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Setting x Style: The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

Todos Santos has a sense of style that is all its own. Bounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, the charming coastal town has evolved from its industrious days as a sugar capital, and is now one of three places in Baja to be legally designated as a pueblo mágico – literally, a magical village.

This evocative honorific perfectly captures the unique aesthetic of downtown Todos Santos: a festive whirl of colorful art galleries, red brick buildings housing bookstores and bodegas, and restaurants serving first-class fare, some amid a clutter of surfboards.

Luckily for overnight or longer-term visitors, this enchanting combination of chic appointments, laid-back attitude, and stunning natural settings – the inimitable Todos Santos style – also distinguishes some of the town’s best boutique hotels. 

Posada La Poza

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

There are a few moments driving down the long, winding, dirt road to Posada La Poza when you might question where you are going, and whether anything good can possibly be at the end of a road this bad. But the off-the-beaten-path route – with its enormous ruts and rocks – is an essential part of the journey, and only heightens the sense of wonderment when you finally arrive at your destination.

To say Posada La Poza is a feast for the senses is an understatement. Visually, it’s breathtaking. The property faces west over a magnificently nurtured and sculpted garden – home to over 30 types of palm trees, 50 kinds of cactus, and 100 species of birds – to a large freshwater lagoon, and the vast Pacific Ocean beyond.

Founded by Swiss transplants Juerg and Libusche Wiesendanger, this secluded, eight-suite boutique hotel is a world unto itself. Libusche grew the garden, and has also provided paintings and helped to curate the art for the exquisitely appointed ocean and garden view accommodations. The master suite has its own lounge area and fireplace, as well as a king-sized canopy bed, and a bathroom larger than the average studio apartment, with a hot tub for two. The spacious terrace, shaded by a traditional palo de arco pergola, looks out towards the sea, and is bounded to the north by a dense and picturesque palm grove. Guests can enjoy incredible sunsets from the terrace hammock, drink in hand, while serenaded by the sound of exotic birds and crashing waves.

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

Breakfast includes fresh fruit and juices – including mangos right off the trees during the summer months – and is served on a small patio graced with colorful paintings and evocative sculptures. Just inside, there is a bar stocked with artisanal tequilas and mezcals. The destination drinking and dining spot at Posada La Poza, however, is El Gusto, which features spectacular ocean views from its elevated “Whale Deck” (yes, transiting whales can be viewed during the winter months). El Gusto serves up some of the finest food in Todos Santos, and is a popular luncheon spot for local couples and families, as well as hotel guests. Organic produce and freshly caught local seafood are the specialties of the house, most notably served Mexican style in smoked tuna flautas and shrimp quesadillas.

The grounds are so spacious that one rarely runs into other guests unless it is at the restaurant, the swimming pool – contoured around a palm tree, or course, with a blissful waterfall nearby – or the adjoining outdoor fitness facilities. Privacy is part of the allure here; the natural beauty is profound, and lends a sort of meditative majesty to the experience that is only enhanced by the superb service.

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

The Hotelito

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

The Hotelito has its own kind of magic, but one that’s hard to define.

The owner, Jenny Armit, is an architect and designer, and both skills are evident throughout this strikingly distinctive bed and breakfast…yet it also has a laid-back, almost rural charm.

The property showcases upscale amenities like a 48-foot saltwater lap pool, and top-of-the-line beds shipped specially from the U.S. for maximum comfort…yet guests are invariably invited to meet the meet the onsite menagerie, which includes dogs, goats, a sheep, a horse and a donkey.

The Hotelito is quiet and private, with scenic views of the neighboring orchard and palm grove…yet it’s also very close to the downtown area; within walking distance, and less than two minutes by car from Todos Santos’ top restaurants and art galleries.

It’s stylish and elegant…yet offers warm, downhome service.

The magic is that none of these disparate elements clash. Rather, they combine to create a kind of perfect harmony.

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

Like most of Todos Santos’ best boutique properties, The Hotelito offers limited lodging – only four casitas, and three rooms at the Hacienda El Chilicote – but with plenty of space; in this case, five sprawling acres just off the Avenida General Topete.

The four casitas are stand-alone guesthouses named according to their dominant color palette (Violeta, Verde, Rosa and Azul), each inspired by notable artists or architects. The beds always draw raves – “a great night’s sleep makes up for any small mistakes,” Armit says – but are complemented by one-of-a-kind furnishings and accents, many bought at auction. Bathrooms feature large, walk-in showers and historical Mexican photographs. Casitas also come with a small selection of books, which may be enjoyed on the private terraces, all of which are outfitted with hammocks and patio furniture.

The Hacienda de Chilicote is an ideal option for traveling families, with a large, high-ceilinged living area complete with fireplace, plus an expansive terrace, and both indoor and outdoor dining spots. Sleeping quarters include three bedrooms, each with its own en suite bathroom.

