Los Cabos, Mexico is one of our favorite places for destination weddings, due in no small part to the amazing five-star hotels there. But let’s face it; not everyone can afford five-star, and even if they can, not everyone wants to ask guests to pony up that much. Enter Hacienda Encantada, a 150-room, all-inclusive resort that’s a sweet blend of plush and convenience. It’s still a luxury property, but the fact that it’s not as well known as some of the bigger names means it offers unexpected value.
The resort is 20 miles east of downtown San Jose del Cabo, so you’re far enough away to enjoy Cabo’s rugged natural beauty, but it’s an easy taxi into town for shopping and nightlife. Rooms are all done in hacienda style, with dark-wood furnishings, jetted bathtubs and a great collection of textiles and folk art, much of it selected by the owner’s wife. The eclectic collection gives the resort a warm, homey feel; you can tell someone chose these pieces on purpose, because they loved them, not because an interior designer suggested it.
The resort is all suite, so every accommodation comes with separate living room and full kitchen. This makes it a dream for guests who want to do some meals and entertaining on their own. The resort offers both all-inclusive and a la carte pricing, but the all-inclusive plan is by far the most popular.
Every suite also has a big, ocean-facing terrace. We were there during whale season, and it was magical to sit outside with morning coffee watching spouts off in the distance.
The resort climbs up the bluff, in tiers. The top pool is family-friendly, with a swim-up bar and patio dining with tacos, salads and even sushi.
But our favorite by far was the adult pool, tucked at the bottom of the resort by the small, rocky beach. The tiered infinity-edge pools are great for sunning and soaking, and the vibe is utterly chill, enhanced by the sound of the surf. There’s another swim-up bar here, and daytime dining with tasty fish tacos.
The resort has five restaurants all told; our favorite was fine-dining Los Riscos, set on a clifftop terrace. It’s a top spot for wedding ceremonies, with low stone walls and amazing views.
There’s also a sweet rooftop terrace perched above the main restaurant. With its beamed ceiling, built-in bar and yet more amazing views (do you sense a theme here?), it’s the perfect place for a welcome party or smaller reception.
For longer stays, or just more privacy, check out the residences. Set off to the side of the property in a small development with their own gated entrance, each villa come with three bedrooms, four and half baths and a full kitchen. The airy living room opens onto a private backyard with swimming pool and covered grilling area, making them ideal for those who prefer the feel of home to a hotel.
The general manager comes from neighboring Auberge resort, so he understands service. All in all, a great bet!