Oceanfront suite at Hacienda Encantada, Mexico

Hacienda Encantada: A Stunning, Luxury Resort on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula

I don’t rely on Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, et. al. as the sole arbiters of what’s great in travel. But when a hotel is consistently ranked among their Top 10 lists year after year, it’s hard not to notice. Such is the case with Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa — a lovely, all-inclusive luxury resort at the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula.

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I had the opportunity to overnight at the hotel last month and quickly realized that one night just wasn’t enough …

The Skinny

In their own words, Hacienda Encantada offers:

… the ultimate vacation experience, in luxurious 4-Diamond resort accommodations in the Cabo San Lucas area.

Providing the most spectacular ocean views in Cabo from hacienda-style suites that are perched high up on a scenic point overlooking the serene blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, Hacienda Encantada is a jewel in paradise.

Secluded location in the tourist corridor, just minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas and the Marina Golden Zone, Hacienda Encantada embraces the natural settings of both desert and ocean that Lands’ End is famous for.

The Traveler’s Take

As I mentioned, I only briefly overnighted at H.E. (as tourists pretending to be “in the know” call it). However, tourism brochure superlatives aside, I can attest that the property is nothing short of stunning.

Design + Atmosphere

Hacienda Encantada is modeled after (surprise!) traditional Mexican design aesthetics, including hacienda-style suites and architecture. Handmade Talavera tile murals, Spanish colonial fountains, and muted earth tones common throughout the region abound.

Exterior design at Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa, Mexico
© Mike Richard

The overall feel is that of reserved luxury. It’s clearly a five-star property, but without the tacky, ostentatious flash and flare common to many Mexican and Caribbean all-inclusive resorts. If you’re seeking a raucous, over-the-top party atmosphere, this isn’t for you. It’s more “beachfront zen retreat” than “Girls Gone Wild party scene”.

While it feels more like a relaxed, adults-only property, children are most welcome. However the resort wisely provides kid-friendly areas including a dedicated pool and water fun area.

The Room

Suite at Hacienda Encantada, Mexico

The list of available rooms range from “standard” luxury suites with a king bed (or 2 queens), to 2-bedroom suites, to the palatial, 2,200-square foot Presidential Suite. Each suite features a well-balanced blend of old word Mexican style and modern conveniences. The former is attained through the use of handcrafted furniture and textiles from neighboring Guadalajara, woven rugs, and vibrant paintings.

Oceanfront suite at Hacienda Encantada, Mexico
Room with a View at Hacienda Encantada © Mike Richard

The latter is achieved through a wealth of amenities that ensure guests need never leave the grounds throughout their stay if they like. Every guestroom offers a full kitchen, balcony with pool or ocean view, satellite television, Wi-Fi, separate sitting and dining areas, and a spacious bathroom with whirlpool tub.

View from the Infinity Pool at Hacienda Encantada, Mexico
View from the Infinity Pool at Hacienda Encantada © Mike Richard

The Location

Without hyperbole, the location — perched on a dramatic rocky cliff overlooking the Sea of Cortez — is literally breathtaking. Having traveled extensively throughout Mexico, I can confidently say that it’s one of the most scenic locations in the entire country.

The resort is minutes from Baja’s best outdoor activity opportunities including horseback riding, surfing, kayaking, parasailing, world class deep sea fishing, and the shops of downtown Cabo. Of course the real draw is the water, including everything on and in the sea. The Sea of Cortez is one of the world’s most biodiverse bodies of water with a full one-third of Earth’s species having been documented here. No trip to Cabo is complete without at least a day cruise around Land’s End — the iconic land formation that marks the demarcation of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. It’s the ideal opportunity to snorkel or dive one of the world’s best spots for underwater exploration.

Sea of Cortez Sunset from Hacienda Encantada, Mexico
Sea of Cortez Sunset from Hacienda Encantada © Mike Richard

The Amenities

The list of amenities is exactly what you’d expect from a resort of this caliber. Hacienda Encantada offers a beachfront restaurant, swim-up pool bar, infinity pool, jacuzzis, water playground area, spa, meditation area, shopping center, and a downtown shuttle.

A nice surprise is the resort’s unique Dine Out Privileges Plan. This all-inclusive plan provides full-service dining and drinks at any of the resort’s restaurants and bars. The plan also includes privilege view suites with spacious private balconies, an in-room minibar, late checkout, and 24-hour concierge service. An additional feature even allows a la carte dining at and a complimentary shuttle to a number of offsite luxury restaurants in Cabo San Lucas’ Golden Zone.

(A brief aside: in late 2014, Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas were hit with a massive hurricane that devastated a majority of the area’s hotels and its international airport. As of January 2015, much of Cabo is still recovering, including some of the area’s most prestigious five-star hotels. HE has made a stunning recovery and is currently up and running at full capacity.)

Pricing + Availability

Prices vary widely throughout the year, changing dramatically depending on the season. Their special offers page is a great place to start as they consistently offer package discounts.

The Bottom Line

For travelers looking for a relaxed, upscale, all-inclusive resort that blends traditional Mexican influences with the finest luxury amenities, Hacienda Encantada is well worth a look.

Founding Editor

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