Breakfast is served to all guests in an airy al fresco café, and casitas share their own kitchen area for cooking and food storage. The vibrantly colored pool lounge is walled off for privacy, and in addition to the enormous saltwater pool, includes tables and chairs, chaise lounges and hammocks. The outdoor shower is set directly beneath a mango tree, a nice tropical touch that yields delicious results during the summer months.  

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

Hacienda Todos Los Santos

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

This lovely downtown hotel features many unique amenities, among which is the oldest swimming pool in town; a refreshing and picturesque outdoor splash-around spot that dates to the 1950s, when guests from Rancho Las Cruces would visit Todos Santos for the superb white-winged dove hunting. Rancho Las Cruces, for the uninitiated, was the original Baja California Sur based vacation resort, an exclusive and expansive seaside getaway southeast of La Paz that regularly hosted celebrities like Clark Gable, John Wayne, Bing Crosby and Desi Arnaz Jr., as well as U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The founders of Rancho Las Cruces were themselves rather famous. Abelardo “Rod” Rodríguez Jr. was the son of a Mexican President, and like many regional pioneers, an aviator. After serving as a transport pilot during World War II, he became a test pilot, and set a speed record flying between Los Angeles and Mexico City. His wife, Lucille Bremer, was an actress who had co-starred in a film with the legendary Fred Astaire. Together, they turned the then sparsely populated coast of southern Baja into a destination attraction among the smart set, following their success at Rancho San Lucas with Hotel Palmilla, the first true hotel in Los Cabos, and Hotel Hacienda, the first in Cabo San Lucas proper.

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

The Rodríguez clan remain the region’s first family of hospitality, although patriarch Rod is enjoying his retirement at age 99. Rancho Las Cruces still enjoys an elite clientele, and Rod’s daughter Kali has transformed Hacienda Todos los Santos from a hunting lodge into an utterly charming collection of boutique accommodations, from the roomy suites in Casa de los Santos to fully-furnished, standalone casitas (guesthouses) overlooking a beautiful palm grove.

One suite, Casa Santa Cruz, boasts a wood-burning fireplace, and all suites and casitas feature king or queen-sized beds, comfortably appointed living areas, scenic terraces, kitchens and wet bars, and bathrooms with hand-painted Talavera counters and sinks. Yet another Rodríguez has contributed incredible photos of Todos Santos, which along with the regional paintings and tapestries, clamshell-shaped wall hollows and sunken living areas, give the casitas their distinctive, trademark style.

The location could hardly be improved upon:  set at one end of the town’s main road, Calle Benito Juárez, the hotel is no more than five minutes from anywhere in downtown Todos Santos; yet completely private and secluded. Just look for the pedestal-set bust of beloved President Juárez which marks the property’s entrance, and which was donated to the town by the Rodríguez family.

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

Todos Santos Inn

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

No lodging speaks to local history quite like Todos Santos Inn, whose ebbs and flows over the past century and a half have largely mirrored the fortunes of the town itself. Built in 1872 as an estate for a sugar baron, the imposing and stately brick edifice later served as a schoolhouse, notably for future Brigadier General and hero of the Mexican Revolution, Melitón Albañez. During the 1930s, at the height of the Mexican Muralism Movement, artist C.C. Zamora painted the foyer with the lushly evocative murals which still enchant visitors. Zamora’s work prefigured Todos Santos’ rebirth in the 1980s as an artists’ colony, and its subsequent emergence as a destination getaway for discerning travelers.

The weathered old wooden bar in La Copa, the watering hole just off the lobby, looks as if it once supported the elbows of Albañez, Zamora, and every other famous or forgotten figure who passed through town. Nowadays, however, it’s mostly a congenial spot for a mojito or margarita before dinner at the more secluded La Copa Cocina, where Chef Patrick “Patricio Mullen’s eclectic bill of fare ranges from comfort food to dishes featuring fresh local seafood, and even a Japanese style Chicken Nagoya.

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos

But history is never far from one’s mind at the Todos Santos Inn. Not only is the façade reminiscent of another time, but so too are the eight onsite rooms and suites, with their canopied four poster beds, Saltillo tile floors and vintage armoires, desks and dressers. Reclining in a welcoming chair on the flagstone terrace, looking out through splendid red brick arches at palm fronds waving lazily in the breeze, it’s rather easy to imagine oneself as a wealthy 19th century planter, or a character in a novel by Gabriel García Márquez.

Modern conveniences do exist at the Todos Santos Inn, of course, but they remain inconspicuous and unobtrusive. This is not a place where televisions or telephones are standard amenities. It’s an oasis, a haven, a retreat from the hurly burly.

