Grand Baja Resort & Spa, Los CabosTaking the all-suite concept of lodging to the next level is the plan for the Grand Baja Resort and Spa in Los Cabos. The anticipation a traveler
feels when leaving a hotel front desk with key in hand can often lead to utter disappointment after the key slips into the door lock and they step
into their room. Can they make these rooms any smaller? You call this is a suite? Isn’t that dresser from IKEA? Not so at the Grand Baja in San Jose
del Cabo. Spacious suites are the name of the game here and the value makes a stay in paradise even better with the extra ducats in one’s pocket.
Ever wonder how the designers of those tiny rooms at most hotels have the gumption to call it a “suite”. I do, often as a matter of fact. I love to
travel and do so every chance I get. It would be nice to rave to others about how pleased I was with my choice of accommodation and the value that I received. Truth is, it doesn’t happen all that often. Cramped quarters, cheap cookie-cutter furnishings, towels with the softness of sandpaper and shampoos that strip the moisture from my hair like paint remover. Add a high price tag to the mix and you have one unhappy camper.
The good news is that if you do your homework and really investigate the hotel or resort that you are considering as your “home away from home” – you greatly increase the likelihood of getting what you want. Visiting Web sites like CabosBest.com, who specialize in a specific destination, is a good way to find out what you need to know before you reserve a room or suite. When you deal with an area specialist, you’re going to get accurate information, usually based on personal experience. That’s exactly what you’ll get in reading this review of the Grand Baja Resort and Spa in San Jose del Cabo.
Situated on the beach about 15 minutes from San Jose del Cabo International Airport, the resort is set back from the road and is marked only by a small sign that you’ll most likely miss if you blink. Once you find the entrance,the unique design of the hotel comes into the picture. Absent is the grand entryway most Cabo resorts present, instead you drive down a cobblestone driveway to an open-air bellman’s desk and step up onto a palapa-covered deck where several check-in desks await. Unlike most hotels, you are invited to sit in comfortable chairs while your clerk checks you in, a nice touch especially for those who just completed a long flight.
After a quick and efficient check-in, you and your luggage are led down a meandering stone path that leads to the sunflower yellow seven-story hotel. That’s about the time when most travelers begin to wonder what their room will be like and many, including myself, begin the self-talk routine. “Whatever it is, I’ll make do… “I won’t be spending that much time in the room anyway”… “After all, it wasn’t that expensive”… and so on. It’s a psychology thing, where we try to convince ourselves that we’ll love the room regardless of how small and bland. It’s the destination, not the accommodation that makes trip, right? But what if the accommodation makes the destination even better?
That’s the concept behind the ever-evolving Grand Baja. Give vacationers a large room, no, make that a suite, a large suite, with a great view… and give it to them at a great price. Now that’s a concept I like! The driving force behind this concept belongs to Mario Fernandez Raya, part owner and developer of the resort. Teaming up with him to bring the concept to life is Luis Fernando Sanchez Tena, director of sales and marketing. The two exude genuine pride when discussing their on-going development with eyes on a sunny and successful future. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with them about their plans, all the while enjoying a traditional Mexican breakfast in their Chula Vista restaurant. Afterward, I felt sure that success was indeed
on the horizon.
The Grand Baja is much like an artist’s work in progress, the project evolves constantly. While the resort appears finished from the outside, a stroll around the property reveals construction work being diligently attended to. The south wing of the hotel is complete while the north wing construction is near completion, save for painting and furnishing the rooms. Directly south of the pool, workers are busy landscaping and readying another portion of the property for construction of a mirror image of the existing hotel structure. While many hotels and resorts currently under construction or expansion in Cabo do little to mask it, the Grand Baja has deftly managed to make it hard to spot. Regardless of the time or the day, it’s peaceful and quiet here. The grounds are immaculate with huge cascading waterfalls, streams and even an island oasis that houses the resort’s spa, set in the center of a reflecting pool. Shaded pathways lead to the pool, and on the beach, inviting hammocks shaded by mini-palapas. Attention to detail is obvious with special touches like imported Thai teak chaise lounges with cane-wicker seating surfaces for comfortable sunning by the pool and hand-made benches hewn from the trunks of deciduous trees.
The suites at the Grand Baja range from the one and two-bedroom Royal Suites that boast 1,125 to 1,400 square feet of living space; to the three-bedroom Governor’s Suite with 2,170 square feet; and the soon-to-open Grand Penthouse, with an amazing 4,166 square feet of space including 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and a private roof-top pool and Jacuzzi with a fully equipped entertainment area. Now that’s my idea of a suite! All suites are tastefully decorated and include tiled floors, full kitchens with marble counters, granite tables, and artisan quality hand-made and individually selected furniture. The furnishings are scouted from all over Mexico and you will not find 2 rooms that are furnished alike. According to Luis Tena, the owners of the resort wanted to ensure that nothing here is of mass-produced origin or quality. Such attention to detail and authenticity has made completing the resort a long process, but as with works of art, true beauty takes time to create and the outcome is worth the wait.
The Aztlan Spa at the Grand Baja is like a journey in itself. Access to the spa is by footbridge across a circular lagoon fed by an immense waterfall. Once on the island, you are surrounded in lush tropical landscaping dotted by myriad flowers and ferns. The spa rooms are thatched palapa huts, each set off by it’s own and connected with stepping- stones. Relaxing here is second nature even for the most stressed. For those who wish to experience a bit of Mexico’s ancient cultures, a visit to the Temazcal for a detoxifying sweat from the Aztec culture is easily arranged on site. A visit to this oasis is a must!
Other amenities at the Grand Baja include 3 restaurants, a fitness center with sauna and steam room, the Nicole Kid’s Club, an internet café and a “mini-super” and deli making it easy to stay in touch and get those little things that all of us forget to pack or supplies for your in-suite kitchen. If your departure flight is scheduled for late afternoon or evening, hospitality suite and baggage storage is available to allow you to relax even after checking out of your room.
All in all, although the resort is not yet finished in it’s entirety, what has been completed demonstrates a heartfelt desire to become one of the regions most luxurious and spacious resorts. As with art, a work in progress can be beautiful but the promise that the finished project holds is undoubtedly even more so.