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Returning to Paradise…Again!

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By Kathleen Sterling

Some say I’m a creature of habit – like that’s a bad thing.

I just know what I like, and expect, with vacation time.

To me, vacation and travel are two different things. Travel is going from place to place, seeing sights, exploring, visiting museums.

Vacation is sitting on your duff reading a book with a cocktail in hand and not an energetic thought in your head.

So that’s why we returned this month to Pueblo Bonito Pacifica in Cabo San Lucas. The Valley was poised to hit 105, work had been crazy, and I needed an easy escape.

A two-hour flight and we landed in Cabo. Hot, but not over 100. And actually, the breeze off the ocean was refreshing.

Pueblo Bonito is all-inclusive, so you don’t have to really think about a thing. Food and booze are all included. They stock your room fridge with your requests – in our case water, Diet Coke and Pacifica. The most you have to worry about is whether to spend the day at the pool – with its swim-up pool bar – or in a cabana on the beach.

We split our time between the two, and it was heaven to lounge with a pile of books and a pina colada in hand.

We met a lot of great people in the pool. All escapees, like us, from the grit and grind of work. You get to talking to people while you’re swimming up to the bar for another round!

An IT guy, a contractor, a realtor who moved from Canada down south to escape the winters. All relaxing and reveling at Pueblo Bonito.

And the resort is a place to totally chill. The buildings themselves resemble a calm pueblo curving down to the ocean. Every morning some tireless worker rakes the sand around into different patterns. It’s a totally zen vibe that adds to the overall atmosphere, as do the roadrunners and geckos that stroll the property. Everyone is relaxed here.

Our room had a gorgeous view  over the pool to the ocean. The king-sized bed was comfy, the bath huge with Armonia amenities (back to those later at the spa!) And I have to admit, I could get used to having a butler.

In fact, we had two. Alberto and Hannia were fabulous at making us dinner reservations, scheduling our shuttles to restaurants off property and to the golf course. 

While I was happy to sit and read the entire duration, Glen wanted to play a round on the gorgeous Jack Nicklaus course at the Quivera course at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica.

We took a few hours and just rode the course so I could take in its unbelievable vistas – and its difficult holes! 

The course hugs the cliffs, and some holes looked damn near impossible – you have to drive    from one green to the other, over ragged cliffs and sharp drops.
But the views are spectacular, and every four or five holes there are “comfort stations” – rest stops with food and drink. We stopped at a couple and they whipped up a delicious margarita at one and a Bloody Mary at the other.

Not so tough after all! Or at least it didn’t seem that way…

There is plenty to do if you want to at the resort. Pool games, a full gym, horseback riding, excursions. This time we didn’t even go into Cabo itself.

Our first time around we went into town to poke around and get lobster for lunch.

This trip we didn’t need to leave the resort. We did crave lobster so we headed one evening to Quivera Steakhouse, located just off property near the golf course.

The Steakhouse is the premier restaurant associated with the property, offering of course, dry-aged succulent steaks and lobster, but also a variety of entrees, a fabulous wine list of California and Mexican wines, plus specialty cocktails. Service was impeccable.

I must add, throughout the entire resort the service was amazing. From our butlers (almost brought one home) to the wait staff, pool and restaurant workers, everyone was helpful and cheerful and worked hard to make our visit wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful, after a hard day of doing nothing, it was time to hit the spa.

Now I love massages. I have aches and pains and issues, which I totally attribute to the exercise regime I’m on at home! But I used them to justify a long, relaxing massage at Armonia Spa. There is a cold plunge, a hot jacuzzi, a steam room and beautiful garden. I was greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to sit in the very peaceful garden both before and after my massage – which was one of the best I’ve had in years!    

Then inevitably, it’s time to eat again. Pueblo Bonito Pacifica offers a wide choice in restaurants. 

There is Siempre, which is their signature restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

We actually had our breakfasts, and late cocktails, at the VIP lounge at The Towers, the “resort within a resort,” with 47 guest rooms, six suites with private plunge pools and a Presidential Suite. The lounge overlooks the ocean and in season is a great place to whale watch.

One night we hit Tazuna, a Japanese restaurant just up the hill at their sister resort, Pueblo Bonito Sunset. We dined on sushi and a great bottle of California wine, then took the shuttle down to our room.

Pacifica also has its own sushi and sashimi restaurant in Pescados. La Frida at Sunset offers  upscale Mexican cuisine. Delicious – and it earned them a AAA Four Diamond Award.

Our favorite, however, was Peninsula at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica. The restaurant sits right on the beach, where you can hear the waves and see the gorgeous moon rise over the ocean.

The atmosphere is magical, and so is the food –  traditional Baja favorites with a modern twist. Recipes from across the region use fresh fish, shrimp, lobster and steak.

We were treated to an unbelievable private dinner on a patio overlooking the surf, with a tree decorated with glass hearts that blew in the gentle breeze.

It was romantic, it was exclusive, and it was an incredible experience. 

Chef  Octavio Hernandez, who helms the restaurant, personally cooked us an incredible meal, starting with a baked watermelon appetizer, which was absolutely out of this world, followed by a grilled filet with vegetables and creamy potatoes. The finale to the evening was a molten chocolate cake imbued with tequila. Sounds different – but it was truly delicious.

It sounds like we did nothing but eat, drink and chill poolside, which would be true except for the golfing (for Glen. I was happy to have a day to do nothing but read…).

That’s what vacation is all about.

We returned again to Pueblo Bonito Pacifica because we knew we needed the all-inclusive, no decisions to be made, sitting by the pool time out. And at just two hours away it’s a no-brainer.

We felt perfectly safe as we were shuttled from the airport to the gated resort. We could have gone into Cabo with no problem, but we were being lazy this time around and just hung out at the hotel the entire time.

To schedule your own break in routine and  look forward to an incredible vacation pretty close to home – yet far enough away – visit pueblobonito.com.

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