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DelMar escapes LOS CABOS ď‚Ą MEXICO

homes to last 100 years for generations to enjoy the color of cabo a spectacular collection of images

the art of

living

perfected

DISTINCTIVE COMMUNITIES BY DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT

Villas Del Mar Espiritu Del Mar Oasis Palmilla


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Our homeowners have relied on Ladco’s Resort Design Group’s expertise in the interior design and furnishing of their luxury resort villas in Los Cabos for over 10 years. Ladco’s attention to detail and turnkey services are a huge asset to our homeowners and make the move-in process effortless.

Ron Hatfield

President Del Mar Development

Ladco’s Resort Design Group takes care of everything. Whether your property is a personal retreat, an investment or rental, Resort Design Group will create a living space perfectly suited to your style. Our comprehensive interior design services encompass every luxurious detail, from the custom furniture and artwork, to the electronics, fine lines, crystal and gourmet cookware. For more than a decade, Ladco’s experienced

Working with Ladco’s Resort Design Group has been an absolute pleasure. We had many requests and tight deadlines that they handled creatively, professionally and all exceeded our expectations. They went above and beyond to make certain every detail was perfect.

Chris & Rob Ammons, Houston, Texas

design team has created over 65 unique retreats in Villa Del Mar communities. We’ll create a luxury retreat so spectacular, so complete, all you need to do is arrive, relax and enjoy.

We have the most beautiful home in Cabo, and it was completed in record time, with absolutely no hassles or problems that weren't overcome quickly and easily by Ladco’s Resort Design Group. They are creative, practical and pleasant to work with.

Judy and Frank Grace, London, England

Total Interior Solutions for Luxury Homes

7900 Washington Avenue Houston, TX 713.868.2828

re s o r tde s i gn g ro up. c o m Ladco Resort Design Group is a part of Ladco, Ltd., a privately held company headquartered in Houston, Texas that offers the finest quality furniture, fabrics, accessories, and artwork exclusively to the design trade through the states largest decorative home furnishings showroom.

We could not be happier with Ladco’s Resort Design Group. They captured exactly the look we wanted. They are professional, creative, easy to work with and will make it work no matter what the obstacles. You will never be disappointed!

Donna and Wit Hall, Atlanta, Georgia


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FROM THE DESK OF RON HATFIELD

DelMar escapes LOS CABOS  MEXICO

PUBLISHER

Dear Reader,

Trae Walker trae@flagshipcp.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

George Fuller george@flagshipcp.com

It’s been 15 years since my partner, the late Kenneth Schnitzer, and I
bought our first sliver of land in Palmilla, Los Cabos, and broke ground on
Villas Del Mar.



DESIGN DIRECTOR

Randi Karabin karabincreative@me.com

Now, with three communities established and more than 186 homes sold, I
am pleased to share a little of our history and provide a glimpse into the unique Cabo
lifestyle in the first issue of Del Mar Escapes magazine.

 It seems most fitting to dedicate this issue to our talented team of
employees who make Del Mar what it is today. It is their

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Anthony Dias Blue Kathryn Heltsley Michael Koehn Nicole Montgomery Ann Wycoff

dedication, hard work
and commitment to excellence that make Del

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Mar the special place I choose to call
home year-round. 



Daniel Bayer Cathy Buchanan Benita R. Cloward, BRC Photography Sandra Corrion Bruce Herman Mango Productions Sandra Mendoza John McKinney Rigoberto Moreno

At Del Mar Development, we strive to build more than vacation homes. Our goal is to
create communities where our owners and guests always feel at home, safe and
connected. This unique lifestyle is meant to be shared with family, friends and loved ones for many years to come.

 I hope you enjoy this look at what makes Del Mar Los Cabos one of the most
desirable places in the world. 

 Sincerely,



ADVERTISING SALES

Kristin Heaton Anabelle Salum Tiedje Steve Bliman D E L M A R A D V I S O RY B O A R D

Sharon Carter Carol Fowler Nicole Montgomery

Ron Hatfield

 President of Del Mar Development

Published Exclusively for Del Mar Development by:

P.O. Box 20410, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269 Phone: 480.296.1202 Copyright 2011 by Flagship Custom Publishing. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Flagship Custom Publishing and Del Mar Development. 6    D E L

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64

TAB LE O F CO N T EN T S

Cover photo by: Daniel Bayer

ad to come features 22 Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow The history of Palmilla is a long and fascinating one. From the earliest days when there was no road to Los Cabos to today’s world-famous destination resort, writer Michael Koehn maps out The History of Palmilla.

30 The Art of Living Perfected Del Mar Development’s alluring combination of oceanfront lifestyle, world-class amenities and dedication to owner satisfaction has made it the most successful real estate development in the history of Mexico.

48 Golf As Good As It Gets The 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Palmilla Golf Club set the standard for course design in Mexico and it is still one of the very best in the country.

54 Dream Weddings at Club Ninety Six Every bride dreams of a flawless wedding day. Club Ninety Six can help make that dream a reality with a beachfront location and a

48 60 My Perfect Del Mar Vacation Wine expert and writer Anthony Dias Blue brings his family to Villas Del Mar on their annual Baja vacation and finds perfection amidst the swaying palms and lapping waves.