It’s an amazing trick, really, when you consider the Todos Santos Inn has the most central location of any of the town’s small, boutique lodgings:  only a block from the plaza principal, in the heart of the gallery district.  It’s not hidden, but it does have that quality of all great hotels, of filtering out everything that does not fit its carefully imagined and cultivated world.

Visitors never make it past the elegant-long necked swans that Zamora painted on the entryway walls over 80 years ago. Access beyond that point is exclusively reserved for guests, those fortunate few who get to experience Todos Santos as it once was, and still is in a handful of fashionable places.

The Beautiful Boutique Hotels of Todos Santos


Baja.com
 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 info@baja.com.

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Day Trip: Todos Santos

“We don’t want to be like Cabo” is a refrain often heard from residents of Todos Santos;  by which they mean Cabo San Lucas, with its touristy hustle and boisterous nightlife. Todos Santos actually shares quite a bit in common with San José del Cabo:  both communities were founded around Jesuit missions, both took advantage of available water resources to become peninsular commercial centers in the late 19th and early 20th century, and both are now distinguished by thriving art scenes.

Todos Santos does have a singular character, however. The many beautiful old brick buildings, a legacy from its 19th century heyday as a sugar capital, give the historic downtown area a distinctive profile unlike any other place in Baja California Sur. Todos Santos is also blessed by a beneficial vantage, between the Sierra de la Laguna mountains and the Pacific Ocean, that undoubtedly contributes to the unique quality of its light. This unusual light was what first attracted artists in the 1980s, and led to the town’s rebirth as an artists’ colony some thirty years or so after its water wells had run dry.

Todos Santos has for many years been a popular day trip destination from Los Cabos–it is less than an hour by car from Cabo San Lucas–notable for its fine arts galleries, hip eateries, and annual festivals celebrating art, film, music and literature. Todos Santos is also a destination surf spot, with popular breaks at Cerritos, San Pedrito and La Pastora.

It was the first place on the peninsula to be designated as a pueblo mágico (a promotional appellation applied to Mexican communities with great natural beauty, and strong cultural or historical legacies), and it remains, along with Loreto and Tecate, one of only three towns throughout Baja to be so honored.

History and Architecture

The original inhabitants of Todos Santos were Guaycuras, a tribe of hunter gatherers whose territory stretched as far north as Loreto. The Jesuits built a mission there in 1733, which proved to be rather unfortunate timing since the Pericúes, the tribe to the south, rebelled in 1734. All the southern missions, from San José del Cabo to La Paz, were looted and badly damaged during the three year conflict which followed.

Todos Santos was also the site of the final skirmish of the Mexican–American War in 1848, a little known footnote to an historical event that cost México approximately half its national territory. It became a sugar cane capital during the latter half of the 19th century, with residents not only growing the cash-rich crop but milling it as well. The town’s distinctive brick buildings largely date to this period.

This commercial prosperity was interrupted by the Mexican Revolution, although the action in Baja California remained limited to small-scale engagements. Todos Santos’ first brush with fine art occurred during the 1930s, at the height of the Mexican Mural Movement. Wonderful examples of this style can still be seen in the entryway of the town’s historic Centro Cultural Todosanteño.

Work began in 1947 on the now legendary Hotel California, a lodging founded by a Chinese immigrant named Mr. Wong, whose attempts to acclimate to Mexican culture included changing his name to Don Antonio Tabasco. The locals called him El Chino anyway, but his family’s 16-room hotel proved perennially popular with visitors and locals alike. The former were drawn to the comfortable lodgings, the latter because the Hotel California pumped the only gas, and served the only cold beer in town.

Inspired by the area’s unique light, acclaimed artist Charles Stewart and his wife Mary Lou settled in Todos Santos in 1985, and contributed mightily to the town’s reinvention as a culture driven tourist destination.

Day Trip: Todos Santos

Hotel California in Todos Santos. Photo courtesy of Michael Kull.

Art

Painters are probably the best known artists in Todos Santos, but the downtown area also features studios and galleries showcasing superb sculpture and hand-crafted jewelry. A local association, The Artists of Todos Santos, organizes an annual Open Studios Tour. This tour is typically scheduled in February, and is slotted in during the series of cultural festivals that take place during the first three months of the year.

Former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was the founder of the highly regarded Todos Santos Music Festival. Buck ruffled a few local feathers with political comments during the 2016 edition of the event, and did not return for 2017, when it was rebranded as the Tropic of Cancer Concert Series. The Todos Santos Writers Workshop follows in late January, leading into the Art Festival and Open Studios Tour in February, and the Film Festival in March. The latter recently celebrated its 14th anniversary bringing vintage and contemporary Latin American films to the historic Teatro-Cine General Márquez de León (completed in 1943, and lovingly restored earlier this decade), as well as select locations in Pescadero and La Paz.

