One & Only Palmilla: There’s only one

In LUXURY HOTELS, MEXICO by Janice and George4 Comments

On past visits to Los Cabos, we’ve driven by the lush grounds of the One & Only Palmilla (near the town of San Jose del Cabo), lusting to know why the fabled resort is so special that Hollywood royalty flock to it in droves.

Now, after our recent stay, we know why. And it really is, well, the “one and only.”

Service, for one, is beyond expectation at the One & Only Palmilla.

Chill by the adult-only pool and you get free 10-minute foot massages, sunglass cleaning and mini sorbets.

The family-friendly resort also offers complimentary laundry for kids under two. And all 172 rooms (and one villa) have a private butler who unpacks and packs your clothes – meaning more of that pampered pool time.

Mexican colonial-style villas house the guestrooms - photo One & Only Palmilla

Mexican colonial-style villas house the guestrooms – photo One & Only Palmilla

Sweet dreams

The rooms (more like open suites) reflect a colonial Mexican flavor and are pretty dreamy too. Nestled in a setting of fountains, palms and tropical flowers, they have red-tiled roofs, travertine floors, iron-studded doors, colorfully painted sinks and outdoor terraces.

Most rooms (50) are beachfront terrace junior suites, with an indulgent 750 square feet of space.

You’re welcomed with a tequila platter; fruit and complimentary snacks (from spicy peanuts to cheese, crostinis and olives) are delivered daily. At turndown, scented candles await.

Sweet sleep! photo One & Only Palmilla

Sweet sleep! photo One & Only Palmilla

Treat your tastebuds

Dining is a gourmet treat at One & Only Palmilla’s Market restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (try the black truffle pizza appetizer).

And if you snag a “moonlight” ocean-side table at Agua, the resort’s al fresco palapa-style restaurant, you’ll listen to the waves while noshing on “Mexiterranean” cuisine.

Passionfruit soufflé - One & Only Palmilla

Passionfruit soufflé for dessert? photo One & Only Palmilla

Fun activities

Complimentary yoga is offered daily in the yoga garden; the gym has free spinning classes. There’s a chapel onsite for destination weddings.

The nearby beach is one of the few in Los Cabos that’s swimmable (strong waves and currents make most unsafe).

For golfers, a 27-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus offers ocean views from every hole, and new clay courts lure tennis fans to play a game.


Just bring your credit card. And down a stiff nip of that tequila before checking out and settling your bill.

You can get married in this lovely chapel on the grounds - photo One & Only Palmilla

How about a destination wedding? You can get married in this lovely chapel on the grounds – photo One & Only Palmilla

If you stay at the One & Only Palmilla

What we loved

  • Being surrounded by lush tropical gardens and grounds, filled with bougainvillea, jasmine and waving palm trees
  • Lounging on comfy daybeds on our private stone terrace, looking out at the Sea of Cortez

Be aware

  • Pricey – and on top off of your accommodation and dining costs, you pay an extra 29% in taxes, fees, surcharges and mandatory gratuities

While One & Only Palmilla kindly provided us with media support for our stay, our review is entirely our own – we follow the ethical codes of the travel writing professional associations to which we belong. A version of this article was first published as One and Only in World Traveler magazine (see the PDF).

Janice and George Signature


  1. Wow, those views are so stunning, looks like a great place for a sunset cocktail even if I’m not staying there

  2. Wow! What a lovely resort and so full of unique activities and amenities. The food and that infinity pool is enough to draw me in but yikes on the taxes. We’re thinking of going back to Cabo in a few months. I’d like to drive by and check it out since I think this is way beyind our budget.

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