Our Babymoon at the One & Only Palmilla
When I started thinking about our babymoon, I first wanted to go on a trip to Turks & Caicos. I talked to my friends who had been pregnant in the past and asked how I would feel at about 30-31 weeks. From what I could gather, that time is a pretty good sweet spot for pregnancy. But as time went on and pregnancy beat me into the ground with constant sciatica and lower back pain paired with insomnia, I decided T&K was a terrible option. Multiple flights, including a red eye, would most likely make for a terrible trip in the end. So what did I go back to? Ole’ faithful – Cabo. We have been to Cabo probably 6 or 7 times now, which is the main reason I didn’t want to go there for our babymoon since I wanted to explore somewhere new. BUT…we looooove Cabo. It’s beautiful, we always have delicious food, and it’s only 2 ½ hours on a direct flight from Denver. Perfect for an aching, sleep deprived pregnant woman.
Once we picked Cabo, I had to pick a resort. We normally stay in a house when we go to Cabo, but that’s because we are with bigger groups. But for just Brian and I, especially on our last trip without a new human in our lives, I wanted to stay in a hotel. One hell of a nice hotel that made me feel pampered AF. And feeling pampered AF comes at a price…I price I can’t exactly afford. But that is where points come in handy! My favorite credit card to use to rack up points is my American Express Platinum card. And no, this is not an ad for them, but I love this credit card so much so I talk about it all the damn time. When you have the Amex Platinum card, you can book your trip through Amex Travel and use your accumulated points to book your stay. And that’s exactly what I did. I saved up points for as long as I could for this exact trip then used them all for our stay and only had to pay a small amount out of pocket! I also booked at a slow time, right after spring break, when hotel fees were cheaper. THEN Brian used his Southwest credit card to book his flight with points and used his companion pass to book me for free! So not only did we get our hotel for next to nothing, but same thing with our fights! In the end, Cabo was the right option.
Now I want to talk a little more about this Amex Platinum card because I wish I had more friends who talked about their credit card perks so I could learn from them and see if it was a good fit for me. Another benefit of booking through Amex Travel with your Amex Platinum card is that some hotels are under their Fine Hotels & Resorts section, which means you get added perks. Not only do you get 5x the points when you book through Amex Travel at these resorts (when you’re not paying with points), but you’ll receive free breakfast every morning, resort credit to use at the spa or wherever you prefer on the resort, early check-in and late check-out, and free room upgrade when available. Because of this, I more often than not book through Amex Travel, even if it’s just an overnight trip. The added perks are always a fun plus!
All this to say – I picked the One & Only Palmilla for our babymoon and I narrowed down the resort choice through Amex Travel. Not only did I receive $150 credit to use on the property, but I was able to get us a free night based on the special offer they had going on! Now if you’re officially over the chat about my credit card choices and the benefits, not to worry….onto the good stuff – my favorite resort to date!
The One & Only Palmilla resort is located in San Jose, Mexico, close to swimmable beaches, surfing, shops, art, and delicious restaurants. But I didn’t give AF about any of that because I’m 31 weeks pregnant and I don’t want to do shit on vacation right now. My days at home are filled with constant planning and big work days to help grow my business as I (hopefully) take a maternity leave. So I wanted a vacation where I didn’t have to do anything, think about anything, or worry about anything. And that’s exactly what I got. One & Only Palmilla has multiple restaurants on their resort, multiple pools, a swimmable beach, a beautiful gym, and the most AMAZING SPA EVER. We spent our days sitting by the beach, swimming in the ocean, eating lunch with our toes in the sand, eating at gourmet restaurants for dinner, and getting treated like royalty. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more pampered in my life. The service was exceptional, the food was delicious, and the resort was STUNNING. I’m officially obsessed with One & Only resorts…which means I need to rack up some points again.
Our Hotel Room
When I picked our room, I went with a slightly more expensive option – a casita. I picked the Casita Junior Suite with infinity pool. I chose this because the room was larger, but it was also right on the beach and had it’s own small infinity pool that looked over the oceans as the waves broke. A room isn’t important to some people on vacation since not a ton of time is spent in the room, but it’s very important to me. I want a vacation room to feel comfortable, spacious, and I want to feel at home while I’m there. I want it to feel luxurious. If I’ve learned one thing about myself from my multiple birth chart readings and by simply getting older, it’s that I LOVE luxury. It’s important to me. I don’t care about designer clothing or bags or jewelry, but I do care about a luxurious experience when it comes to travel or where I stay. And this room did not disappoint! It had all the perfect touches, like high quality shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, all in large bottles and restocked daily. It had a full bar that included a nespresso machine, and we also had access to the staff through whatsapp at all times. So if we needed anything in our room or help with anything, they were there to help. This room was grand, beautiful, and comfortable!
One & Only Palmilla has a bunch of different food options to choose from. While we were there, we ate at Seared, which is a fantastic steakhouse where we had the most amazing salmon and skirt steak that were both perfectly cooked. We also ate Suviche, which is their Japanese restaurant. We weren’t overly impressed by the sushi, but the sea bass ceviche was incredible. We ate at Agua for dinner on our last night and that was the only place that kind of let us down. Neither one of us loved our meal, but the views of the ocean were amazing so we really couldn’t complain.
