Los Cabo-My Return to Travel in October of 2020
I choose San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, due to Mexico’s ease of entry for US citizens. It’s currently one of the only countries opening their arms to US travelers without PCR COVID19 tests. They are not throwing safety and protocols to the wind. Still, they have worked with medical doctors and scientists to develop best practices to ensure their citizens and those who travel to their country can return to travel in a safe environment.
I choose Le Blanc Spa and Resorts, a 5-star property specializing in culinary and celebration travel for my stay. If you have an anniversary, wedding, golf, or friends getaway, this is the resort in Cabo for you! Cabo is often referred to as the desert meets the ocean. If your passions include snorkeling, diving, or relaxing by the pool, you’ve found your place.
My journey began early on Tuesday morning. I was happy to see many fellow travelers checking in their luggage at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. I can’t confirm every airport is like DTW, but if they are, don’t expect to check your bags curbside. Masks are required at all times while at the airport unless you are in a dining area or eating. Curbside check-in is usually the quickest way to check your bags. However, this service is temporarily closed. You must go inside and wait in line at your airline counter. I checked my bag by standing in a shortline at the counter and proceeded to the TSA area.
To expedite your entrance into the gated areas, think about signing up for CLEAR, DTW as well as may other large airports in the US offer excellent service. I scanned my eyes and quickly entered the terminal through the checkpoint.
Airline Travel Right Now
Delta is the dominant airline for Detroit-based travelers. Although American, United, and Southwest have deals for flights, most travelers who live in the Metro Detroit area fly Delta. Not the cheapest airline but my favorite as I have always said, you get what you pay for! Delta’s benefit is they are currently one of the only airlines left blocking middle seats and will continue to do so through January 6th. Their sky alliance partners like Aero Mexico, however, have not followed suit, so if this type of distancing is import to you, chose Delta. Regardless you must wear a mask, or you will not be allowed to fly any airlines and could risk the chance of being barred from flying with them in the future. Most airlines are quickly reaching full capacity of 100% seats booked due to reduced flight schedules and increased financial pressure, so don’t expect 50 dollar deals from any of them. Be mindful that airlines will likely continue to stop with a layover for any flights over 3 and 1/2 hours.
My flight was from Detroit Metro to Mexico City then onto San Jose de Cabo, Mexico. The flight on Aero Mexico from Mexico City to Los Cabos was not as pleasant as the Delta flight from Detroit to Mexico City. Domestic flights in Mexico often use smaller aircraft, which will not accommodate large 21-inch bags unless you are in business or first class. Keep in mind the boarding areas can also be confusing. Many airlines and destinations will board from the same gate simultaneously with A, B, or even C check-in lines. The areas herd you into a bull-pen, and you board a bus to the tarmac to walk up flights of stairs to the plane. Be sure you pay attention to the bus and overhead calls, or you can easily miss your flight. Delta did an excellent job providing visual signs and staff to assist the passengers in the correct areas.
I promised to be transparent about my experiences, so here you go...
My second flight of the day between MEX (Mexico City) and SJD (San Jose del Cabo) made me feel mildly uncomfortable. They packed us in like sardines, and the boarding process was a mess. If I wasn’t a seasoned traveler, I could have easily missed my flight or perhaps boarded another bus to the tarmac of the wrong plane. I’m not a fan of flying through Mexico City.
Keep in mind all flights have limited beverage and foodservice (snack bag see photo) to be transparent. Be sure to buy food at the airport and fill your water bottle to not be hungry or thirsty during your flights.
No spirits were available, but beer and wine were free-flowing. Most airline “rules” state you can remove your mask to eat and drink, but all in polite terms, “flouted” this, so whether or not a drink in front of you allows the “guest” to be maskless is up to the flight attendants on board.
Travel Advisor’s Save Time!
I have to mention this. I was around the 20th to deplane on arrival in Mexico, yet not one person in front of me had the correct documents completed, and they were struggling to comprehend what they had missed. With all the new protocols in travel, you can save time with help from your travel advisor.
You currently need three forms completed for entry into Mexico.
1. Immigration form (available electronically beforehand)
2. Customs form (handed out on the plane) though they often run out, I’ve heard.
3. COVID health questionnaire, which seemed to be what most had not realized was needed (also can be filled in electronically before travel)
Travel Advisors keep up-to-date on daily changes to protocol and help you through the most challenging part of the trip to the destinations!
