In the desert town of Cabo San Lucas, sunshine highlights the blues of the sky and sea, the ochre of the earth and the greens of the saguaros. Most buildings are white or cream—an aesthetic choice which helps them stand out on the landscape. Amid these softly-hued structures, the Cape hotel stands apart. Opened almost two years ago, the Thompson Hotel’s first Mexican property (note: Thompson Playa del Carmen became its second upon opening in November) is strikingly different. Its dark grey, seemingly industrial buildings are the lodestone of the coastline, attracting curious luxury-seekers on the hunt for something different down by the beach.
A stark contrast to the surrounding palm oasis and the surfing waves of Playa Monumento, the Cape is located between the busy downtown of party-positive Cabo and artistic San Jose del Cabo. Designed by Mexico City’s JSa Arquitecturo firm, the boutique hotel’s mid-century interior would seemingly suggest urban surroundings; that one could look out a window and see busy streets and business people in pinchy shoes. Instead, the Sea of Cortez and El Arco de Cabo unfurl beyond the windows, which architect Javier Sanchez ensure are placed optimally for breath-taking vistas at every turn.
As guests descend the black stone path into the open air reception, their first sight is a sculpture of a grey whale rendered from driftwood reclaimed from 2014’s Hurricane Odile by local artist Marco Castro. The lobby’s décor never detracts from the view, but compliments the surrounding landscape by including small groupings of low-slung wood chairs and love seats in tones of caramel, rust, and chocolate brown, which take inspiration from mid-century designers Sergio Rodrigues, Vladimir Kagan, and Hans Olsen, and were created for the hotel by Arquitectura de Interiores from Guadalajara. The stylish Cape lobby bar is sunken to ensure unimpeded sightlines, while the nearby pool table features indigo felt reminiscent of the Sea of Cortez. Decorative cement floors spread throughout the hotel, and the mix of natural materials—wood, leather, rope, linen, cotton, stone, and c opper—add texture to both public spaces and suites.
Open air walkways create almost a camera obscura effect throughout the entire hotel by providing glimpses of sea framed by railings. Black hotel doors are set at an angle, creating another sightline, highlighting Sanchez’s devotion to focusing the eye on the landscape.
The lively rooftop bar offers many perches, from oversized tables and benches to small tables surrounding the circular bar to elevated seating areas adjacent to the glass walls—all perfect spots from which to toast both Cabo’s enduring view and its cool new look.
A pendant light above a table at the entrance and metallic ceramics by Mexican artist Jose Noe Suro make each private room feel homey, while custom blue patterned tile floors add character to expansive bathrooms with oversized white ceramic sinks. A ceiling-mounted rain shower head and an additional wall-mounted shower head soothe muscles, while a copper-clad bathtub is positioned adjacent to the shower, allowing guests to step from tub directly into the shower room and wrap themselves in a soft cotton robe and plush slippers from there.
The king size bed is wrapped in crisp white linens and features an oversized wall-mounted dark leather headboard, and the long wood desk is a welcome catch-all for a traveller’s accessories. Neat freaks will adore the spacious closet with space for all one’s belongings, finished with a black ceramic Dia de los Muertos skull and shelves offering local magazines and coffee table books.
Two cream-coloured L chairs with a wood side table are positioned by the bed, next to a mirrored cabinet and mini-bar. A cement balcony with iron and glass features a hanging daybed piled with cream, brown, and blue striped pillows—a tempting spot for an afternoon nap. Metal chairs with a circular tiled table between provides another spot to watch the sea or enjoy a cup of Baja coffee.
Back on the lobby level the Glass Box, a stylish air-conditioned café featuring soft leather chairs, decorative glass and ceramic objet, and a drink list with many tequilas, mezcals, and Mexican wines is intimate and cozy, while stylishly low-lit Manta restaurant, overseen by chef de cuisine Alex Branch, welcomes guests to its oversized wood tables for modern Mexican food.
Descending an iron and cement spiral staircase leads guests to pool deck, gym, spa, and indoor/outdoor dining at the Ledge. White umbrellas and cabanas surround the grey terrazzo infinity pool, its extensive edge prime offering a prime view of surfers catching waves, while a more secluded salt water side pool is built into the natural rock landscape.
Finally, the lively rooftop bar offers many perches, from oversized tables and benches to small tables surrounding the circular bar to elevated seating areas adjacent to the glass walls—all perfect spots from which to toast both Cabo’s enduring view and its cool new look.
The Cape, A Thompson Hotel, Carretera Transpeninsular Km 5 Misiones del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S. 23455, 011-52-624-163-0000.