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Los Cabos is ready-made for picture-perfect family vacations. Many hotels have larger-than-average (think Vegas-size) accommodations at resorts hugging the Sea of Cortez. Pull-out sofas and suite-like accommodations — even for the most standard of rooms — make it easy for your crew to spread out in style.
Los Cabos is a region located on the Baja California peninsula of Mexico that juts out just south of San Diego. Los Cabos seems made for relaxing in the sun, so it’s rare to find a resort property in the area with just one pool. Whether you decide to stay in the artsy San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas near the marina and downtown, with more nightlife and a party scene, or at any of the resorts along the coast that connects the two towns, you’ll find resorts offering plenty of room to splash, including with pools dedicated to families with small kids.
Parents can still enjoy luxe amenities, from romantic dinners to spa treatments and rounds of golf, thanks to kids clubs with creative programming and on-demand baby-sitting services. (Learn how one TPG reader spent nearly a week in Los Cabos on miles and points.)
Many airlines, like Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and United fly to Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) from major US hubs, including Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Los Angeles and New York–JFK. We’ve even seen awards to Mexico dip to as low as 12,000 miles round-trip during some sales.
In 2019, quite a few new resort properties will debut in Los Cabos following 2018’s major openings that included Viceroy Los Cabos, Solaz, and Montage Los Cabos. In the coming months (and years), look for brands like Four Seasons (mid-2019), St. Regis (2021), Ritz-Carlton Reserve (Spring 2019) and Nobu (Spring 2019).
In the meantime, here are some of the best resorts for Los Cabos family vacations.
Los Cabos Resorts You Can Book on Points
Let’s start with five resorts that you can visit in Los Cabos using your loyalty program points.
All room categories at Solaz — spanning 128 suites and open since September — offer apartment-style accommodations (with a pull-out sofa in the living-room area) suited for families, but the real draw here is the resort’s museum (Gabinete del Barco).
Suspended from the ceiling in this collection of artifacts are the restored skeletal remains of a female whale. Parents enjoy eye-candy architecture and art throughout, as well as the sleek and modern Ojo de Liebre spa. Mako, a restaurant with health-minded eats like power bowls but also flatbreads and lobster, butts up against the beach and is connected to an infinity pool. CaboNauta, the kids club, teaches cooking classes just for little ones as well as crafts. There are six restaurants here, plus a coffee shop.
This Category 7 hotel costs 60k Marriott points per night for a room with one king or two queen beds (as opposed to $500+ paid rates).
Families should (hopefully) be familiar with Hyatt’s relatively new Hyatt Ziva brand. Its all-inclusive resorts are located in beach destinations like Cabo, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, which debuted in 2015, has a waterpark, seven restaurants (from teppanyaki grills at DoZo to pizzas cooked in a stone oven at Zaffiro, plus a kid’s buffet at La Plaza), swim-up suites (yep, the pool is just on the other side of your room’s patio) and activities for all ages that include live music and entertainment nightly (such as magic shows). This hotel is a real deal at 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night. Transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to your Hyatt account at a 1:1 ratio to book, or earn some points with The World of Hyatt Credit Card.
From the main highway, you can’t miss the 270-room, 28-acre Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar, a colonial-style property at the end of a long driveway that meets with the sea. Sheraton Adventure Kids Club does a good job of welcoming younger guests through experiences like birthday parties if it happens to be your child’s special day. Every room has a private terrace and there are five pools (including one just for kids, with waterfalls and waterslides; and another with an infinity edge), a spa, fitness center and six restaurants (from family-friendly snacks at the swim-up bar to poolside service from Las Sirenas).
Depending on conditions, the beach that this resort sits on might be open for swimming. You can book this hotel for 35,000 Marriott Rewards points per night or use your Category 5 free night certificate that is available with cards such as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.
It’s not only the Westin Family Kids Club that entices families to book at the Westin Los Cabos Resort Villas & Spa, an easily recognizable resort (due to its red-orange exterior) off the main highway that runs through the Tourist Corridor. The barbecue and picnic area — ideal for casual meals with you serving as grill master — also draws those checking-in with younger guests. The property has four pools on property and a spa.
Room options range from studios with a king bed and pull-out couch bookable for 50k Marriott points per night to deluxe one- and two-bedroom villas that can accommodate up to six guests at just under 1,500 square feet. Five restaurants provide plenty of choices, from the beachfront Coralline to grab-and-go items (like for grilling) at Mercadito.
With everything you’d expect at a beach resort — two tennis courts, two pools, a spa, fitness center and access to nearby golf courses, plus access to a swimmable beach — this property is perfect for multi-generational groups traveling together. Around-the-clock room service, baby-sitting services and a kids club (Cabo Kids, between the ages of 4 and 12) caters to families. There are six dining options on-site, from elegant Italian dinners at Vela to healthy snacks like rice noodle rolls and yellowfin-tuna lettuce wraps by the pool at Mio (kids love the colorful decor that extends to bright-green swing chairs).
