The goal for any world-class resort is to provide an experience so wonderful, so all-encompassing, that guests will never want to leave the property. In some cases, this can be problematic: Guests who stay put might end up missing out on local, cultural experiences that make the destination special.
The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, a AAA Four Diamond property that faces the Sea of Cortes, has taken steps to bring the spirit and energy of the Baja peninsula on-site. New programming at the resort includes a variety of classes and excursions that provide guests with incredibly authentic Mexican experiences.
The suites at the Hilton Los Cabos have traditional hand-painted walls.
Each activity is led by a staff member with immense knowledge in their respective specialty. Nancy Garcia, the hotel's wedding coordinator, uses her expertise as a former florist to lead a flower arranging class. Participants are offered a selection of local blooms and choose their favorites while sipping Champagne. Garcia demonstrates the proper way to twist and bind stems to make the perfect bouquet.
Family fun and artistic ability are combined during the Hilton's Art of the Pinata class. Guests are taught the history and significance of the pinata while trying their hand at making their own colorful souvenir. Tequila and yummy treats like churro bites and Mexican hot chocolate are served throughout the class, and at the end, the participants can have a swing at a larger pinata filled with local candies.
Towel origami classes are another neat activity for children and adults alike. The housekeeping team at the Hilton Los Cabos takes its craft very seriously: Dozens of animals and figures are crafted bedside each day, and every month they vote on a new design to add to the mix. During the class, which is held in the presidential suite, guests receive instruction from the housekeepers on how to fold towels into fun creations such as an octopus or turtle.
The resort has a partnership with the beautiful Tiki's Organic Farm in the nearby town of Miraflores, where executive chef Mauricio Lopez leads an off-site excursion. Miraflores, which translates to "look at the flowers," is an appropriate name for this area of Los Cabos; upon arrival at the farm, guests are greeted with the sights and smells of plant life and a handful of wildflower petals, meant to be blown into the wind for good luck.
Executive chef Mauricio Lopez’s staff serves up offerings such as ceviche coco with parrotfish, half-moon scallops, coconut milk, cilantro and habanero, mango and plantain chips.
Lopez's team prepares a farm-to-table breakfast complete with freshly picked and prepared fruits and juices and handmade tortillas to enjoy with a stunning view of the rolling mountains. After breakfast, guests can forage the fields, picking an assortment of vegetables and herbs that Lopez incorporates into a four-course cooking class back at the Hilton.
Perhaps the most special place at the Hilton Los Cabos is the Eforea Spa. Though one of many throughout the Hilton brand, the Eforea at this property is unique in that it's completely defined — aesthetically as well as in its treatment offerings — by its location.
Spa director Adriana Tello teaches a class on bath salt-making and botanical wellness. Bath salt mixtures are made using various local plants and herbs from the Eforea's Living Wall, along with aromatic orange, lavender and eucalyptus- scented oils. Participants learn about the health benefits of bath sea salt and of the local flora and fauna that have restorative wellness properties.
Guests also have the opportunity to have their auras cleansed by a shaman. They can meet with the shaman in the Eforea's private Zen garden for a one-on-one session rooted in a traditional Mayan ceremony.
The cleansing ritual uses burning sage and other herbs, Mexican incantations and traditional drums with the aim of bringing harmony and aligning one's chakras, the centers of spiritual power in the human body.
I had my aura cleansed by a shaman named Ines; though I was skeptical at first, it proved to be an emotionally positive experience and ultimately the highlight of my trip to Los Cabos. The ritual was a fascinating way to learn more about the Mayan culture and myself.
The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort has 375 oceanview guestrooms, including 65 suites that are part of its new hotel-within-a-hotel concept, La Vista Club. Rates start at $190 per night. Visit www.hiltonloscabos.com.