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Sweet Spot! Nicklaus’ Quivira Golf Club Headlines the Amenities at the Copala Luxury Development in Cabo San Lucas

Sweet Spot! Nicklaus’ Quivira Golf Club Headlines the Amenities at the Copala Luxury Development in Cabo San Lucas

Since its opening last December, the Jack Nicklaus designed Quivira Golf Club has been showered with awards and acclaim.

GOLF Magazine called the stunning 7,139 yard layout – set on the Pacific Coast of Cabo San Lucas – the “Best New International Course” in its January 2015 issue, and hailed Nicklaus as “Architect of the Year.” The luxury Quivira community, meanwhile – residents of which, along with those of neighboring luxury developments Copala, Novaispania and Montecristo Estates, as well as guests at Pueblo Bonito’s Blanco, Pacifica, Rosé and Sunset Beach Resorts, have exclusive access to the course – was named “Development of the Year” by Golf Inc., and the “Best for Living Abroad” by LINKS Magazine.

Quivira Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas

The cliffside 6th is one of the signatures holes at the newly opened Quivira Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas. Photo: Nicklaus Design

These early accolades hint at the excitement that surrounds the opening of Nicklaus’ latest offering – his sixth design effort in the Los Cabos area – and suggest the world-class challenges in store for those lucky enough to tee it up at Quivira. But no amount of awards or encomiums can adequately prepare one for the majesty of the course itself, and the breathtaking beauty of some of its signature holes.

The par-four 5th, for example, features a tee box that seems carved out of sheer cliff above the crashing waves of the Pacific – and can only be reached after a long switch-back drive up a mountainside. The 7th is framed by El Faro Viejo, a 19th century lighthouse that also happens to be the oldest structure in Cabo San Lucas, and the seasonal sight of breaching whales.

Quivira Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas

Scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and El Faro Viejo (The Old Lighthouse) greet golfers at the 7th hole tee box. Photo: Quivira Golf Club

Named for one of the lost cities of gold sought by 16th century explorer Francisco Vazquez, Quivira is a memorable mix of windswept dunes, rolling foothills, and gorgeous views – it has more oceanfront holes than any course in Los Cabos – and certainly a match for Davis Love III’s magnificent Dunes Course at Diamante, which is currently ranked 52nd best in the world.

Nicklaus himself may have said it best: “Our team worked with the canvas Mother Nature provided to create one of the most spectacular courses in the world.”

Quivira Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas

The 12th and 13th holes at Quivira Golf Club are spectacular, seen from air, land or sea. Photo: Nicklaus Design

As one might imagine, access to Quivira is a main selling points for Copala, the gated home and condo community from Pueblo Bonito founder Ernesto Coppel Kelly that’s slated to be ready for occupancy by June of this year.

Following a robust pre-sale period, the project is more than 60% sold out. “Copala has sold three times faster than we imagined,” said Maria Norton, the development’s Chief Marketing Officer.

At full completion, Copala will comprise a total of seven six-floor towers containing 36 condominium units per building. Attractively priced at roughly $230 per square foot, Copala’s condos range in price from $280,000 to $600,000. First-floor units feature a garden in front of a terrace; penthouse condos offer a rooftop terrace with a splash pool, fire pit, outdoor grill and other amenity upgrades.

The custom homes at Copala, ranging in size from 1,800 to 2,400 square feet, are available in multiple layouts and six different floor plans to suit individual lifestyle preferences. Each residence boasts Spanish Colonial, hacienda-style charm that honors the region’s Mexican heritage. Copala’s homes are priced from $480,000 to $1 million. A total of 86 houses will be built on a lovely ocean-view site terraced below the condos.

Quivira Golf Club

The gated and scenically situated Copala community will be ready for occupancy in June 2015.

In addition, a 60,000-square-foot clubhouse is under construction to serve the needs of Copala residents. The handsome hangout will offer two infinity-edge pools, a spa, business center, children’s playroom, restaurants and banquet space. Natural conservation areas, walking and hiking trails, and gardens will be situated nearby. Another feature of Copala ownership is beach club membership, with a soon-to-be-built beach clubhouse in the works.

