Holiday hedonism - Mexico's best luxury beach hotels

San José del Cabo’s personal touch
Whether seeking refuge in the sands of Playa del Carmen or on the shaded balconies of Los Cabos, these sunny retreats will upgrade your warm-weather holiday. Set on the tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, the One and Only Palmilla resort prides itself on individual service, carefully greeting each guest by name. The 172 airy rooms and one villa have red-tile roofs and floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Sea of Cortés; other sleeping options include the shaded daybeds on private balconies, perfect for a midday siesta. If you are looking for romance, concierges have been known to arrange moonlit guitar serenades on private sandy coves.

Natural opulence in Playa del Carmen
Located in a 32-hectare mangrove and jungle reserve, the all-inclusive Grand Velas All Suites and Spa Resort spreads across a white-sand beach and has an exotic, faraway feel – even though it is within an easy drive of the coastal resort town Playa del Carmen. The resort features both adult-only and family areas, and the 8,268sqm spa is one of Mexico’s largest with 40 treatment rooms, many equipped with hydro massage tubs. After a day of pampering, dine at one of the eight restaurants, including Sen Lin for Asian fusion and Cocina de Autor for molecular Mexican-Caribbean cuisine.

Boutique comfort in Cabo San Lucas
Reached by a 305m-long tunnel drilled through mountain rock, the 96-room Capella Pedrega on the southern tip of the Baja peninsula has all the requisite beachfront touches: a meandering main pool and private plunge pools; an oceanfront spa, where signature treatments are based on the cycles of the moon; and an alfresco restaurant, El Farallón, where suntanned travellers order the fish of the day from a chalkboard menu. The boutique resort is close to beach bars and shops as well as a short boat ride from the sea-splashed rock formations of Lands’ End and El Arco.

Zihuatanejo’s sandy seclusion
All the rooms at the 25-suite La Casa Que Canta on the Mexican Pacific Coast have panoramic ocean views and notably absent televisions, with some offering private plunge pools and terraces. Because of the construction style – several sangria-red villas built into a terraced hillside above La Ropa beach – there are lots of hidden decks and corners. A saltwater pool adjacent to the beach is filled naturally by the sea; lounge there in the evening with a salty lime margarita and piquant tiritas de pescado (a ceviche-like fish salad) as mariachis play sweet boleros and the sun sets into the Pacific Ocean.

Punta Mita’s European heart
Part of the appeal of the St Regis Punta Mitais is its small scale: with just 120 rooms, the Mediterranean-inspired property just north of Puerto Vallarta always feels intimate. The 74sqm Ocean View Junior Suites have private terraces with lounge chairs, a sunbed and an outdoor shower. Many of the amenities, including two Jack Nicklaus signature golf courses and the tennis centre, are nestled out of sight – leaving just the view of the deep blue Pacific and the Marieta Islands beyond.

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