Day Trip: Todos Santos

Teatro-Cine General Márquez de León in Todos Santos. Photo courtesy of Michael Kull.

Food & Wine

Although it lacks the nightlife characteristic of Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos’ dining scene is among the best in Baja California Sur. Hotel California and Hotel Guaycura both feature excellent onsite restaurants, Michael’s at the Gallery offers delicious Asian themed fare in aesthetically pleasing surroundings (at Michael and Pat Cope’s Galería de Todos Santos), and Miguel’s…well, the New York Times said it best: Miguel’s serves up the best chile rellenos in Baja.

Mezcalaría El Refugio is a noteworthy addition to the local sipping scene, but La Bodega de Todos Santos remains the tasting spot nonpareil. The shop spotlights great bottled selections from Baja’s wine country, Valle de Guadalupe, and sponsors the town’s yearly food and wine festival. This celebration, called Gastrovino, takes place in late April or early May, and includes a weekend of festivities that culminate in an all-day fête featuring live music. Todos Santos is also home to a Mango Festival, which takes place when the fruit ripens in late July or early August.

Day Trip: Todos Santos

Hacienda Cerritos, overlooking surf mecca Playa Los Cerritos.

Additional Stops

The trip from Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos is not an unbroken length of picturesque highway, and there are a few places worth stopping along the way. Playa Los Cerritos has a well-earned reputations as one of the best surf beaches in the region. The traditional wisdom–surf the Sea of Cortés in the Summer, the Pacific Ocean in the winter–still holds true, but Cerritos does offer surfable waves on a year-round basis. It is also home to the Cerritos Beach Club and Surf, where singer Daline Jones contributes to the tranquilo vibes, performing each Sunday afternoon. Baja Beans in nearby Pescadero also draws crowds on Sundays, although in the case of this charming outdoor café, it’s for brunch amid a bustling local market, complete with live music.

 


Baja.com
 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 info@baja.com.

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Boutique Hotel Hacienda Cerritos for Sale

Iconic Pacific Coast Property on the Market for $12.8 Million

Strategically situated on one of the best surf breaks in Baja California Sur, Hacienda Cerritos sits atop a rock formation jutting out into the rhythmic waves of the Pacific Ocean below. The lookout tower, in the center of the property, has 360-degree vistas looking north, south and seaside, as well as the inland mountains, which act as a scenic backdrop to the exquisite Spanish style estate. Adorned with authentic and rustic-wooden Spanish furnishings, the luxury boutique hotel has been an icon since its inception in 2010.

Cerritos

List price for the boutique, 11-room Hacienda Cerritos hotel is $12,850,000 U.S.

Home to location filming, intimate concerts, weddings, fundraising events, corporate retreats and political engagements; Hacienda Cerritos is perfectly situated just south of the Art and Culinary epicenter of Todos Santos and less than 40 miles north of Cabo San Lucas. It’s location acts as both an escape from the electric-Cabo San Lucas, while also a much-appreciated midway point for adventurers traveling through to Todos Santos, the Capital city of La Paz or up the Baja.

The town of Pescadero is known for it’s rich agriculture, artisan array of local goods and beach enthusiasts from around the globe. The area has seen steady growth from locals, ex-pats, luxury condominium developers and international hotel operators. In the last couple of years, Pescadero has had an infusion of farm-to-table restaurants, organic markets and extreme sport activity operators who have moved in to meet the area’s demand.

Property’s Unique Highlights

Hacienda Cerritos sits on a commanding and prime point of the bay, encompassing 74 meters of Pacific-Ocean frontage. The Luxury Boutique hotel is adorned with 11 rooms, 13 bathrooms, 4 pools and hot tubs, 10 fireplaces, 2 full culinary kitchens, game room, library, gym and helicopter landing pad. The estate sits atop a cliff in a prime location a short drive from the coastal highway 19, in the developing area just north of Cabo San Lucas. The property has Federal beach concessions in place and rests above one of the few swim-friendly beaches in all Los Cabos; known for surfing, snorkeling, kayaking and a myriad of beach activities. The Spanish-style estate sits on approx. 4,204 sq mtrs of land.

GREAT ADDED VALUE CONDITIONS – For an interested buyer with hopes of expansion, he/she could take advantage of the approvals-in-place and create an additional two towers, with up to 120-keys, to maximize the utilization of the property.   With a larger vision, a developer could extend the current property south and utilize other beach frontage available from the same owner. To increase the area and fulfill the needs of a full resort, a developer could opt-in for the additional 25-Acres of beach frontage and expand their business plan to well over 900-keys.

