Lodging Lounges: The 10 Best Hotel Bars in Los Cabos
By Chris Sands
Cabo San Lucas Local Expert
Given Los Cabos' abundance of high-end accommodations options, it should come as no surprise that many of the finest bars and restaurants are located onsite at area hotels. In fact, Me Cabo Hotel, a chic resort that boasts a privileged setting overlooking Médano Beach in Cabo San Lucas, is home to two of the hottest clubs in Baja California Sur. Nikki Beach Club provides the poolside scene of choice for Cabo's smart set, with weekend theme parties that showcase creative concepts, as well as drinks, dancing and world-class DJs. Neighboring Passion Club, meanwhile, is a favored late night landing spot for party cognoscenti.
Bar Esquina at the boutique Bahia Hotel & Beach Club is a congenial place to belly up for cocktails and conversation, and the food – particularly the gourmet pizzas – is superb. And yet another Médano Beach based hotel bar, The B at Casa Dorada, offers an upscale casual setting for beer and pizza, or snifters of cognac and a game of billiards after dinner. The best bet for beer lovers, however, is on the rooftop of nearby Cabo Villas, where Baja Brewing Company, the state’s first craft brewery, serves up perfect pairings like Peyote IPA with basil and blue cheese topped burgers.
10 El Bucanero
Beachfront accommodations, views of the Sea of Cortez and all the rock formations at Land's End? Check, check and check. A full-sized pirate ship in the swimming pool? Villa del Arco is the only luxury resort in Los Cabos that can check that box, and to make things even sweeter the ship is home to a bar and café. El Bucanero is a hit with both children and adults, and why not? You can swim, walk the plank, or chill out on a deckside table aboard a Spanish style galleon with food and drinks. The burgers are very good, and there's an excellent selection of tropical cocktails (the kids can have Shirley Temples). The bar is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ((624) 145-7200)
9 Hacienda Cocina y Cantina
Choose among al fresco dining on the terrazzo, open air indoor dining or the ever popular "tables in the sand" at this casual yet stylish bar and restaurant at Médano Beach luxury lodging Hacienda Beach Club and Residences. Highlights at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina include stunning views of the iconic rock formations of Land's End, as well as an excellent traditional Mexican menu created by famed Chef Andrea Blanco and executed by Chef Octavio Hernandez. Start with margaritas or mojitos at the scenic bar, then progress to tropical or verde style ceviche, crab flautas with mango baja slaw and hibiscus sauce, and Oaxaca style beef medallions with ancho chile and peanut mole. Platters served family-style for the whole table are also available, with choices such as marinated grilled skirt steak, slow roasted pork or sea bass with garlic-chile sauce. (624-163-3144, 415-259-4170)
8 The Ridge Restaurant
The Ridge Restaurant is one of the toughest tickets in Cabo San Lucas, but for those lucky enough to be staying at the Ridge Luxury Villas at Playa Grande, this is a mandatory stop. The views alone are spectacular. Set beneath a palapa surrounded by infinity pools, a water slide and panoramic views of Pedregal, downtown Cabo San Lucas, and both the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean, this is one of the most breathtaking locations in Los Cabos. The food and service are both first-class as well, and cocktail service is available from a marble column supported swim-up bar. Dining is al fresco, with a focus on seafood. The ceviches, in particular, are superb. The pool bar menu is more affordable than the bistro menu, and includes some delicious gruyere sandwiches. ((624) 145-7575)
7 Mi Cocina
Find your vacation bliss to the sound of cascading waterfalls and rustling palm fronds combined with the savory delights of signature dishes like Med-Mex fajitas, roasted chicken with chocolate, and a New Zealand baby rack of lamb. Chef Loic Tenoux's innovative Mexican-Euro fusion cuisine is the main attraction at Mi Cocina, a San José del Cabo fine dining fixture that boasts a lovely courtyard setting at the boutique hotel Casa Natalia. But outstanding service and a serene and central downtown setting also contribute to the restaurant's sterling reputation locally, as do the masterfully mixed martinis and impressive array of blanco, reposado and añejo tequilas at the palapa bar. (624-142-5100)
6 The B
The stylish B is one of the better hotel bars in all of Los Cabos, with a large selection of international beers and tropical cocktails, as well as pizzas and other pub style favorites. It's located at the luxury resort Casa Dorada on Médano Beach in Cabo San Lucas, and showcases a comfortable, if upscale atmosphere, mixing chic furnishings with bar staples like a pool table and satellite televisions tuned to the latest sporting events. The B's beer menu is first-rate, with several excellent craft brew selections from around México -- including traditional domestic favorites like Victoria and Montejo -- as well as international standards like Guinness and Moretti. Food items include burgers, pizzas, chicken wings, corn dogs and onion rings. ((624) 163-5757)
