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.
Recommended for Hotel Bars because: El Bucanero is sui generis. There are no other bars in Los Cabos set aboard a pirate ship in a hotel swimming pool.
Chris's expert tip: Try one of their excellent ceviches .
Choose among al fresco dining on the terraza, open air indoor dining or the ever popular "tables in the sand" at this romantic restaurant at Playa El Médano based luxury lodging Hacienda Beach Club and Residences. The views are jaw-dropping regardless, a panoramic vista that stretches from the iconic granite monuments at Land's End to the boats cruising Cabo San Lucas Bay and the expansive golden beach with its two-mile sweep of restaurants and resorts. Tasting highlights include creative mezcal and tequila focused cocktails and a menu rich in traditional Mexican fare and fresh local seafood. A surf and turf trio featuring chile relleno, arrachera (skirt steak) and shrimp enchilada is among the best dinner entrées, although couples may prefer one of the "shared" dinner-for-two options. For dessert, try the house churros served with chocolate and caramel sauces.
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.
Recommended for Hotel Bars because: Ridge has the best swim-up palapa bar in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: The bluefin tuna ceviche is superb.
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 duo of Mexican moles. Chef Loïc Tenoux's innovative Mexican-Euro fusion cuisine is the chief draw at Mi Cocina, a San José del Cabo fine dining fixture that boasts a lovely courtyard setting at artsy 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-shaded bar. The addition of a Baja Oyster Bar offers even more tasty options.
Recommended for Hotel Bars because: The palapa bar at Mi Cocina serves up some of the best cocktails and tapas in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: Happy hour is 5 - 6 p.m. every day except Tuesday.
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 â" including traditional domestic favorites like Victoria and Montejo â" as well as international standards like Guinness and Moretti. Food items include burgers, pizzas, chicken wings, corn dogs and onion rings.
Recommended for Hotel Bars because: With the exception of two onsite clubs at ME Cabo Hotel, The B is the hippest hotel bar on Medano Beach.
Chris's expert tip: The B carries some excellent craft beers from Los Cabos' own Baja Brewing Company.
Baja California Sur's first brewery has three locations - the original in San José del Cabo, a rooftop aerie on the ninth floor of Cachet Beach Club, and an air-conditioned oasis overlooking the Cabo San Lucas Marina - all of which have proved exceedingly popular with tourists and locals alike. Fine food is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with menu options ranging from hamburgers and gourmet pizzas to filet mignon and other high-end entrées. The beers are excellent, either in a bottle or on tap, and you can order flights of the draft beer for a sudsy overview of their offerings. If you can only visit one of their locations, check out the rooftop brew pub at Cachet, which offers gorgeous views of Playa El Médano and the spectacular granite monuments at Land's End.
Recommended for Hotel Bars because: Baja Brewing Company's rooftop location at Cabo Villas offers great food, excellent beer, and spectacular Land's End views.
Chris's expert tip: Try their basil blue cheese burger paired with the Peyote IPA, or their coffee-dusted filet mignon with an Escorpion Negro.
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 December 15, 2015.
A perennially popular draw at benchmark ultra-luxury resort One&Only Palmilla, this elegant seaside eatery from Moroccan born and Jean-Louis Palladin mentored chef Larbi Dahrouch is distinguished by its superb food, impeccable service, and romantic candle and moonlit views of the Sea of Cortés. Dahrouch and his staff serve up exquisite Mexican cuisine featuring Mediterranean influences - call it "Mexiterranean" - with menus that change seasonally (and sometimes daily) to reflect the finest available ingredients. Many specialties are made tableside, including handmade tortillas, guacamoles, ceviches and moles. Start at the bar for sunset cocktails, framed between an infinity pool and a dramatic meeting of sea and sky.
Recommended for Hotel Bars because: Agua Bar boasts the most picturesque setting of any hotel bar in Los Cabos.
Chris's expert tip: This is the perfect place for sunset cocktails.
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.
The most notable nightclub addition of 2015 was The Rooftop at The Cape, the new Thompson Hotel at Sunset Point in the tourist corridor that connects Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Set atop a six story boutique resort, this hip new late night lounge and beer garden features tropical chic furnishings from Arquitectura de Interiores' Marisabel Gómez Vázquez, and stunning sunset and moonlit views of the granite rock formations at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula. Local craft beers and cocktails fromthe resident mixologist provide plenty of flavor, with rhythms courtesy of guest musicians or visiting DJs. The Rooftop is already a popular venue for private events, and is quickly becoming a favorite weekend haunt of the local smart set.
Recommended for Hotel Bars because: The Rooftop is the best new nightclub in Cabo San Lucas.
Chris's expert tip: This is one of the best sunset cocktail spots in Los Cabos.