Relax. Swim. Explore. Dine. Sip. Golf.
I was on a quest for an authentic Baja experience, what that is, I had no clue other than I hoped for endless ocean, good food and drink, relaxation, and a dolphin sighting or two. Villa del Palmar resort in Loreto, Mexico exceeded my expectations and my wildest dreams.
Instead of feeling jet-lagged, I felt refreshed and excited to depart the plane after a quick two hour flight at the small and easy-to-navigate airport in Loreto. I was greeted by a friendly driver from the Villa del Palmar Resort ready to take my baggage and drive me about forty minutes through a beautiful desert to the paradise I’d be enjoying for the next four days.
I was invited by Villa del Palmar resort to attend the Sip & Taste weekend presented by Chateau Ste. Michelle winery. Upon arrival I was greeted with a crisp glass of chardonnay which sparkled in the afternoon Baja sun. Already sinking into relaxation, sipping on Oregon’s finest wine with a view of the mountains, this was a very nice beginning to a relaxing weekend.
The rooms at Villa del Palmar are, to quote Will Farrell’s Elf “Ginormous”. A full size Master Suite with jacuzzi tub (yes, just press a button and voila – jets), two bathrooms, a full size kitchen with Bosch appliances, living room, and an oversized patio that spreads the length of the master and living room, overlooking the resort. Each guest needs only their wristband, given upon check-in, to open the door to their hotel suite. This is ideal for me since I seem to be always forgetting my hotel key or fumbling around my beach bag to find it. Just a wave of your wristband at the door and CLICK it opens! Guests are greeted in their room on the first night with complimentary waters and a lovely dessert plate with their name on it as well as a homemade crafty welcome message decorated on the master bedspread. No matter who you are, everyone is treated like a VIP at Villa Palomar.
Exploring the grounds I found much to do and most of it had to do with beautiful places to relax and admire the view. Depending on what type of pure relaxation you’re in for, the different ways to unwind will never get dull because there are so many ways at Villa del Palmar to indulge in doing nothing.
- lounge by one of the resort’s five pools including a pool-size jacuzzi
- sink into a hammock close enough to the beach to feel the breeze
- sit with a glass of rosé in a pink Adirondack chair and view the sunset
- admire the deep blue sea of Danzante Bay on your own private beach
- get a relaxing back massage at Sabile Spa
What’s a vacation at a beautiful resort without dipping your toes into water? At Villa del Palmar there are many places to swim and soak while enjoying poolside cocktails, white sand beaches, and a day at the spa. I had my dose of a little of each.
- There are five swimming pools shaped like sea turtles. The pools range in different sizes and there are even adults-only and kids pools. Their energizing and fun water aerobics class is a must do.
- The jacuzzi is one of my favorite spots because #1 it is as large as a swimming pool and #2 the bar is quite close so you can order a cocktail while sitting in the jacuzzi.
- Even if you aren’t much of an ocean swimmer, Danzante Bay boasts shallow waters for you to take s nice walk into the bay without it reaching your waist for quite some time.
- With 39,000 square feet of pure bliss, the Sabile Spa and Wellness Center located on site is the perfect place to soak in one of their many soothing baths – large enough for you and your friends to gab about life or small individual-sized ones to get swept away in relaxation solo.
- Take a boat ride via Danzante Tours to discover small, uninhabited beaches with white sands and turquoise waters. Not only is the landscape like a dream, but the water is perfectly warm and beautifully clear to the bottom. It’s a great place to snorkel too!
- If you’d rather stay above water, Villa del Palmar rents paddle board and kayaks (also provides lessons) to take out into Danzante Bay for.
Villa del Palmar makes it easy to explore the island of Loreto with excursions you can book the leave right from the resort.
- spend the day in the town of Loreto where you can walk the streets visiting artisan shops with handmade goods, sip on margaritas in one of the many outdoor cantinas.
- take a boat ride via Danzante Tours where you’ll explore small beaches, interesting rock formations, indigenous birds, and maybe even see a pod of dolphins. On my excursion I saw nearly 300!
- You can hike the hills surrounding the resort that give some pretty stunning views of the bay and a great workout.
Resort dining can be hit or miss, but Villa del Palmar delivers exceptional culinary fare that is fresh, creative, and delicious. It was a pleasure to dine here for every meal.
Danzante is a sophisticated restaurant that serves classic steakhouse cuisine with a Mexican flare combined with artistic plating and robust flavors. The ambiance is beautiful, especially the outdoor seating area which looks towards Danzante Bay where you can catch the sunset if you schedule your dinner at just the right time. Dishes to devour include the Lamb & Shrimp in a mint habanero sauce, Lobster Tail steamed with Mezcal, and the Braised Brisket.
Market is one of my new favorite places for breakfast (in the world). It’s one of those dream dining experiences where I wish I had one in my hometown complete with the friendly waitstaff, chill atmosphere, and tasty food. Every morning guests can indulge in the breakfast buffet (actually every meal is buffet-style) in which you’ll find made to order eggs and omelettes, fresh fruit, pancakes and french toast, and my favorite – all the Mexican breads. Another reason to dine at the Market at least once a day, is it is ever evolving, with new treats offered each time you dine.
Casa Mia is the perfect place to feed your hunger after spending a day in the sun. This casual eatery has all the cafe favorites like wood oven pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and some of the best tacos you’ll eat – the shrimp is caught fresh from the Sea of Cortez. The servers are incredibly friendly and gracious and make the dining experience 100%.
At Villa del Palmar there is no shortage of cocktails and wine available throughout the resort. Whether you are relaxing at the beach, the pool or dining at one of their many restaurants, drinks are always on the day’s to-do list.
At the beach: There is a fun little shack located on the beach where you can order cocktails to drink in the sand. I highly recommend the Paloma.
At the pool: There is a bar at the main pool, but any pool has attendants to take your food and drink order. Jacuzzi + Mai Tai = heaven.
At the restaurants: You might want to start off with a margarita or a bourbon cocktail, but I highly recommend opening the wine list and trying on of the many local Mexican wines that you can’t find easily back home. The red blends are exceptionally good and well balanced – rich in dark fruits.
In the room: Another way to enjoy your wine is to visit the convenient store located on-site where you’ll find everything you need to make your stay complete including a full aisle of wine of all different varietals.
I’m not much of a golfer – okay not at all, but it is worth mentioning for those that are or who want to be (they offer lessons) to take a trip to Villa del Palmar and spend a day golfing. The golf course is stunning and was recently awarded one of the best courses in Mexico by Golf Digest Magazine. The golf course at TPC Danzante Bay is just above the resort and a golf cart ride away. The golf course was designed by championship-course architect Rees Jones and modeled after the legendary course at St. Andrews, Scotland. The course is perfect for the expert golfer and the novice. The 17th-hole which looks out over onto the Sea of Cortez is worth a trip to even if you don’t golf, especially during sunrise.
Villa del Palmar is an exceptional resort that creates an exciting and fun experience for their guests. There are so many activities the resort provides that it is impossible to list them all – ATV rentals, yoga, shell painting, dance classes, Spanish lessons, endless activities for kids, outdoor cinema, musical theater themed nights, and Twilight SUP are just some of them. What I love most about Vila del Palmar is that it is a hidden gem, just like the town itself of Loreto, and the resort offers many opportunities to dive into the culture and return home with a truly unique travel experience. I can’t wait to return!
Visit www.villadelpalmarloreto.com to see for yourself!