To many, COVID-19 put non-essential travel plans on hold for the past year. As we move deeper into 2021, some are beginning to look at how travel looks now and will look moving forward.
Smart hospitality entities have been proactive about masks, distancing measures and adding enhanced sanitation protocols. Others are taking it a step further, offering long-term packages for those able to visit their locales — making it turn-key for guests to work virtually and play at the same time — as well as on-site COVID-19 rapid testing and more.
I’ve had a personal experience with one such destination: Los Cabos.
To many, Los Cabos needs no introduction, in particular Cabo San Lucas, which straddles the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez and is known for its resorts, whale watching and famed arch. But this story is not about that part of Cabo. Located solely on the Sea of Cortez, the East Cape features landscape — varying from rugged deserts and towering mountains to tranquil waterfalls and lush greenery — nearly untouched by man. A bonus: its stunningly beautiful white sand beaches are swimmable, a novelty to those who’ve oft-visited Cabo where the undertow does not allow for direct access safely. The East Cape also has several of its own marinas, so everything from SCUBA diving to yachting to sport fishing is at one’s fingertips.
One of the most popular times to visit the region is winter and early spring as it is whale watching season, though it is glorious 12 months out of the year. During any group or private tour, which can be booked through the concierge of one’s resort or direct through East Cape Explorers, also expect to see seals, fish and dolphins. If seeking to explore the underwater world in a different way, East Cape Explorers also offers shark diving excursions. During this most daring of adventures, one’s group heads to dive sites with copious amounts of jacks, mackerel, tuna and snapper, large grouper and several species of rays. This sea life, in turn, brings in predatory sharks including hammerhead and silky sharks.
For animal lovers wishing to hold off on travel a bit longer – and for those who wish to steer clear of sharks or who want to wait longer before traveling – there is also the option to visit in the late summer or throughout the fall to take advantage of turtle season, which takes place from late August to early December annually. During this time, turtles swim to the shores of the East Cape’s Baja Peninsula to build nests in the sand and lay their eggs. After about 45 days, the eggs batch and thousands of baby turtles begin taking their first steps, ultimately trying to make it to their ocean home. The only marine mammal to do this, the resorts on the East Cape protect the eggs before they hatch and offer programs for individuals and groups to safely interact, preserve and assist these hatchlings in getting from sand to surf.
Chief among the resorts that host this program – and dozens of others including hiking, biking snorkeling, horseback riding, waterfall tours, UTV tours, ATV tours, private yachting experiences and sport fishing adventures – is the jewel in the crown of the East Cape: the Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas . It also happens to offer work-from-the-resort opportunities, rapid COVID-19 testing, on-site medical professionals, temperature checks, masks and copious other CDC-recommended protocols Opened in 2019, the open-air, modern, sleek resort is luxurious even by Four Seasons’ lofty standards. Set along two miles of private white sand beach, the 141-room/suite stunner features its own marina (the only Four Seasons in world that can make that claim), six sparkling pools, five restaurants and lounges, an adventure concierge team and the Oasis Spa and Wellness Center, one of the most stunning spas in North America notable for using indigenous products and rituals in several treatments. Many of the modern, architecturally stunning rooms and suites boast private plunge pools or outdoor showers, and all offer ample indoor-outdoor living and lounging space.
The vast Costa Palmas community surrounding the resort includes 18 acres of organic farms and orchards that provide much of the produce and herbs one will enjoy on property. Culinary options at the resort, all meant to take one on an epicurean adventure into Mexico, include Casa de Brasa, a Baja-inspired brasserie; El Puesto, for sea-to-table ceviches, tiraditos and crudo; Limón, an al fresco farm-to-table dinner restaurant; and Ginger’s, an all-day eclectic café. An extensive collection of local tequilas and mezcals are available resort-wide, as well as an impressive list of regional wines from Baja Mexico, the oldest wine-producing nation in the Americas. Beyond even this, the resort is also home to estiatorio Milos, one of the finest Mediterranean seafood restaurants in the world known for its acclaimed locations in New York, London and Miami.
Right now, the resort is now open and welcoming guests. They have launched an enhanced global health and safety program, Lead With Care. Upon arrival, there will be a screening procedure that may include temperature checking and questions regarding health and recent travel. Upon departure, the resort offers on-site COVID-19 testing and certification, which may be required for guests traveling outside of Mexico. Employees will be wearing masks and all guests (age 10 and above) will be required to wear a mask or face covering when in public indoor spaces and when receiving in-room service. Masks are strongly recommended for children age 2-9 years old.
– Alison Bailin Batz, ABSeesItAll