If there was one person who could truly be called an icon of the travel industry, it was Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
CABO SAN LUCAS — With two popular family resorts already established in Cabo San Lucas, RIU Hotels & Resorts has another winner on its hands in this Mexico destination with the just-opened adults-only Riu Palace Baja California.
The all-inclusive five-star resort officially opened its doors on Dec. 1 and is the Spanish hotelier’s 20th property in Mexico. A decidedly different décor style, Riu Palace Baja California features a calming palette of neutrals, familiar amenities and restaurants beloved by guests and focuses on the view of the Sea of Cortez.
Travelweek got to check out the new resort as part of a four-night press trip hosted by RIU Hotels & Resorts and Sunwing.
“We wanted to have all the places that (guests) spend most of their time at the oceanfront,” explained Joachim Schonfeldt, SVP Sales & Business Development for RIU Hotels & Resorts. “This hotel is a new design concept, having the majority of restaurants and bars with views of the sea.”
Schonfeldt explained Cabo San Lucas is a growing market for RIU. “There is an increasing demand from the Canadian market to come to Cabo San Lucas, especially in winter.”
Sunwing Vacations, an exclusive partner with RIU Hotels & Resorts, has also invested in Cabo San Lucas this season, now offering direct flights from 11 Canadian cities to San Jose del Cabo International Airport.
This month, two new direct flights debuted, on Dec. 15 from Ottawa (YOW) and on Dec. 20 from Kelowna (YLW) for the winter season.
Andrew Dawson, Sunwing President of Tour Operations, has said that RIU Hotels & Resorts properties are consistently a popular choice with Sunwing clientele “and we are certain that this latest addition to their line up in Los Cabos will be well received.” Sunwing currently offers flights to eight Mexican cities.
Located adjacent to the Riu Sante Fe and the Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas, the 602-room Riu Palace Baja California has embraced a contemporary and sleek style.
According to General Manager Cesar Mastache, this new property is focused on the sophisticated guest. “Many guests, especially those between 30 and 50 years old, don’t want to be in a busy environment on their holiday. At this hotel, they can have their quiet retreat and easily access entertainment, like the Riu pool parties, next door at Riu Santa Fe.”
The open-air lobby features low-slung furniture and many natural textures like stone, wood and wicker, which is found throughout the hotel’s public and private spaces. With a reception on one side, the other side features a small gift shop and the Gold Lounge, a quiet place for guests to relax, as well as a business centre.
Spacious and sleek rooms, including 82 with sea views, feature a variety of standard amenities such as 24-hour room service, complimentary mini bar and spirits dispenser, complimentary Wifi, walk-in showers and depending on room category, free-standing soaker tubs.
The four-storey resort has a courtyard in its centre and all the social areas have sea views, from the bars, theatre, gym, restaurants and pools along with direct access to Playa Medano.
Guests can participate in the RiuFit program, a daily program of fitness options such as beach volleyball and aquafit, challenges for using the gym and healthy dining options at restaurants.
Popular coffee and patisserie shop Capuchino, Daiquiri Bar and Gold Bar feature shady seating areas and a sunny open-air terrace overlooking the beach, a favourite hangout for guests pre- and post-pool time.
All restaurants are located on the lower level with direct access to the pools and beach; the resort’s main buffet Promenade offers dining all day while a la carte dining options at Guacamole, Taj Mahal, Krystal, Yu Hi and Sofia are available for the evening and don’t require reservations.
Pepe’s Foods offers grilled items and Mexican snacks for those hanging at the two infinity pools. while Tropicana and Sunset swim-up bars are popular for fresh-made cocktails all day.
The hotel’s theatre offers a nightly program of live music and dance while guests can also access the options at Riu Santa Fe, with its Splash Water World water park, Pacha Nightclub and the newly-launched Riu Pool Party.
The four times weekly DJ-driven pool foam parties are reminiscent of the Mallorca and Ibiza party scene with themes like the White Party with 70s, 80s and 90s tunes and the Pink Party with the best of trip hop, hip hop and funky house.