By David A. Keeps
May 05, 2015
Credit: Courtesy of One&Only Resorts

In September 2014, Hurricane Odile reduced the luxury resorts of Los Cabos, Mexico to rubble and mud. Just seven months later, the One&Only Palmilla—the hardest-hit of the area’s luxury hotels—is the first to re-emerge, looking better than ever. The devastated oceanfront at Pelican Beach (one of the region’s few swimmable spots and home to the Australian wave-riding academy Tropicsurf) has been restored to its sandy splendor, and the loss of some 10 percent of the resort’s towering palm trees actually improved ocean and mountain views, says General Manager Peter Bowling.

One&Only rebuilt its damaged hotel wings, refreshing the whitewashed tropical elegance of the former 1950s villa property while updating the interiors. If you can wrangle it away from a devoted celebrity clientele, splurge on Suite 2214, one of a handful with dining and lounging terraces that also feature private spas and infinity-edge plunge pools overlooking the Sea of Cortez.

Under the direction of Jean Georges Vongerichten, the resort has launched Seared, a handsome new steakhouse clad in tawny Mexican marble with chairs and banquettes upholstered in serape-style fabrics where the menu includes Kobe, Wagyu and house-cured meats along with the chef’s classic yellowtail tuna ribbons.

Agua by Larbi, the property’s open-air Mexican eatery, has been completely redesigned with a contemporary architectural flair, Danish modern-style seating and expansive ocean vistas. In addition to the tableside guacamole and ceviche carts, do not pass up the dulce de leche-filled churros with chocolate dipping sauce.

Glowing with onyx counters and warm wood accents, the 22,000-square-foot spa and fitness center has 13 private treatment villas with rain showers, stone soaking tubs and daybeds shaded under thatched palapas. (Try the two-hour $300 Baja Deep Tissue Pindas Ritual with herbal poultices and hot stone massage.)

There’s a full-service salon created in collaboration with Beverly Hills stylists Jonathan Antin and Amanda George, and at Barber and Blade, men can get a haircut and shave—while sipping fine tequilas and mescals. It’s a fine start to Cabo’s comeback, which expects the return of Las Ventanas al Paraíso next month and final repairs for Esperanza to finish later this year.