Soul Food

An amazing landscape, expansive vegetable gardens, and stunning new spa and wellness center make Rancho Pescadero Mexico’s most compelling new health destination.

Fly into the Los Cabos International Airport and you’re met with a range of experiences to choose from. Head to the East Cape, where Costa Palmas offers a new wave of low-key luxury; drive straight to The Corridor and its traditional array of chic, acclaimed resorts; or head north a little over an hour to Todos Santos, the burgeoning boho-chic suburb with a handful of independent boutique hotels, artist studios, and serene desert landscape that infuses an immediate sense of calm akin to spotting the windmills on the way to the Coachella Valley.

Here, the west-facing landscape affords spectacular sunsets, long beaches, and expanses of undeveloped land, free of paved roads but rife with organic gardens. Southern California–based Lisa Harper first discovered this magical setting back in the late ’90s. She had left her executive role at The Limited and spent 11 months camping and surfing on the area’s beaches. She returned to the U.S. to become CEO of Gymboree, but had purchased a parcel of land from local chili farmers before she left and decided to open a boutique hotel with 12 rooms. As it was nearing completion, the economy was tanking and she realized she could either lean in or cut her losses. She chose to lean in. Rancho Pescadero opened in 2009—when few hotels did—and soon attracted a cult following. Over the years, she expanded to 28 rooms on 30 acres, and in late 2018, closed the property to do a full renovation and expand to 103 suites and villas.

The new property debuted in late 2022 and now boasts three swimming pools, three restaurants (an additional beachfront swimming pool and restaurant will debut later this year), spa with 12 treatment rooms and an apothecary bar, fitness center, group fitness room for yoga classes and sound baths, and at the center of it all, nine interconnected gardens that grow nearly a dozen varieties of tomatoes, a half-dozen kinds of lettuce, zucchini, cauliflower, beets, green beans, asparagus, strawberries, every herb you can imagine, and much more.

One thing the resort is free of, though, is gimmicks. Here, “wellness” is defined as doing things that are simply good for your body and soul. For some, that’s drinking margaritas poolside—garnished with items from the garden; for others, that’s daily morning yoga classes, followed by water rituals in the spa and massages with herb-infused oils. When it comes to food, you can stick to a vegan diet, or order a classic margarita pizza (made in front of you at the outdoor pizza oven) or any of the rotating dishes on the menu, such as 24-hour smoked suckling pig or the crispiest, juiciest fried chicken.

A few days in this setting and you may find, like Harper, that it’s hard to go back home.