“We’re not only selling homes and condos, we’re providing access to a full range of amenities within the entire development,” Norton stated. “It’s rare to have a project of this magnitude that’s situated only 10 minutes from the marina in downtown Cabo San Lucas.“ Moreover, the completion later this year of a new interior highway linking San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas will reduce the drive time from the airport to the property to 35 minutes. The new highway will also shorten the driving time to Todos Santos, the thriving arts colony that’s approximately a one hour drive from downtown Cabo San Lucas..

Copala’s target market is primarily families ages 35 to 60. Nearly 80% of the buyers hail from the U.S., with the balance drawn from Mexico (10%), Canada (5%) and from international locales ranging from Australia to Singapore.

Norton noted that Copala is offering direct financing unaffiliated with a banking institution. Five-, 10- and 15-year programs are available at fixed interest rates ranging from 6.0% to 6.5%, a very competitive rate in Mexico.

For reservations or further information, visit Quivira Los Cabos and Quivira Golf Club, call (619) 677-5750, or email is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at

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, email, or call +52 (624) 163-3100. is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at


Have a Baja Moment! Savor Land’s End Views and Traditional Mexican Cuisine at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Have a Baja Moment! Savor Land’s End Views and Traditional Mexican Cuisine at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

The best address in Cabo San Lucas belongs to Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, the signature restaurant at Hacienda Beach Club and Residences. Set at the foot of Medano Beach near the entrance to the marina, the area’s premier purveyor of authentic Mexican cuisine and standout service boasts a majestic perch that looks out over golden sand and the Sea of Cortez to the granitic monuments at Land’s End that form the southernmost point of the Baja peninsula.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Casual fine dining favorite Hacienda y Cantina boasts one of the best locations in all of Los Cabos.

The value of this spectacular location has been apparent since 1963, when the original Hacienda Hotel became the first luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas. Opened by Palmilla developer Rod Rodriguez, the landmark lodging was a popular vacation spot for visiting Hollywood stars like John Wayne, Desi Arnaz, and Bing Crosby. This legacy of luxury and exclusivity continues to the present, with a new generation of casual elegance and gracious living ushered in by the development of Hacienda Beach Club and Residences, and its collection of high-end accommodations and pampering amenities.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

The seaside eatery looks out over Medano Beach and the Sea of Cortez to the natural rock formations at Land’s End.

Of course, the charms of Hacienda Cocina y Cantina extend well beyond the first-class service and world-class views that have traditionally distinguished this historic property. The restaurant also showcases authentic Mexican cuisine made with only the freshest local ingredients. Regional specialties from the culinary hotbeds of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla and Vera Cruz highlight Chef Andrea Blanco’s classical menu, and the delicious dishes are lovingly prepared by Executive Chef Octavio Hernandez and his talented staff.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina offers indoor and outdoor seating areas, as well as romantic “tables in the sand.

Did I mention world-class views? Guests at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina may enjoy these time-honored delights in indoor comfort, amidst tropical breezes on the outdoor terrace, bellied up to the beachfront palapa bar, or seaside at one of the restaurant’s romantic “tables in the sand.”  The casual dining fixture is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and even offers a special menu for children, featuring comfort food favorites sure to please younger palates.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

The restaurant’s generous menu includes a superb selection of wines, tequilas, and handcrafted tropical cocktails.

Need a pairing option for your marlin empanadas? Hacienda Cocina y Cantina features a superb collection of wines from Mexico’s premier growing region, Valle de Guadalupe, as well as liquid treasures from Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.S. Benchmark Italian producer Alois Lageder’s “Dolomiti” Pinot Grigio is a perfect complement for dishes featuring the fresh local seafood, such as the sea bass in garlic and chile sauce. Prefer something with a bit more bite? How about a taster from the restaurant’s top shelf tequila menu, or a handcrafted tropical cocktail to sip while watching the sun descend beyond the majestic rock formations at Land’s End?

