The ways to plan and enjoy a luxury vacation in Mexico have multiplied over the past decade, from online home rentals to vacation memberships to all-inclusive resorts. And nowhere is this more evident than in Los Cabos. Whether you are interested in home ownership or a quick weekend getaway, there is something for everyone in this renowned destination.
Many vacation homeowners are offering their properties for rent through VRBO (vrbo.com), Airbnb (airbnb.com), Luxury Retreats (luxuryretreats.com), HomeAway (homeaway.com), and sites specific to the Los Cabos region (cabovillas.com). There’s a wide range of options, from party-central Cabo San Lucas to unique off-the-grid properties on East Cape close to great surf breaks like Shipwrecks. The greatest disadvantage to a home rental is the unknown: are the pictures accurate, is the quality as promised, and what amenities are close by. Casa de Dos Lynns VRBO 434327.
Like many regions of Mexico, Los Cabos has a broad selection of all-inclusive resorts in San Jose del Cabo, the Tourist Corridor, and Cabo San Lucas. For vacationers who just want to relax and not worry about making decisions, all-inclusive resorts are ideal. In Los Cabos, options range from the moderately priced Holiday Inn San Jose del Cabo, Dreams Los Cabos, and Hyatt Ziva to luxury properties such as One & Only Palmilla and The Resort at Pedregal. The latest property to enter this market is Grand Velas Resort, which boasts seven gourmet restaurants, a two-star Michelin chef, 35,000-square-foot spa, and private butler-concierge service for every suite.
Inspirato (inspirato.com), a Denver-based vacation membership company, has properties in over 50 countries and 75 destinations, including over 25 in Los Cabos, many of which are in Punta Ballena at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort. Helpful concierge services in Los Cabos guide guests in optimizing their experience. Three classes of membership are available with one-time initiation fees ranging from $10,000 to $30,000, with an annual fee of $3,400. All Inspirato members have a support team available by phone for vacation planning and are offered special rates for weekend jaunts and off-peak rentals. Inspirato’s properties are leased from their owners.
ReserveX by Cuvée (cuvee.com) is another Denver-based vacation membership program that offers a full-range of benefits for less than $5000 annual membership fee. Unlike Inspirato, the vast majority of Cuvée properties are owned by Cuvée Ventures, a private equity fund. ReserveX provides members with first access to properties during peak periods, significant discounts during off-peak times, access to Cuvée’s luxury events, partial subscription to Robb Vices monthly box of luxury products and experiences, and a charitable donation. Besides ten in Los Cabos, Cuvée has properties in Aspen, Vail, Hawaii, St. Bart’s, Tuscany, and New York. The company’s location management team in Los Cabos assures a six-star luxury experience in these very high-end properties.
Esperanza was one of the first to offer luxury fractional ownership units in Los Cabos; however, after the crash of the market in 2008 and 2009, more properties incorporated this strategy into their offerings. Diamante (diamantecabosanlucas.com) was conceived as a private resort and golf club with properties beginning at $2 million. Now it offers fractional ownership of one- to five-bedroom condominiums and villas ranging from $40,000 for a 1/24 share up to over $350,000, depending on size and specific week of the year. Fractional ownership often permits use of other locations in exchange for the week owned at the primary resort.
Cuvée Ventures (cuvee.com) is preparing for its fourth fund, with investors purchasing a share for $1.5 million for the company to acquire high-end resort real estate. Cuvée then upgrades each property with the best in furniture, art, linens, wines and spirits, and other amenities. With the average property value in the $8 million range, these are truly luxury destinations. Renting them for a portion of the year offsets maintenance costs and fees for investors, who are allocated 30 off-peak days per year at no cost. Unlike most other luxury vacation rental companies, Cuvée has full-time staff in each location to provide renters with daily service. Guests are greeted by the location manager with a full spread of food and margaritas; provided a tour of the property and its electronics; and offered the opportunity to have restaurants, activities, and services like private chefs and masseuses booked for them. If requested, the kitchen is stocked in advance.
Equity Estates (investwithaview.info) is an Atlanta-based private equity fund that invests in luxury resort real estate. The company currently has 60-plus luxury residences in 35 destinations, including two properties in Puerto Los Cabos, just outside of San Jose del Cabo (equityestatestravel.com). Equity Estates offers three different levels of investment in its equity funds, each of which has travel benefits attached. Investors have access to the properties at reduced costs and maintenance fees for a certain number of days per year depending on their level of investment. Local support includes pre-trip planning, babysitting, reservations and party planning, stocking the kitchen and bar, greeting by a host and an overview of the home, and housekeeping services. Equity Estates LLC recently launched its third fund.
Five Star Resorts
Los Cabos is truly a world-class resort vacation location. Visitors can select five star resorts in any of the main regions of Los Cabos – the East Cape, San Jose del Cabo, the Corridor, Cabo San Lucas and the Pacific side. Currently, there are several new resorts under construction. From the Four Season’s Costa Palmas in La Ribera on the East Cape to Starwood’s Luxury Collection Solaz Resort to 1 Hotel and Homes on Medano Beach in Cabo San Lucas to plans announced for a St. Regis in the Quivira Resort and a Nobu Hotel at Diamante. These new properties will join the many existing five star resorts in the area.
Home Ownership in Los Cabos
Foreigners are not allowed to own a home fee simple (holding title in their own name) in Mexico within eight miles of the beach or border unless the property is for rent only. Most U.S. financial advisors currently recommend holding the property in trust. The trust document, a fideicomiso, establishes the purchase of property in the name of the owners in the branch of an international bank. The homeowner may list heirs on the document, making the transfer of property to family members seamless. An annual fee is paid to the bank for managing the trust.
Los Cabos has incredible properties for sale that range from relatively inexpensive condo units ($100,000-plus) to homes and condos costing anywhere from $1 million to tens of millions of dollars. Many of the new luxury resort condominium properties being built start at $2 million. The websites of Snell Real Estate, BajaSmart, Baja Properties, and international realtors such as Sotheby’s, Re/Max, and Coldwell Banker showcase great finds in East Cape, San Jose del Cabo, the Tourist Corridor, Cabos San Lucas, and on the Pacific side toward Todos Santos.
However, you decide to enjoy your vacation in Los Cabos, the region offers an incredible range of activities and amenities, from golf, sport fishing, and outdoor adventures to fine dining, art experiences, and nightlife.