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East Cape Escape
The last big trip I took to a new place was in January 2020 to Costa Palmas in Cabo's East Cape. Little did I know how important the timing of that getaway was.
Even though I didn't travel much growing up, I've made up for my slow start over the past 20 years with a lot of globetrotting. Though I have managed to travel extensively there are some places which occupy more space in my brain than others. I have a particular soft spot for Ischia since it's a place where I feel completely at home. The light, the sea, the food and the people are just perfect. My favorite hotel in Ischia, the Mezzatorre, used to be a sleepy place filled mostly with Italians and a few Americans. While Capri and the Amalfi were getting all the attention, Ischia was always there being simple and perfect. Mezzatorre has recently changed hands to those more adept at marketing and accordingly been baptized by every Instagram influencer everywhere. I suppose at this point I'm still too attached to the memories and Ischia as a place to move on and stay somewhere else, but it’s definitely a different vibe now. Though as all New Yorkers (or in my case, ex-NYers) know you can't hold-on too tight because nothing stays the same. We all need to find new favorite places eventually.
Since my days of June tips to Ischia and my late July trips to Cape Porpoise a lot has changed for me. Geographically my life has shifted west which makes Europe a much different conversation. I also have children now which can inform decisions. Damn kids. So while we could certainly still travel to Europe it doesn't really seem that sensible.
After my trip to Costa Palmas last January I recognized that this could be a new place for me. Not a new Mezzatorre, but a new part of the rotation of places I love. Granted, I would be super lucky to go to Costa Palmas with any sort of frequency. Don't let me trick you into convincing that's how I operate. I've been lucky to go to a lot of nice places, but Costa Palmas is on another level.
Costa Palmas entirely new and tastefully designed. There's a stunning Four Seasons Los Cabos Hotel and an Aman hotel (and residences) under construction. There's also a beautiful golf course, a marina, spa, crazy fitness center with swimming and tennis, plus residences and a beach club. The property has a good variety of restaurants and excellent options for dining. The place is pretty complete.
When I went to visit I was part of a small group who were traveling mainly to play golf. When you realize how much the property is made up of sand you just know the golf course is going to be good. Robert Trent Jones II designed the golf course and it looks like something on another planet. The routing is unique with the course broken up into three 6-hole loops, each segment being informed by the natural landscape and the results are fun and challenging golf. The course also has another big plus, it's the only walkable course in Cabo. It's relaxed modern golf at its best and everything from the on-course food to the practice facility is impressive.
Cabo is different than other parts of Mexico and the East Cape a bit removed on the Sea of Cortez is its own thing entirely. As a place Cabo is wonderful, especially coming from LA where it's only a short flight away.
The rooms at the Four Seasons are what you would expect from a new hotel at this level — very nice. There's a lap pool and gym if you want to work out and a nice spa with soaking pools and chairs to hang and read. You can also do wellness stuff and there's even a purpose built meditation area if you want to work on what's going on in your head. I know I need to.
The winter is the best season to go. October can still be very hot.
Don't be scammed by the timeshare people when you leave the airport — just keep walking to find your ride outside.
Post up at Bouchies near the golf range and hang, eat and practice. Then play the first five holes and repeat with cocktails. -Bring your goggles and swim laps at the outdoor fitness pool.
When you drive onto the property it's easy to tell Costa Palmas is just a different kind of place. The scale and versatility of the development is impressive. It's good for a family trip or just time away with my wife. Costa Palmas could even be a destination for golf or tennis with friends. This flexibility is a nice thing to have when you are someone like me who doesn't just take one type of trip anymore.
The way the world is now I'm not sure I'm going to be traveling with any regularity, but I know that Costa Palmas is high on my list of places to get back to. It's amazing how much I revisited to that trip in my head over the past two years. I think that's all you can really ask for. Being a great resort in your memory is sometimes better than anything.