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Palmilla, One & Only, Los Cabos, Mexico

| By Marvin R. Shanken | From Tiger Woods, May/June 2008

You'd think it was a mirage. The white sand disappears into the azure waters in front of your beachside villa, while behind you the desert stretches out to the horizon. Palmilla, the One & Only resort in Los Cabos, seems to rest right on the edge of the Sea of Cortez on one side, with Cabo San Lucas sparking across the water, and the Pacific Ocean just on the other side. It is simply a paradise waiting to be discovered.

Cabo has been one of Mexico's five-star destinations for years with the long-standing reputation of the Rosewood Resort Las Ventanas al Paraiso, but the complete transformation of Palmilla in 2004 has created a double universe of luxury and tranquility.

We stayed in a spectacular villa on a rock ledge overlooking the ocean. A 24-hour butler assigned to the room takes care of every need, whether it's fresh towels or a cold cocktail. The rooms are spacious and impeccably decorated. The resort has 172 rooms, with 12 one-bedroom beachfront luxury suites.

Three restaurants serve the property. The poolside Agua has Mediterranean-style cuisine. Breeze is an ideal lunch venue with a causal, light menu. The resort's signature dining room, C, is run by Charlie Trotter, one of the best chefs in America. Each meal is infused with Trotter's culinary brilliance.

Palmilla is not just about sitting on the beach. The 27-hole Jack Nicklaus signature course includes the Ocean Course, one of the greatest nine-hole stretches in Mexico. All three nine-hole segments are great, however, and provide a true test of golf in a desert setting. Other nearby courses include Querencia, for which you need to know a member to get a tee time; it's worth the effort.

The resort also has tennis courts and arrangements can be made for horseback riding, whale watching and deep-sea fishing as well as a host of other activities.

At the two infinity pools the water seems to flow right over the edge into the ocean. One is for adults only, and is a very tranquil retreat with full services available from the concierge there. The other is reserved for families with their kids.

The resort's spa is also a world-class facility. You can book a wide range of beauty treatments for the women, and private massage rooms are available for any kind of massage you want. The spa also has a complete fitness room and yoga garden.

In short, this is one of the greatest, and most relaxing, getaways you can find anywhere in the world.


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