Photo: Villa La Valencia

This Grand All-Inclusive Resort Has the Longest Lazy River in Cabo

Epic Stays
by Hannah Breckner Oct 30, 2023

Located along the 20-mile stretch of coastline that connects the towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, Villa La Valencia is one of Cabo’s newest all-inclusive resorts and the ninth property to open from the Villa Group in Mexico. During my recent stay, I set out to discover what sets it apart from similar resorts in the area. For starters, one of the biggest draws of the new Villa La Valencia resort in Cabo is its 1,114-foot lazy river that snakes around the resort, proudly holding the title of the longest in Cabo.

But Villa La Valencia is a lot more than just a place to while away the afternoon, drifting along on one of the hotel’s floaties with a margarita in hand. With an intimate and friendly atmosphere where every staff member knows your name, sleek and spacious suites, a blend of family-friendly activities and adult relaxation, exceptional cuisine, and a diverse range of entertainment options, Villa La Valencia seems to have found a winning formula that strikes the perfect balance for the all-inclusive resort experience.

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Spacious suites for bigger groups or extended stays

Featuring 308 suites, ranging from studios to four bedrooms, Villa La Valencia caters to all types of travelers: families, couples, groups, and solo travelers alike. What immediately caught my attention about the suites was the remarkably spacious terraces — probably some of the largest hotel terraces I’ve seen, all boasting either sea views or interior pool views. None of the rooms face other hotels or nearby roads.

Another standout feature is that all of the suites (except for the studios) have large, fully equipped kitchens, dining areas, and living rooms. I couldn’t get over just how well-equipped the kitchens were. They have everything you could possibly need to prepare a full meal — cooking utensils, tupperware, microwave, dishwasher, full-size fridge, you name it. This makes Villa La Valencia a better choice for longer stays than many all-inclusives.

I stayed in a one-bedroom oceanview suite, which featured an oversized terrace with a table and chairs, sun loungers, and tons of extra space if you have children that need to run around and let off some steam. Not only was the kitchen generously equipped, but I also loved that there was a separate dining and lounge area. I felt like I had my own spacious apartment — one that’s probably larger than a one-bedroom in many major US cities. The finishes, furniture, and design all felt high-end, and I loved how bright and airy the spaces were.

Travelers in larger groups, such as those on family vacation, will particularly appreciate the ample space. One bonus is that each suite has two full bathrooms. Not only that, but the bathrooms have standalone bathtubs and Toto smart toilets for an extra touch of comfort.

The amenities of an all-inclusive resort with the feel of a boutique hotel

Another thing that sets Villa La Valencia apart from other all-inclusive resorts I’ve visited is the fact that it feels more like an intimate boutique experience. This is largely due to the resort’s design. All of the amenities are conveniently located on a single level, just a few minutes’ walk from one another. That means that guests don’t need to worry about booking a faraway room or needing to ride a golf buggy to get from one area of the resort to the next.

I was impressed with the range of leisure spaces available to guests during the day. In addition to the lazy river, the resort has four pools and four jacuzzis, including an adults-only pool and a beachfront infinity pool overlooking a stunning stretch of beach. The infinity pool is a popular spot during the golden hours before sunset — guests gather with a drink on sun loungers, at the poolside bar Coralle, or at the convenient in-water tables.

Villa La Valencia’s kids club is conveniently located close to the pools and spa, which means parents are never too far away. The club has a daily indoor and outdoor program, featuring activities such as mini zumba, cookie decoration, seashell hunting, and lazy river time. The adult and family activity program is equally diverse with themed nights, live music, and daily activities such as SUP yoga, the popular lazy river power walk, and salsa classes. I tried sunset yoga on the beach, which was a relaxing way to end the day.

The property also boasts a spacious beachfront lawn where many activities are hosted. Each month brings a different theme; during my stay, which aligned with Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations in September, the entertainment team hosted Taste of Mexico events, including a Mexican spirits tasting, tortilla making, cooking demonstrations, and piñata crafting.

Finally, for those seeking a bit of relaxation and wellness, the spa and state-of-the-art fitness center deserve a special mention. I had the opportunity to indulge in a blissful massage and facial at the spa during my stay. There’s a relaxing hydrotherapy area to enjoy before or after your treatment, with large floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the outdoor pools. The neighboring gym is enormous and equipped with all the latest exercise machines, even making it appealing to those of us who don’t normally work out on vacation.

À la carte dining with buffet-level variety

Stays at Villa La Valencia come with a range of dining options that are included in the all-inclusive plan. The only food that isn’t included are the premium options on the restaurant menus and anything purchased at the Palmita Market & Deli.

The resort has six restaurants that cater to all different tastes, providing enough variety to ensure that you never get bored. The options range from dependable favorites to high-end, gourmet, and experimental. I particularly appreciated that there were no big buffets, as well as the fact that the à la carte breakfast had both international options and Mexican specialties such as chilaquiles and huevos rancheros.

I had one of my favorite meals at Villa La Valencia on my first evening at the resort. I ordered a ribeye from Latitud 23.5, the resort’s premier steakhouse, which entices guests with an elegant dining experience complete with sea views. Latitud 23.5 is open exclusively for dinner. I also enjoyed dining at La Taberna, which, despite being an Italian restaurant, also serves sushi that came fresh and with a spicy Mexican twist. La Taberna is open for both lunch and dinner.

Breakfast is hosted at El Patron, which specializes in Mexican cuisine and is also open for dinner. The atmosphere is lively, with both indoor and outdoor seating. But if you’re looking to eat alfresco, it’s hard to beat Coralle, a poolside restaurant that serves American fare and a selection of light seafood bites. Elsewhere, guests can patronize La Jolla, the all-day lobby bar, or grab a snack, to-go meal, or coffee at the Palmita Market & Deli.

Exploring Cabo outside of the resort


Photo: Kirk Fisher/Shutterstock

Villa La Valencia is conveniently located along Cabo’s “tourist corridor,” midway between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. It’s about 15 or 20 minutes by car from both cities and just under 30 minutes from the international airport. Cabo San Lucas is a bustling party town with lots of glitzy nightlife, restaurant options, and an iconic marina. San Jose del Cabo is a more laid-back town, with draws such as art galleries and cultural experiences.

Beyond Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, there’s a wide variety of activities and excursions in the region, including the popular Wild Canyon Adventure Park, world-class golf courses, watersports, snorkeling, boat trips, whale watching, shopping, and ziplining. I’d recommend visiting Flora Farms — a 25-acre organic farm with a farm-to-table restaurant, shops, cooking classes, and farm tours — and heading to downtown San Jose del Cabo if you’re in town on a Thursday evening to participate in the free art walks.

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