64 The Hundred-Year Home “Between someone’s needs are their dreams,” says Del Mar Development’s Vice President of Construction, Robert Jones, who helps bring those dreams home, not just for today, but for generations to enjoy.

76 The Color of Cabo The beauty of the Los Cabos region is perhaps best exemplified in photography. So in this dreamy feature we exhibit some of the very best we found.

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staff that has perfected the art of service.

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TAB LE O F CO N T EN T S

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58 IN THE SPIRIT Two new palate-pleasing wines are making the dining experience at Club Ninety Six even more enjoyable.

departments 6 F R O M T H E D ES K

72 Q&A Our editor sits down with realtor and 20-year Los Cabos resident Chris Snell to discover some tips to successful ownership in Baja.

O F R O N H AT FI E L D

74 G I V I N G B AC K

The location and home quality is unmatched

Understanding that a successful community extends

anywhere, but it’s really the dedication

beyond the entrance of Palmilla, Del Mar Development

and hard work of a talented staff that makes

is dedicated to making life better for everyone.

Del Mar Development so special.

12 D ES T I N AT I O N LO S CA B O S

What is it that makes Los Cabos unique?

88 FROM THE CHEF One of the signature items on the menu at Club Ninety Six is the Shrimp & Scallop Ceviche. Here’s the recipe so you can make it at home.

Many things. Our editors and writers discover the people, places and things that define the “Los Cabos lifestyle.”

4 4 H E A LT H Y L I V I N G Water sports in the Sea of Cortez are plentiful. But at Del Mar Development, a healthy lifestyle just seems easier to achieve.

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DESTINATION LOS CABOS ART WALK SAN JOSE There’s a lot to enjoy in the nearby colonial city of San Jose del Cabo, including fine restaurants and local art. The recently organized Centro Historico de San Jose del Cabo was formed by a group of local business owners to help promote cultural walks in the downtown area, where local artists display striking original works of art, handcrafted clothing and jewelry. To experience the vibrant diversity of the local cultural scene, join in one of the popular art walks held each Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., from November through May. More than 20 galleries in the small Art District centered on Calle Obregon (a block from the central plaza and church) open their doors and offer complimentary wine and refreshments, live music, and an ever-changing display of local arts and crafts, including sculpture, handmade textiles from Chiapas and original fine art from all parts of Mexico. Early birds meet at the San Jose Café at the corner of Morelos and Zaragoza for complimentary coffee on Tuesday mornings and a tour of the district from 9 a.m. to noon.

where to find a legend Los Cabos, of course. Catch a glimpse of surf history at Cabo Surf Hotel, founded by legendary board man Mike Doyle. The 7 Seas Grille here is a laid-back roost for a leisurely lunch of amazing fish tacos overlooking Acapulquito—or “Old Man’s Beach”—where newbies are learning to surf at the Mike Doyle Surf School and seasoned surfers enjoy the year-round break. Doyle himself is mostly found these days working on his other art form, painting, and his colorful, surf-themed canvasses on display at Cabo Surf will give you bright ideas for your walls. Catch a wave (or a painting) and you’ll be sitting on top of the world.

GRANDERS

One of Los Cabos’ biggest events, the Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Tournament is also one of the world’s richest sporting events, drawing a crowd of big game fishing enthusiasts to the area every October for some of the best marlin fishing anywhere, with some trophy fish weighing 1,000 pounds (called a “grander”). The Bisbee celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2010. In the years since its inception, Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament has evolved into a high stakes competition, with many fish qualifying for jackpot prizes of over a million dollars. The three-day tourney is now covered internationally, with media crews coming from as far away as Japan and Russia. Approximately 100 boats and some 500 anglers compete for more than $2 million in cash awards. The Bisbee has also pioneered catch-and-release rules and the use of circle hooks to ensure the health of the offshore game fish stocks. The tournament festivities and weigh-ins are open to the public at no charge in front of the Puerto Paraiso Mall in the Cabo Marina area. A visit to the marina during the tournament is a way to experience the excitement of one of Cabo’s most famous events, and one that has ties to some early history in the area.

Cowabunga Dude! Fav Surf Spots at Los Cabos

Acapulquito  A great long board right-hand reef wave, with a positive vibe. Good for beginners with a surf school available at the  Cabo Surf Hotel directly in front of the break. South swells, April thru October. Located at Costa Azul in San Jose del Cabo.

La Roca  Intermediate to advanced righthand wave with a challenging take off and high performance wrapping wall. The reef is too shallow at low tide. South swells, April thru October. Located at Costa Azul in San Jose del Cabo.

Zippers  High-energy, high-quality, right-hand surf break for the more advanced wave rider. Very competitive. The young surfers often put on an aerial show here. South swells, April thru October. Located at Costa Azul in San Jose del Cabo

Nine Palms  An empty right-hand point wave, one hour down a dirt road on the East Cape. A 300yard wave with a soulful vibe. South swells, April thru October. Good for all levels.

Los Cerritos  A right-hand point wave with a great beach scene. Located at Km 66 near Pescadero on the Pacific coast. Breaks all year, but best on the north winter swells. Good for all levels. Boards available to rent on the beach with instructors. Jazz music on Sunday at the Cerritos Beach Club.

