Desert Luxury, Infinity Pools and Fine-Dining in Puerto Los Cabos

Have It All at Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

By Kevin Gray ·
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

There are only six Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties in the world.

They inhabit coveted destinations, from Ubud, Bali and Krabi, Thailand to Niseko, Japan. And given their leveled-up status, you can consider them like luxurious cherries on top of an already-luxurious sundae.

The lone Reserve property in Mexico is situated along the dramatic coastline of San José del Cabo, where it's built into the sand dunes of Puerto Los Cabos. The property unfolds over 20 acres of desert-meets-sea setting, with rolling hills and panoramic views of the Sea of Cortés.

Step into the open-air entrance at Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and whatever happened beforehand — flight delays, angry emails from your boss — cease to matter, as vacation mode sets in. You're greeted by a tosoani ("dream watcher" in the Nahuatl language), a private attendant who's there to customize your stay, arranging everything from dinner reservations and agave tastings to off-property excursions. You're also greeted with a cocktail, further proof that you are, in fact, on vacation.

guest room at Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Zadún isn't a mega hotel like you'll find on many of Mexico's beaches. Instead, it has just 113 rooms, suites and villas built into the natural landscape. Each is spacious, and many include private plunge pools and terraces, perfect for soaking up the sun, enjoying a solo dip, or starting your day with a quiet breakfast. Rooms are situated above the main pool and restaurants, which means you can walk through the winding pathways or hail a ride via one of the roaming golf carts to get where you're going.

terrace and plunge pool at Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

There are three restaurants on site, each offering a different experience. Humo serves a South American-inspired menu and is anchored by an open-fire hearth, so you can expect wood-grilled steaks and seafood alongside a Peruvian raw bar and thoughtfully prepared vegetables. El Barrio is an all-day Mexican restaurant serving fresh breakfasts, lunches and dinners, including a variety of street tacos. And Equis is a casual seafood spot with a menu featuring fresh fish — when in doubt, try the catch of the day — and ceviches.

equis restaurant at Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

When you need a drink, post up at Candil Agave Bar. It's located next to Humo and stocks an impressive selection of agave spirits, building on the expected tequilas and mezcals with other Mexican spirits, like bacanora, raicilla, sotol and pox. The knowledgeable bartenders are quick with info and happy to recommend bottles or to pour you a cocktail. The cocktail list goes well beyond the typical beach drinks and features standouts like the Mole Fashioned, made with Mexican corn whiskey, corn liqueur and mole bitters, and the Hana, made with mezcal, sake, chamomile cordial, Lillet Blanc and yuzu.

spa alkemia at Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Eating good food and sipping drinks in the pool isn't exactly hard work. But when you need to further unwind, there's Spa Alkemia, a 30,000-square-foot sanctuary with treatment rooms, steam rooms and a secluded, tree-lined pool. Book a massage, obviously. But don't miss the Savasana Sound Room, a unique space — and one of the only in existence — that features a vibrating floor and sound therapies to promote rest, recovery and meditation.  There's also a new temazcal. This dome-shaped heat lodge is meant to detoxify the body while a shaman guides you through a traditional purification ritual.

main pool at Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

There's lots to do on the property, so you don't need to leave the cozy confines of infinity pools and on-demand drinks. But should you like to explore the outside world, there's a 27-hole golf course just down the road. It was designed by Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, and holes meander between the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains and the ocean, so views are plentiful even if birdies are not. Your tosoani can set up guided hikes to explore the nearby terrain, or hop on a boat to do some whale watching. 

The Sea of Cortés was dubbed “the aquarium of the world” by Jacques Cousteau, and it's one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world. So, while it's hard to beat the resort's infinity pool, you're a lot more likely to see whales, manta rays and sea turtles out on the open water.

Kevin Gray

Kevin Gray lives in Texas. He likes whiskey, weekends and hammocks, often at the same time.

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