Golden Zone: The Best Beachfront Hotels in Los Cabos

Los Cabos has dozens of beautiful beaches, and an even greater number of beachfront hotels. As a consequence, visitors have many options at a variety of price points in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, as well as along the Tourist Corridor that connects the two cities.

Playa El Médano is the largest and most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas, and this two mile stretch of golden sand is home to many of the city's most luxurious resorts, including Hacienda Beach Club & Residences, Casa Dorada, ME Cabo Resort and Pueblo Bonito Rosé. All-inclusive packages are available at most Médano Beach based resorts, and all are within walking distance of downtown shopping, dining and nightlife, 

San José del Cabo offers lodgings on Acapulaquito and Costa Azul beaches – as well as near La Playita in the Puerto Los Cabos development – but the city's largest concentration of beachfront resorts is along the Playa Hotelera. This stretch largely features all-inclusives, the best of which is Barceló's Grand Faro (formerly Hola Grand Faro), notable for its distinctive lighthouse and abundant accommodations options and amenities.

Although the coast-hugging Tourist Corridor boasts many fine resorts, the benchmark remains One&Only Palmilla, a world-class property that features easy access to the three nine-hole, Jack Nicklaus designed Palmilla Golf Club courses, and swimming and water sports in the protected cove off Playa Palmilla. 


Formerly known as the Hola Grand Faro Los Cabos, the now Barceló branded property is one of the premier resorts on the Playa Hotelera in San José del Cabo, the long beachfront strand that features the city's largest concentration of seaside hotels. This expansive property is distinctive due its large lighthouse (faro means lighthouse in Spanish), and offers 350 rooms and suites spread across three buildings. All-inclusive packages are available, and offer access to the resort's five restaurants and three bars. Children are welcome, and may swim in the heated kids pool, explore the game room area, or enjoy activities courtesy of the Barcy Club.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Barceló Grand Faro Los Cabos is one of the premier all-inclusives on the Playa Hotelera in San José del Cabo.

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A romantic getaway of the first order, Dreams offers an array of amenity laden suites, as well as three large pools, a jacuzzi, five onsite restaurants and four lounges. The suites are elegantly appointed, with terrace views. Restaurant highlights include steaks at Seaside Grill, seafood at Oceana, Italians cuisine at Portofino and Asian offerings at Himitsu. There is also a Just the Two of You option, with a table set up beachside for a romantic candle light dinner. The spa offers whirlpools, saunas and steam baths, as well as several varieties of massages, and beauty treatments like manicures and pedicures. Kids can enjoy activities from the Explorer's Club, while Preferred Club members have access to special privileges, including spectacular ocean views, a private lounge and other exclusive amenities. NOTE: Dreams is currently undergoing repairs and renovations following damages caused by Hurricane Odile. It is expected to reopen October 1, 2015.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Dreams is one of the Tourist Corridor's best beachfront resorts.

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Pueblo Bonito now has four resorts in Cabo San Lucas -including its Blanco and Rosé properties on Médano Beach - and guests are typically free to explore dining and amenities at other PB resorts. The classically themed Pueblo Bonito Rosé enjoys a privileged position on Cabo San Lucas' most popular beach, with gorgeous views of Land's End from the enormous swimming pool, and many of the 260 suites. All-inclusive privileges include accommodations in either ocean or garden view suites, fitness facilities and spa treatments at The Spa at Rosé, and dining and drinking at the property's many onsite restaurants and lounges.

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Bahía Hotel has carved out a niche as one of the premier boutique hotels in Cabo San Lucas, with chic accommodations, an excellent pool area featuring daybeds and recliners, and a beach club offering water-based rentals. The onsite restaurant, Bar Esquina, is one of the best in town, and owes its popularity with locals and tourists alike to an upscale casual atmosphere and wide-ranging menu selections. Bar Esquina offers everything from fine dining to comfort food fare, including delicious gourmet pizzas. The restaurant, like the hotel, manages a hip, easy-going vibe without ever seeming pretentious or ostentatious. This is far more difficult than it looks, of course, and many newer hotels and restaurants have tried to capture Bahía's charm without ever quite equaling its service or its success.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Bahía Hotel and Beach Club is the best new lodging overlooking Médano Beach.

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Grand Solmar Land's End Resort and Spa is the latest offering from the Solmar Group, whose other luxury properties locally include Playa Grande and Ridge Luxury Villas. The relatively new (Phase 1 premiered in 2011) all-inclusive resort features 289 suites, gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, and easy access to Playa Solmar (Solmar Beach). There are many fine onsite restaurants – most notably, La Roca, which features Mexican, American and continental fare; and Don Luis, which specializes in Baja Mediterranean-influenced cuisine – but guests may dine at all Solmar Group restaurants. Grand Solmar's other amenities include full spa services, a beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts, business center, heated pools and jacuzzis, beach side massage cabanas, and an accredited onsite romance coordinator.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Grand Solmar is the top beachfront resort on Playa Solmar.