About Los Cabos

UNDER DEVELOPMENT – Los Cabos lodging market has enjoyed a healthy and steady recovery, following the economic downturn of 2009 and 2010. The existing and newly developing projects include high-end resort communities and condominiums, time-share resorts, service hotels and mix-use projects. Hyatt recently inaugurated its Hyatt Place San Jose del Cabo with 157 rooms. There were approximately 900 rooms that opened their doors and started operating at the end of 2015, including the 300-room JW Marriott Puerto Los Cabos and the 124-room Ritz-Carlton Reserve Puerto Los Cabos.

RESIDENTIAL MARKET – According to the Multiple Listing Service of Baja California Sur, new sales have increased in 2014 and 2015, by 23% and 26%, respectively. The sales report for the first two quarters of 2014 show a rapid recovery in sales on residential properties (condos & houses) with a total sales volume of approximately $105,069,822 U.S. The average sales price is up by 15 percent, reaching an average of $555,925 U.S.

 

Inquiries
Investor Relations: Mishan Andre +14242468066 mishan@dreamhomesofcabo.com

Real Estate Inquiries: Danette Reid +15305624032 danette@dreamhomesofcabo.com

Dream Homes of Cabo Real Estate

US Toll Free: +18004036597
From Los Cabos: 142-6333

Web: www.realestatecabosanlucas.com

 


Baja.com
 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 info@baja.com.

 

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Dates Announced for 7th Annual Open Studios in Todos Santos

This is a once a year opportunity to visit Todos Santos acclaimed artists in their natural environment. The Open Studios event takes place Saturday and Sunday, February 6 – 7, 2016.

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The Open Studios Tour is now a two day event, allowing visitors the opportunity to see more art and more studios (and of course to spend more time with artists in their studios). With a map in hand showing the location of local work spaces, attendees get a glimpse of what the life of an artist is really like.

Visitors to the Pacific Coast pueblo magico – Todos Santos was the first place on the Baja California peninsula to receive this designation, which indicates a town of profound cultural or historical importance – will be able to interact with painters, sculptors, photographers, muralists, plein air painters, encaustic artists, jewelers, printmakers, collage artists, potters, wood turners, and myriad other creative types.

Last year’s 2015 Studios Tour featured 34 participating artists, and saw 400 visitors roaming through the coastal cultural mecca, which is located about 45 minutes by car from Cabo San Lucas. The art fest also raised 54,613 pesos for the Children’s Art Programs of The Palapa Society of Todos Santos. This year, all proceeds will benefit this same program.

For further information, please contact:

Karin at ts.studiotour@gmail.com, or 612-143-8491 (cellular).

Steve at gallerysteve@gmail.com, 612-145-0001 (land line) or 303-482-2287 (when calling from U.S.).

 


Baja.com
 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 info@baja.com.

 

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Rancho Pescadero Unveils New Slate of Guest Chef Weekends

Boutique beachfront resort brings world-class culinary talent to Baja California Sur

Great news for foodies, as well as lovers of weekend getaways with soft sand beaches and spectacular ocean vistas: Rancho Pescadero has unveiled its list of guest chefs for the 2015 – 2016 season.

Renee Erickson of Seattle’s The Walrus and the Carpenter, Jessica Koslow of Los Angeles’ Sqirl, Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group in San Francisco, and Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of OX Restaurant in Portland will bring their unique culinary talents to the boutique beachfront resort, located just south of Todos Santos on the Pacific Coast of Baja California Sur.

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Rancho Pescadero

The simple yet elegant resort has been rated as one of Mexico’s best properties, and is home to 29 suites, a garden restaurant, a spa specializing in local and indigenous ingredients, and a 2,000 square foot yoga pavilion. Rancho Pescadero’s most acclaimed attractions, however, may well be the chefs who appear at the four-day, three-night culinary weekends offered regularly from November through May.

Guests at these seasonal gastro gatherings are treated to an array of palate pleasing options – from brunches and tastings to cooking classes and artfully paired dinners from visiting and in-house chefs – and also enjoy easy access to activities like hiking, biking, fishing, surfing, and romantic beachfront horseback rides in one of the world’s most beautiful locales. As an added bonus, the resort is only 45 minutes by car from Cabo San Lucas.

 

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Renee Erickson will kick the season off in style November 12 – 15. The Seattle based chef and restaurateur – her eateries include The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Barnacle, and Boat Street Pickles – is a James Beard award finalist who authored the cookbook A Boat, A Whale and A Walrus, and has had her recipes featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, and Food & Wine. This fall Erickson and her partners will open two new restaurants on Capitol Hill, an Normandy influenced oyster bar and a French Steak house that will feature their own grass raised beef from their farm La Ferme des Anes on Whidbey Island. She also plans to open a doughnut shop called General Porpoise Doughnuts.

