We just returned from a fabulous trip to Los Cabos a couple of days ago. We are slowly adjusting back to “normal” life here in Southern California. There will be a full trip report coming in the next few days, although at this moment I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to encapsulate the week we had down in Cabo into one pithy blog post. The trip was magical. Anyway, that’s for me to figure out in the coming days. Stay tuned…
I realized that before sharing the stories of our trip, I’d like to share about what it looks like to travel with Inspirato during COVID-19. This was our first major trip since the outbreak. Our trip involved international flights, rental cars, shuttles, check-ins, check-outs, meals out, housekeepers, concierge, group outings, etc., all of the normal and expected things that are a part of vacation travel, but during a completely non-normal time.
Our trip was to Los Cabos, Mexico, so I will focus exclusively on our experience both with Inspirato and also general travel related issues involved with traveling to and from Mexico. So, here we go…
We flew LAX to SJD roundtrip on American Airlines. Our flight down to Cabo was 100% full, not an empty seat on the plane. That did give us a bit of pause as there was obviously not much distancing. The fact that the flight was so full was a function of the overall reduction of the number of flights to Los Cabos from LAX. Overall, tourism to Cabo is still way, way below normal. We were pleased that the environment on the flight was relaxed and everyone seemed to be quite willing to cooperate with the “keep your mask on the entire duration of the flight” mandate. There were no crazies on our flight who will be showing up on cable news or YouTube. It was all very calm and cooperative. That being said, a few less bodies on the plane certainly would have been welcome.
Entering Mexico (a family favorite destination for us) always feels different. You know you’ve arrived as your hear the buzz of the Spanish language around you and feel the increased heat and the slight stickiness on the surface of your skin from the increased humidity as you arrive from the moderate climate of So Cal. Something in your soul just begins to relax.
This time around, as we much expected, the arrival felt different. Not necessarily in a bad way. We immediately realized that there was much more caution exhibited related to COVID in Los Cabos than what we are accustomed to here in California. Upon arrival, you wait in a carefully marked and distanced line as you approach customs. You then fill out your COVID heath form which you turn in as you get your temperature taken and your hands squirted with sanitizer prior to exiting customs. Then, after walking over a sanitized and wet-with-alcohol floor mat, it’s out to the arrival area where every single person you see is donning a mask. You quickly realize that things are being taken seriously here. It helps ease you into vacation during these strange times. For us, it was then off in the Avis shuttle to grab our rental car before heading off to Casa Ola. And although we did rent a car, we utilized Inspirato airport transportion for our other guests. Across the board, we felt comfortable with the way everything was handled.
Now, on to Inspirato. If Mexico as a country seems cautious, Inspirato’s thoughtfulness and consideration was at a whole ‘nother level. You may or may not recall, but I’m a big fan of welcome amenities. I love them. I’m not entirely sure why. It’s not about their inherent value or my need for these items. It’s more that they serve as an opening statement and a proclamation of the service that one can expect in subsequent days during a trip. It’s a forecast of what’s to come. And know this, I loved the traditional welcome amenity waiting for us at Casa Ola when we arrived hungry from having had an early morning breakfast and then eating almost nothing more until we arrived at the residence around 3:00. There was a beautiful spread of chips, guacamole, salsa, and some fabulous ceviche. Oh, and even some delicious looking cookies that you know I was trying to avoid if you read my last post. It was a perfect amount of food to tide us over until dinner later that evening at Flora Farms. These heavy snacks were accompanied by a pitcher of margaritas and Hibiscus tea (Agua de Jamaica). A pitcher of margaritas shared between my wife and I (“sharing” in this case means my wife had one margarita and I may have had 2-3) on empty stomachs definitely took the COVID travel edge off.
It was the second, less traditional welcome amenity that was equally thoughtful and valued during this season. Who would have ever thought that I’d be impressed with this type of welcome? But, leave it to Inspirato to do all things tastefully and thoughtfully. Aside from the generous hand sanitizer bottle at the entry table, there was a container with plenty of masks, gloves, and a couple different sanitizing gels. As we used these items throughout the week, they seemed to magically replenish themselves. Housekeeping was certainly on top of things.
Paco, our concierge, respected distancing throughout our trip and had his face covering on every time we saw him. Strangely enough, I still don’t really know what he actually looked like! The case was the same with the housekeepers (who we decided to have come every day, but you can customize to your comfort level) and the breakfast chefs that we had prepare breakfast for our group most mornings, which was truly a treat. Inspirato’s Clean Vacation Experience is impressive indeed.
We, without a doubt, enjoyed plenty of time just hanging out in Inspirato’s wonderful Casa Ola residence, however, we also did venture out a number of times. We spent a few hours shopping in San Jose Del Cabo, where almost each and every store would take your temperature and squirt you with hand sanitizer prior to entering. We also did a day trip to Playa Chileno organized by our Inspirato concierge. Our driver and host did an awesome job on the service side of things and they both were also constantly taking due care with distancing, masks, and sanitizing. On the day when we went out for a day of fishing, the captain and the deckhand did not take off their masks until they were convinced that we were comfortable. We did all shed masks out on the open water. Every single person that we dealt with during our trip was considerate, careful, and polite. We felt confident and relaxed with the way everything was handled throughout our full week down there. Thank you Inspirato. And thank you Mexico for showing such care to foreign guests.
I know that travel right now is a personal decision and people have very different comfort levels related to where and how (or even if) to travel these days. I get it. We all need to make decisions that are wise for ourselves and considerate of others. That being said, if you do choose to travel right now, I would venture to say traveling with Inspirato is the very best way to go! Not only are they thoughtful and careful with cleaning, distancing, and face covering protocols, the portfolio of large Inspirato residences creates natural distancing thanks to the generous square footage of their homes, especially when compared to regular hotel rooms. The number of people entering your residence is also very controlled. Hotels have numerous unknown people entering and exiting all day long. In an Inspirato residence, you have full control of who comes in and out of your space. That is a wonderful thing these days. All that to say, if you’re like our family and are already ready to travel with due care, it may be just the right time to consider Inspirato and start getting out there and vacationing again!
Happy and safe travels! And as always, please feel free to reach out and say hello!