Best Hotel In Los Cabos: Las Ventanas Vs Esperanza Vs One & Only Palmilla


We have already reviewed the best luxury hotels in Los Cabos. In this review, we compare the 5 star Las Ventanas al Paraíso vs. Esperanza vs. One & Only Palmilla. Contact our luxury travel concierge and get a quote at any hotel (Los Cabos or otherwise), as we offer extra free benefits like free breakfast, complimentary room upgrade, VIP gifts, and more at no extra cost.

While Los Cabos itself is surrounded by mega-hotels, giving it the feel of a Mexican Vegas, the luxury resorts that sit further from the main resort area are fairly incredible, ultra-luxurious, and well worth visiting.

The best discounts and special offers tend to be in the low season. Although hotels like the Four Seasons do not reduce their rates outside the main season, they do tend to offer 3 nights for the price or 2 and 4 nights for the price of 3 type discounts which can make a trip to Los Cabos, outside the high season, much more affordable.

Las Ventanas al Paraíso vs. Esperanza vs. One & Only Palmilla are iconic hotels in Los Cabos. They all offer unrelenting luxury, and you are likely to love your stay, whichever resort you choose.

Esperanza is slightly closer to Cabo than Las Ventanas al Paraíso. One & Only Palmilla is located much nearer to San Jose del Cabo. Las Ventanas is located quite close to the main road, whereas Esperanza is located further from the main road, along a beautifully landscaped driveway.

All resorts offer your personal butler who gives you a tour of the facilities before you are taken to your room. The buildings at Las Ventanas are more in keeping with the local architecture than those at Esperanza. The Esperanza is a little more contemporary. Las Ventanas feels Mexican, whereas One & Only Palmilla feels more classic luxury.

We have compared each hotel below and have then reviewed each hotel separately so that you get more of an idea of which is best for you. We genuinely think that all these hotels are great, so if you really can’t decide, why not try two or even all three and enjoy the best of all worlds!

  • Best For Luxury: All three!
  • Best For Tropical Grounds: One & Only Palmilla
  • Best For Pools: Las Ventanas has four (or is it five…) infinity pools so you are never fighting for a seat or looking for space
  • Best For Poolside Amenities: Las Ventanas for their poolside umbrella positioning, chilled towels, buckets of ice water, Evian face mist, popsicle cart that comes around with freshly made fruit pops, and there is a buzzer at each lounger so that you can summon an attendant
  • Best For Calm: Las Ventanas with its relaxing atmosphere
  • Worst Pools: Esperanza as the pools are busier with less staff
  • Most Breathtaking: Las Ventanas
  • Best For Romance: Las Ventanas. This place is made for romance so understandably attracts lots of couples and honeymooners
  • Best For Unobtrusive But Efficient Service: Las Ventanas
  • Best For Falling Asleep To The Sound Of The Surf: Las Ventanas & Esperanza
  • Best For Light Sleepers: One & Only Palmilla. At Las Ventanas, you can hear the waves even with the windows and doors closed. Esperanza also has noisy waves
  • Best Butler Service: They are all comparable
  • Best For Families: One & Only Palmilla for their excellent children’s and teens’ club and a private surf school, although we do also love the lazy river at Las Ventanas
  • Best For Rooms: All the resorts offer fantastic rooms. The winner is Esperanza for the bathroom which has showers opening onto the patio hot tub via a massive window offering views of the pool and the ocean
  • Best For Adult Atmosphere: Las Ventanas as it is smaller with a more intimate and personal atmosphere
  • Best For Golf: Las Ventanas is better-located for top-notch golf courses
  • Most Exclusive: Las Ventanas
  • Best For Celebrity Spotting: Las Ventanas
  • Best Beach For Sunbathing: Las Ventanas has extensive oceanfront acreage, so the beach always feels empty even when the resort is full. Although the beach here feels exclusive, it is rarely swimmable. At Esperanza, the coves where the resort is located are stunning. Waves are constantly crashing on the rocks, which is mesmerizing and give Esperanza the edge
  • Best Beach For Swimming: One & Only Palmilla. One of the beaches here is safely swimmable year-round
  • Best Restaurant: Las Ventanas Sushi Bar for wonderful sushi with tequila
  • Best For Cheap Food: None! Meals are expensive, plus there is a 15% gratuity. Expect big bills!
  • Spa: Esperanza & Las Ventanas. While the treatments are not outstanding at Las Ventanas, the calming ambiance, the cold plunge pool, hot tub, steam room sauna, and relaxation area make it a winner. Esperanza wins for treatments

Four Seasons and Aman have both launched resorts in Costa Palmas on the East Cape and even further from the super touristy parts of Los Cabos. Both these resorts are worth considering before making your final decision.

1. Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort, pictured above, is described by some as “heaven on earth”. It is situated near the peaceful San Jose Del Cabo and offers 84 luxurious suites and villas, including 12 Signature beach villas. The resort is just half an hour from Los Cabos airport.

From the first moment you arrive behind the discreet gates, you are welcomed with open arms. Your stay starts with the complimentary arrival Mariachis (frozen margaritas), a special touch, and your stay will get better from here on in. The welcome at the hotel can be overwhelming or cute, depending on your mindset, with around 4 members of staff and often a full-on mariachi band all celebrating your arrival.

The rooms come with suite butlers, and the grounds are gorgeous. Taking the Gardenview Jr. King Suite as an example, this room is large, and most rooms in this category have a distant view of the Sea of Cortez. Although these rooms are not directly oceanfront, the view from their massive balcony is an angled ocean view.

The best rooms at Las Ventanas al Paraísois (without breaking the bank) are near the smaller pools (201-208 & 301-308). These rooms are also closest to the ocean. We think these are the best as you rarely have to share the pool nearest your room with more than 2 couples, making the whole experience very private.

Extras within each room, such as a telescope for viewing the night sky and aromatherapy choices included with turndown service, make this place even more special.

The Signature Beachfront and Oceanview Villas are perfect for a special event or a honeymoon and sit steps from the legendary Sea of Cortés. From private, infinity-edge pools to the expansive bathroom, with its steam and rain shower and infinity bathtub for two, this authentic Mexican villa awakens all senses to the wonders of this private paradise. Don’t miss the recently added beach cabanas with private Jacuzzis.

This resort is most special at night with the twinkling glow of lanterns and candles that illuminate the pathways. Some nights there are fireworks, others will tempt you to sit on the beach in the evenings, listening to the waves and looking up at the clear night sky dotted with stars.

Five distinct dining venues include coastal cuisine with Asian influences at Arbol, an authentic Mexican menu at El Restaurante, Sea Grill featuring ‘La Marisqueria,’ savory street tacos at Taqueria, and an authentic and fresh ceviche experience at the Tequila & Ceviche Bar. All are excellent. Everything is super fresh, and the quality is superb. The restaurant also has a cocktail lounge where they have live music at night.

Leisure activities include world-class golf, an acclaimed spa, deep-sea fishing, water sports, and ultra-luxury amenities and programs, along with poolside pampering by their highly-trained team of pampering Pool Butlers at the legendary Infinity Pool. The beach feels like your own private oasis with the most respectful and discreet staff.

For your honeymoon or couples break, there is a “Director of Romance” dedicated to making guests’ romantic dreams come true. The Spa at Las Ventanas is heralded as one of the world’s top spas, featuring exquisite indoor-outdoor treatment rooms, private terraces, duet suites for couples, a serene solarium, and a full-service beauty salon. The treatment menu features a variety of holistic treatments inspired by the resort’s surroundings in Los Cabos.

Get the following free benefits at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:

  • Upgrade on arrival (subject to availability)
  • Daily Full breakfast for up to two in-room guests per bedroom, available in El Restaurante, Sea Grill, or through in-suite dining
  • $100 USD equivalent Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full, not valid on products)
  • Oasis Margarita & Taco Sampler Experience from Taqueria (one per accommodation booked, for up to two guests to enjoy once during stay)
  • Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

2. One&Only Palmilla

One & Only Palmilla is located much nearer to San Jose del Cabo than Las Ventanas, which means it is more convenient for excursions outside the resort grounds. Conversely, the location feels slightly less exclusive than Las Ventanas.

Probably the biggest advantage of One & Only Palmilla’s is the beach, which is generally the most swimmable of the three resorts. One of the beaches here is safely swimmable year-round, even when the waves here can be both spectacular and rough. The infinity pools elevate you so that you can enjoy views of the Pacific, even when the waves are crash against this rocky peninsula. That said, Four Seasons and Aman also have very similar beaches as they are on the calmer side of the Cape, so if this is a deal-breaker, these two resorts should also be considered.

One&Only Palmilla attracts celebrities and Hollywood A-listers, although not as many as at Las Ventanas. It ticks all the boxes with impressive fine dining, an excellent spa, and at certain times of the year, you can watch distant humpback whales navigating the Pacific.