 

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Jessica Koslow takes center stage next, appearing the weekend of March 24 – 27, 2016. Koslow’s Sqirl, which opened in 2011, has drawn rave reviews for its fine food and focus on organic, sustainable produce from family-owned farms. In 2014, Sqirl was rated the 7th best restaurant in Los Angeles by LA Magazine, and 9th best by LA Weekly. Koslow was also one of 100 chefs in the U.S. to be nominated for Food & Wine’s People’s Choice Chef of the Year, was named a Star Chef RISING STAR, and was declared Chef of the Year by Eater LA. Koslow has a new project, Sqirl Away, opening this fall.

 

Rancho PescaderoChefs Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow are the driving creative culinary forces behind the acclaimed Ne Timeas group of restaurants in San Francisco, which include Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, and Salumeria.  A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, McNaughton was nominated for a Rising Star Chef award from the James Beard Foundation in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and published a cookbook called Flour + Water: Pasta in 2014. He and Pollnow, who worked at Mugaritz in Spain and now oversees the Basque cuisine at Aatxe (and other Ne Timeas restaurants), will appear at Rancho Pescadero on April 21 – 24, 2016.

 

Rancho PescaderoGreg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónes Denton met while working under Chef Hiro Sone at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Terra, in Napa Valley. Greg eventually became the first titled Chef de Cuisine and Gabrielle, Sous Chef. Together, the couple opened Ox Restaurant in Portland in 2012. The Argentine inspired eatery has garnered tons of attention: including James Beard nominations for Best Chef in the U.S. Northwest and Best New Restaurant in America. They’re currently working on an OX Restaurant cookbook, and will be at Rancho Pescadero May 26 – 29, 2016.

 

The guest chefs will share the spotlight with the resort’s own in-house stars, Jeff and Susan Mall. The dynamic duo formerly helmed Zin Restaurant and Wine Bar, and Zin Restaurant Catering in Sonoma County, California; but since February 2015 have been been overseeing the food and beverage program at Rancho Pescadero. Most notably, at the resort’s signature dining spot, the rustic yet elegant farm-to-table concept: Garden Restaurant

Accommodation packages are not a prerequisite for attendance. Locals are invited to buy individual tickets for cooking classes, and are also welcome to make reservations for the Saturday night dinners. A complete schedule and price guide is listed below:

 

GUEST CHEF WEEKEND DATES:

November 12-15, 2015—Renee Erickson

March 24-27, 2016— Jessica Koslow

April 21-24, 2016 —Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow

May 26-29, 2016—Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton

 

WEEKEND PRICE GUIDE

Fridays

Cooking demo and lunch with Guest Chef ($70)

Tequila and Mezcal Tasting ($30)

Saturdays

Cocktail Class with Bar Manager Danny Sanchez ($20)

Baja Wine Tasting ($30)

Tasting Menu Dinner by Guest Chef in the Garden Restaurant ($100)

 

Package pricing for the weekend is $250 per person plus tax, and includes all of the above and a Rancho Pescadero apron. Guests who book the whole  package they will receive 15% off their room rate. For more information, or to make reservations, call (910) 300-8891 in the U.S., (612) 135-5849 in Mexico, or visit www.ranchopescadero.com.

 

Baja.com 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 info@baja.com.

 

 

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Vacation Oasis: CalyCanto Casitas in Todos Santos

This Month’s Featured Vacation Rental? All Signs Point to CalyCanto Casitas in Todos Santos

CalyCanto Casitas in Todos Santos

Perhaps best known for a beautiful downtown district featuring colorful art galleries and stately brick buildings that are a legacy of the town’s days as a sugar capital, the pueblo magico of Todos Santos also boasts a number of picturesque vacation rental options.

Few local lodgings, however, can match the coastal charm of CalyCanto Casitas. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range that forms the spine of Baja California Sur, these chic, eco-friendly accommodations offer elegant tropical appointments and stunning views in a boutique community set on five gently sloping acres of desert terrain.

 

At Casita del Sol, traditional Mexican decor and exquisite hand-crafted furnishings meet modern creature comforts such as air-conditioning, internet, and satellite television. The layout is highlighted by two suites, and a generously proportioned outdoor patio area. There is also great surfing nearby.

CalyCanto Casitas in Todos Santos

Welcome to your laid-back Baja oasis.

Expansive yet intimate, Casa Tortuga provides all the comforts of home in a gorgeous coastal setting. Decorative furnishings capture the spirit of old Mexico, while modern conveniences allow for gracious living in this spacious property, which includes over 1300 square feet of terraces. Casa Tortuga counts 2 bedrooms, two baths, a large living room, and scenic outdoor dining area among its many charms.

CalyCanto Casitas in Todos Santos

Casita del Pescado

Casita del Pescado boasts a gorgeous setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean – the terrace views are magnificent – but is also conveniently close to the charms of downtown Todos Santos. As with all Calycanto properties, there is a seamless indoor-outdoor flow, the decor is tasteful yet bright, and the appointments showcase authentic Mexican craftsmanship.

