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A Legacy of Luxury: The History of Hacienda Beach Club and Residences in Cabo San Lucas

A Legacy of Luxury: The History of Hacienda Beach Club and Residences in Cabo San Lucas

For generations, this property has played host to Hollywood royalty, from John Wayne and the Rat Pack to Raquel Welch and Reese Witherspoon. Its owners over the years have included three of the area’s most historically important figures. Its excelsior-like evolution – from palm-shaded retreat to five-star enclave – epitomizes the growth of Cabo San Lucas as a tourist destination. And more than 50 years after its birth, it remains the cynosure of luxury in Cabo San Lucas.

In the Duke’s day, it was called the Hotel Hacienda. It was the brainchild of Abelardo “Rod” Rodriguez, son of a Mexican president and husband to an actress who twice danced with Fred Astaire in films. Rodriguez built Baja California Sur’s first fly-in fishing resort, Rancho Las Cruces near La Paz, as well as Los Cabos’ first benchmark lodging, Hotel Palmilla (now One&Only Palmilla).

Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

An aerial view of Cabo San Lucas during the heyday of Hotel Hacienda (at the foot of Medano Beach).

But Hacienda may have been his masterwork, a gorgeous seaside getaway in the years when the hotels in Cabo San Lucas could be counted on one hand:  Finisterra, Hacienda, Mar de Cortez, Solmar Suites. That was the list. But there were two other resorts of note at that time, both located in what is now called the Tourist Corridor, the coastal stretch that connects cape cities San Lucas and San Jose. One was Rodriguez’s Hotel Pamilla, the other Bud Parr’s Hotel Cabo San Lucas.

Rodriguez, Parr, Luis Bulnes (Solmar Suites), Luis Coppola (Finisterra) and Don Koll were the faces of Cabo San Lucas development, the architects behind the transformation from fishing village to international tourist destination. Newport Beach-based developer Koll, among his many other accomplishments, was the man who brought links legend Jack Nicklaus to Cabo, spearheading the Los Cabos golf boom with world-class designs at Palmilla and Cabo del Sol.

Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

Looking out towards Land’s End from the infinity pool at Hacienda Beach Club and Residences.

Three of those five project pioneers, those titans of the local tourist age, helmed Hacienda during its first half-century as San Lucas’ luxury lodging non pareil. Rodriguez built the original hotel in 1963 and sold it to Parr in 1981. Koll bought it from Parr’s heirs in 2005, and transformed it from Hotel Hacienda to Hacienda Beach Club and Residences, from upscale seaside resort to a gated enclave of luxury villas.

What attracted so many important and influential people to this iconic property?

The answer is the first law of real estate:  location, location, location.

Simply put, there is no better address in Cabo San Lucas. Hacienda sits at the very foot of Medano Beach, presiding over a full quarter mile of golden sands, with commanding views of Bahia San Lucas and the evocatively shaped granitic monuments at Land’s End. Villas and residences are mere steps from acres of privacy on the area’s biggest and most popular beach, a stone’s throw from the marina – which terminates at Medano Beach – and a five minute walk from downtown shopping, dining and nightlife.

Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

Moonlight view of Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

Today, the five star service, accommodations and amenities synonymous with Hacienda Beach Club and Residences are available to owners, or as vacation rentals for those seeking the ultimate in resort style living. Two and three bedroom residences and expansive beachfront villas showcase fashionable contemporary décor in a seamless flow of elegant indoor and outdoor spaces.

The amenities, like the views, are world-class, and range from an infinity pool and kid’s club to concierge and catering services and spa and fitness facilities. And the onsite restaurant, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, is considered one of the best in Los Cabos, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus filled with traditional regional Mexican specialty dishes and hand-crafted cocktails. Prefer a light nosh? The Spa Café serves up healthy snacks, espresso style coffee drinks and fresh fruit smoothies.

Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

Mastering the fine art of living at Hacienda Beach Club and Residences.

With its privileged and unparalleled location, Hacienda Beach Club and Residences is not just a favored hideaway for celebrities and captains of industry, but also a much sought after site for special events like weddings and renewal of vows ceremonies. Hacienda’s events specialist is on call for such occasions to help with floor plans that take advantage of the property’s wealth of picturesque places  – including elaborately manicured grounds and festively bedecked terrace, pool and beachside areas – as well as “day of” details.

The backdrop? It’s the same as it was 50 years ago. The Sea of Cortez framed by sun, sky and the southernmost point of the Baja California peninsula.

 

The restaurant and spa are open to the public, but require advance reservations. For more information, visit www.haciendacaboresort.com, email reservations@cabohacienda.com.mx, or call +52 (624) 163-3100.

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About Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the author of Bohemia by the Bay, and writes about wine, golf, and travel for publications such as Baja.com, Los Cabos Guide, Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, and USA Today. He is a full-time resident of Cabo San Lucas.

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