The feel of this resort is Spanish colonial with white-washed walls. The resort has a true Mexican vibe, a stunning spa, beautiful church, and very nice landscaping, pools, and beach. The service is outstanding. The bars and restaurants here ooze sophistication, with colorful furnishings. The open-air terrace named Breeze overlooks the pools and is a good place to take breakfast or lunch. Expect your breakfast to have a touch of Mexican mixed in with the usual, for example, how do scrambled eggs, guacamole, and Pico de Gallo sound?

Suviche offers sushi and a bar in the evening, or try one of two beachside grills. For something special, head to the most high-end restaurant in the resort, ‘Seared’ by Michelin-starred Jean-Georges Vongerichten, which serves a delicious gourmet menu with a hint of Mexican.

Service is incredible if sometimes tiring as staff greet you and bow each time you see you. Somehow they haven’t got this quite right (at least for the less vivacious guest who wants to hide away rather than be constantly greeted), so for service alone, I would always prefer the rockstar intimacy of Las Ventanas, the Aman, or the perfectly non-intrusive service of the new Four Seasons Los Cabos.

The One&Only Spa has its own yoga garden and treatment cabanas situated in landscaped courtyards. There’s also an excellent children’s and teens’ club and a private surf school making this a great choice for families with children. There is also a Jack Nicklaus 27-hole golf course exclusive to the resort, along with paddle-boarding and tennis.

Standard ‘Ocean Front’ rooms are large, but ‘Pool Casita Suites’ are perfect for a special occasion or a honeymoon and have a private plunge pool and incredible ocean views and are the ones to pick if your budget stretches that far.

Get the following free benefits at One&Only Palmilla, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:

  • Upgrade on arrival to next room category (subject to availability)
  • Daily Continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests per bedroom
  • $150 USD equivalent Resort/Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

3. Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection

Esperanza, an Auberge Resort & Spa, is your third outstanding choice in Los Cabos and should also be considered before making your final stay decision. Named the #1 “Best Hotel in Mexico” in “2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Hotel rankings”, the Cabo San Lucas Resort, Esperanza is a private beach resort tucked between two scenic bluffs on the Baja peninsula and boasting a world-renowned luxury spa, championship golf courses, secluded beaches, and a vibrant nightlife.

Resort amenities include 4 restaurants, 5 pools, a private beach, an award-winning spa, yoga studio, fitness facility, children’s activities, private concierge, and more.

Many of Esperanza’s casitas and suites offer 180° views of the Sea Of Cortez and are perfect for couples and honeymooners. Infinity edge hot tubs can be found on the terrace, and interiors transform into dramatic indoor/outdoor living spaces. Inside, no detail has been overlooked, including such as deep-soaking tubs and luxurious Italian linens.

Villas at Esperanza are perfect for families and larger groups and have nearby access to the attractions of Cabo San Lucas from a tranquil residential sanctuary offering Esperanza’s signature service and amenities. These luxurious accommodations exude a casual elegance that reflects the rich history and traditions of Mexico. Interior features include gracious living space, gourmet kitchens, spacious bedrooms, and boastful baths; hand-crafted furnishing, original art, lush garden courtyards, and sweeping ocean vistas.

Cocina del Mar is an incredible restaurant carved into the bluffs overlooking the Sea of Cortez. It features multiple levels of romantic stone terraces flowing from a circular palapa-roofed dining room down to the property’s two sandy coves. Sea-to-table seafood highlights the region’s fresh catch from the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean accented with some of the finest organic Mexican. Complementing the menu is an extensive wine list and Tequila & Mezcal Menu.

La Palapa restaurant is located within the Villas and offers casual outdoor Cabo dining, amazing views, an exhibition kitchen, and a swim-up bar.

La Terraza Americana restaurant features light fare and traditional American cuisine, including salads, sandwiches, and burgers, all served in a casual outdoor setting.

Finally, Las Estrellas is a lively garden bistro tucked in a lush setting at the Villas at Esperanza. The modern dining experience features family-friendly fare, including wood-fired pizzas, along with traditional dishes with a Mexican seafood twist.

The Spa is famous for its coastal desert environment and hand-crafted botanical treatments. The Cabo spa features 14 treatment rooms, including a couples suite, a large soaking pool, an outdoor shower, and a private sunbathing area.

Get the following benefits at Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:

  • Upgrade on arrival (subject to availability)
  • Daily full breakfast for up to two guests at Cocina del Mar
  • $100 USD Equivalent Resort or Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.