Hacienda Encantada: Grandeur of the Old World, Luxuries of the New
Photos by Michele Rae Uy
White sailboats pass quietly on the cerulean blue sea, visible from my suite balcony at Hacienda Encantada. It’s an extraordinary view, the kind that would stop anyone in their tracks and remind them to slow down.
The resort that commands it, however, is just as remarkable. And while I would have lingered and found myself a nice, relaxing spot (that striped outdoor sofa in the corner of my balcony perhaps), closed my eyes, and simply reveled in that view and the sounds of the crashing waves just a little longer; the beckon of my one-bedroom suite is a little too hard to resist.
Having had my modest share of resort stays, it’s not often that I find myself standing in the foyer of a hotel suite, mind completely blown. Too often, there’s the initial oohs and aahs born of seeing an immaculate bed and a stunning view waiting out on the balcony that usually fades as soon as I realize that it’s pretty much like all the others, nothing I haven’t seen before.
It’s different this time, however. My suite is clearly dressed to impress, a room you can easily imagine in an actual hacienda, with its dark wood furnishings (these ones handpicked and shipped directly from Guadalajara) as well as its very quintessentially Mexican trimmings. It’s enormous too, bigger than my own apartment back in LA. And in it, there’s a full kitchen; a small dining space with a handsome dining table for four; and a spacious living room. There’s also a large balcony, well appointed; two bathrooms, one of which has a separate tub that opens into the bedroom through a window; and a sizeable bedroom with its own sitting area and a gorgeous canopy bed as its centerpiece. It’s a testament to the resort’s uniqueness and enchanting personality.
Despite only having been built a few years ago, Hacienda Encantada is charmingly old-fashioned. It’s made to look like a traditional Mexican hacienda, with its towers painted a rich and vibrant color palette, grand arches, and arcades furnished beautifully with more Guadalajara pieces. My favorites are the wooden benches that line up every tower floor and the meandering roads trimmed with Talavera tile murals and Spanish colonial fountains big and small.
And it’s made to feel like one as well. The resort remains pleasantly serene, even at almost full occupancy during my time there, quiet enough so you can hear the sounds of the waves crashing against the rugged cliffs. And from the moment guests step inside the lobby, they are given the full hacendado (hacienda owner) treatment. Welcoming receptionists offer ice-cold towels and a choice of cerveza or margarita (I opt for the margarita, which is absolutely divine) for a refreshing cool down before ushering guests into an air-conditioned room for a sit-down check in.
More resort staff are on hand to assist with guests’ almost every need or whim—from driving you around the property if the sun is too unbearable for walking and arranging horseback or camel rides through the desert wilderness down to delivering a bottle of mezcal or tequila to the room. Guests can opt for an all-inclusive plan with onsite dining as well as dine-out privileges; and at the restaurants, a harpist or Mariachi band might come and play a few songs at their behest. And when renting a villa, a private chef will come in and prepare a scrumptious, home-style feast.
Being a modern and fairly new resort, however, Hacienda Encantada does come with many modern flourishes. Here, you get the best of both worlds: the grandeur and allure of an old world retreat, and the luxuries and conveniences of the contemporary age. There are golf carts, energy-saving HVAC shutoffs, hot tubs, granite countertops, and even a tequila bar.
The most promising of them all, however, are the pools. Most of the pools in the massive resort, including the new additions in its newly christened section, El Encanto de la Hacienda, come with that ultimate Cabo view: golden arid land rolling into an astonishingly blue sea. But of course; because if you’re going to spend most of your vacation relaxing by—or in—the pool, it must have a view that will effectively melt your cares away.
More by Michelle Rae Uy
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