Most visitors to Los Cabos, Mexico probably are unsuspecting of the millions of years it took for the ocean to abrade the jagged granite coastline into the stretches of inviting sandy beaches that characterize the coastal semi-desert landscape of Baja they’ve flown in to enjoy.
Lulled by the drawl of warm coastal breezes and technicolor blue skies, such thoughts are apt to be erased like footprints on the sand. But this stretch of Pacific coast is changing yet again, and changing fast, this time shaped by a new wave of coastal resorts representing an evolved definition of luxury along the Baja peninsula – one epitomized by the Solaz, A Luxury Collection Resort.
Only two years have passed since our last visit to Los Cabos, yet much has changed, with a stationary parade of new luxury resorts visible all along the stretch of Federal Highway 1. While many new constructions are modern, none seem quite as unabashedly contemporary as Solaz, a cascading 34 acre nature-inspired resort realized in expanses of locally sourced quarried stone and reclaimed shore worn lumber.
Designed by Mexican architectural firm Sordo Madaleno, the entire property follows a conscious effort to recognize and respect the topographic context of the site, with ocean facing suites spilling toward the ocean with gentle terracing complemented by endemic Baja flora that wonderfully invites birds, butterflies, and in the evening, balletic cursive flights of bats to visit. Living rooftops and infinity pools further blur sight lines from rooms and public spaces alike, continuing the perception of a landscape reaching toward the sea.
The architecturally-inclined will delight in numerous opportunities to observe the interplay between light and time strewn throughout the property, with sharp angles and long corridors casting shadows demarcating the relaxed progression of time with Solaz’s bounds. In sum, walking around can impart the sensation of inhabiting a futuristic utopian development, where architecture and nature cohabitate peacefully – a relaxed vision of Brutalism on vacation.
Solaz offers guests a choice of 131 rooms, many with their own plunge pools – a modest selection guaranteeing a great deal of privacy (the greatest, yet rare, luxury). Additionally there’s 147 timeshare villas, 21 apartments managed by the hotel, 18 Beach Club apartments, a selection of restaurants, and spa that inhabit the grounds.
While the rooms are appointed comfortable, Solaz makes it clear a stay is best enjoyed outdoors. Showering under the sun or moon is welcome, with patios landscaped for shade and privacy.
Vacillating between the plunge pool and hammock is guaranteed when both are left at your disposal. For more sociable opportunities, an expanse of infinity pools situated closer to the ocean, alongside bar and restaurant, awaits down a series of pathways from guest rooms.
What: Solaz, A Luxury Collection Resort
Where: KM 18.5 Carretera Transpeninsular CSL-SJC Cabo Real, 23405 San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico
How much: From $770 per night
Highlights: While Solaz is thoroughly Baja in spirit, one should not pass up the opportunity dining at Misaki, where Japanese technique is applied to the best of Baja’s seafood and locally sourced organic produce. Be sure to stop into the Gabinete del Barco Exhibit, a small museum of indigenous natural and human history inhabited the towering presence of a suspended 13-meter-long skeleton of a grey whale (similarly, remember to look out toward the aquamarine ombre where migrating whales breach with regularity.)
Design draw: Engaging resort architecture should delight design seekers, alongside the carefully orchestrated landscape design countering the scale and weight of the series of buildings. Request to tour a private apartment to spark dreams of never returning home.