The 10 best gay-friendly hotels in Baja California Sur, Mexico

In the nether region of the Baja California peninsula, BC Sur is in a tropical league of its own. Officially a part of Mexico (though it’ll take several hours’ drive north through California to reach the land border) this isolated outcrop holds a unique colonial perspective complemented by sandy seascapes over the Sea of Cortez itself. North Americans have taken quite a shine to this strip of paradise giving rise to a whole host of luxury accommodations, each competing for the chance to pamper you rotten. For a stay to remember, in reach of the 25,000-square-kilometre Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaíno, countless beaches and cacti-covered desert, check-in at one of the 10 best gay-friendly Baja California Sur hotels.

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Hotel San Cristóbal | Photo: Nick Simonite

1. Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

Starting just outside of downtown Cabo for a memorable first visit, we unload the luggage at Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, a build that blends modern luxury with minimalist Japanese-Mexican fusion design. It’s not just the Pacific view that’ll strike you as neat, but it’s also the serene atmosphere that runs through the entire complex, from the Esencia Spa to the beachfront Nobu restaurant. Nor is local culture forgotten at the hotel, as each suite features natural materials and native textiles and the restaurant brings the classics, including aquachile, guacamole and jalapeño margaritas to die for. Though swimming is not recommended on the blustery coast, the hotel’s four cactus-edged pools and well-equipped gym can ensure you’ll stay contented.

2. Paradero Todos Santos - Experience Inclusive

Onwards to Paradero Todos Santos where simplicity is the call of the day just 1.7 kilometres from the much-loved Palm Beach. All (adults-only) visitors to Paradero Todos Santos – Experience Inclusive – will quickly realise this is not a typical hotel. Arrive at an oasis deep within the desert to be greeted by community staff whose aim is to acclimatise you to the rhythms of nature surrounding. In addition to utmost luxury across the suites and landscaped exteriors, the resort’s botanical garden and terrace area bring calming views across farmland and cactus-strewn desert. When adventure comes calling, enjoy a concierge service to the beach and other attractions, heading directly north to reach the capital for an alternative pick of La Paz Mexico resort stays or a short shopping spree to last the day.

Baja California Sur | Photo: Christopher Kuzman

Photo: Oliver Ragfelt

3. Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection

The alternative name for California Sur Los Cabos is ‘the end of the Earth’ and it’s easy to see why when faced with the stark seafront beauty of Esperanza Resort. Based on a cliff above the crashing Sea of Cortez, Esperanza Resort spans 17 acres and allows for horse-riding, whale-watching and swimming with infinity views without ever leaving the grounds. Part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, Esperanza boasts its own private beach, five swimming pools and bonus facilities including spa, gym, yoga and Pilates studio. Refresh with the Margarita Medley mani-pedi and facial treatment or even take a massage under a beach palapa. For dinner, choose between Cocina del Mar or Pesca Ceviche Bar for South American inspired seafood dishes, before getting involved in the Thursday night live music fiesta out on the oceanfront patio.

4. Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

You may think you know what to expect from this international hotel brand but Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is truly something special. In among the sand dunes on the San José del Cabo coastline, Zadún is 5 stars all the way, with top-notch facilities throughout. Tradition is honoured across the hotel, with the heritage walls doubling up as a gallery of local art, while outside, through sliding glass doors, indigenous textures and rich foliage bring the resort to life. Though nightlife in Cabos San Lucas will surely lure you, make sure to delve into the more sophisticated San José del Cabo town which comes coloured with charming streets bearing murals of its Spanish colonial past. Back at Zadún, Spa Alkemia can make for a transformative experience before a feast at the reserve’s restaurant.

Photo: Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

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Expand your horizons from the infinity pool to get in on local experiences such as whale watching, diving, fishing and surfing at any of the other beautiful beaches nearby

5. Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort

Baja California Sur resorts don’t come more iconic than Solaz, a site designed by award-winning Mexican architecture firm Sordo Madaleno Architects to create the seamless entanglement of man and nature where desert meets sea. Mimicking the undulation of the waves at Cabo Beach, Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort comes all in indigenous woods and neutral tones to fit right in with nature. Spot endemic plants on the grounds and rooftop gardens, while also trying out local traditional produce in the on-site restaurant, such as simple fresh fish tacos washed down with damiana liquor. Expand your horizons from the infinity pool to get in on local experiences such as whale watching, diving, fishing and surfing at any of the other beautiful beaches nearby (Maria, Chileno, Médano and Puerto Los Cabos to name but a few).

