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Grown-Up Cabo

Lena Katz

Just over the border, in Mexico's Baja California Sur, lies the tourist paradise of Los Cabos. It's only an hour and a half from L.A. by plane. It's got golf, world-class sport fishing, gorgeous hotels ... and tons of cheesy bars full of college kids doing tequila shots. Or on the other side of the spectrum, happy families doing the all-inclusive thing with squealing toddlers in tow. Or retirees, living out their golden years in slumberous expatriate bliss.


Yet there is a side of Los Cabos that is very much for grown-ups (when we say "grown-ups" here, we mean folks age 20 to 40 without kids). With a party scene to match Vegas and beaches as beautiful as Hawaiiâ€s, this place is fast becoming the favorite quick getaway for, well, grown-ups. Follow this guide to the getaway thatâ€s just right for you … and if a little Spring Break madness finds its way into the mix, you can always blame the tequila.


Do your friends describe you as adventurous? Open-minded? Shamelessly exhibitionistic and likely to get arrested for indecent exposure one of these days? Prove ‘em all right and book yourself and your sweetheart into Desire, Cabos†brand new clothing-optional resort. Combining the best aspects of a nudists†colony and a luxury all-inclusive hotel, Desireâ€s raising eyebrows worldwide with its hedonistic to the max policies. Of course, there is a limit: for example, Mexicoâ€s laws prohibit nude sunbathing on the beach, so resort guests do their topless tanning in specially designated areas by the pool. And thereâ€s very little bare elegance in, say, the lobby. Or the restaurants. But certain activities (Sexi Tattoo) are best enjoyed in your birthday suit, while certain areas (No Limits Party) are best avoided if youâ€ve got any prudish tendencies whatsoever. If, on the other hand, youâ€re the type to try anything three times (once to find out, twice to make sure, three just to get practice), then youâ€ve found your spot. Remember, Desire is couples-only – sorry, no solo flying, and definitely no bachelor parties.


Get Loud Melia Cabo San Lucas


In the centrally located, famously rambunctious Melia Cabo San Lucas, the cranked-up music and the dolled-up partiers are constantly in competition to out-decibel each other. Meanwhile, the ambience is as trendy as it gets: cream-colored futons in place of sun loungers, good-looking tattooed waiters who look like they came from Hollywood Central Casting, DJ booths by the pool and in the bar. The crowd is young, hot and hip – a glossy multicultural pick-a-mix of socialites, young high-flyers and in-the-know vacationers.


This place caters to the “Me†generation, and does it well. In fact, in January 2007, itâ€s changing its name to ME by Melia to reflect that. If youâ€re a PDA-, pedicure-, guest list- or Grey Goose martini-type – or even if you just like to pretend every once in a while – then ME is all you. Note to those planning bachelorette parties: Splurge on one of the brand new pool-facing Energy Suites, opening in early 2007.


Get Fit Las Ventanas


A celeb-frequented spa, a world-class gym, a beautiful beachfront location – no wonder Las Ventanas is one of the top wellness retreats in Los Cabos. The hotel really took the concept to the next level with the recent introduction of the Ultimate Fitness Program, though. Basically, itâ€s fitness boot camp in the most luxurious setting imaginable. First, you set your goals and decide whether you want your program to be mild, moderate or advanced. Then, you undergo a complete fitness evaluation that determines everything from your BMI (body mass index) to your VO2 (oxygen intake). Next, your “spa butler†will come up with an action plan that includes everything from meals to workouts. Then comes the fun part: Every day, you train in Las Ventanas†state-of-the-art gym under the supervision of all-star trainers (the Pilates instructor is a former Olympian). You dine on your own special spa cuisine menu, rest each night in a stunning spa suite complete with its own massage room, infinity Jacuzzi and infrared sauna. After a week or two, youâ€ll return home healthier, tanner, and with a customized 5- or 6-week plan that will take you through to the completion of your fitness goals.


Get Gorgeous Spa Chakra


Itâ€s hard to pick a single go-to spa within Los Cabos, because there are so many great ones. However, in 2007, Spa Chakra in the newly renovated Casa del Mar is at the top of the list. Though allied with French brand Guerlain, Spa Chakra maintains its Mexican flavor in its décor and ambience. Completely rebuilt and opened just in time for Christmas, 2006, the facility is bright, airy and serene. Itâ€s naturally lit through skylights with pale marble floors and tile walls.


The focus here is not just on external beauty, but also on physical and emotional wellness. Of course, some treatments – the power facial, or the Terra Cotta Tan – are pretty straightforward. But others, particularly those in the Chakra Health category, get into more holistic territory. Yes, theyâ€ll make you look and feel better in the short term. But ideally, the positive thinking and internal well-being that starts at Spa Chakra should last long after youâ€ve returned to the real world.


Get Busy Marquis Los Cabos


Ask yourself this question: Does a week on the beach with a paperback and a pitcher of margaritas sound like heaven or boredom central? If the answer is the latter, then youâ€re probably one of those wildly productive types who like to actually do something on their vacation. For this, we congratulate you, admit that weâ€re a bit intimidated by you, and recommend that you betake yourself to the Marquis Los Cabos, where there are a whole slew of themed packages geared toward the educational/cultural tourist. Learn how to paint, shoot landscape photos, go hiking with a local guide, or organize a slumber party for you and your girls. Some packages have more of an action-adventure bent: for example, the It Girl Getaway features a Hummer tour of the desert, complete with a picnic by a waterfall. Others, like the golf and poker package, are all fun and games. Above all, this is a choose-your-own-adventure; pretty much everything is customizable. And when itâ€s time to relax with a paperback, the beautiful beach and serene pool area beckon.Travel Ideas & Inspiration- Grown-Up Cabo

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