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Relax in Luxury at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto

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Mexico has no shortage of amazing hotel properties and resorts. Many locations—Cabo, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta—are established, built-up resort communities with a fast pace of activities and crowds. Which is fine, if that's what you're looking for. If you're searching for a more relaxed setting and the opportunity to connect with nature in a genuine (but still pampered way), then Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto is for you.

Villa del Palmar Loreto Mexico

Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto (Photo courtesy of Villa del Palmar)

Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto opened in the spring of 2011. It is located about a 30-minute drive south from the town of Loreto and the airport, on the beautiful Baja California coast. It is a secluded resort on the blue Sea of Cortez, featuring 181 rooms (one-, two- and three-bedroom villas), a four-bedroom Presidential Suite, four swimming pools (shaped like a turtle!), outdoor whirlpool spa, beaches, and a kids club.

Kids club Villa del Palmar Loreto

Kids club at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto (Photo courtesy of Villa del Palmar)

The resort also has a 39,000-square-foot Sabila Spa and beauty salon, featuring nearly every manner of spa treatments you could ask for; massages, facials, body treatments, nail services and waxing, as well as couples' rooms. There's even a family spa that offers massages plus mani-pedis for those little hands and feet.

Spa Villa del Palmar Loreto

Sabila Spa (Photo by Claudia Laroye)

Villa del Palmar offers three restaurants, including the fine-dining Danzante Restaurant, with haute cuisine featuring fresh fish and seafood, often caught in the Sea of Cortez just hours prior to dinner. The Mexican breakfast and dinner buffets are plentiful and delicious, and the resort offers an All Inclusive option for only $99 per person, per day.

As the resort is located on its own vast property, you can truly relax without the crowds from other hotels or beach vendors interrupting your quiet time. You can nap in the hammock beach-side, or lounge by the pool or in the spa's Wet Area for an afternoon. It is quite possible to enjoy complete serenity and seclusion in this luxurious setting, and never even leave the hotel property.

Loreto Bay National Marine Park

Kayakers at Loreto Bay National Marine Park on the Sea of Cortez (Photo by Claudia Laroye)

What sets Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto apart, though, is its natural setting on the Sea of Cortez. The Loreto Bay National Marine Park has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. This important sanctuary is a diver's and snorkeler's dream—schools of fish, coral reefs, sea turtles, dolphins and whales can be found in the warm blue water of the 50-mile-long protected area. The Marine Park also includes the five major Islands of Loreto: Coronado, Santa Catalina, del Carmen, Danzante and Monserrate.

Fishing is allowed in the park, though catches are limited by size and species. Thousands of fish species make fishing in the Islands of Loreto an event to remember, with sailfish, marlin, dorado, and yellowfin tuna being among the most highly-prized catches. Villa del Palmar chefs will happily prepare your catch of the day so you can enjoy it for dinner.

Many of these attractions and site visits can be booked through Wild Loreto, the local adventure company that maintains an office in the Villa del Palmar lobby. In addition to snorkel tours to Coronado Island (highly recommended) or whale watching, you can book paddle-boarding or sea kayaking just down the beach from the resort, at the Sanctuario Beach Club.

Mission de San Javier

Mission de San Javier (Photo by Claudia Laroye)

Discover Loreto's colonial past by visiting the town and Mission of San Javier, an hour's drive from the resort. The mission lies in a stunning setting in the Giganta Sierra mountain range, offering dazzling views as you ascend 2,000 feet on your drive from the coast. The pristine mission remains as it was when completed in 1757 by the Jesuits, and a small village has built up around it.

The small town of Loreto offers several options for shopping and dining, particularly for silver jewelry, blankets, real vanilla and fabulous lucha libre masks. Near the main shopping area is the Mission San Loreto, older than than the San Javier Mission, but renovated several times after extensive damage, and not quite as charming.

It's easy to be overwhelmed by the natural beauty surrounding Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto. The hotel property is spectacular as well; the food and service are impeccable, the staff is friendly. You have to wait until nighttime to understand how amazing the location truly is.

Villa del Palmar Loreto nighttime stars

Star-filled sky at Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto (Photo courtesy of Villa del Palmar)

Walk out to the firepit by the beach and look up into the clear night sky. Unaffected by light pollution, the ceiling of stars is awe-inspiring. It's difficult to look up at the Milky Way and not feel a little bit smaller, and yet very much in touch with the world around you.

Want to discover the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto for yourself? Now you can fly FREE with Alaska Airlines to Loreto as part of its Early Holiday Presents package and pay only $109 per person, per night to stay at Villa del Palmar with no minimum stays. Add an All-Inclusive meal and drinks package for $99 per person, per night.

Have you been to Mexico? What did you enjoy about your visit? Share your comments and tips in the comments!

A Note from The Curious Travel Mama: The Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto provided complimentary accommodation, a spa treatment, and local attraction tours for purposes of this review.  However, these compensations came with no strings attached, and the views are honest and my own.

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons (ages 18 and 20). She started travelling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about family travel and about educating children through the travel experience. She is the author of the thetravellingmom.ca, and contributes to many online and print media publications. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom.

Comments

  1. I’ve actually never been to Mexico apart from a brief stop on a cruise because the crowds of Cancun, Puerto Vallarta etc. didn’t appeal to me at all. I had never heard of Loreto before this and it sounds like a wonderful alternative to those busy tourist spots. The resort looks lovely and I love that you can learn more about both marine life and the area’s colonial history while staying there. Sounds fabulous!

  2. Thanks for your comment Lisa. It does indeed feel like a slice of as yet-undiscovered heaven. I hope they are able to manage their growth challenges as the development pressures are huge to be sure, but being in a protected zone may help keep things special. Let’s hope so!

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