Upscale Escapes to Mexico

Here's a sampling of the latest and greatest hotels, restaurants and sites in Mexico.
By: 
Joe Yogerst

This charming country offers an ever-changing menu of beautiful resorts, amazing cultural attractions, unbeatable restaurants and special romantic encounters. There are numerous ways to while away a honeymoon south of the border. Here are six of our absolute favorites.

Esperanza Resort-Balcony

Esperanza Resort-Pool Area

1. Baja Elegance

Baja’s newest destination resort, Esperanza Resort, is a tropical paradise where gourmet cuisine, an opulent spa and outdoor pursuits like championship golf are among the many pleasures. Built around two sandy coves on the shores of the restless Sea of Cortez, the hotel is a symphony of casual elegance in the traditional Mexican style—golden adobe walls, thatched roofs and stone terraces perched on bluffs—and such luxe amenities as plush bedding, high-speed Internet access and DVD players. Throw in soothing Corona beer spa facials, a bar with a hundred brands of premium tequila (and its own resident tequilero) and a mesquite-grilled surf and turf restaurant, and you’ve got the makings for a perfect Mexican honeymoon.

With only 50 casitas and 6 suites, Esperanza Resort is small and very private, affording the sort of seclusion normally reserved for those escaping the paparazzi. All the rooms have large outdoor terraces with fantastic ocean views, oversize marble bathrooms and handcrafted Mexican furnishings. Other features vary: Some rooms have hammocks strung across breezy balconies, others boast infinity-style hot tubs on private terraces.

Carved into a bluff above the sea, the hotel’s main three-level restaurant offers alfresco dining on romantic stone terraces. The Mediterranean meets Mexico menu features dishes like sea bass served with polenta and fig sauce and pineapple-curried scallops. The resort’s wine cellar—one of Baja’s best—features excellent homegrown vintages from farther up the peninsula. Every Friday afternoon, Esperanza’s sommelier hosts a tasting session that includes local foods to complement Baja wines. Twice a week in the hotel bar, master tequilero Alejandro Enriquez organizes tasting classes. During the hour-long experience, you’ll sample six different tequilas as Alejandro explains the history of the agave-based spirit and pairs it with food, desserts and even cigars.

From surfing and scuba to whale watching and deep-sea fishing, all sorts of water sports and activities are available in the area. But the resort’s coup de grâce is golf, with access to five different championship courses, including the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol (one of the world’s Top 100) and the adjacent Desert Course, which takes full advantage of the rugged, cactus-studded Baja terrain. Cabo del Sol offers private golf lessons and unlimited time at the practice facility after class (esperanzaresort.com).