Luxury on Los Cabos' golden sand beach
249 Rooms / 279 Suites
In 1965, the Japanese long-line fishing vessel Inari Maru was swept aground one night on a picturesque stretch of coastline near the southernmost point of the Baja California peninsula, about six miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas. Fifty-one years later, the wreckage is long gone. What remains is a gorgeous golden sand beach named, in honor of that fateful occurrence, Playa Barco Varado, or Shipwreck Beach. That, of course, and Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos All Inclusive Golf & Spa, an all-inclusive luxury resort whose property showcases 249 elegantly appointed rooms and suites, nearly all of which command magnificent views of the invariably sun-dappled Sea of Cortez.
If a ship goes aground nowadays, crew members will encounter smiling waiters offering them canapés, cigars and umbrella-garnished margaritas.
Elegance and all-inclusive programs seldom go hand in hand, but Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos is a rare exception; perhaps because the owners, who decided to change the resort from a traditional European plan a mere three years ago, continued their commitment to upscale service and facilities.
The property as a whole sprawls across 33 flawlessly manicured beachfront acres with two distinct accommodations options: the 249-room resort and a 277-room Vacation Club whose guests do not participate in the all-inclusive plan. Room types at the resort range from deluxe options with a king or two double beds to various levels of luxurious suites and villas. All feature contemporary Mexican design and terraces, marble bath appointments and 24-hour room service.
Casa del Mar may be the most singularly impressive accommodation, a two-bedroom villa set on a bluff overlooking the sea, with enough private outdoor space to host a wedding reception, or a barbecue for 100 close friends.
Guests at Grand Fiesta Americana needn’t travel to nearby cape cities Cabo San Lucas or San José del Cabo to enjoy a varied wining and dining experiences. There are no less than nine onsite restaurants, as well as a café and nightclub.
Unusual for a Los Cabos all-inclusive, menus are crafted by the chefs at each restaurant rather than a property-wide executive chef. The primary benefit of this policy is a noticeable lack of uniformity, a specific ambiance unique to each eatery. Popular cuisine choices include Mexican and Italian specialties, plus grilled Argentinian beef at Bodega.
Those with unquenched appetites may also sample fresh local seafood at a sushi bar or seaside cevichería, or give into homesickness with poolside hot dogs and hamburgers. Twice weekly theme nights are headlined by buffets and live entertainment (think mariachis or romantic Spanish-style guitarists), the common denominator being superb Sea of Cortez vantages.
Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe has burst onto the international wine scene in recent years, providing plenty of world-class pairing partners for the peninsula’s signature Baja-Med fusion cuisines. The region’s wine is put to more creative uses at the Los Cabos hotel, where it serves as the inspiration — and chief accompaniment — for a wide range of wellness treatments.
Vinotherapy options at the onsite SOMMA Wine Spa, for example, include sauvignon blanc Swedish and chardonnay deep-tissue massages, as well as wine-based body wraps, facials and exfoliations. Standard beauty services such as hair styling, manicures and pedicures are also available, as are gym and fitness facilities.
Massage cabanas on the beach, meanwhile, add tropical sea breezes to an already potent mix of relaxing ingredients.
There are six swimming pools, including an infinity pool, an adults-only area with a swim-up cocktail bar, and a dedicated venue for aquatic volleyball. The pool areas are fringed with special amenities, from complimentary snorkeling equipment for use at the nearby beach to comfort food pit stops.
Free transportation and discounted greens fees at the neighboring Cabo del Sol Golf Club’s golf courses are also among the premier amenities at Grand Fiesta Americana. Designer and 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus called the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol "the best golf property I've ever seen." Not surprisingly, the seaside loop is ranked among the 100 best courses in the world by both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest. Tom Weiskopf’s Desert Course is likewise spectacular, snaking inland through scenic cactus framed canyons, arroyos and washes.
Event services are another strength, thanks to three onsite wedding planners and a vast ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,100 guests. Fiesta Kids features daily activities for children, from cookie decoration to “camping” trips on Shipwreck Beach.