A good hotel provides travelers with access to nearby attractions. A great hotel makes travelers want to skip the attractions altogether. When visitors check into these 20 hotels, which ran the gamut from luxurious to anarchic, they never want to leave. The reasons range from glorious views to glorious linens, but there are a few universals. Each of the hotels is a self-contained world entirely apart from reality defined by a set of unwritten laws that maids, bellboys, and, yes, guests, seem to innately understand. These hotels are someone else's fantasies, but they seem, on second glance, as though they might be your own.
Hotel El Ganzo, Los Cabos
Hotel El Ganzo in San José del Cabo is more than just another place to rest after a long day of south of the border debauchery (or golf) in Los Cabos. In a tourist area best known for functional crash pads and tequila-fueled bacchanals, El Ganzo is a hotel that caters to those who find music and art more compelling than a badly mixed drink.
This 72-room hotel doesn't skimp on the good stuff. There are 400 thread-count Italian bed linens, iPads in every guest room wiring you to the hotel's nerve center, and smart TVs with satellite service in case you find yourself missing the talking heads jabbering up north. That's unlikely given the rooftop infinity pool surrounded by Bali day-beds and a capacious view of the Sea of Cortez. The ambient music mix is courtesy of a resident DJ and may very well have been produced in the hotel's underground music studio, where artists-in-residence cut tracks for five days and before performing live sets at the Downstairs Restaurant.
As though that wasn't anti-Cabo enough, El Ganzo also screens classic films on Wednesdays, has curated art presentations every Saturday, and serves up a mean, locally-sourced Sunday brunch. A private beach club offers volleyball and kayaking, and you can wheel down there on bicycles provided free of charge. The staff is young and friendly and can ably guide you to area nightlife and cultural attractions if you decide – for some strange reason – to leave the premises.
El Ganzo seems inspired by hipper, metropolitan brands like the Ace, but it doesn't overdo it on the artisanal front. Instead, the place serves as an oasis from the chaos on main street and a way to appreciate the too-often overlooked beauty of the beach. And, yes, you can go out partying if you want.
More information: Aeromexico offers direct flights to Los Cabos International Airport from Atlanta, a Delta hub. There are plenty of resorts in the area, but most of the others are unexceptional.