Lifestyle Hotels Taking Over Mexico

Chileno Bay Resort & Residencies Villa Outdoor Living Room

After a soft launch at the end of 2016, Chileno Bay Resort & Residences has officially opened in Los Cabos. Known previously as VieVage Los Cabos, an Auberge Resort, the property remains in the Auberge Resorts Collection.

The new name refers to its location in the 1,200-acre Chileno Bay resort. Set on a protected Sea of Cortez nature reserve, it lies midway between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.

Chileno Bay Resort has 60 guest rooms and 32 villas with private plunge pools. There’s a 450 foot long infinity pool, a holistic spa and 13,000 square feet of meeting space. The signature restaurant, Comal, is helmed by a veteran of The French Laundry and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

Travel Agent spoke with Chileno Bay Resort General Manager John Volponi about making a mark in the Los Cabos market.

“There’s such a high concentration of top-quality resorts here in Cabo. Each has created its own unique character. We’re trying to do the same thing,” Volponi tells Travel Agent.

The resort’s emphasis on an active lifestyle is one way it hopes to shine. Water sports will have a high profile, thanks to a large swath of swimmable beach. Options for guests include glass-bottomed kayaks, Schiller S1 water bikes and nighttime standup paddleboard sessions. Guests also have privileges at the Tom Fazio-designed Chileno Bay Golf Club.     

The opening of Chileno Bay Resort adds a second hotel to the Auberge Resorts Collection in Los Cabos. But there’s room enough for both, says Volponi.

Esperanza, an Auberge Resort is a 50-room hotel with a dramatic setting over the ocean. It’s all about luxury and modern Mexican design. It’s well-suited for couples and romantic holidays. Chileno Bay Resort is more lively, more geared toward families and friends getting away together. The beauty of Los Cabos is that properties can set themselves apart. We’re not just a row of high-rises on the beach. There’s a real effort to incorporate the natural environment, and that’s quite appealing to visitors,” he added.

“Luxury inspired by nature” is part of the 1 Hotels mission statement. The brand plans to bring its eco-sensitive philosophy to Los Cabos when it debuts 1 Hotel & Homes Cabo in 2019.

Set on an old hacienda, the 115-room property will feature views of Land’s End, four swimming pools, two signature restaurants, a juice bar, rooftop bar, “organic” spa and fitness facilities.

Launched in 2015 by the founder of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, 1 Hotels has already made a splash with its South Beach, Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge properties. Guests enjoy features such as hemp-blend mattress, organic linens and complimentary use of Tesla electric vehicles.

Hard Rock Cancun Frida Restaurante

Lifestyle initiatives are also making news on the opposite coast of Mexico. Hard Rock Hotels has announced a new F&B concept at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun and Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya. The Fresh Fix program will bring healthier, locally-sourced and organic options to select dining venues. Plans call for a rollout to other Hard Rock all-inclusives as well.

Additionally, guests of Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya now have a new fitness option. The property is partnering with music-based group fitness pioneer LES MILLS. Visiting instructors will offer daily classes from a collection of 14 different training programs. 

Hilton Mexico City Santa Fe Rooftop

Of course, it isn’t only niche marketing news in the headlines these days. There’s an overall bullishness about Mexico travel, at least as far as Hilton is concerned.

The global hotel concern plans to continue its multi-brand Mexico expansion over the next several years. In 2016, new properties opened in Mexico City, Sante Fe, Veracruz and Puebla, among other locations.

Travel Agent spoke with Juan Corvinos, Hilton’s managing director, development, Mexico, Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean, about the growth.

“Tourism has become one of the most important sectors in Mexico, with continued growth in both domestic tourism and international arrivals. The country affords great opportunity for expansion, with Mexico attracting investors both for key city and resort centers, as well as secondary markets in the country’s interior, including significant industrial hubs that continue to drive economic activity,” Corvinos tells Travel Agent.

Going forward, expect new outposts for Hilton brands such as Curio Collection by Hilton in Guadalajara, Zacatecas and Playa del Carmen.