Arrival at the airport and resort
I have been extremely impressed so far by the safety protocols followed in the Mexico tourism areas. Every airport employee was wearing a mask. Every taxi/private driver I saw outside was wearing a mask. Our driver gave me a dollop of hand sanitizer so large; I could have enjoyed a full body rub with it. A complete rub down of my bag (see photo above) with a Clorox wipe occurred before being loaded into the vehicle to take us to the resort. He also wore his mask for the entire journey.
About Le Blanc Resort and Spa in Los Cabos
Arriving at the resort began with another respray to the luggage, along with additional hand sanitizer and two shoe trays to walk through for sanitization of my shoes. A staff member took my temperature, and, in a split second, I was allowed to enter the resort. All staff inside and outside wear masks and held hand sanitizers for use at any time.
Another COVID questionnaire was required by the front desk, along with the other usual check-in documentation. I stayed in the resorts standard double queen room with all-inclusive food and services, including a butler. The afternoon butler, Ramon, gave me a quick rundown on all the amenities of the resort as we walked through all the features of my room. Capacity at Le Blanc is at 60% occupancy, and it does feel tranquil. Everything, including the pools, spa, sauna, and gym, is open, but the gym and spa require scheduled appointments to ensure proper physical distancing.
Overview of the Resort
LeBlanc is an adults-only luxury resort offering 5-star amenities and service. Upon entering the lobby, you’ll immediately notice the smell of cucumber mint, a scent used throughout the common areas. The resort has 369 rooms, all with partial or full ocean view. Currently, the Mexican government allows 60% room-filling capacity, so it doesn’t feel crowded. The resort offers seven restaurants and six bars, four pools with one infinity pool overlooking the ocean with two swim-up bars in the adjacent pools. Cabanas are first come, first served (if you want one with a private butler and TV, it’s $290/day and includes a bottle of sparkling wine. Golfers have access to a fantastic course at a sister resort called the One & Only Palmilla down the road. Your concierge or Travel advisor can arrange tee times for you!
All room categories include a free beach bag and a butler who takes care of any special requests such as restaurant and spa reservations. I asked my butler Ramon to drawing a bubble bath with different scented bath salts every night. He would kindly provide a similar scented artisan soap for me as well. Your butler will even pack or unpack your bags!
A big label was stuck across the door, saying, “Purely Le Blanc.” To see their video about their sanitization standards, click here. The sticker is to denote their sanitization process for room cleaning; you can see here! The room was spotless. Magazines, in-room dining menus, and paper itineraries are now in digital media format for cleanliness available on your in-room television or with a QR code on your smartphone.
Restaurant protocols such as hand sanitizing before being seated at every meal, mask-wearing of all staff, and tables spread 10 feet apart, providing a real sense that the resort takes health and safety very seriously. Of course, I tried the chef’s table, and it was fantastic. Of the seven dinner restaurants, my favorite after the chef table was Italia. My server Mario made a table side tiramisu and the resort’s signature drink with vanilla ice cream, espresso, Piave(Grappa), and Disaronno. Click Here to see the videos!
A complimentary Aqua-hydro spa service is available daily. All services require an appointment, not just the salon but even the services included in your all-inclusive package. Enjoy a massage, dry, or steam sauna, hot, warm, and cold pool in a reduced setting as the protocol is only back to 40% capacity.
The Fitness Club is available at 25% capacity (about 15 people at a time). At Le Blanc Cabo, the gym is rather large with over 500,000 dollars of state of the art equipment. If you like to work out daily, be sure to have your travel advisor scheduled your visits ahead of time to ensure you have a spot during the time of day you prefer your workouts!
Cabo’s other activities include surfing, sunset cruise(click here for my video), horseback riding, snorkeling, diving, whale watching, sea turtle habitat observation, and much more. Each activity you will want to arrange before your trip to guarantee you secure a spot for the memories you want to create while on your trip!
I love to travel, and I love travel planning just as much. It took me a long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring the people’s culture and the food they share to create bonds with each other. The team and I are here for you: your travel coach, who helps you with award reservation and luxury custom itineraries, which create a lifetime of memories. Are you ready to go? Request a callback or email to get started!