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DESTINATION LOS CABOS

luxury avenue

CREATIVE SUSHI Everyone raves about NickSan, the sushi restaurant. By combining traditional Japanese techniques and preparations (sashimi, sushi rolls)

The Luxury Avenue Boutique Mall is a glamorous, high-concept shopping destination in downtown Cabo San Lucas where under a single roof shoppers find some of the most prestigious brands in fashion, jewelry and beauty. An on-site coordinator can help select gifts and accessories from a collection of brands that include Cartier, Fendi, Rolex, Breguet, Breitling, Bvlgari and Swarovski. Prior to a wedding, a visit to the Ultrafemme Skin Lounge can provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience for the bride and her group. Luxury Avenue offers something for even the most discriminating shoppers.

with uniquely Mexican ingredients (avocado, habanero chili-infused onions) and flavors, NickSan delivers what many people describe as “the best sushi they’ve ever had.” And then there

QUICK & EASY ACCESS

are several delectable creations, such as the

Today three gleaming glass-and-steel terminals—includ-

wasabi foam that envelops the tuna tostada, that

ing a private jet terminal—handle close to three million

simply sends the food over the edge of bueno

visitors to the region each year, making Los Cabos

and into the realm of muy excellente. Cabo San

International Airport one of the most important airports

Lucas used to be their only Los Cabos location,

in Mexico. It is a two-hour flight from many U.S. cities,

but now Del Mar residents and guests can drive

including Los Angeles, Houston and Phoenix and “two-

their golf cart to the newest location in Las

and-a-half to three hours from 27 million people,” as

Tiendas de Palmilla.

realtor Chris Snell likes to point out. The airport is seven miles from San Jose Del Cabo and 10 miles from Palmilla and with a driver to pick up Del Mar homeowners and

CABO PULMO There’s a magical place located just about an hour north of Los Cabos, a secluded area of rare beauty, sparkling blue waters, miles of white sandy beaches and a stunning abundance of marine life. Cabo Pulmo is one of Mexico’s natural treasures. Its living coral reef makes it a favorite dive spot for marine enthusiasts from all over the world. Located on a secluded bay on the east side of the Baja Peninsula about 40 miles north of Los Cabos, Cabo Pulmo is a place where the lifestyle of old Baja remains unchanged since John Steinbeck visited, documenting the area in his “Log from the Sea of Cortez”. The friendly community consists of a few hundred locals and a handful of restaurants and dive shops. For divers, Cabo Pulmo is an underwater paradise, the fingers of North America’s only living coral reef extending offshore into pristine water from 15 to 100 feet deep. More than 200 species of marine life abound in and around the reef, including sea turtles, moray eels, bat rays and many small, brightly colored fish. Giant manta rays or a whale shark may also make an appearance, an event that is always breathtaking.

rental guests and deliver them to their villa doorstep, the experience is as close to painless as jet travel can be.

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DESTINATION LOS CABOS

Tech Talk

Going GREENE at Flora Farm Visitors often come to Los Cabos to disconnect, to escape, to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle they dream of but are rarely able to achieve in the hustle-and-bustle world back home. That dream frequently translates into a healthier lifestyle as the stress melts away and focus on all aspects of the mind, body and spirit becomes natural. If that description applies to you, head over to Flora Farm in Las Animas,

Three years ago, recognizing the need to provide reliable, state-of-the-art communications technology to homeowners, Del Mar Development took the $3.2 million leap into fiber optic capabilities, and today, every home, villa and cottage is hard-wired with what Property Manager Johnny Castineiras calls “triple play” technology. “We are the first development in all of Latin America to provide fiber optic television, digital telephone and high speed Internet to our homeowners and guests,” he says. “Technology is critical in this day and age. Our homeowners want to be able to get away on vacations with their families, but they also need to be able to rely on the ability to communicate with their offices, sell stock options, do business just like they would back in the States. It’s important for the whole family to stay connected whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or other social media they might use. Being out of touch is nice for a day or two, but it can quickly become a deterrent to a longer stay. Providing this level of reliable technology was an investment on our part, but it was something we absolutely needed to do for our owners.”

AD TO GO HERE

on the east side of San Jose del Cabo, and introduce yourself to Patrick and Gloria Greene. A dynamic duo whose farm is one of the leading producers of organic fruits and vegetables in the region and suppliers to Del Mar’s Club Ninety Six and other local restaurants of everything from lettuce and tomatoes to Swiss chard and basil, the Greenes have been based in Los Cabos for more than 20 years. In that span, they have been involved in everything from hotel development (Patrick), to helping create the Mercado Organico (Gloria) that runs every Saturday morning during the high season in downtown San Jose, to the big annual fundraiser Dog Day Afternoon that supports the Los Cabos Humane Society (both of them). These days, the Greenes are concentrating their considerable energies on Flora Farm, where in addition to growing some 90 different varieties of fruits and vegetables, they have recently opened a market and small farmto-table restaurant called Flora Farm Kitchen. Here, diners will find everything is prepared fresh: artisan breads are baked every morning; free range pork and chicken is raised nearby; the organic ingredients in the salad you order are likely to have just been picked and washed in the last two hours. Flora Farm may be slightly off the beaten path, but that’s a big part of its personality. “We are set up for homeowners and local residents [many of whom will remember Gloria’s popular Cafe Flora in San Jose] and visitors to Los Cabos who are looking for something differ-

old world charm, modern conveniences Owning a home in Mexico is great... until you need new ink cartridges for your printer, right? Wrong. Just 10 years ago that might have been the case. But today, you can have all the old world charm of Mexico with all the modern conveniences of home. Nowadays, Office Depot, Office Max, Home Depot, Costco, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club are all minutes away from Palmilla’s entrance. And by the way, you can drink the water.

