With the Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos, Palace Resorts had the advantage of starting with — forgive the pun — a blank slate.
The 373-room, adults-only property is the second resort under the all-inclusive operator's Le Blanc luxury brand but the first newbuild: The Los Cabos resort's predecessor in Cancun once operated as the Sierra and the Sierra Radisson before Palace took over and rebranded it in 2005.
For Palace's Los Cabos debut, then, the company was able to start from the ground up with a fully realized expression of its flagship brand, in an area dominated by luxury properties.
"It had to be a Le Blanc because the Los Cabos market is way above any nonluxury property," Palace Resorts executive vice president Gibran Chapur said during March's grand opening event. "We had to have the best resort in Los Cabos."
Addressing the crowd of media, tour operator partners and an array of local and industry VIPs, Chapur said, "As you can see, this is not a Cabo-style property; it's a Le Blanc-style property with some Cabo touches."
During a two-night hosted stay at the Le Blanc Los Cabos, I experienced those touches firsthand. I arrived after about a 30-minute ride from Los Cabos' airport. I was fitted with the customary all-inclusive wristband identifying me as a guest, but at this property it also conveniently serves as the room key.
A wave of my wrist and I entered my Royal Deluxe room, which had a partial ocean view; 98% of accommodations have oceanfront or partial-oceanfront views, according to Palace, and they all have balconies.
A Royal Deluxe Honeymoon room at Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos.
My floor's butler, Luis, showed me around: the spacious bathroom, with Bulgari amenities, a soaking tub and CHI hair dryer and flat iron; the minibar, replenished daily with beer, bottled water, soft drinks and more; a liquor dispenser with Johnnie Walker Black, Bacardi and Absolut; and a complimentary bottle of Centenario reposado tequila that guests can take home.
Of course, there are plenty of venues around the property where guests can imbibe: six to be exact, including two swim-up bars as well as Blanc Stage, a sports bar and live music venue that stays open till 2 a.m.
But there would be time for all that later. I arrived at lunchtime, and unlike some all-inclusives where there's essentially one lunchtime dining venue, Le Blanc guests have several to choose from, including Blanc International, the all-day buffet option, which was offering burgers and other cooked-to-order fare when I stopped in to take a look around; Blanc Pizza for brick-oven pies a la carte; and Mezze for Lebanese cuisine. For those who prefer in-room dining, room service is available around the clock.
I headed for Blanc Ocean, another all-day venue. The oceanfront eatery serves Baja-style seafood as well as burgers and other grilled items. I enjoyed three fish tacos and a Pacifico beer as the warm Baja breeze helped me shake off the morning's rather chaotic flight, marked by weather delays and the usual array of travel headaches.
I headed back to my room for a nap on the Tempur Sealy bed; a pillow menu is available, but I was beyond content with the standard equipment. I was also satisfied with the scent of the Pacific wafting though my balcony's sliding door, though an aromatherapy menu touted options to help guests get energized (tangerine and vanilla), revitalized (eucalyptus and mint) and more.
No, in this case, taking some time to decompress was proving to be the ultimate luxury. It helped that for all its modernity — the Apple TV, complimentary WiFi, iPhone docking station, the requisite bedside electrical outlets — my room was simple. No hunting for the light switch, no touch-screen wizardry just to adjust the AC, no convoluted shower controls. Elegant, elementary and intuitive.
And because at some point, pampering starts to feel like coddling (tough problem to have, I know), I also appreciated having a Lavazza coffeemaker and an iron and ironing board at hand, so I wouldn't need to summon Luis via my butler Bat-phone for an early-morning caffeine fix or wrinkle-free clothing.
The resort’s Lumiere restaurant, serving French-inspired cuisine.
I made use of that iron as I got ready for dinner at the French-inspired Lumiere. Our group enjoyed a seven-course pairing menu, where highlights included a seared-tuna salad with quail egg and short rib with foie gras and caramelized carrot. The attentive staff's choreographed service brought to mind another Lumiere, the sentient candelabra of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." Be our guest, indeed.
The next morning we took a tour of the property. Its 14,000 square feet of events space includes the Blanc Wind Terrace (2,643 square feet) and Blanc Terrace (3,363 square feet), offering stunning sunset views for weddings and other events.
We also experienced the resort's 29,000-square-foot spa. It is an impressive one, with an expansive lounge area and 25 treatment rooms, including nine couples suites. Although massages, facials and other spa treatments are an additional charge, all guests are welcome to enjoy the facility's hydrotherapy facility, with its hot and cold plunge pools, steam room and more.
My 50-minute, Mayan-inspired treatment proved incredibly relaxing, but then again, so had every other aspect of my stay.
The Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos, a AAA Five Diamond property, is about midway between downtown Cabo San Lucas and downtown San Jose del Cabo. Rates start at $830 per night for a standard double suite. For more information, visit www.leblancsparesorts.com/en/los-cabos.