First let me just say, I am a huge fan of Jennifer Aniston. If we ever had a chance to meet, we would definitely be besties if the fact that I am obsessed with her didn’t get in the way. HUGE FAN. So when I went to Cabo last month, and found out there was an opportunity to explore One&Only Palmilla – one of her favorite hotels – I jumped on it (PS: It also belongs on the favorites list of Eva Longoria, John Mayer, Cameron Diaz, you get the idea!). Lauryn Evarts, of the Skinny Confidential, even chose this as her own Destination Wedding Venue (read part 1 of a 4 part series here – I highly recommend reading this if you plan on having your wedding here as she really shares everything).
“Cabo is a really special, special place to us. There’s something really magical about it and there is something magical about the people too. So whenever I go down there I always say this, I feel like there is Zanax in the air, it’s just that the energy is so right. And when I got married I wasn’t a super Bridezilla person but I did want to get married in a space where everyone had really good energy”
Can I just take one second to admit that I was completely biased here? I knew I would love this resort and it did not disappoint. To stop myself from rambling, I am going to break this post into three categories: the facts, the feels, and the weddings.
One&Only Palmilla opened in 2004 in San Jose (the relaxing side of Los Cabos). It actually used to be President Rodrigues’ house – and much of the architecture remains the same. Talk about a cool story! Most new hotels in Los Cabos were formally just other hotels! This hotel has a very “boutique style” with only 174 rooms.
The hotel is a U-shape which allows all of the rooms to have an ocean view. There are golf carts to get around but the clientele this resort attracts tend to love the wellness and beautiful scenery the hotel provides as they walk around. For guests with mobility issues, there are “easy access” rooms but no elevators on property unfortunately.
This hotel is not all-inclusive but those wishing for a similar high-end experience can rent one of the two villas on the property, that come complete with butler service, a chef and two house keepers. These book up well in advance so unfortunately I didn’t get to see them but they sound AMAZING.
I did get to tour the ocean front one bedroom grand suite which was, as you can imagine, AMAZING. The authentic Mexican details shine through the decor and really set this hotel apart from the other overly modern hotels nearby. As they say “When you are in Mexico, you don’t want to pretend you are somewhere else” – and I have to agree.
Whale watching can be done here depending on season – you can often watch the whales jumping right from your balcony (don’t forget ALL the rooms are ocean view). And as you can see from the picture above, there is plenty of room to enjoy a little balcony time.
This is one of the few hotels in Los Cabos that has a swimmable beach! Often swimming in forbidden at the resorts due to a strong undertow. You can’t swim in along the entire beach of the resort (near the wedding location for example) but they do have a section just past the restaurant that you can swim in the ocean in! To me, it is actually an advantage that you can’t swim near the wedding location because you won’t have any randoms in your pictures! At the swimmable section of beach (which is just past the restaurant) the hotel offers free paddle boards, sailboats, snorkeling and more activities. They also have a lifeguard on site.
You will just feel good here. Many elements of this hotel just can’t be summed down to bare facts. Every time you walk by a member of their staff, they put their hand over their heart. This is based on an old Mexican tradition meaning: I received you and welcome you with all my heart. Although a few other hotels have adopted this practice, it originated here, and few staff at other hotels truly understand the meaning. The hotel is also completely LGBT friendly.
Although the hotel is not all inclusive, they do have a restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Do you really want to eat all inclusive buffet breakfast anyway? Personally, an a la carte breakfast is always on my wish list when deciding where to go for my own vacation. The restaurant combines two “themes” apparent throughout the hotel: Mexican flair and Overall Wellness. No fast food here!
The spa is also an experience in itself. Their spa is complete with a yoga garden, juice bar and other rituals. One of the rituals/services they offer is a steam ritual called the “Tamascal Ritual”. It is two hours in length and about $600USD for a private session. If you prefer a group session, it is about $170USD with about 15 people. Honestly, it looked amazing and when I return I will definitely be making time for it!
Another service that came highly recommended was their water circuit – Spend 3 mins in Each Spa Pool (one is ice cold and one is really hot). I am not sure if I am brave enough but the spa manager highly recommended it for improving circulation and overall wellness.
Thinking this hotel might be perfect for a wellness retreat? You are absolutely right. There is even a pool in spa which you can reserve for your small group. This would be perfect the day before a wedding with your closest girlfriends! Complete with a day bed and service so you can focus of having the ultimate relaxation experience.
They have a Chapel right on the property for those wishing to have a Catholic Ceremony. You can see in the picture above there is a terrace on the outside at the top of the stairs where the live band (or harpist) plays music as your guests arrive. The chapel sits on a small hill so your guests can either walk or take advantage of the golf carts on property. As for the bride, they have horse drawn carriages for the occasion! The inside of the church seats a maximum of 40 people.
For their beach weddings, they are able to accommodate a maximum of 250 guests. They take care of every single detail and nothing is left unnoticed. For example, before each wedding they mow the grass and spray pesticide so there will be no mosquito’s affecting the event. They have two different beach venues, a garden beach venue and a turtle beach venue.
Each wedding is highly personalized so they do not offer any packages. Everything is a la carte so the couple gets exactly what they want for their day. There is a bar open till 1am for dancing but if your group really loves to party they will keep the ballroom and party going until 4-5am. They will accommodate your wish list, trust me.
Worth the splurge?
I already admitted at the top that I am biased because I would say the answer is an absolute yes.
This hotel would be perfect for anyone who places a high value on health an wellness, great service, and authenticity. It would make a perfect splurge for a honeymoon destination. If your budget allows, this location would also be perfect to host your destination wedding. This is especially true is customization is one of your “must haves”.
I love Mexico. The fact that this hotel truly embraces the Mexico culture is so wonderful to me. Plus, Los Cabos is truly one of my favorite places in the world. ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES IN THE WORLD. My whole trip to Los Cabos was amazing, but this hotel was definitely one of the highlights!
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