San Jose del Cabo is a quaint, historic town on the southern end of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Together with Cabo San Lucas, it is a major hub of Los Cabos — a staple in the beach resort world for its rugged beauty and California-esque vibe. San Jose del Cabo beachfront resorts rarely offer swimmable beaches (the coast here is largely unsafe for swimming, due to dangerous undercurrents), but hotels on non-swim-friendly beaches often compensate with great amenities and stunning seascapes. Take a look at our favorite beach hotels in San Jose del Cabo.
Not only is One & Only Palmilla easily one of Mexico's most luxurious properties, but it is also located on one of the only swimmable beaches in Cabo. The beach isn't huge, and has just a few private cabanas that are available on a first-come-first-served basis, but the rocky backdrop and relatively calm water are a welcome treat. Snorkel gear and non-motorized beach equipment is available for free, and surf lessons can be arranged. On land, guests can expect velvet-gloved treatment, including personal concierges, butlers, aromatherapy turndown service, and some of Cabo's best dining (Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has a steakhouse here). The 160 rooms and villas blend classic Mexican design with contemporary accents like Venetian stucco and walls of windows to create bright, elegant spaces. All have terraces, many with direct ocean views, and some include private pools.
Many of the beaches in Los Cabos are either owned by resorts or unswimmable because of strong riptides. However, Casa Costa Azul, a 14-room boutique hotel with tons of charm, has a prime spot on a stretch of shoreline where guests can actually get in the water. Still, it's worth exercising some caution and checking on water conditions before entering. The hotel itself is ready-made for kicking back -- hammocks are strung between palm trees, and there's a sleek pool deck, a yoga studio, and an excellent homey restaurant. This family-run property's rooms are individually designed, with rustic hardwood furniture, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and bathrooms covered in vibrant Mexican tilework. All rooms have at least partial sea views from terraces. There is a highway behind the hotel that's a bit noisy, but the surf is the loudest sound at night.
This family-owned, upscale boutique hotel has an extraordinary beach setting. Dramatic rock formations on either side of the hotel deter tourist foot traffic, so this beautiful beach sees mostly guests and locals who come to enjoy the surf. The small size of the hotel and its discreet location allow it to exude a cool West Coast vibe not found at other chain-name resorts not too far away. The gorgeous Pacific Ocean views can be enjoyed from the hotel's two infinity pools, hot tub, and most of its 36 beach-chic rooms. Also on-site: a spa, fitness center, and gift shop. Attached to the hotel, the Mike Doyle Surf School offers instruction and rentals including paddleboards, beach chairs, and umbrellas. Guests should expect (and will want) to spend money at the seafood restaurant and bar often, but there are more restaurants and a grocery store within a short drive.
Cabo Azul Resort is a far cry from the Los Cabos party scene, with a location outside of San Jose del Cabo (which requires a vehicle to reach) and a laid-back atmosphere. The resort impresses from just about all angles, with a multi-level infinity pool, outdoor fire pits, and tasty dining options. Its villa-style rooms come with stainless steel kitchen appliances and flat-screen TVs, as well as casually elegant decor. The hotel sits directly on a beautiful private beach, though sadly its waters are not swim-friendly. However, the beach is wide and clean, with regularly raked sand, cushioned loungers under thatched umbrellas and pavilions, and open-air massage huts.
Right away, the grandeur of Marquis Los Cabos All-Inclusive Resort & Spa is visible, thanks to a massive open-air lobby extending to an infinity pool and stunning views of the Sea of Cortez. The beach here is beautiful, but its waters can be too rough for swimming (Playa El Medano, the most swimmable beach in Los Cabos, is an 18-minute drive away). The hotel offers a great adults-only version of the all-inclusive experience, with a full-service spa, a chic bar, several restaurants, and 24-hour room service. The 235 rooms are spacious and luxurious with L’Occitane bath products and ocean view balconies -- some suites have private pools.
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos is a beachfront all-inclusive resort with fresh and modern interiors, kid-friendly features, and a good range of dining choices. Its massive freeform pool sparkles all the way to its wide, white-sand beach, where cabanas and lounge chairs are set up. The glimmering Sea of Cortez is lovely, but swimming isn't allowed in the ocean here. The closest stretch of sand with generally swimmable water is at Costa Azul, a five-minute drive down the coast.