For reservations or additional information, click here.

Baja.com 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 info@baja.com.

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6th Annual Open Studios in Todos Santos B.C.S.

This is a once a year opportunity to visit the art studios in Todos Santos which will take place Saturday and Sunday, February 7th and 8th, 2015.

By popular demand, the Open Studios Tour is now a two day event where visitors will be able to see more art, more studios and spend more time with the artist at each studio. With a map in hand, showing all of the studios, visitors will get a glimpse of what the life of the artist is like. Up the dusty streets of the town, they will be able to see what goes on inside these studios. There will be painters, sculptors, photographers, muralists, plein air painters, encaustic artists, jewelers, printmakers, collage artists, potters, wood turners and we can only imagine what else.

open studios in todos santos

Last year’s 2014 Open Studios Tour with 38 participating artists saw 300 visitors roaming throughout the town in one giant art fest that raised 45,500 pesos for the Children’s Art Programs of The Palapa Society of Todos Santos. This year, all proceeds will benefit this same program.

Why so many artists in a tiny town? Todos Santos, situated on the Tropic of Cancer, has inspired hundreds of artists with many making it their home. Is it the Tropic of Cancer energy, the astounding natural beauty, the magical light, the rural setting and the rustic charm. Come and enjoy the magic.

Ticket price for the Open Studios Tour is 200 pesos for both days. Tickets can be purchased online through http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/785415  after August 1, 2014.

For further information please contact:

Diane Knight/ dianekknight@hotmail.com

Steve Thurston/  gallerysteve@gmail.com

Karin Lawler/  2015studiotour@gmail.com

Eva Reyes/  thepalapasociety@yahoo.com

www.artistsoftodossantos.com

Facebook/  Artists of Todos Santos

 

Baja.com 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 info@baja.com.

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Have a Baja Moment! If the Surf is Up, Class is in at Mario Surf School

Have a Baja Moment! If the Surf is Up, Class is in at Mario Surf School 

Mario Surf School

When the surf is up, class is in at Mario Surf School in Los Cerritos.

Playa Los Cerritos, or Cerritos Beach, is located less than an hour north of Cabo San Lucas along the Pacific Coast of Baja California Sur, and is considered by many to be the best year round surf spot in the state. Certainly, the beach has long been a popular learning spot for would-be wave riders.

For first-time visitors or those new to the area, the best way to learn to surf in Baja Sur, or to learn the local waters at Cerritos, is by making arrangements through Mario Surf School.

Mario Surf School owner, Mario Becerril Zayas says:  “I’ve been here 12 years now. When I started giving lessons on the beach – and that was a long time ago – we worked out of a shack in the back. But since I obtained our new permit six years ago, things have definitely changed. We take appointments everyday for lessons with people at different levels of surfing ability. We also rent surf boards for the entire day. At any given moment, we can give lessons and take care of 20 people at the same time with our four instructors, and have a total of about 50 surf boards available.”

Mario Surf School

Mario Surf School provides private lessons, and customized training for all skill levels.

Private lessons and surfboard rentals are the primary services offered by Mario Surf School, although Mario also runs a company that offers round trip airport transportation. The private lessons, in particular, are a big draw. According to Mario, his is the only local company that doesn’t put newbie surfers together in groups with people they don’t know. Instead, individuals, family or friends learn to surf in a more comfortable environment, with training customized to their specific skill levels. “It makes a big difference,” he says. “People aren’t as self-conscious when they’re around people they know and trust.”

Mario Surf School

Mario Surf School is also a great stop for experienced riders who prefer to travel without their boards.

“We also do surfari tours to different beaches in San Jose del Cabo, on the East Cape and at Punta Conejo,” Mario added. ”In Baja, we have waves year round, so being here at Cerritos Beach means I never have to move the location of our school. This is actually one of the best beaches in Mexico to learn how to surf, because there are no rocks. For the more serious surfer, some of the best waves are right next door at San Pedrito, a place Americans refer to as Pescadero Beach.”

Mario Surf School

Don’t forget the hat. It’s also your diploma.

 

Planning a trip to Todos Santos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

Baja.com 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 info@baja.com.

 

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Have a Baja Moment! Explore the Cafes of Todos Santos

Have a Baja Moment! Explore the Cafes of Todos Santos 

Cafes of Todos Santos

Shaded outdoor seating at Caffe Todos Santos.

Perhaps best known for its art galleries and yearly arts festivals, the one-time sugar cane capital of Todos Santos is now home to one of Baja’s finest artists’ colonies. Art, however, is not the coastal Pueblo Magico‘s only sophisticated pleasure. Todos Santos also boasts a number of excellent cafes and casual chic coffee shops that serve up dark roasted treasures from premier Mexican growing areas in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Puebla.

