I learned something in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The landscaped Pacifica grounds.

Staying at a secluded beach resort here feels more like splendid exile than an ordinary vacation. 

Situated just out of town on a beautiful Pacific Ocean beach, the adults-only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica holistic spa resort is a peaceful escape for the spirit.  You can certainly enjoy the seclusion by yourself, catching up on those novels you’ve wanted to read or forgetting your stressful life with a few days of spa treatments and poolside margaritas — but exile is better if you bring someone special.

Some vacationers see resorts as rather canned experiences in man-made environments.  The Pacifica avoids giving this impression by making good use of open space, water features, natural light, and native landscaping. 

The Pacifica's lobby, lit by
sunlight and scented candles.

As you enter the skylit lobby, you’ll hear soft new-age music and fountains, and you’ll find scented candles throughout the place.  The candles are especially inviting in the dark, quiet hallways of the downstairs Armonia spa, lending it an air of spirituality and romance.  Armonia offers a bewildering variety of treatments, including Swedish, Thai, Shiatsu, and stone massages, reflexology, exfoliating scrubs and wraps, facials, and special massages for pregnant women, and for couples. 

I could spend my honeymoon down here!

Well appointed bath amenities.

Actually, the hotel rooms are pretty romantic, too.  The resort touts the minimalist, zen-inspired décor.  To me that translates as an airy room with simple, elegant furnishings and a terrific feather-top bed.  High-speed internet access is available, but I came here to get away from all those spam e-mails.  One high-tech feature I enjoyed was the new-age music channel offered on the hotel’s televisions. 

Feeling too lazy to stroll down to dinner?  Order a snack from room service any time of day, and enjoy it in the room’s large soaking tub.

Appetizers at one of
Siempre's outdoor tables.

Exile is rough.

Siempre means “always” in Spanish; to me it meant that the resort’s restaurant by that name always had something delicious on the menu.  Fresh seafood is available every day: my companion had sea bass, perfectly cooked and served with tortilla strips to give it a slightly nutty flavor; I had seared parrotfish, served on an artichoke confit with red peppers. 

Another nice touch is the “spa” and “splurge” items on the menu, indicating  dishes that are oriented particularly toward health or decadence.  Seeking the latter, I perused the desserts and tried the flourless chocolate cake:  rich, dense, and served with white chocolate garnishes. 

Don’t worry — the resort has a very well-equipped fitness center.

So what exactly does “holistic” mean, anyway?

My twenty-five-year-old Webster’s Dictionary doesn’t even include the word, instead defining the noun holism as “the view that an organic or integrated whole has a reality independent of, and greater than, the sum of its parts.” Yeah, I need a new dictionary.  Take a poll of your own parts to find a more useful meaning:

Sunset and margaritas at the pool.

• Your stomach is happy after all the delicious food and tasty poolside drinks;

• Your muscles are happy from the massage they just received after your yoga workout;

• Your spine is happy due to the comfy mattress on the bea—  I mean, in your room;

• Your skin is happy because it just got scrubbed in the spa and tanned by the pool.

By the way, you know your companion’s parts are happy when she tells you, “I don’t want to go home!”

View the Pacific Ocean from the
comfort of your Pacifica balcony.

At the Pacifica you have several choices for enjoying the blue Pacific Ocean — none of which involve actually getting in it.  The waves crash loudly on the shore and create quite an undertow.  Also, the water on the Pacific side is a bit colder than on the Sea of Cortes side, and a lot colder than the heated pool.  I might also mention the ocean doesn’t have a swim-up bar.  If you love swimming in calm salt water, try one of the excellent  resorts in town, including the Pueblo Bonito Rosé and Los Cabos properties.  Out here, the ocean is for lookin’ and listenin’.

Oh, back to the choices: you can view the sea from your balcony as you sip something cold from the mini-bar; you can see it over the smooth horizon of the edgeless swimming pool as you lounge in a half-submerged chaise; or you can wander out on the sand to experience the sea up close from The Beach Beds.

The best view of the beach
is from a beach bed.

The Beach Beds! 

These aren’t mere chaise lounges with umbrellas.

The Pacifica has placed several king-sized wooden canopy beds out on the sand.  How wonderful is that?  You rent them by the hour, and only the growling of your stomach and the thought of fresh seafood will get you out of the bed and over to Siempre.  After a late-night drink in the swanky little wine bar in the main building, you can sneak back down to The Beach Beds after the hotel staff have retired.  If you’re not careful, you’ll be lulled to sleep there by the sound of the waves and not wake up until dawn.  I would never do such an illicit thing myself; it was just a random thought.  Bring someone special.

Don’t have a companion to bring?  Well, you’re special, aren’t you?  Maybe you’re needing to go somewhere by yourself, just to get away.  Oh, and you don’t have to think of it as exile — since people in actual exile generally want to go home.

Sunset from the beach beds.

About The Hotel

Pacifica Holistic Retreat and Spa is an adults-only resort located on the Pacific Coast of the Baja Peninsula, approximately 30 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas and 75 minutes from San Jose del Cabo International Airport.

Amenities include two outdoor heated pools with underwater music, an outdoor Jacuzzi, a modern holistic spa and fitness center, a cactus garden, and two clay tennis courts.

Services include concierge, golf tee times and equipment rental, guided walking excursions, stretching sessions on the sand, high-speed Internet access, art exhibits and boutique, a sundry store, currency exchange, a hair salon, and parking.

A courtesy shuttle is available to Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach, Pueblo Bonito Rose, and Los Cabos Blanco, three sister properties where guests have charge privileges.

Pacifica's gym.

Armonia Spa features an exercise studio, extensive fitness equipment, six treatment rooms, indoor Jacuzzi, steam, sauna, and cold plunge pool.

Upon arrival, guests can meet with a trained wellness specialist who will plan their treatment path: relaxation, wellness, or fitness.

Treatments are based on the holistic philosophy of treating body and mind as one and using only natural healing ingredients.

Siempre's flourless chocolate
cake with house-made ice cream.

Siempre restaurant offers all day dining, market fresh ingredients and both a wellness-oriented spa menu and a splurge menu to satisfy the urge for sweets. Other dining options include two cafes and a swim-up bar. Guests may also reserve tables at the neighboring Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach resort. 24-hour room service is available.

The 154 guest rooms are minimally-dressed and feature cactus blooms, incense and Zen inspired amenities. All rooms offer furnished terraces or balconies with ocean views, televisions, feather-top beds, pillow menus, mini refrigerators, safes, high-speed Internet access, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards, and nightly turndown service.

Children under 16 are not permitted at this property. 

— Feature and most photos by Robert LaGrone, Jetsetters Magazine Phoenix Correspondent.