ent,” Patrick says, “for something genuine and local.” They are guaranteed to find it at Flora Farm.—George Fuller

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DESTINATION LOS CABOS

Todos Sa ntos

sidetrips

E a s t C a pe B y M i c h a e l Ko e h n

Ca bo Sa n Lucas There’s no question that when it comes to grabbing headlines, Cabo San Lucas is king.  Famous for its scenic arch (Los Arcos), also known as Land’s End, Cabo is where to head when looking for nightlife and excitement. Before sunset, there are several stops that everyone should make. Medano Beach is a popular destination, especially with the younger crowd and during spring break, where a large expanse of white sand overlooks the famous arch and the Sea of Cortez. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle on Medano, with plenty of beachside restaurants  and watering holes, and it’s a great place to rent a wave runner, go parasailing, kayaking or just relax and do some people watching. For animal lovers, it’s tough to beat a visit to Cabo Dolphins on the marina to enjoy the company of amazing and amusing dolphins in a specially designed dolphin tank. And a trip to Cabo wouldn’t be complete without a trip to visit the magnificent arch itself. There are always water taxis available to take you directly to the postcard-famous rock formation towering over Lover’s Beach. When the sun goes down, Cabo comes alive. The party is always in full swing at hotspots like Cabo Wabo Cantina, The Giggling Marlin and El Squid Roe. These world-famous clubs are loud and lively, serving up food and drink, dancing and loud music (Cabo Wabo is owned by Red Rocker Sammy Hagar) and the action continues late into the evening. Other nightspots worth checking out include the Hard Rock Café and Nikki Beach, where a stylish crowd enjoys sushi and exotic cocktails on plush lounge beds overlooking the beach.  1 8    D E L

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To experience southern Baja the way it was 30 years ago, a quick trip out to the East Cape lends a sense of a time and place that first drew adventurers and fishermen to the area. The small towns of Buena Vista and Los Barriles are both situated on the beautiful Bahia de Palmas which stretches from Punta Pescadero south to Punta Arena Sur. The area became a favorite destination years ago for big game anglers who flew into the area to fish the fertile waters for marlin, tuna, yellowtail, wahoo and roosterfish. A small industry of resorts and fishing lodges developed that catered to clientele who flew in to these rustic resorts with their dirt landing strips. The East Cape, thankfully, remains relatively unchanged, with many of the fishing resorts like Rancho Leonero and Rancho Buena Vista still offering world-class sport fishing to clients who prefer the quieter, more traditional lifestyle of the area. The remoteness of the area is also part of its appeal. Visitors can explore the scenic coastline and often find an isolated beach on which to enjoy a picnic lunch in complete solitude. Water enthusiasts take advantage of the wonderful diving and snorkeling opportunities in the area. Visibility is usually excellent in the Sea of Cortez, and you can swim in the company of colorful, exotic fish while exploring the warm turquoise water in what Jacques Cousteau called “the world’s aquarium.” With a constant supply of prevailing winds, the East Cape is also popular with windsurfers and the charming town of Los Barilles serves as the center of activity.

An atmospheric village just a short drive up the Pacific coast, Todos Santos—a well-known Pueblo Magico, or magical town—is charming and historic with a longstanding artistic tradition. The main streets around the central plaza are lined with art galleries and shops featuring folk arts, traditional blankets, handblown glass, pottery and other authentic handcrafts. If you happen to be in the area from the end of January through the first week in February, the town transforms itself into a center of artistic celebration, drawing artists, musicians and filmmakers from all over the world. Colorful exhibits and performances fill several venues located around the central plaza where art lovers are able to view and purchase artwork directly from the artists. In early March, Todos Santos also hosts its film festival, a week-long event celebrating local and national Mexican film culture. Other attractions in the area include the Hotel California, a beautifully renovated property located on the main street through town (Calle Benito Juarez) and a new boutique hotel called Guaycura just around the corner, which also features a luxurious spa. Others spots worth a visit are Café Santa Fe, a local institution that offers a creative Mediterranean menu using fresh seafood and organic ingredients, and Caffé Todos Santos which specializes in baked goods. If you have some time on the way back to Cabo, plan to stop in and visit Rancho Pescadero, located on the beach just outside the farming village of El Pescadero south of Todos Santos. It’s an upscale boutique hotel that has recently gained international recognition, and its restaurant features a menu using much of the fresh organic produce in the area. The renowned surfing beach at Los Cerritos is just south of town also.