You can also eat breakfast and lunch at Agua or Breeze, which was always simple and delicious. Every morning we would order smoothies and Mexican style dishes for breakfast then eat at Pelican Beach Grill for lunch. Eating perfectly grilled shrimp with fresh veggies while on the beach is pretty damn amazing. We also ordered room service our first night and Brian’s burger was BOMB. One of the things I really loved about One & Only Palmilla is that it was really easy to eat healthy. The protein dishes were normally served with a light salad so you never felt overly full, which is helpful at 31 weeks preggo. Of course, you can still get down on some indulgent food, like waffle fries with queso and bacon…that was my favorite happy hour snack. And another thing that helped solidify my love for One & Only Palmilla was the fact that they give you snacks while you are at the pool or beach. One day at the beach, we were given a small mango smoothie, chip and guac, and a strawberry popsicle. Snacks are a quick way to my heart.
And a little bow on top of everything – when we were in our room one day, they brought us this sweet dessert platter that was chocolate bassinet. It was filled with One & Only M&Ms, chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows, and delicious housemade gummies. It was such a sweet gesture and came at the perfect time since we were on a zoom birthing call at that exact moment and were starving.
As you can probably tell by now, I’m obviously obsessed with this resort. Since we are used to staying in Cabo, we don’t always have access to great swimmable beaches. But through the One & Only Palmilla, you have access to Pelican Beach (which is a public beach) and their staff is on hand at all times. You can get amazing food on the beach, cold drinks, they make sure you have cold bottled water at all times, lounge chairs, and cabanas, and anything else you may need. The staff is incredibly friendly and attentive all over the resort, but I found they were even kinder at the beach. We LOVED this beach. It was clean, beautiful, and wasn’t too noisy or busy around the One & Only Palmilla area.
This resort has two pools to choose from, one for adults only and one that is kid-friendly. There is actually a whole Kid Zone area, but I really know nothing about that yet other than hearing about it from others. We actually preferred the kid-friendly pool because it was much bigger, had more beautiful views, and it didn’t feel as busy. This could be due to the timing of when we picked our trip, but the adults only pool was waaaaaay busier and felt much more crowded. Both pools have full bar and food menu to choose from and staff is very helpful and attentive at all times.
The Spa & Gym
Now even though the room and food is most important for me, a good gym is up there, as well. And One & Only Palmilla has a pretty good gym! They have Peleton bikes, different cardio equipment, a great range of kettlebells (going up to 53lbs), an array of dumbbells, a couple barbells, a smith machine, and tons of machines to work pretty much any body part. Plus they have TRX straps set up outside and you can take classes or hire their personal trainer. The gym isn’t huge, but there is plenty of room and I had no trouble working out in the mornings while we were there, even at the busiest times.
But the spa is really the star of the show. This spa is EPIC. Fucking epic. It has fantastic amenities like plunge pools, rain showers, swinging day beds, and a juice and smoothie bar for after your treatment. I wish I had spent more time in the spa because it was mesmerizing simply being taken back to the treatment room through their beautiful gardens. This spa has a huge menu to choose from, not just tons of massages. You can also choose from many different facials, manicures and pedicures, go to the barbershop, but then they also offer traditional healing rituals and ceremonies. One & Only Palmilla brings a shaman on site to help with breath work, cleansing your aura, and renewing your soul. If I wasn’t pregnant, I would have tried one of these ceremonies! But instead, I went with their lifting, firming, and toning facial which uses NuFace technology. It was INCREDIBLE. It was a 90 minute facial complete with cleansing, face steam, 2 masks, NuFace microcurrent, and face, neck, shoulder, and arm massage. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more pampered and cared for in my life. And as you can probably tell from this post, that’s all I really want right now. I even hugged my esthetician after our session because I thought I was going to cry. It was the most perfect facial in the most perfect spa!
The Pros & Cons
It’s hard to have many cons with One & Only Palmilla…it was honestly incredible. The pros include the friendliest and most helpful staff I’ve ever experienced, beautiful rooms and stunning property, delicious food, amazing beach days, great pool options, and it was easily walkable or you could ask for a ride on a golf cart to get from one spot to another. One & Only Palmilla is hands down one of the best hotel experiences I’ve ever had.
The cons list is pretty short. It’s obviously expensive so it’s not something I could personally afford to book without points, BUT you get what you pay for and you truly pay for an exceptional experience. I found that meals were pretty expensive and at times, they didn’t live up to the price. We would easily spend $100 on lunch and that would quickly jump to $150 if we both ordered a cocktail/mocktail. To me, that’s pretty expensive, but everyone’s budget is different! And the only other complaint, which isn’t even a complaint, is that Brian didn’t like any of the cocktails he ordered, which made for a cheaper experience since he stopped ordering cocktails, so I guess that’s a pro, HA. Obviously this is just one persons experience and opinion, so that might not be the same for you, but I thought I would share.
The End of My Story
I think it’s safe to say I adored One & Only Palmilla and would absolutely love to go back one day or stay at another One & Only resort. And will I recommend it to others? HELL FREAKING YEAH. In the past 7 months of struggling through pregnancy while also losing our pup and dealing with family drama at the same time, I needed a break. And One & Only Palmilla gave me the the mental and physical break I was looking for. I am now back in Denver feeling happier, have a healthier mentality, and feel more at peace than I’ve felt in the entire 7 months. And I’m so grateful for that. I not only stayed away from social media for a week and didn’t look at my text messages, but I journaled every morning while I looked out at the sun rising over the ocean. I didn’t worry about anything for 5 days straight and I have One & Only Palmilla to thank for that. If you want to feel pampered and cared for, without having to worry about anything, stay at the One & Only Palmilla. You will not regret it!
Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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