5 Baja Brewing Company
Baja California Sur's first craft brewery now has three locations - the original in San José del Cabo, a rooftop spot on the ninth floor of Cabo Villas on Médano Beach, and on the Cabo San Lucas Marina at Puerto Paraíso - all of which have proved exceedingly popular with tourists and locals alike. The bar and restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with menus that offer everything from hamburgers and gourmet pizzas to filet mignon and other high-end entrées. The beers are very good, and are available by the bottle or on tap (guests can order flights of the draft beer to get a sense of their offerings). If you can only visit one of their locations, check out the rooftop location at Cabo Villas. The views of Médano Beach and Land's End are spectacular. ((624) 143-9199)
4 Passion Club and Lounge
ME Cabo Resort boasts of "an experience beyond mere accommodation," and the property certainly delivers. In addition to a spectacular Médano Beach location and scenic views of Land's End and Cabo San Lucas Bay, it also offers a stunning lobby with a sweeping spiral marble staircase that descends to the pool area (be prepared to make a Hollywood style entrance), 155 flawlessly decorated rooms and suites, and the trendiest onsite restaurants and lounges in all of Los Cabos. The Nikki Beach Club and Passion Club and Lounge host the hottest events and theme nights in town, as well as providing excellent places to spend the day tanning on canopied Bali sunbeds poolside (Nikki Beach) or dancing to music spun by a cast of superb DJs in the evening (Passion and Nikki Beach). NOTE: Passion Club and Lounge is currently undergoing repairs and renovations due to damages suffered during Hurricane Odile. It is expected to reopen in March, 2015. ((624) 145-7800)
3 Agua by Larbi
Considering One&Only Palmilla is often rated as the best resort in all of México, it should come as no surprise that the resort's signature restaurant, Agua by Larbi, is a local standard bearer for superb food and impeccable service. Set amid an atmosphere of colorful elegance, with glass mosaics, patterned tiles and a dining area anchored by a beautiful colonial-style fountain, Agua by Larbi also boasts spectacular moonlight views of the Sea of Cortez. Executive Chef Larbi Dahrouch's menu focuses on Mediterranean cuisine with traditional Mexican accents, but also offers traditional steak and seafood options. The gorgeous palapa-topped Agua Bar is a mandatory stop for preprandials. NOTE: Agua by Larbi is currently undergoing repairs and renovations following damages caused by Hurricane Odile. It is expected to reopen in March, 2015. ((624) 146-7000)
2 Bar Esquina
Bar Esquina is one of the signature charms of the boutique Bahia Hotel & Beach Club, offering a hip, upscale atmosphere - including a gorgeous 17-seat marble bar - and some of the best food and drinks in Los Cabos. The chef and his staff work in an open kitchen, so guests can watch their Mexican and Mediterranean style entrées being prepared as they sip custom crafted cocktails, or snack on the restaurant's excellent selection of gourmet pizzas. Live music is a dinnertime staple in the outdoor dining area, with performers that range from contemporary American country stars to romantic Latin balladeers. The café area behind the kitchen is also a popular afternoon stop for guests and beachgoers, showcasing coffees sourced from beans in premier Mexican growing areas in Oaxaca and Chiapas. ((624) 143-1890)
1 Nikki Beach Club Los Cabos
Nikki Beach Club is the hippest spot in Cabo San Lucas, with a great cast of international DJs pumping out pulsing dance music, and a poolside atmosphere rich in Champagne bottle service and professional swimsuit models. This is where Baja's beautiful people congregate to enjoy spectacular Sea of Cortez views, a swim-up palapa bar, attentive food and beverage service, and a nonstop party atmosphere (the Nikki Beach Energy Dancers are on hand if the collective enthusiasm starts to wane). Sexy theme parties are a weekend mainstay at Nikki Beach. The costumed White Party, held each year on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, traditionally draws the biggest crowds. NOTE: Nikki Beach Club is currently undergoing repairs and renovations due to damages suffered during Hurricane Odile. It is expected to reopen in March, 2015. (624-145-7800, 624-144-3253)
About Chris Sands
Chris Sands is co-author of Fodor’s 2015 Los Cabos travel guidebook, Editor at Baja.com, and a contributor to websites and publications such as Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, Tripology, USA Today, and U-T San Diego.
Read more about Chris Sands here.