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This 22-room boutique resort offers a beautiful setting on Acapulquito Beach, and one of the best surf-friendly locations in Los Cabos. Rooms include Junior Suites, Junior Villas, King Villas and a Master Villa, all featuring marble floors, flat screen televisions, free wireless, and a pool deck with a jacuzzi. The onsite restaurant, 7 Seas Seafood Grill, boasts a beautiful beachfront setting, and serves great food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But this hotel is about the surfing. Former pro Mike Doyle's Cabo Surf Shop offers lessons, and rentals for long boards, short boards, soft boards, boogie boards and stand up paddle boards. Beginner, intermediate and expert level surfing is available off Acapulquito Beach and neighboring Costa Azul.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: This is the best boutique beach hotel in San José del Cabo.

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The luxurious Médano Beach-based resort Casa Dorada combines magnificent Sea of Cortez views with richly appointed suites and penthouses featuring marble bath appointments, private terraces, chic interior design and upscale amenities such as plasma screen televisions and wireless internet service. The onsite Saltwater Spa is of first-class quality, as is the restaurant Twelve Tribes, one of only two restaurants in Mexico mentioned in Centurion's members only publication Black Ink. The spa focuses on revitalizing body and wellness treatments utilizing the curative powers of the mineral rich waters of the Sea of Cortez. Twelve Tribes' menu showcases dishes featuring fresh local seafood.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Casa Dorada is one of the premier luxury resorts on Médano Beach in Cabo San Lucas.

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In addition to a spectacular Médano Beach location and breathtaking views of Land's End and Bahia Cabo San Lucas, the boutique ME Cabo Resort offers a stunning Art Deco style lobby with a sweeping spiral marble staircase that descends to the pool area, 155 flawlessly decorated rooms and suites, and the trendiest onsite restaurants and lounges in all of Los Cabos. The onsite Nikki Beach and Passion Clubs host many of the area's hottest events and theme nights, and are excellent spots to spend the day tanning on canopied Bali sunbeds poolside (Nikki Beach), or lounging late night to a rotating cast of international DJs (Passion and Nikki Beach). The YHI Spa offers massages, Temazcal therapy and other treatments. NOTE: ME Cabo Resort is currently undergoing repairs and renovations following damages caused by Hurricane Odile, and is scheduled to reopen October 1, 2015.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: ME Cabo is the hippest beachfront resort in Los Cabos.

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This scenically situated property dates to the early days of tourism in Cabo San Lucas, when - as the Hotel Hacienda - it was a frequent haunt of Hollywood stars like John Wayne, Raquel Welch and the Rat Pack. It was rebuilt as Hacienda Beach Club and Residences in 2005, and now offers luxurious accommodations - by the day, month, or lifetime - and five-star services and amenities at the best location in the city. Set at the very foot of Médano Beach, Hacienda's residences and beachfront villas command a quarter mile of golden sand, with spectacular views of Cabo San Lucas Bay and Land's End. The onsite restaurant and spa are open to the public by prior reservation. The former, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, serves traditional Mexican specialty dishes, and is much sought after as a site for weddings and receptions.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Hacienda Beach Club & Residences is a luxurious property set at the very foot of Médano Beach.

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One&Only Palmilla is regularly rated by travel magazines as the best resort in México, and it's easy to see why. The commitment to service is unmatched in the region, as evidenced by the 3:1 staff-to-guest ratio, and the some five dozen gardeners working constantly to sculpt the lush and luxuriant grounds. The resort has been around since the 1950s – when it was founded by pioneering Los Cabos developer Rod Rodriguez – and it has remained a benchmark area property through several expansions and upgrades, most notably upon receiving the One&Only imprimatur in 2004. In addition to its excellent accommodations and amenities – private butlers are standard – the resort hosts several excellent restaurants, including SEARED steakhouse from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Upgrades and renovations in recent years include a 22,000 square foot spa, fitness and beauty facility, with Barber&Blade for men, and manicures and pedicures in a studio designed by famed French podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez. Romantic activities for couples are another specialty, with options that range from private yacht whale watching adventures to spa date couples' treatments and private dining experiences.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: In addition to being the Tourist Corridor's benchmark resort, One&Only Palmilla offers easy access to beautiful Playa Palmilla.

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Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the Cabo San Lucas local expert for the USA Today travel website 10 Best, writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to numerous websites and publications,...  More About Chris