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When “upscale” means catering to the youngest guests


Early morning scene at OneandOnly Palmilla

I have a hard time choosing: Hammock under a thatched roof on the beach, watching the waves crash in the Sea of Cortez or a comfy chaise overlooking the ocean in front of the pool? 

They say this is a “a place of rediscovery…the pure pleasure of sun and surf,” designed to rekindle your spirit and sense of well being—whether you are here solo, as a couple or with your kids. Yes, with your kids at One&Only Palimilla in Los Cabos, Mexico  

Cabo—Los Cabos  “the capes” is the name generally given to this area – is a 20-mile long stretch of white sandy beaches and resorts between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. One&Only is between the two towns at the tip of the Baja Peninsula—the meeting point of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. It’s a less than two-hour flight from Los Angeles or Phoenix, with non-stops from Chicago, Texas and even Newark. 

One&Only is decidedly a luxury resort—172 rooms (ours has its own infinity pool overlooking the sea) plus a luxurious four-bedroom with 24-hour butler service, a restaurant Market overseen by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a staff that couldn’t do more for you—even bringing pillows for your feet at the pool . 

This is not the place you want to worry about how much your drinks or dinner cost, but rather revel in the exquisite details (the beautifully woven blue, yellow and orange throw pillows on our patio chaise, the ornate headboard, tiled floors and bathroom with colorfully painted tile.

But what is most interesting to me is how such an upscale resort—long a favorite among Hollywood celebs and pro athletes where rooms in season are often over $1000 a night —has gone out of its way to welcome well-heeled families with its complimentary kids’ club for kids 4-11, kids menus even at Market (how about a sirloin mini cheeseburger, fish of the day with mashed potatoes, chicken noodle soup or veggie sticks with different dipping sauces). 

 “They make you feel very relaxed and welcome with the kids… you don’t feel oh my goodness you brought kids here!” said one mom with two young daughters,  noting the director of the kids’ club was on hand to welcome them when they arrived so she could say hello to the girls. “A very nice touch,” she said. 

Sure, you think, it’s easy to cater to kids at such a fancy place.  But I’ve been to lots of fancy resorts where they don’t do it right, where you wish you were anywhere else with kids.

Family yoga class at the spa OneandOnly Palmilla

Here there’s even a special Family Sanctuary Spa Menu and Kids Only Wellness programming too—from child yoga (inspired by animal poses)  to Kids Music (making sounds of nature using indigenous instruments) eating healthier (Kids get a tour through the kitchen and learn what “super” foods will give them more energy) reflexology, relaxation exercises, meditation in the form of storytelling, even the power of aromatherapy.  

The kids get up and dance to the music at dinner on the terrace; staff comes around with mini popsicles at the pool.  

The kids’ pool at One&Only Palmilla  may be nicer than the adult pool, in fact.  It overlooks the Sea of Cortez. Perch on pint-sized beach chaise and watch the ocean—or the resident Iguana. There are a whole variety of pool toys for the taking— and life guards on hand. 

Kids and parents congregate at the zero entry area ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, No one cares that there’s no water slide. And though the town of San Jose is just a 10-minute cab ride, some families never leave. “The staff at the kids club is so special a wish we could take them home with us,” another mom said.

Cabo is s also known for golf, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, diving and just relaxing as are the folks we meet in the pool. There  is a wedding here the weekend  we visited in 2011 at the tiny  picturesque  chapel that has been on the property since it was first built as a private hacienda by a Mexican general in the 1950s.   

And though this resort has one of the few swimmable beaches, guests here and elsewhere in Cabo seem to prefer the pools rather than the crashing waves.  

In the winter, the area is especially known for terrific whale watching as the mama whales come here to calve.   In fact, our room at the ultra luxe resort is equipped with a telescope for just that reason. 

No worries if you’ve left your kids at home and don’t want to be surrounded by any doing cannon balls in the pool–there is a separate adult pool.

Did I mention dinner?  We ate outside overlooking the ocean and swaying palms at Market, hot pink bougainvillea in planters on the terrace. If you need to be worrying about the fact that appetizers cost $25 or margaritas $19 you shouldn’t be here.

But if you can afford its one of those rare fancy resorts that really are worth the freight.

You might manage an entire vacation without anyone whining.  


Beach Vacations, Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Lodging | 2 Comments

2 Responses to When “upscale” means catering to the youngest guests

  1. It’s great to hear of a resort that not only says it caters for families, but that it actually is doing it’s best to cater for the kids.

    Because if the kids are happy and entertained then you (the parent) get to have a relaxing holiday.

  2. Pingback: When “upscale” means catering to the youngest guests | Taking the … | tickets-to-cabo

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