Cafes of Todos Santos

Baja Beans’ laid-back cafe is located in Pescadero, just outside of Todos Santos.

Cafes of Todos Santos

You never know who you might share a table with at Baja Beans.

Baja Beans

Baja Beans sources their beans from Finca Los Puentos in the Sierra Madre Oriental of Xicotepec, Puebla, and roasts them on a vintage 1980s Probat roaster. The finished product not only keeps the locals happy, but is sold to many of Baja Sur’s best hotels and restaurants, including Flora Farms Field Kitchen, Guaycura Boutique Hotel & SpaHotel Casa Tota, and Rancho Pescadero. In addition to their wholesaling operation, Baja Beans can also claim one of the coolest cafes in the greater Los Cabos area. It’s located just outside of Todos Santos, in Pescadero. Follow the sign from the highway down a dirt road, and discover a lovely, laid-back cafe offering rich coffees, tasty baked goods and plenty of rustic outdoor seating.

Cafes of Todos Santos

The facade of Caffe Todos Santos.

Cafes of Todos Santos

Arts and crafts from local artists are always on display in Caffe Todos Santos.

Caffe Todos Santos

Caffe Todos Santos is easily the most aesthetically pleasing cafe in Todos Santos. It’s housed in a charmingly painted old building and decorated with colorful and evocative paintings from some of the town’s most talented local artists. In addition to its visual charms, Caffe Todos Santos also serves up freshly ground coffees and delicious breakfast and lunch centered menu items ranging from muffins and cookies to hot cakes and omelets. Seating is available both inside and out, and the outdoor tables provide shaded and comfortable vantages from which to sip strong coffee, read the morning paper, or simply watch the world go by.

Cafes of Todos Santos

Enjoy a cup of coffee while you browse for beach reads in Libreria El Tecolote.

Libreria El Tecolote

Speaking of reading, how about a cup of coffee at the best bookstore in Baja Sur? In addition to carrying a great selection of books in English and Spanish, Libreria El Tecolote also serves excellent Mexican coffees from Oaxaca and Chiapas. The colorful and well-stocked store is located in downtown Todos Santos, a couple of blocks past Hotel California, and sells books, music, movies, maps and postcards. Specialty items include works by local authors and vintage postcards from Mexico’s golden age of cinema. So the next time you need to stock up on beach reads, order a cup of dark roasted java and enjoy shopping Todos Santos style.

 

Planning a trip to Todos Santos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

Baja.com 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 info@baja.com.

 

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Beach Read Central: Libreria El Tecolote in Todos Santos

Beach Read Central: Libreria El Tecolote in Todos Santos

Baja California Sur has a bevy of great beaches, but suffers a shortage of great beach reads. In Cabo San Lucas, the lack of bookstores has driven locals to create makeshift book exchanges in bars, hotels, and coffee shops. Paperback best sellers are passed down like heirlooms.

Luckily for the literary minded, there is at least one good bookstore in Baja Sur. Libreria El Tecolote in Todos Santos is the mecca for area bibliophiles. Tourists flock to the charming artists’ colony and pueblo magico of Todos Santos to visit sights like the legendary Hotel California. Pilgrimages by Los Cabos locals tend to end a couple of blocks past Hotel California at Libreria El Tecolote, where they can stock up on dwindling beach read supplies.

Beach Read Central: Libreria El Tecolote  in Todos Santos

Libreria El Tecolote is an oasis amidst the literary desert of Baja Sur.

El Tecolote is the sort of bookstore that used to exist in the U.S. before chain stores and internet sales. The shelves are filled with new and used books in English and Spanish, and the store also stocks maps, music, movies, and postcards, including some nostalgic movie poster style cards from Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinema. Rare books about Baja and books by local authors are particular specialties, and there are also several great Spanish language guides.

Need a mystery novel, a steamy romance, or a little magical realism? El Tecolote has you covered. But the store also functions as a social center. Coffee and espresso drinks are available, and they’re coffeehouse good: dark roasted treasures from premier Mexican sites in Oaxaca and Chiapas. Fresh juices and the occasional baked goods also liven up the scene, which often includes ongoing literary discussions with the proprietress, and people taking advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi.

Beach Read Central: Libreria El Tecolote  in Todos Santos

Libreria El Tecolote offers new and used books, as well as maps, music, movies, and postcards.

Libreria El Tecolote has a bulletin board for local happenings and events, and even stages the occasional reading. The store is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day except  Sunday, when it’s open from 12 – 3 p.m. Locals and visitors should be happy it’s open at all. El Tecolote is an oasis in the literary desert of Baja Sur, and any visit to Todos Santos should include a stop to stock up on rarities, or books by popular authors like John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Dan Brown, Janet Evanovich, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s your last chance for many, many miles.

 

Planning a trip to Todos Santos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

Baja.com 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 info@baja.com.

 

 

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