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Live like a Celebrity in Cabo

(Even for Just a Few Days)

From the runways of San Diego to the landing strip of Cabo San Lucas, my time zone and perspective all begin to shift. I walk through the sliding doors of baggage claim and am greeted by the sunny disposition of Lotty, the first of many friendly faces from Hacienda Beach Club & Residences.

“Bienvenido, we are so excited you could join us!” she says and, in a swift gesture I seem to have missed, calls a driver to bring my bag to the waiting Escalade. As I enter the car, stocked with chilled water, chocolate treats and refreshing towels, my body and mind melt into the moment. How do you say “bliss” in Spanish?

We drive toward the hustle and bustle of local Mexican tiendas neighbored by recognizable American store names. Beyond the allure of beautiful white-sand beaches where the ocean sparkles beneath a pastel sky, the attraction of Cabo San Lucas resides also in its easy familiarity: English readily spoken all around, the ability to pay with dollars as well as pesos, proximity to an array of comfortable amenities.

We pull up to the gate of Hacienda, loop around a majestic fountain and stop before an entourage of staff, who all greet me by name. Everyone beams genuine happiness.

Hollywood History: A notable hideaway since 1963, Hacienda began exactly as it is named: a quaint estate in a sleepy fishing village on the southernmost tip of the Baja peninsula—  and the most prestigious location in Cabo San Lucas. It is here where the likes of Bing Crosby, Desi Arnaz, John Wayne and Raquel Welch were lured to the quieter indulgences in life. What was once a little escape has bloomed into a 22-acre, $230 million private beach club and residential community located on 1,600 square feet of breathtaking Medano Beach, the region’s best swimmable area.

Live in Luxury: All sorts of accommodations are available at Hacienda for purchase or rental, from spacious one- to four-bedroom residences with whirlpool tubs and satellite TV to lavish four-bedroom beachfront villas with gourmet kitchens and private infinity pools, plus butler and chef services at an additional cost. For the ultimate experience, there are penthouses, too.
It actually becomes difficult to decide whether to stay in a plush robe all day or venture out into the sunshine. I make the tough call to meander about and end up dining alfresco as servers drape Mexican blankets over my shoulders, swirling Mexico’s finest tequilas and rum-infused curas as I overlook the iconic Land’s End landmark in the distance and paying homage to the sun during private yoga sessions on the sand.

After being pampered in one of the four spa cottages (sweetly named Flower, Butterfly, Vine and Hummingbird), I float toward the Hacienda Cocina y Cantina. The signature restaurant blends cuisine from Oaxaca, Puebla, Guerrero and Veracruz for delectable casero (“homemade” cooking). From savory tamales to fresh seafood ceviche, everything I taste elicits bursts of joy.

A Limitless Itinerary: Whether it’s searching for marlin in the Sea of Cortéz, playing a round at Palmilla Golf Course or hopping on a catamaran to watch manta rays dance, Cabo San Lucas offers activities for singles, couples, parents and children.
Perhaps the best part about Cabo is discovery. Find a taco shack known only to the locals (though I’m divulging the secret of Asi y Asado here), dig a spoon into freshly cut coconut from a streetside vendor near the well-known Old Man’s surf spot, or buy a bucket of beer from Zippers, where the owner of the establishment serves you himself.

A city once widely known for its vivacious night­life — many try to forget the foot-long drinks from El Squid Roe — Cabo San Lucas has matured in recent years to encompass stylish boutiques and upscale galleries around the marina. Elegant cliffside restaurants are now home to certified master chefs.

On my last morning, I hop into the pool for one final dip before the plane ride home. A Hacienda staff member instantly appears to ask if I need anything, and I ponder how to request packing all of this goodness in my carry-on. Instead, I smile and shake my head “no.” Leaving just means making room for someone else to come visit. After all, everyone deserves to be treated like a star.

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