One & Only Palmilla, GOLF's Top 100 Resorts
One&Only Palmilla Resort
  • Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Rooms: 174
  • Courses: 27 Holes
  • Amenities: Five restaurants / spa / gym / wellness center / wedding and event space / butler service
  • Also good for: Best for Luxury

More information

6 things you need to know

  • Best time to go: Late May through early June (post-spring break) or early Dec., before the winter vacay crowds hit.
  • Daily stay-and-plays start at: $1,150
  • Golf experience: 27-hole Nicklaus–designed gem split into the Mountain, Ocean and Arroyo nines, w/ greens plonked right on the beach.
  • Best non-golf amenity: The steak and seafood restaurant Seared, another nirvana run by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
  • While you're there: Explore the variety of eateries and art galleries on offer at the Shoppes at Palmilla.
  • Insider tip: Visitors between Jan. and Mar. are offered private whale-watching tours on their own yachts.

Travelogue

Stratospheric views of the Sea of Cortes are a big selling point at the One&Only Palmilla. But they are also a reminder that the One&Only is just the latest “empire” to inhabit this spectacular piece of the Baja California peninsula. This is prime real estate, and prime real estate has to be conquered — just as Hernan Cortes helped bring down the Aztecs. The resort’s decadent history began in the mid 1950s, when it originated as a plush 15-room hideaway for Don Abelardo Rodriguez, the son of the president of Mexico. The palace hosted various notables, including John Wayne, Lucille Ball and President Eisenhower, who rolled in on yachts or private planes. Maybe they enjoyed the privacy, or maybe it was the migrating humpback whales breaching the surface of the sea that kept them coming back. Jack Nicklaus, a conqueror in his own right, designed the course at Palmilla Golf Club in 1992. First came the Mountain and Arroyo nines, then the Ocean loop in 1999. The three nines are carved out of an oceanside canyon that is framed by the stony peaks of San Jose del Cabo, with holes traversing gorges and hills littered with cacti.

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