite delicious. Service is friendly and highly professional.

Unfortunately, our week of luxury ended all too soon. The re-entry to reality was jarring to say the least. As we said tearful goodbyes to Rolando and Geraldo and the rest of the staff, we all agreed that it was the perfect vacation—the best we had ever experienced.
 
Our butler Rolando (foreground) waits while our personal chef Geraldo prepares lunch.
PHOTO: ERIC WATERMAN


For more information about renting a villa at Villas Del Mar, visit www.villasdelmar.com or call 1-866-845-5277.

 

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