Great Hotels of the World
Stars find a little Paraiso in Mexico
LOS CABOS, MEXICO – Called Las Ventanas al Paraiso, many may not know the name but may know of it.
It’s the place Brad Pitt and his wife Jennifer Aniston frequented during his on-location filming of the movie Troy.
It’s where domestic diva Martha Stewart was heading by private plane when she made those fateful calls regarding ImClone stock.
And it’s where I spent four unabashed and unadulterated (but not enough) days of unconditional luxury.
“Our guests don’t come here to visit Los Cabos, they come for Las Ventanas,” stated managing director Luis Fernandes of the region’s only Five-Diamond property. “Las Ventanas is the destination.”
My first clue to the exclusivity of this resort was found in a small gesture at the airport.
“Buenos dias, Mr. and Mrs. Dial,” greeted the hotel’s driver. “Would you like some water or perhaps a refreshing towel?”
He presented a handcrafted rattan container that housed two iced bottles of Evian and a tray of rolled, chilled face cloths.
Our arrival to this Baja Mexico retreat was in 32C weather, and at that point a glass of champagne accompanied by beluga caviar wouldn’t have elicited a more appreciative response from me than his offerings.
“Muchos gracias,” I replied and leaned my head against the leather headrest for the 20-minute drive through the desert to our luxurious seaside home for the next several days.
The name Las Ventanas al Paraiso translates to “the windows to paradise” and precisely describes the vision from its open-air lobby towards the infinity-edge pool and the sea beyond. There are no doors at its entrance, only the view – a view of paradise.
It’s said the resort’s Mediterranean-Mexican architecture was designed to match the curves of a woman. The result is a sensual escape that appeals to lovers and those who love to be pampered. And coupled with a Mexican style of hospitality that is both gracious and genuine, the combination is irresistible.
Las Ventanas was designed with the intent of creating little need to leave one’s suite. All rooms have ocean views, wood-burning fireplaces and private patios with a splash-pool/ Jacuzzi and outdoor cushioned seating. Up a flight of stairs from our patio was a private rooftop terrace for sunbathing or an under-the-stars dinner. It was magical. But it’s the intoxicating series of pools that eventually beckons guests from the luxury confines of their suites. The main swimming area, the resort’s signature feature, has a swim-up bar and is flanked by cushioned wooden recliners.
A high-powered telescope is the lobby’s focal point – for whale watching in season (December-April) and star gazing year-round.
They’ve thought of everything – world-class spa treatments, aromatherapy turndown service, even tequila lessons.
But it was the pool butlers, attired in crisp khaki shorts and traditional Mexican shirts, who most captured my heart. They seemed to anticipate needs before I knew I had them: a CD player with classical music, a gentle mist of frosted Evian spray, lemon grass popsicles and 40 SPF sunblock (they have all strengths).
And should one fall asleep in a hammock beneath a beach palapa, there’s no fear of missing a spa appointment or tee time as pool butlers additionally serve as personal alarm clocks. A Roman numeral flag system communicates when guests wish to be awakened (to the soft sounds of an ancient musical instrument).
“You seem sad, signora,” said Sergio as he retrieved our luggage. “I am because I’m leaving Las Ventanas,” I answered. “I’m in mourning.”
I closed the massive wooden door to suite 608 for the final time. While in route to the lobby, the sight of my reflection in a decorative mirror caused me to smile.
“How appropriate,” I murmured. My outfit: a black sundress.
Just the facts about the Mexican resort:
- Consider off-season travel (June 1- October 15). Though the weather is warmer, savings can be as much as 35%. Daily winter rates start at $575 U.S.
- Golfers should take advantage of the hotel’s exclusive agreement with the Tom Fazio-designed course, Querencia. Tee times can be reserved as far as three years prior to arrival.
- Dine al fresco by the sea ($150 U. S. set-up fee). This candlelit experience for only one table each evening must be booked well in advance.
* For information and reservations, call 888-767-3966 or go to www.rosewoodhotels.com.