The One & Only Palmilla Los Cabos Is A Luxe Haven For Foodies
Gracie Carroll went to Mexico and spent her days catching fish, cooking and cocktailing
Written by Gracie Carroll
First, we fish
It’s 6 a.m. on a humid morning in Cabo and I’m sitting in a van with an intimate group of fellow guests of the One & Only Palmilla, and we’re on our way to a fishing excursion. I was about 8 years old when I last went fishing, and even then I didn’t have a talent for it. Still, the opportunity to fish with the local fisherman while on vacation in Mexico seemed like a magical experience I couldn’t pass up.
It would make for a quaint photo at least, with the early sunrise in the background and a fresh catch in hand. I soon learned that everything about fishing could be luxe when you’re fishing with the One & Only Palmilla Los Cabos.
For starters, the “fishing boat” isn’t your average fishing boat at all–it’s basically a sparkling clean yacht that comes with a crew to take care of you. By now it’s just barely 7 a.m., and we’re offered fresh-made mimosas to start the morning.
“There are no rules in Mexico!”The cheery crew reminds us, as I happily take a sip. This, my friends, is the start to the luxury resort’s ‘Catch, Cook and Cocktail’ experience.
As the ‘catch’portion of our adventure begins, we sit down to a beautiful breakfast spread (along with made-to-order offerings) while the captain sets up our fishing gear. Probably the most surprising part about this fishing excursion is that us guests don’t have to do a thing. Rods are toggled to the back of the boat to attract a fresh catch, while we’re encouraged to relax, swim, eat and drink some more. By the end of our boating trip, it didn’t even matter that no fish were caught, and we’re reassured that the hotel already has a back up ready and waiting for us for when we return.
Then we cook
By noon we’re back on the breath-taking grounds of the One & Only Palmilla. Every ounce of the property oozes luxury finesse, from the array of larger-than-life botanicals that make the property feel private and closed-off to the round-the-clock butler service.
We find ourselves right in the kitchen of the resort’s Agua by Larbi restaurant for the ‘cook’ portion of the day, hosted by none other than Chef Larbi Dahrouch himself. Originally from Morocco, Chef Larbi trained in France under Chef Jean-Louis Palladin and has been with One & Only Palmilla since it opened in 2004.
He’s about to teach us how to make authentic ceviche (from the Baja region) that features finely diced fresh white fish marinated in fresh lime juice along with fresh ingredients like jalapeno, red onion, tomatoes and cilantro.
Next, we’re shuffled over to the open kitchen that looks out to Agua’s ocean-facing restaurant. Chef Larbi has moved on to showing us how to make fresh fish tacos and we’re all salivating from the incredible aromas that arise, as the fish begin to sizzle and sear. The last step of the afternoon’s itinerary is to sit down, and eat some more. Tough life, isn’t it?
Finally, we drink.
The final portion of the day’s events comes after a much-needed siesta. The group meets at the Agua Bar for a cocktail making class led by bar manager and mixologist, Philippe Zaigue. Philippe teaches us to make two classic Mexican cocktails: the Margarita and the Paloma.
Simple, refreshing and full of tequila, the Margarita and Paloma are two of the most popular Mexican cocktails there are. But a classic version of either drink never contains store-bought mix or juice, which may come as a surprise to anyone more accustomed to Americanized versions. As Phillippe shared with us, these cocktails are all about freshly squeezed citrus (limes for the Margarita, and grapefruit for the Paloma), quality Mexican tequila and, of course, a good rock salt rim.
We cheers each other as the day’s adventure comes to an end and one by one begin to retreat back to our suites, each of us with plans to order a bubble bath drawn by our butlers who bring fresh flower petals and tea lights to set the mood for you.
To describe the One & Only Palmilla Los Cabos in one word, it would simply be: incredible. Should you decide to experience the Catch, Cook and Cocktail for a day or not, this resort is a luxurious haven filled with world-class food (yes, even by the pool!) in a setting that is what #TravelGoals are made of. Trust me when I say you will never want to leave.