There’s a reason the One&Only Palmilla is called the ‘one and only.’ There’s literally nothing quite like it. From its breathtaking location to its unrivalled service, it’s exactly what a holiday should be.
Situated in Los Cabos, Mexico, the resort itself was built in 1956 but it’s the recent renovation (or should we say complete makeover?) that’s causing quite a stir. Since its refresh in 2015, the One&Only has picked up a collection of ‘world’s bests’ from one of the world’s best chefs to the world’s best bartender, even labelled one of the world’s best resorts.
But it’s no surprise why. We made a recent trip to see what all the fuss was about. What did we find? The O&O is so much more than a resort. It’s less a place of accommodation as it is an experience. Here’s Why.
With so many people opting for Airbnb, apartment-style accommodation, the One&Only reminds us what it’s like to be looked after on a holiday—and how much we missed it. The overhaul has brought new, state-of-the-art facilities but the traditional dedication to service—that only exists in true luxury hotels—still remains.
Case in point: every single guest is served by a butler whose role is to cater to each guest’s comfort, need and whim and there are masseuses who come to massage your feet when you’re sunbaking poolside!
+ The location is exquisite
Located on the cape of the Baja Peninsula, the resort has a view that’s more worthy of a film than reality. Whether dining at one of the exquisite restaurants with uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling views of the Sea of Cortez, lounging poolside, framed by the vista of the Pacific Ocean, or drifting off to sleep with the lull of the waves outside your window, every space seems to have a tropical island backdrop that never loses its awe.
As part of the recent changes, the One&Only Spa and Fitness Centre were completely transformed to cater to the needs of active, healthy travellers. There is a fully equipped gym for DIY workouts and personal training or you can join a group for boot camp, Pilates or sunrise yoga.
As for recovery, the spa can cater to your needs with an a la carte menu of specialised therapies. Nestled in lush tropical gardens, with hot and cold rock pools, steam rooms and saunas, bespoke treatments ensure the experience is both holistically therapeutic and deeply personal. A service ensured by the 13 private treatment villas, each set within its own secluded landscaped courtyard, many complete with plunge pool, rain showers and swinging day beds.
Last but not least is the latest innovation at the resort, the OBO Salon by Jonathan & George. O&O partnered with Beverly Hills celebrity stylists, Jonathan Antin and Amanda George, to open their first offsite venture which caters to all your beauty needs whether that be for a wedding or a quick touch up before dinner.
+ The food is world-renowned
If your idea of a holiday is all about wining and dining, you’ve come to the right place. Michelin-starred Chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is behind the new and improved culinary delights at the O&O. He brings his internationally renowned signature style to the brand-new steakhouse, SEARED, which showcases the finest steaks in a glass-walled curing room.
Adjacent, you’ll find Suviche, offering an array of fresh seafood, straight from the Pacific Ocean. With an alabaster bar and a sushi bar—headed by masterful, Japanese Chef, Yoshiaki Akaike—that allow guests to closely watch the craft of the expert chefs. And of course, the resort wouldn’t be complete without the finest local Mexican cuisine, which you can enjoy at Aqua By Larbi.
If you’re after something more casual, check out Breeze, the open terrace dining, sip a margarita poolside or stay sandy in your swimmers at the Pelican Beach Grill.
+ There’s so much to do—or not do
Whether you’re a foodie, the active obsessed or simply want to relax and unwind, the One&Only caters for your needs.
With beachfront access to one of the few swimmable beaches in the entire region, watersports are abundant. Daily activities include stand up paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing and whale watching. Not to mention, you can spend a day aboard the O&O Palmilla yachts exploring the rugged beauty of the surrounds.
For those more inclined to land, there are three tennis courts, a basketball court and a 27-hole golf range. Not to mention horse riding facilities and art and cooking classes. And for those more into relaxing, there’s not one but two ocean view infinity pools with plenty of lounge space. Oh, and did we mention the amazing kids club that will allow you to truly unwind?
+ It’s the small things that matter
We could go on and on about the amazing facilities at the One&Only but, as we all know, it’s the small gestures that make the biggest difference. For us, these are the little things that made their mark.
The resort burns incense in the flowerbeds all over the hotel to give the guests a sensory experience and elicit a positive cognitive association. At night, the maids come into the rooms, light all the candles and burn relaxing aromatherapy oils. It’s so soothing when you walk into your air-conditioned room after being out in the Mexican heat. And finally, we can’t forget to mention the ocean hammocks that you can reserve. Lying in them when the tide comes up, reading a book or resting your eyes was the perfect way to while away the afternoon.