Each of the 375 rooms was recently refreshed and includes a private furnished balcony; the suites category includes four room layouts plus the Presidential Suite. Standard room rewards start at 70,000 Hilton Honors points that can be earned via a variety of Hilton credit cards.
Non-Points Resorts That Are Worth the Cost in Los Cabos
While the following hotels can’t be booked using traditional hotel points, they may still be best bets for your family vacation. Note that you can earn 10x miles at each of these properties when booking through Hotels.com/Venture and using your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
A paleta stand with brightly hued popsicles is just one family-friendly perk at this 39-acre, luxe-minded property, the first in the brand outside of the United States. It opened in May 2018 and all of the pools, except for the one at the spa, are family-friendly. The location on Santa Maria Bay allows for swimming and water sports (such as snorkeling) — a unique find in Los Cabos where many resort beaches, while beautiful, host dangerous water conditions.
Each morning, guided kayak excursions depart from this beach. A half-flight up from the beach is Mezcal, an all-day casual-dining venue. The 122 rooms (there are also 52 villas rented out by their owners) are tucked into four-plexes for a “home away from home” feel. Kids like to play the resort’s scavenger hunt and receive a personalized check-in form asking for their favorite animal, superhero, etc. Paintbox is the hotel’s kids club (ages 5 to 12), focused on painting and other crafts. There’s also a special menu for teens at the spa.
Families like Chileno Bay Resorts & Residences because of its intimate size and relaxed vibe. There are only 29 villas and 32 residences (12 more villas will be added by early 2019). Outdoor-living space at each goes beyond a terrace and most boast a private plunge pool. Tacos and ice-cream sundaes at TnT are a hit with all ages and pop-up programming in the plaza satisfies varied interests.
Of the three infinity-edge pools (standing at the top of the highest pool it looks like they all flow right into the sea), one is family-friendly. Water-sports toys are rented out through the beach club, on a swimmable beach, and games like an oversized Connect Four are on the lawn. Both the teens club and kids club offer fun, creative programming that includes specialty nights (PJ Night, for example).
Continually ranked as a family-favorite hotel in Cabo, One & Only Palmilla has a dedicated family pool with an infinity edge. All rooms — with a choice of ocean view or oceanfront — have separate seating areas plus twin vanities in the baths. An artist in residence helps your kid channel his or her inner Picasso at the resort’s Art Lab while the KidsOnly Club (ages 4 to 11) is free to guests. Activities hosted here might be piñata-making one day and Spanish lessons the next. This property began as a 15-room inn for Hollywood’s elite back in the 1950s and is now a 115-room resort with all you’d expect in terms of amenities. Celeb chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Seared arrived with the most recent renovation after Hurricane Odile.
Situated away from the Tourist Corridor, where most of Cabo’s hotels are located, Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort opened in January 2018 on 834 blissful acres, closer to the marina and downtown Cabo San Lucas. One of the main attractions at the property is a saltwater lagoon featuring a waterslide with a rope swing that drops you right in.
The kids club includes a wooden ship that serves as a performance stage along with plenty of rockets and palm trees to keep creative ones stimulated. Scheduled daily programming includes crafts and games. If you’re a family that likes to give back, the Solmar Foundation is Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ charitable arm, and weekly Helping Hands tours take guests to four facilities for women, children and seniors where they can volunteer and interact with residents.
If one of you likes to golf, and another doesn’t mind lounging in the spa, this is the perfect resort to check in to because everyone’s interests can be satisfied without leaving the property. Eight championship golf courses are nearby and there are three pools, plus Dreams Spa by Pevonia. This is as close to an all-inclusive as you can get, thanks to Dreams’ Unlimited-Luxury concept. Each of the 240 rooms features a private balcony with a view and kids are welcome at a dedicated children’s pool (two pools are designated for adults-only) and Explorer’s Club for Kids. A line-up of eight restaurants includes a buffet and a beachside café with swings for chairs.
It’s no secret that there is increased caution these days about traveling to some parts of Mexico and Central America but, thankfully, our experience is that Los Cabos remains pretty safe for tourists. Many travelers rent a car at the airport as taxis around town are expensive, which is important to keep in mind if you plan to tour the region. But even if you stay parked at your resort, there is usually enough to keep you entertained for four to five days.
Speaking of beach time, note that not all Los Cabos beaches are swimmable due to dangerous waves, though some are on bays with calmer waters. If your idea of bliss is swimming in the sea, definitely confirm that the hotel you’re considering has a safe beach. Or you can travel to a public beach within a 30-minute drive.
Has your family visited Los Cabos? What were your favorite spots?
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Featured image courtesy of Montage Los Cabos
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