L a Pa z I s l a n d s It’s been said that to truly appreciate the beauty of La Paz, you have to look beneath the surface. That’s because one of the great natural resources of La Paz—and all of Baja California—lies just offshore: the islands of Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Cerralvo. A two-hour drive from Los Cabos, La Paz is a mecca for outdoor adventures. No other destination in Baja offers such a variety of fishing, diving, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing and boating in such close proximity. Espiritu Santo lies directly north of the mouth of Bahia de La Paz and is made up of two islands, Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida. They are especially popular with divers as it’s possible to see several species of whales, sharks and manta rays on any given trip. Fishing around the islands can often be outstanding. The Marisla Seamount, better known as “El Bajo,” has earned a reputation for producing numbers of worldclass game fish like marlin, tuna, wahoo, amberjack and grouper. The southern portion of the island is known for scenic Bonanza Beach, where a gentle crescent of sparkling white sand edges a shallow, rocky cove. At the very northern end is the famous Los Islotes Rock, home to a colony of over 200 California Brown Sea Lions which are famous for their playfulness, an extremely popular place for a day of diving or snorkeling. Many tour boats from La Paz make daily excursions to Los Islotes for that reason. Isla Cerralvo is located southeast of Espiritu Santo between two massive deep-water channels that literally funnel huge schools of pelagic fish along its flanks. Considered by many to be among the top five fishing spots in the world, the island produces tuna nearly year round, and the world record 114-pound roosterfish was caught here.

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STEWARDSHIP

one jet card. two services. Zero reasons to look elsewhere.

whale warrior Author, environmentalist and tireless advocate for the endangered, Serge Dedina lives in Imperial Beach, Calif., where he serves as executive director of WiLDCOAST, an international organization focused on conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. A champion of preservation and former Nature Conservancy team member, Dedina was instrumental in the development of two national parks along Baja California’s Sea of Cortez coastline and a research and educational center in Magdalena Bay. He also sparked an international campaign that successfully halted the destruction of San Ignacio Lagoon—the world’s last untouched gray whale lagoon. His book, “Saving the Gray Whale,” recounts the three years he lived in the lagoons of Baja California and studied these magnificent denizens. Local residents and visitors to Los Cabos and the Baja Peninsula may want to visit majestic Magdalena Bay for soulful encounters with these intelligent leviathans who travel from the icy waters of the Northern Pacific to the warm and protective lagoons of Baja. Nobody knows these creatures better than Dedina, who relays that the best time to go is in February and early March. Despite their remarkable comeback from near-extinction after the 1970s, the grays are facing a new stress factor as climate-change has altered their feeding habitats in the North Pacific. Dedina explains: “The increase in sea temperatures in the Bering and Chucki Seas has meant that the once-abundant populations of amphipods that gray whales feed on have in many areas disappeared. This means that gray whales spend more time on their migratory route searching for food and are arriving at the lagoons later and 20

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BY ANN WYCOFF

noticeably thinner—what scientists are now describing as ‘skinny whales.’ So it remains to be seen what the future holds for these magnificent marine mammals.” Dedina and WiLDCOAST are actively working to conserve the gray whale habitat of Magdalena Bay as a national park. In addition, the group is allied with the Laguna San Ignacio Conservation Alliance to protect these whales and preserve the last remaining wild gray whale birthing and calving lagoons. “To date we have conserved over 140,000 acres and hope to conserve an additional 218,000 acres over the next year,” he says. As to why these present efforts are critical, Dedina says, “Baja California and the Sea of Cortez contain some of the world’s most unique and biologically important coastal desert ecosystems as well as gorgeous islands and reef systems. Preserving the rare habitats and the wildlife that thrive in these places will help us to forever enjoy this beauty. “It also means working with local communities, the tourism and sport fishing industry and the private sector to balance the need for economic development and the conservation of this awesome natural region. As much of the economy of Baja depends on attracting people to visit these places and enjoy the recreation through fishing, diving, kayaking and surfing, it is important to maintain these resources in a healthy state. We are so lucky to continue to be able to live, play and work in this paradise.” Dedina’s new book, “Wild Sea: Eco-Wars and Surf Stories from the Coast of the Californias,” a collection of essays about the bi-national coastal culture of the Baja California Peninsula and Southern California, will be released in February 2011 by University of Arizona Press. 

SEE FOR YOURSELF January through March is prime whale season in Los Cabos, and Villas Del Mar owners get a close up view of the gentle giants from their living room windows as they swim past offshore. For a closer look at the breeding grounds, a quick flight on Aero Calafia (www.aereocalafia. com.mx) from Los Cabos to Ciudad Constitucion, and a 30-minute drive to Magdalena Bay will take you to the center of the action. Hire a panga boat driver in Puerto San Carlos for a day trip or book via

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Y E S T E R DAY, TO DAY A N D TO M O R R O W

history of

palmilla

by Michael Koehn

THIS PAGE: The Mission Building and Bell Tower on the grounds of Palmilla. RIGHT: Luci and Desi Arnez, early residents of Los Cabos.

