When we heard the news about Hurricane Odile barreling straight for Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas & San Jose del Cabo) last September 15th, Scott and I were glued to the T.V., hoping that somehow the hurricane would veer off course. Turns out, Los Cabos took a direct hit. Though our trip in March was initially cancelled, due to ongoing construction, Scott and I wanted to return to Los Cabos to view the damage, view the progress of rebuilding and infuse a bit of support (via fish tacos/margaritas) into the economy. We travel to Los Cabos for a winter getaway each year and didn't want stop our tradition.
If I told you that Los Cabos is back to normal after the hurricane, I would be lying. We noticed the shiny new airport the moment we arrived. The glass framed terminal had been shattered in the storm. But there is still much work to be done. We were surprised that a number of high-end resorts have not even started rebuilding. For more images of the power of Odile here. As our taxi pulled up in front of the Grand Mayan Los Cabos, we were pleased to see that it was still in one piece and looking beautiful. We could see construction projects, mostly cosmetic, happening in the front. Most of the foliage, like palm trees, in the area had a severe shearing or were knocked down.
The back of the resort was a different story...
I have to laugh, now, as I see this photo. When we arrived, Scott and I were shocked at how much sand had washed up into the resort. As we discovered later, the resort owner decided to do some extra reconstruction (and major upgrades) since repairs were necessary. This sand was not harmed during the hurricane. Despite this section of Grand Mayan being closed, the front pools, restaurant and excellent pool service were all up and running perfectly. I was impressed at how well they separated this part of the resort from the rest.
We were told that the Grand Mayan is taking the opportunity to zhush up the interior of the property since the exterior is getting such a big makeover. I'm seeing mid-century modern, with golden touches, and a beachy vibe. They were working non-stop on the project our entire visit and made some amazing progress. It was actually fun to watch.
Despite the reconstruction, the Grand Mayan thought of every detail to keep us vacationers in the mood for r & r.
The sound of the waves drowned out any construction noise for reading by the pool,
......or a swim...
or taking a sunset walk on the beach.
Thankfully, room service was up and running for lazy mornings.
Scott and I ventured out in town a couple of times. A new find is the charming Villa Valentina, art and design center (complete with Baja Bistro and bar), in San Jose del Cabo.
The food was delicious and the service warm and welcoming. I enjoyed the bold colors and global decorative details that surrounded us on the terrace.
Think about it for your next construction project.
San Jose del Cabo has a charming and vibrant gallery district. We set out to discover the Art Walk on Thursday night. The talent and panache of this town is a real find. The evening brings out an eclectic mix of locals, tourists, and expats. The galleries will delight you.
We met this artist, Ivan Guaderrama. His talent and inspiration are a gift here.
We experienced this amazing art installation of his:
Despite a little dust, noise, and less amenities, Scott and I were happy we made our return to Los Cabos for this getaway.
The hurricane left behind significant damage. Many buildings suffered blown out windows, water damage, and in some cases, structural damage. A number of the resorts are not yet open, but most are working feverishly to open as soon as possible. If you are heading to Los Cabos, and I highly recommend that you do, read the reviews to insure that your resort is up and running and to estimate progress on any reconstruction.
The people of Los Cabos that weathered this storm, like many others, are the true heart of this place. They may be welcoming you to their brightly colored store-front, strumming a tune on the guitar, serving you a fish taco, selling you a piece of paradise, or creating art pieces that will blow your mind. They do this with incredible warmth, big smiles, and a joy of life that is not easy to capture. They've kept me coming back for nearly 25 years.
I am happy to report that Los Cabo is on the rebound and just as gorgeous as ever!
For more on our previous visits:
My must have for travel - EMME Bag