A bathtub named desire: A review of The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Nov 22, 2019

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The Cape, a Thompson Hotel and just-initiated Hyatt property, has been turning heads since it debuted on one of the most enviable stretches of coast outside Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in 2015.

From its perch overlooking Monuments Beach, guests can see whales plying the surf and, in the distance, the iconic El Arco rock formation that marks Land’s End.

For years, I’ve dreamt of staying at this property — and soaking in a copper-clad bathtub that’s the stuff of every travel editor’s dreams.

So what happens when you send a travel editor to a hotel she’s been dreaming about for four years? She gets an award-winning sunburn, spends $100 (£78) on a dinner for one two nights in a row and takes 1,356 photos, mostly of bathtubs and tacos.

In This Post

Booking

We booked a deluxe ocean-view room at The Cape for $569 (£442) per night directly through Hyatt, as we booked close-in and there unfortunately was no award availability on the dates I needed to stay.

These rooms start at 592 square feet and come with a private balcony overlooking the ocean. Now that The Cape is officially part of the World of Hyatt program, standard king rooms (480 to 498 square feet) at this Category 6 property can be booked from 25,000 points per night.

Location

Forty-five minutes from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD), the drive takes you along the resort-filled tourist corridor framing Interstate 1. You’ll pass an untold number of golf courses and some of the most well-known resorts in the region, including the One&Only Palmilla; Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort; the brand-new Montage Los Cabos; and Solaz, a Luxury Collection Hotel from Marriott, before arriving at The Cape, which presides over an especially attractive cove overlooking Monuments Beach (a popular surfing spot) and, in the distance, the distinctive rock formation El Arco.

Though you can’t walk into town from The Cape, the marina at Cabo San Lucas is less than 4 miles away, making it easy to take day trips (especially boat and kayak tours) to the southernmost tip of Baja California.

Check-in

When my car pulled up to the open-air lobby of The Cape, I was immediately greeted by hotel staff who helped with my suitcase and led me to the front desk.

All signs pointed to a seamless stay: I was asked to provide my Hyatt number so I could receive points for my stay, which struck me as both unexpected and proactive — the hotel had just been integrated into the World of Hyatt program.

The first thing I saw at The Cape was a true-to-size whale sculpture fashioned from driftwood. But the second may have been the real-life cetaceans. While I waited to be checked in, the employee who greeted me at the entrance pointed out whales splashing in the distance, and I was enthralled by the view of the Sea of Cortez and Land’s End, where the gulf mixes forcefully with the Pacific.

I received a single key to my deluxe king room and was escorted upstairs to the fourth floor.

Room

A narrow entryway opened into a light-filled, 592-square-foot room with an oversized balcony overlooking the beach.

Hand-painted cement tiles (fun fact: less slippery when wet) echoed the colors of the sea, and a worn, dark leather headboard wrapped around the king bed, fitted with sateen-woven linens that kept cool in the evening.

The room playfully mixed masculine elements, mid-century furnishings and sophisticated beach-club vibes — and totally eschewed any Mexican colonial kitsch.

Any room with a balcony is a plus in my book, but this was a balcony where I wanted to spend significant time.

The mosaic-tiled table and twin chairs were great for room-service breakfast or sunset cocktails, while the oversized, suspended daybed demanded siestas.

It took me well into the second day to discover all the lighting controls, but every light could be dimmed, and there were ample charging stations around the room (two power sockets and one USB port on either side of the bed; a sleek workstation with an additional outlet and two USB ports).

The room also had a separate seating area comprising two corner chairs and a small table. When I arrived, there was a welcome tequila amenity (a full-size bottle of Realeza Mexicana tequila that I almost checked a bag for) along with tamarind and chile sweets.

For additional snacking, there was a mini bar stocked with snacks, beverages and premium liquor (Dos Equis, coconut water, Chivas Regal 12-year Scotch). During my stay, I received a gourmet cheese plate with rosemary, honey and other accoutrements and every evening, housekeeping would leave a cookie or biscuit, bottle of water and a card with the next day’s weather report by my bedside.

Bathroom

Yes, I included a separate section for the bathroom.

There are few hotel amenities quite like an oversized soaking tub. After all, how many of us have time to take baths in real life? (Not me.)

And the bathtub at The Cape — a feature available in all but the deluxe double queen and superior king rooms — was perfection on all fronts. Not just the focal point of the bathroom but the cornerstone of the entire room.

From the freestanding copper-leaf tub, I could watch television or gaze out through the wall-to-wall windows. Elegant Noken Porcelanosa monoblock taps included an oversized faucet and a handheld shower head. There was also a sliding wood bathtub tray stocked with DS & Durga Bowmaker amenities — a blend of fragrances like amber and walnut — that were also found on the bathroom vanity and in the shower.

But it was not just the tub that distinguished the bathroom at The Cape. Including the separate toilet room, the sink and vanity and massive glass box of a shower, the bathroom occupied about half of the guest room.

With two shower heads (both of which would pass the TPG test), an overhead rainfall shower, glass walls and a carved wood stool, the shower wasn’t just a place to rinse off after a day by the pool. It was a room you could hang out in and relax for a while.

Another reason I’m showering the bathroom the adulation, as it were?