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Baja California Sur—the words evoke a sense of mystery and magic. The long peninsula bordered by the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other is one of the world’s most intriguing landscapes. It’s a place of contrasting scenic beauty, where sparkling blue seas splash up against the arid cliffs and arroyos of its vast desert, where ancient mountains form the backdrop for rapidly growing towns and beachfront hotels, where old world festivals and traditions exist side-by-side with the latest modern amenities and fine dining at its many world-class luxury resorts. In its early history, Baja California Sur was a place that was largely untraveled and unappreciated by the outside world. Its indigenous people subsisted on the meager yield of the land and the bounty of the sea. Their way of life continued unchanged for thousands of years, largely unnoticed save for the excursions of a few brave wanderers, most famously John Steinbeck who visited the area exploring marine life in 1940 that resulted in his book, “Log from the Sea of Cortez.” Baja’s isolation started to change after WWII, as returning GIs began to enjoy the fruits of a booming postwar economy and increased recreational activities. Many also had pilots licenses and began to explore more exotic areas seeking adventure and the good fishing that existed in these unspoiled areas of Mexico.

The Emergence of L os Cabos One of the first pioneers to recognize the potential of Baja was Don Albelardo “Rod” Rodriguez, the son of a Mexican president who lived in California and had served as a test pilot during the war. Rodriquez often explored southern Baja by plane and quickly recognized the potential of the coastal area as a resort destination. Where no hotels existed, he decided to build two, the first called Rancho Las Cruces, in a remote area south of La Paz, which became a fishing Mecca and hideaway that attracted adventurous sportsmen looking to toss a line into the teeming waters for marlin and other big game trophies. Celebrities and other prominent Baja enthusiasts who visited Las Cruces included Bing Crosby, John Wayne, Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball (who built a home there with

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Y ES T E R DAY, TO DAY A N D TO M O R R O W

DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED TO RODRIGUEZ’ EXACTING STANDARDS, THE PALMILLA BECAME A JEWEL OF A RESORT, A DESTINATION THAT QUICKLY BECAME KNOWN FOR ITS EXEMPLARY SERVICE AND SPECTACULAR LOCATION.

a guitar-shaped pool) and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The low-slung resort offered isolation, great dining and some of the best big game fishing and wing shooting anywhere. Looking to expand to other areas in Baja, Rodriguez began scouting nearby locations, searching for a prime spot for a new resort, finally finding a location that he thought was perfect, a point of land on the Sea of Cortez called Punta Palmilla near San Jose del Cabo. In June 1953, Rodriguez purchased 400 acres and a mile of shimmering beachfront at Punta Palmilla for $15,000. He then spent time in the Los Angeles Public Library, studying books on Spanish Colonial architecture and designing the buildings and architectural details for the Palmilla hotel, including the bell tower, fountains, terraces, arches, ornamental tiles and wrought iron. By October, 1956 he had finished plans for the hotel, deciding upon a two-story structure with 15 guestrooms on one side, and kitchen, dining room and bar on the other. The two sections were connected by a terrace

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Through the hard work and extraordinary vision of men like “Rod” Rodriguez, Don Koll, Kenneth Schnitzer and Ron Hatfield, what started as a sleepy hideaway for ardent fishermen and adventurers has over the years become one of the most coveted residential and resort destinations in the world.

and a long series of graceful arches. At the center of the terrace on the lower level was the entrance to the hotel, marked by an impressive arch that framed the patio, pool, sandy beaches and striking blue hues of the open sea and sky. The Palmilla hotel was completed in June 1958. Rodriguez described it as a “magical edifice, pristine and glowing, that blended with the superiority of the beautiful point of land on which it had been built.”  Designed and constructed to Rodriguez’ exacting standards, the Palmilla became a jewel of a resort, a destination that quickly became known for its exemplary service and spectacular location. Following the completion of the Transpeninsular Highway in 1973, the resort became increasingly popular and by 1984 had grown to 50 rooms.

T h e K o ll Y e a r s In the early 1980s, Southern California developer Don Koll began to spend a lot of time in Baja. Developing an appreciation for the people and the culture, he bought property for a home next to the Palmilla. Over lunch at the iconic hotel one day, he had a vision of the opportunities that could be realized if he owned the property and began talks with Rod Rodriguez that lasted some two years before the eventual sale to Koll in 1984. Now owner of the highly regarded, 71-room luxury hotel and 900 surrounding acres, Koll began asking around for advice on what it would take to attract new visitors to the area. The answer he kept getting was golf, but only if it was offered on a world-class level. If Cabo was to become a true international resort destination, as Koll envisioned, then it would need to offer golf courses to equal the luxury resorts he had planned. Never one to compromise, Koll brought in one of golf’s most respected names, Jack Nicklaus, to help develop a strategy for developing Palmilla and Los Cabos as a golf destination extraordinaire. Koll and Nicklaus took their case to the highest level of Mexican government, meeting

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Y ES T E R DAY, TO DAY A N D TO M O R R O W

with Mexican President Carlos Salinas. Convincing Salinas that the area needed world-class golf facilities, plans for the Nicklaus course at the Palmilla proceeded with the full support of local and federal governments. At the grand opening of Palmilla Golf Club in 1991, President Salinas personally thanked Koll and Nicklaus for their vision and contribution to the Los Cabos area.

