This 5-Star Mexican Resort is Home to Cabo’s Hottest Food, Wine & Music Festival

It’s all happening at JW Marriott Los Cabos, an architectural masterpiece perched on the ocean’s edge.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

There’s always lots to love in legendary Cabo San Lucas. But the five-star JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa—opened in 2015 and designed by renowned architect Jim Olson—has an edge over the competition: the annual Relish the Heritage Food, Wine & Music Festival, celebrating the finest of the vast country’s offerings, which the property has been hosting since 2017.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

Like the resort itself, the festival has evolved over the past several years, and the most recent edition of the festival was one of its very best. This past January it paid tribute to the State of Michoacan in western Mexico, which has its own stretch of coastline on the Pacific to the southwest, as is known as the “Soul of Mexico.” Serious Eats calls Michoacan’s traditional cuisine “rustic and hearty but almost electric in flavor,” not as well known as that of Oaxaca but equally compelling.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

A major departure from most “food festivals” at beach resorts, which usually offer a taco truck and a few token tamales, this foodie-and-music-centric weekend features thematic dinners based upon concepts such as “earth, wind, fire, and air.” Part of the event is often set in the property’s sublime Sum San Amphitheater. The sunsets are staggering, and you never know what kind of live music will be playing, from a world-famous rock band to classic jazz or a traditional Yucatán ensemble.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

Of course you don’t need to wait for the festival to dine in style at this award-winning resort. The property’s esteemed signature restaurant, Café des Artistes, is considered one of the most acclaimed culinary temples in Mexico. It is helmed by Chef Thierry Blouet, known for his fusion of traditional Mexican and French haute cuisine, and the wine selections are also world class. The restaurant features freshly-caught seafood as well as “towers” of guacamole and ceviche presentations.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

An “extremely visual” chef, Blouet, born in Puerto Rico of French parents, describes his dishes as “sensual compositions: in addition to colors that enliven the visual, there’s a harmony of aromas that tempt the nostrils, subtle textures that excite the feeling in your mouth and concentrated flavors that enhance the taste.” Blouet is a member of the Académie Culinaire de France and an ambassador for French gastronomy in general.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

Blouet “brings together chefs from France, Mexico, Canada and the United States to share and enrich their cooking techniques”, offering an utterly unique gastronomical experience, and thus avoids being repetitive or anything less than innovative in his offerings. Café des Artistes holds a coveted AAA Four Diamond rating and is a sure bet to score a Michelin star now that the famed guide has expanded operations to Mexico.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

The 2,000-acre resort, 561,000 square feet of luxury beachfront property in all, is a masterpiece of understated beauty, sequestered at the subliminal juncture where the tranquil Sea of Cortez meets the tumultuous Pacific Ocean, and all just a 15-minute drive from the airport. Its design mirrors the aura of the Baja and Yucatan peninsulas. Like the minimalist driftwood and stone hues of the 299 rooms and suites in the sculptural enclave, the festival speaks to the real desert-meets-sea oasis and its culinary-cultural rich heritage. 

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

Somehow the resort manages to be both contemporary and timeless. Surprises of sculptural art and Jim Olson’s impressive architecture continually delight and astonish guests. The founding partner of Olson Kundig, he has “explored the aesthetic interplay of art, nature and architecture, and the relationship between light and space,” for over 50 years. At night the sprawl is aglow with sepia lights and blowing “Mexican Fan” palms surrounding the grounds. The festival mirrors the resort as a sort of amuse bouche to it all. 

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

When guests and visitors aren’t on a whale-watching tour or a picnic on an organic farm—one of the festival’s most popular excursions—they can just chill, or take a reprieve at the Jasha Spa & Salon. It’s truly sprawling, encompassing 21,000 square feet. That includes a dozen treatment rooms, outdoor patios and a serene garden, vitality pools, and private Jacuzzis. The main highlight is the spa’s traditional temazcal, a Mayan sweat lodge inspired by ancient Aztecs to promote healing.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

The resort acts as its own lagoon, boasting several different pools at various elevations on the grounds. A different kind of activity: not your standard 18-hole golf course, the Marriott’s greens include 27 holes, to calmly polish up the game. The waterfront course was designed by Jack Niclaus and Olson Kundug. Tee-out and then get some grist and fuel at one of  the six distinctive venues of restaurants and bars, almost all open dusk to dawn.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

The resort even has it’s own exclusive boutique hotel-within-a-hotel, called Casa Maat, with 45 suites boasting ocean views. Also designed by Olson, it pairs the boutique luxury experience “with a refreshing residential style.” Casa Maat guests are spoiled with butler service, a private pool with cabanas, the Mayma Lounge, and well-equipped games and media rooms. Casa Maat’s concierge can secure reservations at Café des Artistes’ coveted Chef’s Table, a guided on-site art walk, and treatments at Jasha Spa.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

During certain house appetizers and drinks are complimentary for Casa Maat guests at Mayma Lounge, while sushi and mezcal are the order of the day at the other swank bar, Niparaya. At the Nak Bar, meanwhile, all guests can indulge in elevated bar food, either indoors or out. And if you want to book a private event, the sky is pretty much the limit in terms of what the property’s team can do, from Moroccan-themed rooftop cocktail parties to catered dinners for 200.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

Off property, guests can opt for the iconic whale watching tour—though many of the massive mammals can be spotted right from the resort’s ocean-facing terraces—snorkel, take four-wheel drive excursion, try on a sunset cruise, experience “extreme sports,” just cruise away towards the horizon on a Hobi Cat—just be sure to get home by cocktail hour, as you won’t want to miss what the mixologists have in store.

Courtesy JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

This summer the property is offering attractive packages for longer stays. That includes special benefits for Marriott Bonvoy members, who can rack up rewards, as well as a number of different configurations designed to suit every taste and interest. And it’s not too early to start planning for the 2025 edition of Relish the Heritage early next year, as it’s always one of the biggest draws on the calendar.

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