“Enchanting little house and a separate casita, with a gorgeous walled garden, in the peaceful village of Cabo Pulmo on the wild East Cape (sleeps 2-8)”
Entering through a gate into the orange-walled garden, we were struck by the tranquility and beauty of the surroundings. In front is the Main House, with its wraparound terrace coloured in rich jade, saffron and lilac. Step inside to the vermilion open-plan living/dining room, which has orange leather sofas and a wall of books; the surround-sound TV, xm sat radio, DVD player and iPod docking station are all hidden behind rustic wooden doors.
Step down a couple of stairs into the king/twin-bedded Fountain Suite, which has a colourful wardrobe, a small tiled shower room and French doors opening onto the fountain courtyard. This is the only room which can be configured as a twin. If you book this, you also get use of the kitchen and living areas, which is a big plus.
Climb the stairs from the terrace to reach the half-covered, Capri-blue patio of the Vista Suite, which claims the best views in Cabo Pulmo. Lounge in rattan chairs to watch the sun set over the mountains (or rise over the Sea of Cortez if you're up early); the patio also has a dining table and chairs. A vivid orange and red door opens to the pumpkin and purple king bedroom, behind which is the shower bathroom. The WiFi signal is best here too.
Separate from the other suites, tucked through an archway in the garden, is the cosy queen-bedded Casita Suite. It has a small patio with armchairs shaded by a palapa roof, and a traditional chimenea in a little 'amphitheatre' to the side for convivial get togethers around a fire after dark.
Given the layout of the place, we'd recommend booking the Main House (the Fountain and Vista suites together) for families or groups of 3-4, or the Casita for couples (so long as you don't mind the lack of meals on site). Or, of course, the Whole Enchilada (as they call it) for a group of 4-8 friends.
Wherever you stay, expect bold colours, vintage oriental rugs, and windowframes of recycled wood. All suites have a fan, a safe box, mosquito canopy nets (you may want to bring additional insect repellent, although some is provided) and air conditioning (at an additional cost, and most likely not needed given the high ceilings and deep covered terraces). You get local handmade soaps in each bathroom, along with a plentiful supply of towels.
If you take the Fountain Suite or are booking the Whole Enchilada, you'll get the fully equipped gourmet kitchen with a built-in barbecue plus a fridge/freezer, a stove/oven, a water filter, great cookware, Mexican handmade dishes and glassware, a stovetop toaster, coffee pots, utensils and sharp knives.
This looks out to the wraparound terrace and is separated from the open-plan living/dining room by a counter made from polished beach pebbles encased in concrete, with bar stools from old tractor seats. It's a funky, convivial space, and very homely too. The dining table sits 6 comfortably, or you can eat on the terrace or in the courtyard by the hand-painted fountain.
Once you're here, believe me, you'll not want to leave, so do a big shop (don't forget to buy ice as well) in La Ribera (16 miles / 25km away) at the Rey Mini Super, or stop at the Mega supermarket in San José del Cabo on your way in from Los Cabos. There's a small general store in the village, but it hardly has any groceries.
The Vista Suite and Casita Suite have no cooking facilities nor any crockery and cutlery, but Karl and Kimmie give you a cooler on arrival to keep drinks and foodstuffs fresh, and there are tea and coffee making facilities.
Options for eating out are few, but close at hand - you'd be advised to bring food for breakfast at the very least, although some of the local eateries are open for breakfast. Amble across the road for essential Mexican fare at Restaurant El Caballero for lunch and dinner, or carry on past them to Nancy's. Continue along the main (deserted) road for the Coral Reef, which has a varied all-day menu including American-style food, plus a bar. Saunter 'downtown' towards the sea for fish tacos and delicious fresh fish at the La Palapa next to the dive tour operators.
Karl and Kimmie can help you order food to be delivered from Alicia's restaurant on request.
Children are welcome and this friendly 2-horse town has a slow pace of life perfect for families. That said, the main beach is a little stony in places, and there's no pool at El Encanto. Older kids will love the water sports available. The property is well set up for extended families (grandparents could take the Casita Suite for example) or a group of friends with a couple of kids in tow.
Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
The Fountain Suite is ideal for families. The Casita Suite would suit a couple plus a toddler or baby
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The kitchen in the Fountain Suite is very well equipped and has a blender
The Vista Suite is up a relatively steep winding stairway, so it's not ideal for families with toddlers. Bear in mind that the midday sun is fierce, so bring plenty of sun protection