O n e & O n ly P a l m i ll a In the 1990s, Los Cabos began to boom as a luxury resort destination and in 1996, Palmilla was again expanded, this time to 115 rooms. The elegant, Old World style and ambiance of the original resort were carefully preserved with a $90 million refurbishment by the One&Only Palmilla, and it reopened as a luxuriously upgraded new incarnation in February 2004. Though it today is firmly established as one of the world’s most prestigious luxury resorts, a jewel situated on one of the most desirable locations in all of Baja California, Palmilla still embodies all the charm and mystique that “Rod” Rodriguez envisioned those many years ago.

AS THE LOS CABOS AREA CONTINUES TO EXPAND AND MATURE, THE ONE&ONLY PALMILLA AND DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT HAVE SET A STANDARD FOR RESORT AND RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES THAT IS UNMATCHED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. 2 6    D E L

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It exists both as a special place and as a state of mind, a lush, serene oasis with its traditional red-tiled roofs and whitewashed walls in a tropical setting of exotic plants and flowers, the entire area gently caressed by the warm Baja sun and ocean breezes. Here the traditional style and service of old Mexico is combined with a perfect setting and climate in an oasis of tranquility located just four miles from San José del Cabo. Integral to the Palmilla concept are the master-planned communities created by Del Mar Development. As the Los Cabos area continues to expand and mature, the One&Only Palmilla and Del Mar Development have set a standard for resort and residential properties that is unmatched anywhere in the world. Retaining the elegant traditions of the area’s first luxury property while keeping an eye on the future and continually upgrading their amenities, these unique properties have established a timeless quality for luxury living in southern Baja. 

An aerial view of Punta Palmilla with protected Palmilla Bay on the right, the region’s famous swimming beach.

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Cabo 2010 • The Carters

Denver, Colorado

Family. Memories. Lifestyle (Margaritas, optional)

{

}

“We searched the world for the perfect place... ...we found it here in Los Cabos at Villas Del Mar.” -The Carters

Live Cabo • Trust Snell " We wanted the perfect place -- a magnet to bring our fa mily together as the kids went off to college, ventured away from home, started careers and fa milies of their own. We found exactly that and so much more in Villas Del Mar, the best address in Los Cabos. A lifestyle to treasure. A vibrant community. New friends who will last a lifetime. Instantly, we knew we had made the right choice for our fa mily. It feels like a forever home. It’s perfect.”

SNELL

Snell Real Estate proudly represents the Del Mar Development communities of Villas Del Mar R EDelAMar, L EEspiritu S TAT E and Oasis Palmilla. Visit a Snell Real Estate office to learn more.

The Carter Family • Denver, CO Homeowners in Villas Del Mar

Exclusively representing Villas Del Mar

SnellRealEstate.com

family • community • lifestyle • passion • live Cabo • trust Snell

Virtual Tours Online • Financing Available • FinanceCabo.com

info@snellrealestate.com Local: (624) 144-5470 • Toll-free: 1-877-847-1662 Offices in Villas Del Mar • Espiritu Del Mar • Palmilla


the art of

LIVING perfected

THE COMMUNITIES OF DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT

N

o matter where you have traveled or lived in the world, it’s safe to presume that nothing equals the extraordinary

experience offered at the communities of Del Mar Development. Its location at the very southern tip of Baja California, where the lush desert flows out of the rugged mountains and meets the Sea of Cortez, is uniquely alluring. The homes within the three communities—Villas Del Mar, Espiritu Del Mar and Oasis Palmilla—are all oriented toward the sea, either from a commanding hillside vantage, or so close to the water that you fall to sleep with a lullaby of waves as they lap the sandy shoreline. Amenities rival the best resorts in the world, with four fitness centers, a beach club with an ocean view restaurant, a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, miles of walking and jogging paths and access to the spa and other five-star facilities at the adjacent One&Only Palmilla Hotel. The construction values are flawless; and homeowners never need worry about upkeep or care, as the management of the communities is driven by a mission to offer outstanding service and deliver, as developer Ron Hatfield says, “tremendous hidden value.” If one were to envision the ideal lifestyle, location and support system for themselves and their families, they would envision the communities of Del Mar Development, where the art of living is honed and perfected.

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THE COMMUNITIES OF DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT

VILL AS DEL MAR

S

et upon terraced hillsides overlooking the sea and landscaped like a tropical Garden of Eden, Villas Del Mar has

evolved over the past 15 years from six villas on the beach into a tight-knit community of world-class homes. From the highest hilltop homes and home sites, the panoramic views of the Los Cabos coastline and Sea of Cortez are nothing short of spectacular; while the villas at the beach feature stone stairways leading right down to the sand. “Water is the major focus of the design of Villas Del Mar,” says Robert Jones, Vice President of Construction. “I get the most comments on the views and the pools during the design process. People know exactly how they want to live outside. They have clear ideas about where they are going to sit, where they are going to cook and gather.” The home designs of Villas Del Mar evolved organically as the community grew. Realizing the importance homeowners were placing on outdoor living both day and night, Jones and the design team concentrated more on creating exterior living rooms, exterior kitchens and bars, fire pits, night lighting and comfortable spaces that allowed families to live outside the walls of their home as much as inside. At the same time, privacy was guarded by adding walls and foliage so that each home enjoys uninterrupted views to the sea, but not into the neighbor’s yard. “Our biggest goal,” says Ron Hatfield, developer of Villas Del Mar, “is to create a community of satisfied owners that is secure, peaceful and relaxing to come home to.” That they achieved in abundance at Villas Del Mar. 

