There is a shopping Mecca in Rosarito that has everything from arts and crafts, to clothing and jewelry…and even a little nostalgia for the past!
by Jack E. George
Some tourists who visit Rosarito Beach — and even some residents — are not aware of the unique, colorful little shops located in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel. This is because there is a street entrance leading from the main boulevard in town into this small little ‘shopping center.’ After talking with several shop owners, I received a consensus that the proper name for this complex is actually “The Shops at Rosarito Beach Hotel.”
When you first enter from the main street, you will be transported to yesteryear, with the beautiful walkway and the brilliant colors covering the walls. If you enter from the other end, coming from the Rosarito Beach Hotel, you will first see an authentic ‘shoe shine stand’ sitting to your right. It makes your mind flash back, wondering how many people have operated this little business through the years. It causes you to consider who some of the famous people were who have sat in the chair. You can visualize earlier times when many different styles of shoes waited to be shined.
The first shop, to the right, is operated by local artist Juan Silva. The store offers dozens and dozens of his paintings. According to his daughter, her father’s art is presented in the medium of his mother’s people – the Huichol Indians who live in the mountains north of Guadalajara. The artist was born in Tepic, Nayarit, and learned the art of Tablas Votivas. Aside from the variety of art pieces the store also offers other artwork ranging from ‘Day of the Dead dolls’ to plates, glasses, and other unique pieces.
Next door you will find the Baja Day Tripper. The business relocated to the shopping center a few years back, although it has been in operation for 19 years. Isaias Flores, the owner and his son, Fernando Rangel, work at this shop, which offers a variety of trips to interesting places in the area. These include whale watching adventures, fishing trips, as well as customized trips. If you continue your stroll you will soon arrive at Herenzias de Mexico. This well-organized shop offers art pieces as well as women’s clothing and many one-of-a-kind necklaces and other pieces of jewelry. The storekeeper said that the larger the necklace, the more people become interested in owning one.
Inside Lalo’s Designs you will be greeted by Patricia Sierra. The business has been open at the present location for less than a year although it has operated in Rosarito Beach for more than three years. Patricia is the seamstress for the store. As you look around you will see her many designs of hand-stitched dresses as well as a variety of items such as pot holders and other individually created necessities for use in the kitchen.
Across the way you will discover ‘Thanigs,’ which boasts a number of beautifully designed dresses created by designer Ana Rosa, from Guadalajara. The store also offers a glassware and individual pieces that you will not find elsewhere. One such item is an unusual doll, standing about four feet high, constructed from metal and varzo. You will see beautiful glasses constructed from Soplado which makes them much stronger than your average glass. These are surrounded by brilliant, hand-crafted art pieces created from pewter.
When you stroll down the walkway, inside ‘The Shops at Rosarito Beach Hotel,’ you will immediately feel the nostalgia. Since the hotel opened in 1925, millions of visitors have walked this corridor….presidents, international royalty, and a number of movie stars. And now you. For a few moments you will have the opportunity to enjoy the old world charm of this shopping mecca as you are surrounded by sophistication and grandeur. And it is pretty likely you won’t leave the Shops at the Rosarito Beach Hotel empty-handed.
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