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One&Only Palmilla - Worth Every Penny…
September 6, 2011
I love travel…had I not begun working at Classic, I would not have had the opportunity to stay at one of the finest properties in Mexico, the One&Only Palmilla.
My heart skipped a beat when my wife and I decided to go. This resort is not cheap! Plus, I started to think, it’s not all-inclusive. That’s how I normally travel to Mexico. I looked up the cost of the meal plans and convinced my wife we should purchase the FAP (Full American Plan). I’ll circle back to how that worked out for us…
We took our private transfer from the airport to the hotel, although, I do wish I’d have purchased the transfers from the hotel. It’s just a nice way to begin your stay at the Palmilla, before you even get there! But, we pulled up to the Porte Cochere and immediately, we were greeted by one of the friendliest staffs I have encountered anywhere – in the world, not just Mexico. The staff has this thing about greeting you; whenever you cross their path, they place their hand on their hearts and slightly bow to you. It is a sign of respect and sincerity, adapted from a greeting of an indigenous Indian tribe. While I am not one to enjoy being overly-serviced, this simple greeting went a long way for my wife and I to know how welcome we were by the staff. This greeting was most commonly employed by our butler…yeah, butler. Everyone who checks in has access to 24 hour butler service and, in our case, we always saw our butler waiting outside our unit around the same time, and he greeted us by name each time with a smile and slight bow.
I knew I was going to love this property when my wife and I were shown to our room and there were balloons all over the place and a freshly baked chocolate cake set out on the coffee table – in celebration of our birthdays. The Palmilla’s staff does whatever they can to personalize their guests’ stay and make one feel like they’re at home. The location of our unit was as far away from the Porte Cochere as it could get on the South side; we were in Casa Miramar, on the top floor, in a Beachfront Terrace Junior Suite. The view of the beach and ocean were stunning, especially in the morning when the sky is still hued with gold and pink. The way the light plays off the property, I didn’t mind being awake to see the sun rise on vacation.
Technically, we could have been farther away on the Northern end of the property, but the hotel tries to separate the guests with families from the couples. They do this by separating them on the North v. South side of the Reception/Lobby. Additionally, they have two different pool areas to aid in this venture, The Vista Pool and Bar for the adults and the Agua Pool area for the families. The Palmilla is the only true 5-Star property with a swimmable beach in Los Cabos, located on the Northern end of the property for easy access for the families.
The One&Only has so much going for it, it’s hard to just mention a few things; I want to talk about it all! But, as I am a self-described “foodie,” I’ll talk about the restaurants. As I mentioned earlier, I convinced my wife to purchase the meal plan. It easily saved us in the long run! Purchasing the meal plan, with what my wife and I ate, saved us, no exaggeration, twenty to twenty-five percent of what it would have been had we paid for each meal at the property. Even though it does not include alcohol, everybody should purchase the meal plan at the Palmilla.
My wife and I love to eat – if you don’t, skip this paragraph. The restaurants at the Palmilla were perfect for us. We wanted to eat all of it. Their most casual restaurant is Breeze, located by the Vista Pool. It is casual Mexican food, not elegant, but delicious. I highly recommend the tempura soft-shell crab wrap – delicious, filling, and the mixture of the texture and spice are making my mouth water just remembering it. The restaurant my wife and I dined at the most was Agua; open for all three meals, it’s still casual, but definitely nicer in décor than Breeze. Their menu was phenomenal! But, I have to give a shout out to their desserts…the dulce de leche stuffed churros are sinful, and sinning never tasted that good! My favorite meal was breakfast, though. Their huevos rancheros were served with this salsa that was just the right spice for the morning. Suviche is their Japanese influenced restaurant. I loved all of the ceviche we sampled and their sushi was fresh and just right! In case you didn’t want to eat on property, yet, their best restaurant is Market, by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. My wife and I each had personalized menus, wishing us a happy birthday (belated for my wife and upcoming for myself). I devoured my appetizer of black truffle and gruyere cheese pizza. My wife and I each ordered steak, but different cuts. They were served perfectly seared, medium-rare and with a tamarind-chipotle glaze that we wanted to bathe in. It was sweet, spicy, and perfecltly prepared. This glaze tasted good on everything. The gnocchi that we ordered as a side were soft, fluffy, and perfectly cooked. Truly, Market was the perfect dining experience. The servers were exceptionally attentive but fun! We would see them dancing to the music and laughing with each other. Their enjoyment in serving us influenced the meal.
I think that is the perfect way to describe our experience at the One&Only Palmilla – the staff’s enjoyment, their pride in servicing their guests, positively influenced our stay. The service, the room, the attention to every detail, and the food we experienced at this property makes it worth every penny!