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Given its privileged beachfront location, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina has long been a popular spot for weddings and other special events.

Hacienda’s landmark location and luxurious surroundings – which include an expansive infinity pool deck, and a charming colonial style courtyard with a traditional fountain – have long since made it a popular setting for special events, particularly romantic celebrations such as weddings and receptions, honeymoon and anniversary dinners, and renewal of vows ceremonies. The property boasts a trained onsite events specialist, and nearly a dozen separate event areas, all of which offer sumptuous appointments and spectacular views of Land’s End, Medano Beach, and the Sea of Cortez.


Planning a trip to Los Cabos? Talk to a travel agent at is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at


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The words ‘Cabo San Lucas’ evoke images of suntanned bodies, azure blue waters, umbrella cocktails, waving palm trees and…dollar signs.  It is true that Cabo San Lucas has more than its fair share of high-end resorts that can tip the budgetary scales (but what price luxury and the attendant pampering?)  However, there are also moderately priced accommodations.  The key is planning your trip and recognizing that advance reservations are essentially, especially during holiday periods.

Cabo Lodging that Inspires Loyalty: Mar de Cortez and Its Regulars

I can name dozens of local bars and restaurants with devoted followings–residents and regular visitors who swear by the food, drink, deals, or atmosphere. However, there aren’t a lot of hotels or resorts that seem to inspire the same type of loyalty. In Cabo San Lucas, one stands out: Mar de Cortez.

Views of Mar de Cortez from the courtyard swimming pool.

Maybe it’s the central downtown location, or because the hotel has been around forever, or what feels like forever in Cabo (40 years). Maybe it’s because the room rates are almost impossible to beat. Maybe it’s the feeling of community, running into many of the same people year after year after year. Whatever it is, Mar de Cortez has it, and the hotel has long been one of the most popular budget-oriented accommodations options in town.

Beyond the value pricing and friendly ambience, there are many things to recommend about this small, colonial-style hotel. The central location puts guests within easy walking distance of the Marina, and all the downtown shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. Medano Beach requires about a 20 minute walk, but Cabo Wabo is less than a block away–a not insignificant factor on those nights of vacation-inspired indulgence.

A standard ground floor room at Mar de Cortez.

Mar de Cortez has 88 rooms and suites, including standard, terrace, and garden rooms, and extra-large and king suites. The large swimming pool is the centerpiece of the courtyard, as well as social life at Mar de Cortez, and headlines the list of hotel amenities. High-speed wireless service is complimentary, and floral arrangements may be reserved prior to arrival. There is even a book exchange behind the front desk, where guests can trade in the thriller they read on the flight down for something a little more appropriate for a day at the beach.

The hotel’s onsite restaurant, Baja Peppers, opened last year, and has quickly developed a loyal local following of its own. Restaurateur John Venditti was behind one of Cabo’s favorite locals bar, Cabo Lounge, and has brought the same combination of low prices and congenial atmosphere to Mar de Cortez. The menu is a mix of Mexican, American, and Italian specialties. The American breakfast offers three eggs, bacon, fruit, potatoes, beans, and toast, all for US$3.  Baja Peppers offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and happy hour and dinner specials are available on a daily basis.

Mar de Cortez will be closed in September, but reopens on October 1st.

General Information

Location: Mar de Cortez is on Lázaro Cárdenas, near the corner of Vicente Guerrero, in downtown Cabo San Lucas.

How to Book: For reservations, visit Mar de Cortez’ website, or call toll free 1-800-347-8821 from the U.S. or Canada. The U.S. Reservations Office can be reached at (831) 663-1904. Information is available via email at

Cost: Room rates are being raised in October for the first time in seven years. Don’t worry. The prices are still very value oriented. Standard rooms (single or double occupancy) are US$57; terrace rooms are $62 (single or double) or $67 (triple occupancy); garden view rooms are $67 (single or double) or $72 (triple); and suites are $74 (single or double), $79 (triple), or $84 (quadruple occupancy). Off-season rates are a little lower, and children under eight stay for free year round.

