Destination wedding season is fast approaching, and Los Cabos is in the spotlight. Hotels are rolling out programs and activities with appeal to that market. And Travel Agent took a first-hand look at some last week.
At Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, new programming emphasizes the cultural riches of Baja California Sur and Mexico in general. It’s also designed to bring out guest creativity. In a "Flower Arranging" class, brides and their entourage can create their own custom bouquets and floral decorations. The hotel provides buckets of colorful stems and greenery imported from the interior of Mexico. (Buckets of chilled champagne are also available upon request.) The resort’s wedding coordinator, Nancy Garcia, oversees the class. A former florist, Garcia offers tips on flower-arranging basics. She even demonstrates how to properly hold a bouquet during the walk down the aisle.
“Flowers are emotion, and weddings are so full of emotion. We give the bride the freedom to express herself with her own colors and let her creativity come out. It’s a wonderful activity for the wedding party,” Garcia tells Travel Agent.
Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Gold Resort
The wedding party can also show off arts and crafts skills in “The Art of Making the Piñata” class. Participants learn the history of the colorful tradition. They then build their own creation, using a clay pot affixed with strips of paper, rolls of colored tissue and Mexican sweets to stuff inside. The class concludes with a traditional song and piñata ritual. That is, guests are spun around while blindfolded, and take turns whacking at the swinging piñata with a stick. Note, brides may not want to rely on the class piñatas as official wedding décor. It’s difficult to get a professional-looking product. But the piñatas do make great souvenirs that will fit in overhead airplane bins.
At Hilton’s “Make Your Own Bath Salt” class, Eforea Spa director Adriana Tello discusses the health benefits of bath sea salt. Participants then create their own aromatic concoction using salts collected from the nesting grounds of migrating whales. A new class on “Towel Origami” divulges the secrets behind those elaborate towel animals left on beds at turndown.
Hilton Los Cabos is in the hotel corridor, between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. Sales and marketing director Gabriela van der Lee says the desert and ocean setting brings distinct advantages.
“In other destinations, you have to worry about what is the right time for a destination wedding. We don’t have that problem here. The weather is perfect all year round. We have 360 days of sunshine. Brides don’t have to worry about the humidity ruining their hairdo,” said van der Lee.
The skies over Los Cabos are renowned for their clarity. Last week’s full moon provided a striking setting for a Full Moon Dinner at the Hilton’s Mio Terrace. The monthly event features a pre-set five-course dinner served beachside. Black tableware and centerpieces are a clever addition. They enhance the moonlight’s reflection over the Sea of Cortez.
In August, a partial solar eclipse will be visible in Los Cabos. Temperatures during the day will be hot (in the 90’s). But in the evening, several hotels offer activities designed to highlight celestial happenings.
Grand Velas Los Cabos is offering “Night Sky, An Astronomy Tour of the Baja Peninsula’s Sky." Hosted by astronomy experts, the three-hour tour includes guided use of the biggest telescope in Los Cabos.
Las Ventanas al Paraiso hosts a four-course champagne dinner under the stars at La Plaza each week. Las Ventana’s resident astronomer helps guests use a powerful telescope, and provides tips on star-gazing.
Cabo Adventures' Pacific Sunset Dinner
New from tour operator Cabo Adventures is a Pacific Sunset Dinner. The excursion includes a camel ride along the beach followed by a dinner on the dunes prepared by a local chef. The evening includes live musical entertainment and ends with some beach stargazing.
The beach, alas, can be a touchy subject with Las Cabos tourism officials. Strong undercurrents often keep visitors out of the water, even at resorts boasting of “swimmable beaches.”
Indeed, on our visit last week, guests who ignored posted red flag warnings promptly found themselves slammed down against the sand.
Kari Jevert, owner of All About Vacations, is always careful with first-time Los Cabos clients.
“It’s surprising to me, but I find about 95 percent of my prospective clients don’t know about the beaches in Cabo. I always make it a point to give full disclosure. I want to be honest and don’t ever sugar coat. I’d rather lose a sale than have a client come back angry because they couldn’t go in the water. There are so many great properties there. I love the Hyatt Ziva, Breathless, Secrets, Dreams and Sandos. I tell clients that Cabo has breathtaking scenery. But most of the beaches are made for beautiful photographs only. I tell them to stick to the hotel pool,” said Jevert.