Cabo San Lucas. It’s a tourist hot spot, and for good reason. It’s the perfect warm weather escape with its aquamarine waters, blue skies, rich sea life and white sandy beaches. Jacques Cousteau dubbed Cabo a living aquarium of the world. And the food? Who doesn’t love classic, comforting, local, Mexican eats while sipping a margarita on the beach - all at an affordable price.
This is the classic vision and experience of Cabo San Lucas. Over the years, it’s taken on a bit of a reputation as a party scene as the rows of hotels developed along the beaches. But there’s one luxury boutique hotel that’s doing it different. It’s The Cape, a Thompson Hotel.
A Quiet Retreat
Nestled in the natural landscape of Monuments Beach point break of Los Cabos, The Cape sits on a quiet stretch of beach away from the party life that has become the norm in Cabo. It boasts a sense of intimacy. Luxury. Seclusion. Wellness. Yet, it’s close enough to the local city and nightlife should you wish to venture outside of the hotel and mingle and partake in local life in Cabo.
The hotel, designed by visionary Mexico City architect Javier Sanchez, boasts clean, contemporary lines with local rustic design elements to give you a sense of the local, traditional, Mexican vibe. The open-air lobby with it’s dramatic, dark, sloping ceilings ensures the sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez become the focal point of your eye as you enter. This is not your typical overly designed luxury hotel that feels like every other large hotel out there. It’s smart. It’s local. It’s refreshing.
Each room and suite has its own stunning view of the Sea of Cortez with a private balcony complete with a hanging daybed (that I spent plenty of time in meditating daily, and squeezing in work when needed), gorgeous freestanding copper tub (that has an ocean view)... and a bottle of tequila that greets you upon your arrival. It's the ideal place to unwind, unplug and discover the real local landscapes, cuisine, and traditions of Cabo San Lucas.
The Cape’s wellness retreats are truly relaxing and perfect for unplugging from your crazy, over-scheduled life. You can choose from Fitness and Holistic Package depending on your personal preference. I chose the Holistic Package because I truly wanted to unplug, I exercise 3-4 times a week and prefer to opt out of it while I’m on vacation.
Cacao Breathing Ceremony
The Cacao Breathing Ceremony, led by Diego Cervantes of Baja Wellness, that comes with the Holistic Package was by far my favorite and the most unique experience of the trip. I’ve done other cacao breathing ceremonies in my home town of Los Angeles, but those didn’t come close to what I experienced with Diego.
Simply put, the ceremony is a conscious, connected breathing experience - that’s backed by science. One of the most fascinating things I learned from Diego is that everyone has their own breathing “footprint.” It’s created by our life’s history and experiences. Hence our relationship with our breath mimics our life. Your in-breath, is representative of your ability to receive, and your exhale is symbolic of your willingness to let go in life (Hint: are you holding your breath? You may be a control freak!).
We all come out of the womb breathing in a very similar way - the baby belly breath, breathing all the way down to our abdomen. We lose that as we live our lives. This ceremony helps restore our natural breath and nervous system back to a relaxed state, moving us out of a flight or fight mode from sympathetic (stress), to parasympathetic (relaxed).
The drinking cacao, dubbed by the ancient Mayans as the “Elixir of the Gods” is used as a tool to connect with others and commune with spirits. The raw cacao Diego uses for the ceremony is sourced from Oaxaca, and is grown for ceremonies only. He mixes the cacao with water and infuses it with cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper and adds a touch of maple syrup, creating a delicious drinkable elixir.
Cacao contains theobromine, which relaxes the nervous system and encourages blood flow to the brain, which can help you feel more mentally alert. It’s a subtle mellow high that spiritually helps open your heart chakra.
The idea of the ceremony is that when we come together with a shared intention, ah-mazing things happen. At the top of the ceremony, Diego guides you through calling in your angels, ancient ancestors, spirit guides, and animals to help lead you through the next steps on your life’s journey.
As your personal breathing coach, Diego guides you through the restorative breathwork through the ceremony helping you return your breath back to a circular, belly breath (without any pauses) - the same breath you came in with as a baby.
What’s also amazing is that this breathing ceremony literally raises your energy. It’s a law of physics, when a lower energy meets a higher energy, the higher energy wins.
During all of this circular belly breathing, you may feel some old emotions surface that are just needing to simply be healed, moved, and let go.
