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San José’s hippest digs have a mouthful of a name: Hotel El Ganzo—Design Boutique, Arts, Live Music, Marina & SPA. Should that leave anything to the imagination, consider this: The rooftop deck sports a see-through glass pool and hot tub, rooms come equipped with iPads (loaded with hotel info but no web browser), fast free Wi-Fi and flat-screen televisions showing musicians who have recorded their compositions in the hotel’s state-of-the-art underground recording studio. Several architects contributed to the overall sleek, chic design, from the bold neon sign outside the stark white cubist facade to the waterfall wall near the spa. Artists in residence create murals and paintings for the public spaces and rooms and hold popular curated presentations.

Rooms overlook the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, where a water taxi departs for a five-minute ride to the Beach Club. Style trumps comfort in the rooms—beware of the rough wooden bed frames that seem to jump out to stab legs and arms, and the nearly non-existent countertops by the sinks in standard rooms, which are cramped and lack balconies. Suites with terraces are the better choice. Live music sessions, film screenings, and the bountiful Sunday brunch draw local fans, but if you want to escape the buzz, head for the spa's serene therapy pool.