Prevue March-April 2014 - (Page 90)

Los Cabos Meetings gain momentum with jam sessions and the Sea of Cortez as backdrops. L [ON LOCATION] KAREN KUZSEL Los Cabos is what happens when astute businessmen and visionary hoteliers use the natural beauty of Mexico's Baja Peninsula to foster an exclusive, world-class destination. Architecturally stunning oceanfront resorts rise or are renovated at a dizzying pace. Stylized cuisines reflect a recent emphasis on organic and sea-to-table ingredients. Whether it's Sea of Cortez water adventures or walking through the art galleries crowding the narrow cobbled streets of San José del Cabo, Los Cabos' allure beckons an increasing amount of business group travel. Our group was in Los Cabos in early October. The temperature hovered close to 90 degrees during our three-hour outing with Cabo Adventures. We sped across the Sea of Cortez on a 20-passenger zodiac, heading to a rock-strewn area famous for an array of colorful fish. We first visited El Arco (The Arch), Cabo San Lucas' iconic rock formation at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez collide. Heading for the calmer waters of the Sea of Cortez, we were given the choice of snorkeling, kayaking or paddleboarding. The four hours spent at the 17-acre Huerta Los Tamarindos organic farm/restaurant and cooking school in San José Del Cabo were truly memorable. Before we set about prepping our four-course meal from just-picked produce and locally sourced fish, Chef Enrique Silva gave us a rundown of how he converted a sugarcane plantation kitchen built in 1888 into this sought-after school. The farm is situated off of twisting, narrow dirt roads. Dining is al fresco on a wide porch overlooking fields bursting with more than 100 vegetables and herbs. There's an event space under a canopy of cissus and passion fruit vines, which act as a natural cooling shield for groups of up to 250 pax. A second outdoor kitchen holds room for 85 guests. Salsa preparation is the most popular teambuilding event. Recipes are assigned to teams of 10 who then harvest and clean what they're going to prepare. "They have to pick, chop and plate the salsa for a blind tasting," Silva says. Lemongrass tea kicked off our meal. Over the next two hours, we prepared a spiced herb oil to marinate five different types of eggplants that we roasted, as well as an arugula and mango salad, a mahi al achiote and green rice entrée, and a dessert of boiled and sweetened fresh pumpkin called dulce de calabaza. In between, we sipped on tamarind margaritas, rimmed by black pepper that we had smoked and crushed. A Terramar, or DMC guide, led us around one afternoon in San José, a quaint town crowded with art galleries. The city was the Mexico most of us know: bright with red, green and white symbols of national pride. A progressive dinner through the familyowned restaurants or combing through the city's art galleries on a cool evening would be a lovely ending to a day filled with meetings. ESPERANZA One of the most enchanting evenings we spent was at Esperanza, dining on the upper tier of two circular patios that jut over the Sea of Cortez. The patios were just one section of the exclusive resort's signature restaurant, Cocina del Mar. The entire patio could easily accommodate 200 guests, but niches were 82 | prevue magazine 82-84_Los Cabos.indd 82 2/28/14 4:23 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue March-April 2014

Planner's Pick: Dallas
Fresh Meets: Marriott Hotels
Bureau Buzz: Montreal
Good Business: Sandals Foundation
Sea Shores: State of the Cruise Industry
Incentives, Golf + Spa
Special Section: California
On Location: Loews Don CeSar St. Pete
On Location: Chic Outlets
On Location: New Zealand
On Location: Los Cabos
On Location: Scottsdale
On Location: Aruba Hyatt Regency
On Location: Dolce Silverado
On Location: St. Croix
On Location: Hilton Bomonti Turkey
On Location: Aruba Marriott
Checkout: Conrad Pune, India
Meetings, incentives and Corporate Events, Club Med 2014 Edition

Prevue March-April 2014