During my experience, I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of unconditional love from my ancestors, spirit animals and guides. I felt truly connected. Old, stuck emotions and feelings surfaced and a stream of tears rolled down my face. Intuitively I knew not to stop them because they were emotions that simply needed to be moved.
In the end I felt truly energized, yet relaxed with a deep feeling of relief I hadn’t felt in years.
A treatment from The Currents Spa is a great way to continue your new breath pattern and vibe before you jump back into anything that will bounce you back to your old breathing pattern.
The minimalist, natural vibe of the spa will continue to soothe those overstimulated senses with softly lit dark charcoal grey walls and minimal art. The space removes extraneous stimuli, allowing the sights, sounds, and local natural décor of the nearby desert-meets-the-sea landscape to set the ambiance. Currents offers a steam room, sauna, hot and cold plunge pools, as well as a couple’s treatment room with rain showers. The chilled detox water they offer post message is refreshing and cooling.
The Foodie Experience
We took full advantage of the gorgeous sea and rich sea life and embarked on a local cruise out to the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas. There, we jumped in and swam in the refreshing turquoise waters and were served oysters and sustainable fish that you can only find locally. Totoaba was so overfished for years it almost became extinct. Today, the only legal way to consume and enjoy this local delicacy is thanks to local sustainable farms.
The Cape offers plenty of local, organic eats crafted by some of the top chefs in Mexico - and the world. The hotel restaurant, Manta, is helmed by culinary innovator Enrique Olvera, owner of Mexico City’s Pujol, which was dubbed one of the 50 best restaurants in the world in 2017. At the 114-seat signature restaurant, we indulged in a menu of dishes inspired by the Sea of Cortez, local produce, Peru, Japan, and his native Mexico.
Chef Enrique is famous for his mole (he even has a 1000-day old mole), if it’s on the menu, it’s a must eat. Each mole is unique and has a depth and silkiness that most moles miss. Every element of each dinner is planned out with care, from the chilled lemongrass towels to cleanse your hands and refresh your nasal passages to the carefully curated playlist. The striped bass is a melt-in-your-mouth tender delicate fish, and the crispy corn quesadilla, served with a chilled squash vine soup, was to die for and a must eat if it’s on the menu. From time to time Chef Enrique brings in a collaborative chef to create a menus for guests. We were fortunate enough to experience the food of guest chef Alejandro Ruiz.
The hotel also features fresh, local poolside eats at the infinity pool swim-up bar, which was a daily stop for me. It serves incredible cocktails, like the Cape: infused mezcal, pineapple, grapefruit, lime juice, and angostura.
For breakfast, The Ledge is the place to eat with views over the gorgeous turquoise sea and the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas. I encourage you to go beyond typical American eats and go for creative Mexican dishes like enfrijoladas – a take on the classic quick Mexican meal, featuring enchiladas stuffed with mushrooms, avocado, aged cheese, and a black bean sauce. I liked this dish so much I ordered twice!
I love mezcal and so I had to take advantage of the hotel’s mezcal tasting with their local Mezcalero, Daniel Quezada, a sort of mezcal sommelier. Today’s mezcal is not not your fire breathing mezcal of the past (in fact you can read more on why wellness warriors are drinking mezcal). Making mezcal has become a true art form practiced in remote Mexican villages. And a Mezcalero spends an extended period of time living and working in these remote villages with a family learning how to harvest, cook and make mezcal, which is no easy task!
Among other things, we tasted the Farolito Mezcal, a hotel exclusive that’s distilled in copper and made from wild agave that’s grown for 25 years (which results in a more intense flavor). These mezcals are so smooth and flavorful they don’t need palate cleansers, but a few traditional ones were served, including oranges and dried worms. My favorite were the salty grasshoppers, toasted on a camal so that they take on the texture of chips.
The Cape’s rooftop lounge is must visit, it’s the only rooftop lounge in Cabo. The signature space features two open-air bars, sunken communal seating, fire pits, and, of course, stunning views of the Sea of Cortez: the perfect end to a rich, fulfilling day of relaxation at The Cape.
The next time I’m ready for a do nothing, unplug vacation I’ll be heading back to The Cape, only next time with my husband in tow. And the Cacao Breathing Ceremony, it will definitely be repeated.
The Cape, hosts wellness retreats throughout the year, their Fall Wellness Retreat happens October 31, 2019 - November 3, 2019. This could be the perfect way to unwind before the holiday madness hits.