Few places inspire us to drag ourselves out of bed before dawn, but an early-morning rise in Los Cabos is always worth it. We recently grumbled our way out of our cool, dark suite at the new Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa in an attempt to challenge the deep-sea creatures that make Baja’s waters so famous among fishing devotees. Armed with our box lunches, our group takes off from the Cabo San Lucas marina with dozens of other boats heading out, as dawn breaks over the Arch and Lovers’ Beach.
It’s your average gorgeous day in Baja California Sur and although we’re hoping to get a tan while we try our luck at sea, we have to settle for a mild greenish hue as choppy waters hit. Still, a few inspiring hours off Los Cabos’ shores is a treat—even if you come back empty-handed, you’re likely to get an eyeful of manta rays and other sea life jumping out of the water. We’re in the “Marlin Capital of the World” but are not that patient or knowledgeable to hope for one of the sea’s prized fish. The challenge of a nice-sized tuna is plenty thrilling and not an easy try as it puts up a 25-minute fight and keeps plunging into the deep. The final count for the day among our group—two tuna and two large and very handsome mahi-mahi. The biggest thrill of all, however, is being greeted by Pancho the sea lion as we near the marina. He’s a friend to the local fishermen and smart enough to trail safely behind each returning boat to enjoy the live bait left over from the day.
FISH FRY AT FISHERMAN’S LANDING
Armed with bigger fish to fry, sauté and marinate, we choose to keep one of the mahi-mahis and once back on land, walk 50 steps to the 150-pax Fisherman’s Landing Bar right on the marina—you catch it, they’ll prepare it any number of ways and add plenty of side dishes to go with it for about $6 pp. The mahi is large enough for a feast for four, with plenty left over for the eatery to prepare as ceviche or grill it for others.
Solmar Hotels & Resorts owns the largest sportfishing fleet in Los Cabos, so a jaunt into the inky Sea of Cortes is an easy endeavor. Based on the size of the group, attendees can choose the size of their customized boat, which run from 28- to 36-ft. sportfishers and come with fighting chairs and additional seating indoors and out. Pricing is based on an 8-hour fishing adventure and starts at $430 for a full day aboard the 28-ft. San Lucas, which fits up to four fishermen. All pricing includes fishing equipment, lures, a cooler with ice (for fish or beer) and the captain and mate.
LUXURY AT LAND’S END
Made up of 320 luxury suites and villas, the Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort and Spa is the fifth property from the Solmar Group and holds the distinction of being the only new hotel to open in Los Cabos this year, making it that much more enticing for groups hoping for a new take on the destination. Its unmatched location at the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula—really at land’s end—means that groups can enjoy lots of privacy but are able to walk to downtown Cabo San Lucas for shopping, dining or nightlife. It also means that the crashing waves of the Sea of Cortes meeting the Pacific Ocean put on a daily sound show of roars and howls as you’re having breakfast at La Roca Restaurant or drinks by the snaking pool. Solmar Beach is by no means a swimmer’s beach, but a beautiful complement to the resort’s charms.
Groups wanting to stay more than a couple of days in Los Cabos will love the comfort and convenience of Grand Solmar’s accommodations. “Our suites are very spacious, with huge balconies and unobstructed views,” says Ricardo Orozco, managing director of Solmar Hotels & Resorts.
A great add-on to the jr. and 1-bedroom suites are the queen-sized Murphy beds that take up no space but welcome more people into the room. Another perk: full kitchens for extended stays. Group members can easily stock up in town and dine in-room, sliding open those balcony doors and enjoying the view as they sip their morning coffee or have a late-night snack. They’ll find everything they need there, from utensils to coffee mugs. They can also order room service any time of day or night.
Speaking of dining, Grand Solmar will complement the offerings of La Roca later this year with Don Luis, which will offer Baja Mediterranean cuisine. Attendees can also take advantage of the other restaurants in the adjacent Solmar properties and off-site Solmar-owned restaurants, including the friendly Hacienda El Coyote, which serves great Mexican standards and toe-tingling margaritas, plus about 200 types of tequila.
Grand Solmar will have its own spa as it grows, but for now groups need to spend a few hours at the Thalassotherapy Spa on the adjacent sister property Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa. This is one of our favorite spas in Mexico, with a quiet outdoor saltwater pool that looks out to the property from above and a wealth of treatments that use the water from the Sea of Cortes to heal and purify. It’s easy to spend a day here and forget about the world outside. Under the blessed hands of Laura the spa therapist, we experienced the only effective hot stone massage we’ve ever had, combined with hot oil therapy and incorporating a heavenly hydrating facial. This combo is known as the Sea of Cortes and our results were dramatic, bringing a migrainous zombie back to life in less than two hours.
Full-service meetings and events space includes a 170-pax theater, along with two meeting rooms. The larger room can hold 250 people, while the second holds 55 people.
There’s a target date of 2013 to finish the rest of the property, which will also bring a deli-Internet cafe, sports bar and more water features, as well as 170 more units (for a total of 289 suites) and the spa, of course.