Playa Balandra, Baja California Sur | Photo: Asdrúbal Luna

6. The Cape, a Thompson Hotel

Minimalistic and luxurious in equal count, The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, is the crown of El Arco cliff on the southernmost tip of the peninsula. El Arco rock formation is definitely worthy of a look but The Cape is where we lay our attention, just off ‘The Corridor’ between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Among the top Cabo San Lucas hotels, The Cape has a made-in-Mexico design focus on a backdrop of polished concrete and dark wood finishes. View the ocean and The Arch from your private balcony day bed, swigging on complimentary tequila while you’re at it. For foodies, The Cape has six restaurants (and one bonus beach shack) each serving up Asian-Mexican fusion fare to satisfy both day and night. Manta is a sure winner for dinner thanks to award-winning chef Enrique Olvera, but The Rooftop is the place to be for a mezcal cocktail come sunset, no question.

Photo: The Cape , A Thompson Hotel

The Cape, a Thompson Hotel | Photo: Nick Hall

7. Hacienda Todos Los Santos

On the smaller side of things, Hacienda Todos Los Santos offers up three guesthouses and four luxury suites just thirty minutes from its namesake town and just 10 minutes from San Pedro de las Palmas beach. The ultimate in upscale retreats, you’ll live amidst an oasis garden fronted by a private terrace or balcony which overlooks your pool and Todos los Santos bay beyond. Rustle up your own sundown aperitifs in the wet bar or kitchen, or move downtown for chic restaurants and art gallery culture. Whether whale watching or stargazing, the Hacienda’s daily maid service will ensure everything is just as it should be.

8. Hotel San Cristobal

Hotel San Cristobal fulfils the romantic in us all with its beachside location and striking views over the Todos Santos coastline, making for intimate evenings at the poolside bar or over Mexican and Mediterranean tapas at Benno restaurant. Named after the patron saint of travellers, Saint Christoper, Hotel San Cristobal is also a great base for adventurers wishing to trek the Sierra de la Laguna mountains, catch sight of Humpback whales and migrating birds or simply those who want to rest up in the outdoor hot tub with Pacific panoramas.

Hotel San Cristóbal | Photo: Nick Simonite

Hotel San Cristóbal | Photo: Nick Simonite

9. One&Only Palmilla

A winner for both families and adventurers, One&Only Palmilla is a playful luxury resort towards the deep south of the peninsula. While the grownups can surely let their hair down with tequila tastings around the fire pit and prime wagyu cuts from Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant Seared, your inner child will also be satiated with all-day activities including kayaking, tennis, fitness classes and poolside fun. On the grounds of One&Only you’ll get your own personal butler who’ll keep your drink topped up while hanging at the infinity pool or daybed area, though the private beach is also close by. The gym, yoga studio and spa lie inset within One&Only’s tropical gardens, the latter running everything from shaman-led healing rituals to Barber and Blade grooming treatments for men.

10. Viceroy Los Cabos

Not far from San José but closer to the coast, Viceroy Los Cabos lies with watery views for days. Futuristic in style, even Viceroy’s floors come made of water to compliment the white-washed buildings and nest-shaped restaurants and bars that serve up everything from Baja breaded fish to mezcal specials, set to the sound of live mariachi. As well as drool-worthy food, Viceroy has an eco-friendly ethos with facilities including a gym, cinema, spa and five pools. Though you could easily lounge on your terrace day bed all day, sign up to Pilates, yoga and fitness classes to feel accomplished, finishing up at the 11,000 square-foot SPA at Viceroy Los Cabos for health-boosting rituals and holistic treatments.

Photo: Viceroy Los Cabos Hotel

Photo: Viceroy Los Cabos Hotel

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The Cape, a Thompson Hotel | Photo: Francisco Estrada

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