Escape to Baja

Hang like a celebrity in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

What do Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and John Wayne have in common? (John Wayne never dated Brad Pitt, so that's not it.) Answer: They've all vacationed in Cabo San Lucas—located on the southernmost tip of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortés meet. Though the Duke found it an ideal fishing spot during the 1940s, celebrities nowadays escape to the dessert oasis in search of a little rest and relaxation in the form of pristine beaches, delectable Mexican cuisine, and pampering at one of the area's many resorts.

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Waterworld: Gazing out at the Pacific
photo: Grace Bastidas
Fashioning ourselves celebrities of sorts—at least in our minds—and further compelled by the chilly weather, a few girlfriends and I recently indulged in a long weekend at Marquis Los Cabos, a resort that promises to "rejuvenate your body, sooth your mind, and feed your soul," according to their website. At $440 a night, we certainly hoped they keep up their end of the bargain—we weren't disappointed.

Although we loved eating octopus ceviche while lounging by one of the many pools and getting deep-tissue massages at the full-service spa, it was the little things that won us over. Rooms have ocean views, hydromassage tubs, and Bulgari toiletries (a good sign since you can tell a hotel's attention to detail and service by their bath products). Plus, each morning we awakened to a complimentary breakfast and a New York Times synopses placed in a little cubby-hole—you can't go wrong with fresh coffee, warm rolls, and a gentler version of the news. Also, turndown service is accompanied by strawberry cake or some other delicious treat.

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Waiting for Sammy at Cabo Wabo
photo: Grace Bastidas
Of course, you can't go to Cabo and not leave your hotel, especially if you want to party like a rock star. So we headed to the most obvious of places: Sammy Hager's cantina, Cabo Wabo. The multi-level bar is decked out in momentos from Hager's Van Halen days, panties dangling from the ceiling, and Mexican kitsch. From the looks of it, this is where Midwestern parents (sporting t-shirts that read "Yes, I do want a beer and that's my final answer.") go on spring break like sojourns. They especially went wild when former Guns & Roses drummer Matt Sorum, now with Velvet Revolver, hit the skins with the house band for a rendition of AC/DC's "You shook me all night long."

After watching moms dirty-dancing while downing coronas, we scurried back to the safety of Marquis Los Cabos, where we could pretend to hide from the paparazzi—and Cabo Wabo. Whew!

 
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