Drift San José: Cabo's Minimalist Haven

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My Mexico travel diary is forthcoming, but first I wanted to rave about my accommodations in San José del Cabo.

For those of you unfamiliar, Cabo is split into two distinct towns: Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Cabo San Lucas has long maintained a reputation for being touristy and party-centric. San José del Cabo, on the other hand, is quieter and lower-key (though it’s no less fun and, in my opinion, is far more charming). Instead of pulsating nightclubs, its streets are lined with art galleries, hipster coffee shops, and foodie restaurants.

I chanced upon Drift San José on Airbnb.com (though you can also book directly via Drift's website). The Baja ranch-inspired boutique hotel sprang up in defiance of the all-inclusive resorts overtaking Cabo and the rest of Mexico. Located smack dab in the heart of San José del Cabo’s historic downtown arts district, Drift seeks to immerse its guests in the local community and culture, rather than isolate them from it.

With no conspicuous markers save a small cow skull sign above a black door, Drift also feels off-the-grid – accessible only to the independent, savvier travelers who know how to find it. You must ring a doorbell to gain entrance to this minimalist haven, home to eight unique rooms and lounge areas thoughtfully designed to encourage mingling (including a fire pit, a communal kitchen, and a rooftop deck with stellar views). While the prices are on par with hostels (about $80-$110/night), the dreamily stark decor and amenities are decidedly luxurious.

But of course, Drift is much more than just a hotel. It functions first and foremost as a gathering place for locals and visitors alike, with a lively mezcal tasting bar (nothing you've tasted in the U.S. compares to their stuff); a popular food cart event every Thursday and Saturday night (try the arrachera grilled cheese and sea bass sausage); and a design shop highlighting up-and-coming Mexican designers (last month they designed a duffel bag in collaboration with Lørdag & Søndag).

Drift San José is one of the most beautiful destinations I've ever stayed at (you can see more photos of the space at their Instagram), and played a huge part in why I ended up enjoying my trip so much. I'll be sharing some of my other favorite spots in San José del Cabo in a separate travel diary post, coming soon. Stay tuned xx