Travel An aerial view of Santa Maria Bay and Montage, Los Cabos, with
on-property access to the finest swimming beach in the region
Photo courtesy of Montage Hotels and Resorts

Looking for the perfect beach getaway? Look no further than the Montage Los Cabos on Mexico’s Santa Maria Bay.

BY ERIC LADD

As the sun crests the horizon line in the early morning hours, a group of sea kayakers departs from Santa Maria Bay in duckling formation, paddling toward the sunrise across the colorful reef full of bait fish. Birdsong fills the air and the calm surf rolls up against the beach. In the distance a whale breaches displaying its broad back and tail heading north with an array of sting rays jumping in its wake. This is Santa Maria Bay, Los Cabos, Mexico.

Amid the global pandemic, a sliver of opportunity existed for a trip to Mexico. A reasonable flight to San José del Cabo and one could time-travel away from the stresses of life and immerse oneself in the warmth of Baja Mexico.

Photo by Alejandro Velasco

Montage Hotels and Resorts is a refined force in luxury travel founded in January 2002 by Alan Fuerstman, now with six locations with two more to come in Big Sky, Montana, and Montage Cay, Bahamas. The Montage brand is making a mark in the art of luxury, hospitality, residences and experiences.

Montage Los Cabos is situated 15 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas, nestled in the idyllic marine sanctuary of Santa Maria Bay. Opened in 2018 under the leadership of General Manager Marco Ortlam, Montage Los Cabos is an understated oasis of manicured grounds, beautifully appointed rooms and meandering infinity pools that tier down to the crescent-moon beach.

An amazing Thai dish from the on-property Talay restaurant.
A scuba diver swims in Cabo Pulmo National Park, Sea of Cortez. Photo by Alejandro Velasco

The Montage rests on Santa Maria Bay with its swimmer-friendly waters, a beautiful reef for snorkeling, and the signature assemblage of water experiences at guest’s fingertips. The 39-acre seaside resort features 122 expansive guestrooms/suites and 52 private residences, and luxury amenities include a full-service spa and fitness center, tennis courts, multiple dining options, a 20,000-square-foot main pool, and an easy access beach, arguably the best in all of Los Cabos.

The Sea of Cortez is a wintering grounds for whales that typically arrive in late November after a long migration from Alaska, and it’s not uncommon to see passing whales at the front edge of bay. The resort also faces east giving guests an amazing experience to witness the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez. Rock bluffs flank the front of the resort frame and caramel-red sunrises reflect off the series of infinity pools at the doorstep of the guest rooms.

Sunrise over the infinity edge pool at the Montage resort.

What sets Montage Cabo apart from most is the staff: hands down among the finest teams ever assembled for a high-quality resort, they are attentive, kind and want guests to feel like VIPs for the week. A biproduct of the pandemic, masks forcing you to become more focused on the eyes of an individual and the eyes of Montage Los Cabos staff are inviting, kind and attentive. The concierge program is a well-orchestrated machine that involves layers of the guest-service team who are tuned in to each visitor and execute at the highest level, a signature experience of the resort and trip.

Additional moments include an array of adventure experiences, curated mezcal tasting menus, a 40,000 square-foot spa and rooms appointed with outdoor showers. At 4 p.m. daily, staff drive the property delivering “paletas,” or custom frozen treats, a perfect respite from a hot summer day in Mexico. A curated kids program immerses the younger generation in a series of activities that not only entertain but educate youth on the particulars of ocean life and Mexican culture.

Photos courtesy of Montage Hotels and Resorts

The food experiences at the Montage are beautifully prepared with locally inspired cuisine matched with world-class culinary skills. The property has three dining locations including the beachside Marea, the signature Mezcal restaurant and the newly added Talay, featuring exquisite Thai food. Each dining location features a unique setting and highly customized menu by a team taking great care and passion in their craft.

Days close at Santa Maria Bay with alpenglow reflections on the cliff walls as the resort comes to its evening identity and includes candlelit sidewalks, towering fire pits on the infinity pool rims and elegant turn-down service of the suites. The bay has a long history on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula and the recent addition of Montage to its shores is an elegant one that’s welcoming for romantic couples and family reunions alike.

Visit their website to learn more: montageresidencesloscabos.com

PALETAS

Paletas are a Mexican frozen treat made from fresh natural fruits such as strawberry and mango or made from rich creamy ingredients such as chocolate and Sicilian pistachio. The right mix of these main ingredients with water, milk and condensed milk, among others, opens a wide world of flavor possibilities.

TWIN DOLPHIN GOLF

Adjacent to the Montage property, the Twin Dolphin Club features an 18-hole Fred Couples Signature golf course (the first in Mexico) with dramatic views of the Sea of Cortez. The course is lightly etched into the landscape giving it a beautiful feeling of immersion in the desert landscape with amazing foliage and soaring hawks above rolling fairways. The rest stations, called “Red Doors,” feel like small homes positioned thoughtfully along the course where staff serve amazing meals and cocktails to celebrate the round. Golf Pro Eric Romero is curating an incredible golf ex- perience for members and hotel guests in this desert oasis, including hidden bar boxes and a 19th hole for a relaxed and polished golf experience.

MONTAGE BIG SKY
(COMING IN 2021)

Nestled within Big Sky’s 3,530-acre Spanish Peaks enclave, the soon- to-come Montage Big Sky features 150 guestrooms and suites, and 39 Montage Residences less than an hour’s drive from Yellowstone National Park. Guests will enjoy ski-in, ski-out access to Big Sky Resort and an easy approach to an 18-hole Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course.

Visit their website to learn more: montageresidencesbigsky.com

Eric Ladd is the publisher of Mountain Outlaw magazine.