Transportation: Airport shuttle service is available for both arrivals and departures. The cost is US$14 per person, per trip.

What is your favorite hotel or resort in Cabo San Lucas? Let us know below!

All photos courtesy of Mar de Cortez. is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at

The Best Value Hotels in Cabo

By Meghan Fitzpatrick

Cabo San Lucas is a town with no shortage of hotels and resorts. Your choices seem endless, from some of the most luxurious hotels in the world to some definitely questionable establishments. Most people coming to Cabo are staying in one place for the duration of their trip, and they have decided upon their lodging prior to their arrival. However, for those just passing through Cabo, or simply in need of a room at the last minute, the following hotels are options that might be available without  reservations, even for late night arivals.  The added advantage is that most are budget-friendly.

The beach by Marbella Suites

1) Marbella Suites. This hotel is possibly the best value hotel in all of Los Cabos. It is extremely affordable and, for the price, you get a lot. As the name suggests, these are not rooms, they are suites. Thus, every room has a kitchen and living area to accompany it. The hotel has a very welcoming reception area – an open air lobby with polished white stone floors and comfy couches and chairs. The best thing about the open air lobby is that you can immediately see the ocean. The hotel sits on the south side of Highway Mexico 1, built into the side of the cliffs and hills overlooking the ocean, on the eastern Sea of Cortez side of the Baja Peninsula.

I have stayed in Marbella Suites often. The staff are friendly and accommodating, the suites are clean, and their restaurant serves above average food at a very good price. I am really pleased with what I get every time I stay here. Guest comfort is important at this pleasant hotel, where guests are literally welcomed individually via a written message on the ‘Welcome Board’ outside of the restaurant.

Finally, a special note about the beach and pool at Marbella Suites.  The pool is large, complete with a fountain and shallow area for kids. Pool-side there is a fantastic full bar in addition to a ping pong table and some comfortable lounge chairs. The beautiful beach is right next to the pool, near volcanic rock formations.   Waves crash over the rocks along the shore, making for some beautiful pictures. It’s not a swimming beach, but it’s definitely a nice beach for relaxing and enjoying a cocktail.

The suites at Marbella Suites vary in price, but even during peak season, it is not more than US$100 a night – and it’s worth every penny.

2) Hotel Mar de Cortez. This hotel is another little hidden gem in Cabo San Lucas. In terms of its location, if you are looking for a central location, you cannot beat it.  Situated on Avenida Lázaro Cardenas, this hotel is just a short distance from all of the clubs (Pink Kitty, Mandala, Squid Roe and Baja Junkie way).  That makes it handy if just in case, for whatever reason, you decide to spend the night in this immediate vicinity.

The hotel itself is clean and offers all of the basic conveniences that any traveler could need.  In addition, there is a large swimming pool in a hotel’s courtyard. The best thing about this hotel though is definitely the restaurant, Baja Peppers. Baja Peppers offers great food at very affordable prices. They have hearty breakfasts for an average of approximately US$3, excellent tacos, healthy-sized sandwiches, and a full dinner menu. They also boast a very ample wine list with a generous variety of wines to choose from.

A room at the Hotel Mar de Cortez is around US$50 per night – definitely a bargain.

3) The Cabo Inn Hotel. The Cabo Inn Hotel is said to be one of the most economical places in town. The location is great and very convenient — just off of the marina and right behind the clubs.   It is a good alternative if the night has been long and you don’t feel like driving or leaving the area.  All rooms have basic amenities and private bathrooms, and the hotel offers free wifi, a library, gym and more.  Additionally,  the rates at this hotel are not matched anywhere else in Cabo. A single room starts at US$39 nightly, and a 6-person room is available for US$120 per night. There is also a Palapa room with a hot tub available for US$120.

Cabo has it all, from the most spectacular resorts in the world, to some of the best bargains in the Baja. These hotels will all give you the most bang for your buck, and they have all come highly recommended by Cabo locals.

Do you know of any other hidden Cabo bargains? Let us know where you lodge when you’re on a budget.