Escape and Explore: Mexico

Escape and Explore: Mexico, Marin Magazine


Chileno Bay Resorts and Residences

Comal at Chileno Bay

Opened in 2016, Auberge’s newest Baja California property, Chileno Bay Resorts and Residences, provides all the luxuries guests have come to expect from the Mill Valley–based group, plus a distinctly warm-yet-modern Mexican flair. A quick 20-minute drive from its sister hotel Esperanza, the resort boasts fine dining, loads of on-site activities and rejuvenating spa treatments, all next to one of Cabo’s most swimmable beaches.

EAT Whether you choose to indulge on vacation or are committed to preserving a gym-wrought body, Comal’s menu satisfies a range of cravings and desires. Helmed by chef Yvan Mucharraz, formerly of the French Laundry, the restaurant highlights innovative Latin American cuisine, from duck carnitas to the lighter cauliflower “steak” romesco, with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez as backdrop. Designed by Los Angeles firm Gulla Jonsdottir Architecture + Design, the three-level indoor-outdoor space also includes an oceanfront bar serving artisan cocktails plus a raw bar with fresh local seafood.

FIT Chileno Bay’s tranquil waters are a great setting for first-time paddleboarders regardless of season; more adventurous types can ride one of the resort’s sea bikes. Both boards and bikes are available at the property’s equipment center. ClassPass holders will appreciate the many fitness center group activities — TRX, yoga, pilates and spinning, it has them all. Golfers aren’t left out either: the Tom Fazio–designed Chileno Bay course is exclusive to members and resort guests only.

SPA The Spa in Los Cabos draws inspiration from the healing traditions of the Baja region, including handcrafted treatments infused with natural elements. Lifelong sun worshippers are invited to turn back the clock with a Blue Agave Sun Renewal massage; the head-to-toe signature service combats the harmful effects of overexposure. Meanwhile, the Spa Journey beckons to those looking to totally zen out. Starting with a mist alcove and ending in a reflexology pool, the experience includes time in the aromatherapy steam room, ice fountain and salt inhalation room. Spa guests can also make use of amenities like outdoor sanctuary gardens, a hydrotherapy pool or open-air treatment rooms for true Baja bliss.

DON’T MISS Lounge poolside in one of the resort’s five private pool bungalows. Located alongside the adult pool, the bungalows feature views of the three-tiered infinityedge pool and Chileno Bay. But here’s the real draw: bungalow reservations also get you foot massages, oxygen shots, sunscreen and lotions, a mini bar and bottle service along with an array of games.

PROPERTY DETAILS All 60 guest rooms and 32 villas have private terraces with ocean, pool or garden views, as well as spacious bathrooms with deep freestanding bathtubs and private outdoor showers. Villas also have plunge pools. Rooms start at $675.

Thompson Playa del Carmen

Situated in the middle of buzzworthy Riviera Maya, the Thompson Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue Building is a chameleon — it’s both party central and a sanctuary on the city’s main drag, La Quinta Avenida. A favorite with bachelor and bachelorette crowds drawn to the vibrant nightlife scene, the hotel also has a more demure side, evidenced by half-submerged pool loungers and an intimate spa. A more low-key vibe prevails in the Thompson’s cozier Beach House down the street.

EAT For a taste of Manhattan sophistication there’s no better bet in town than Catch. Much like its Meatpacking District location, the restaurant features globally influenced, locally sourced fare served family style. Dishes here include bourbon-miso black cod lettuce wraps, crispy whole red snapper for two, and grilled and raw items. As of this past summer, Catch also offers brunch — waffle towers and cinnamon roll pancakes — plus made-to-order bloody marys, Aperol spritzes and micheladas. Over at the Beach House’s C Grill, diners will find wood-oven-fired seafood, ceviche and other regional favorites.

FIT There are myriad ways for the active traveler to stay on track with fitness goals. Guests have access to stand-up paddleboards, diving equipment, a 24-hour fitness center, bikes and beach yoga classes. Off-property and just outside the city, you can get physical by exploring Tulum’s ruins and snorkeling in the cenotes.

SPA Ever dreamed of getting pampered without having to leave the bed? The Thompson is here to fulfill that dream. Guests seeking utter relaxation can book a series of massages and spa treatments in-room, on-terrace or in-cabana.

DON’T MISS The Fifth Avenue building’s rooftop deck provides 30,000 square feet of resort-quality pool features. In addition to cabanas, submerged daybeds and an in-water living room, an infinity pool stretches the length of the property for an entire city block.

PROPERTY DETAILS The building, including its 92 guest rooms, was designed by Mexico City–based team Niz+Chauvet. Modern touches like whitewashed panels mix with indigenous stone; room numbers are accompanied by the corresponding Mayan number. All 27 Beach House suites have a private balcony, midcentury furnishings and hand-pressed Guadalajara tiles and stone. The Fifth Avenue Building rates start at $229; Beach House’s rates start at $309.

Mimi Towle

Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.