It got a separate turndown service every night, when housekeeping would move the cotton kimono (one of the few hotel bathrobes that’s ever come close to fitting me — I’m a kid-sized adult) onto the hook just inside the shower and prepare towels by both the shower and tub. There were also terry thong-style slippers.

A room-length gauzy curtain separated the bathroom areas from the rest of the space, adding more privacy to the otherwise exhibitionist bathtub, and somehow didn’t feel like a hospital room divider.

Food and Beverage

The Cape felt like a small property because of its compact layout, but it actually had quite a lot of variety in terms of places to eat and drink.

For breakfast, the casual restaurant The Ledge spilled out onto a wide patio overlooking the beach, and served contemporary plates with a focus on seafood. (Order the eggs Benedict with either chipotle-spiced lobster or fried soft-shell crab.)

A cold buffet — primarily fruits, pastries and cheeses — was also available for $25 (£19).

Point Break, the swim-up bar with an adjacent terrace, opened at 8am but served all-day lunch fare and snacks, including excellent charred octopus tacos with pico, coriander and jicama (£16). You can also order a blackened fish sandwich (£19), coconut-crusted shrimp (£14) and an array of ceviches and raw seafood (£9 to £30), among other plates.

Then there was Manta, the upscale restaurant dreamed up by famed Mexican chef Enrique Olvera, who combines Mexican ingredients with Peruvian and Japanese techniques.

I definitely took cues from the waiters here, who helped me craft not just a great dinner but a fabulous experience. I never would have ordered the avocado, chamomile, lime, sake and white tequila cocktail (£10), but my waiter promised it was a home run. I ordered a second one before my main arrived.

Over the course of two nights, I sampled the catch of the day, the beetroot ceviche, the mushroom ramen with epazote and a bluefin tuna sashimi with freshly shaved wasabi that was one of the highlights of my entire trip. All of the dishes were generous in size, but if you wanted an appetizer and a main course, you weren’t going to spend less than $50 (£39) or $60 (£47) per person. Both nights, my final bill came to about $100 (£78) — with just one or two drinks on the tab, and no dessert.

Guests could also grab drinks at the sunken Lobby Bar, which had a spacious terrace, cozy leather banquettes and wooden architectural accents.

But the ultimate spot to grab a drink at The Cape was the rooftop bar and lounge — the only one of its kind in Cabo San Lucas.

There were intimate cabanas, as well as a tented, circular pergola and plenty of communal tables.

And though technically not a dining venue, guests could also lounge and drink in the so-called Glass Box, a Javier Sanchez-designed cube overlooking the Sea of Cortez.

Room service was also exceptionally fast. I ordered lunch — a trio of grilled fish tacos (£21 with service) — and a server appeared outside my door almost exactly 10 minutes later.

Amenities

The Cape had both a small saltwater pool and a zero-entry infinity pool, as well as a hot tub seamlessly integrated with the latter.

Unsurprisingly, the infinity pool was the busiest spot at the hotel. When I first arrived, there was a scene-y party atmosphere reminiscent of the SLS Baha Mar.

But as it turns out, things were extra rowdy because there was a wedding that weekend (and there were lots of empty Veuve Clicquot bottles to prove it).

Even though that first day, the pool was crowded and the vibe was, well, rambunctious, the pool attendants were unfazed. Within minutes of claiming a chaise, an attendant offered to make up my chair — laying out the signature bright blue towel and rolling another one over the top for my head — and immediately took my order. I’d never given much thought to poolside service before, but The Cape has this down to a science.

Nothing came cheap at the Currents Spa, where a manicure started at $79 (£61) and massages ranged from $205 (£159) to $279 (£217). You could, however, buy a day pass for access to the other facilities, namely the hot and cold plunge pools, steam room and sauna. There was also a fitness center overlooking the sea, equipped with LifeFitness and Precor machines and a small yoga room.

It opened early and stayed open until 11 p.m., but it was a shame it wasn’t accessible 24 hours, especially because the facilities were limited and were almost always occupied.

The Cape also had a calendar of weekly happenings that ranged from complimentary Tuesday and Thursday morning yoga (9 a.m.) to afternoon DJ sets at Point Break, movies at the beach Thursday evenings, dance parties on the rooftop and Sunday brunch with live music for $45 (£35).

Overall Impression

When I first arrived at The Cape, there was a wedding party getting soggy on bottle service by the pool. And at dinner that same evening, I met a flight attendant who had come to the End of the World (and this hotel, specifically) for a special trip with her husband. And I can’t wait to go back to share the experience with someone else one day. Obviously, it’s not a bad place to go for a solo work trip, but it’s definitely a property best saved for an important occasion.

Unlike many of its neighbors, The Cape doesn’t feel all that big — its facilities and restaurant aren’t spread across dozens of acres of beachfront. Instead, it’s compact but still stocked with restaurants, pools and other activities.

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This property really is perfect for an anniversary or big celebration. But, I would definitely leave the kids at home. I saw a few children, all a bit older, but don’t think most kids will appreciate the Cabo-cool aesthetic and live DJ sessions  — though everyone in the family, I’m sure, would look forward to bathtime.

All photos by the author.

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