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THE COMMUNITIES OF DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT

OASIS PALMILL A

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ited on the fairways of the Mountain Course at Palmilla Golf Club with views through a valley down to the

ocean, Oasis Palmilla represents a different community concept altogether for Del Mar Development. Comprised of just 40 one-acre (or larger) home sites, big views and an immense quiet define this community. Architectural guidelines for homes at Oasis call for single-story Mexican Coastal Ranch designs, with landscaped courtyards, wide roof overhangs, barrel tiles on shaped roofs, ample verandas and abundant use of traditional Mexican decorative tile and native stone. An enhanced desert palette dominates the landscape and soft-surface walking/jogging trails loop through the community. Oasis sports its own private fitness center with yoga lawn, and access to all the same amenities as the other communities. If owners choose to come down from their custom-built oasis, they will find Club Ninety Six and all the beach activities waiting for them. “With one-acre sites, it’s wide open,” says Ron Hatfield. “Plus, Oasis Palmilla is a showcase environment to protect the natural flora and fauna of the high desert around the Mountain Course. It’s five to 10 degrees cooler and a breeze is common. That makes a big difference.” Homes are situated to take advantage of golf and ocean views, and with the proximity to the golf course and clubhouse, “Oasis appeals to golfers,” Hatfield says, “but all the other amenities of Del Mar Development are minutes away.” 

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THE COMMUNITIES OF DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT

ESPIRITU DEL MAR

T

he newest community in Del Mar Development’s impressive portfolio is Espiritu Del Mar. Though what

it shares is the same commitment to excellence in construction, community management and staff support as Villas Del Mar, “We listened to feedback from our homeowners in designing this new product,” Hatfield says. The homes in Espiritu Del Mar allowed the design team to explore the use of new building materials and techniques, such as exposed brick, courtyard entrances and wood columns and ceiling beams. The community also features more of an “enhanced desert” landscaping, along with more than 23 acres of open spaces, community parks and gardens—including a terraced herb and vegetable garden—an event lawn and a citrus grove. At the highest pinnacle of the hill on which Espiritu is built is Mirador de la Cruz, an homage of thanks and gratitude to the area’s fishermen and tradition of fishing. Nowadays, Mirador serves as a quiet hilltop sanctuary for meditation and a lovely spot for a sunset picnic. With an emphasis on fitness and a healthy lifestyle, residents of Espiritu Del Mar have easy access to miles of hiking and jogging trails, a climb up to Mirador and all the myriad water activities an active Los Cabos lifestyle affords. Club Espiritu, situated in the heart of the community, is stocked with state-of-the-art workout equipment and a full menu of massage and fitness services are offered. 

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THE AMENITIES OF DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT

CLUB ESPIRITU

T

he Espiritu Del Mar community is designed to embrace the healthy Los Cabos lifestyle, and nowhere is

this more epitomized than at the private fitness haven of Club Espiritu. The manicured grounds are backdropped by the sparkling ocean view, while the elegance of the building, with its hand-carved wooden detailing, lofty beamed ceilings and sculpture accents clearly states that this is not your average fitness club. Club Espiritu offers members 10,000 square feet of Cabo’s finest fitness facilities. A large variety of equipment for cardio, weight training and circuit training is available (and an ample number of machines so there’s no waiting to get your workout). Spinning and Pilates studios and lots of open space for functional training and stretching complement the freestanding equipment. Cardio stations come equipped with iPod compatibility and viewing screens so you can personalize your workout experience, although you may not be able to tear your eyes away from the incredible ocean view. A personal trainer can help define your goals, or you can sign up for one of the many services offered such as a Zumba class, private Pilates session, aqua aerobics or “TRX” suspension training. To nourish your spirit, massage services, a steam room and sauna are offered. Club Espiritu is also the trailhead for over three miles of walking trails and golf cart paths throughout the community. 

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THE AMENITIES OF DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT

CLUB NINETY SIX

W

ith more than 350 days of sunshine per year in Los Cabos and an average temperature of

78 degrees, it is easy to understand why Club Ninety Six is the most popular gathering spot for homeowners of all three Del Mar Development communities. A private beach club, fitness center, kids playground, restaurant and wine cellar all rolled into one, the elegant, yet completely relaxed, two-story clubhouse opens from a spacious reception lobby to reveal exciting views of the swimming pools, Palmilla Bay and the safest swimming beach in Los Cabos. Off to one side is a state-of-the-art fitness center; off to the other is an indoor bar and lounge with flat screen television, dining area and private wine room where members are able to store their favorite vintages. Just outside is a fine dining terrace for quiet candlelit dinners. An outdoor bar and casual, open-air restaurant serves beach and pool guests refreshing beverages and three meals a day. A beachfront Activities and Adventures Program offers complimentary activities such as kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding, while a private, 50-foot sailing catamaran can also be chartered and sets sail on the Sea of Cortez right from in front of the Club. Little ones are kept happy with a complimentary Children’s Activities Program during busy weeks, allowing parents to relax poolside or try their hand at paddle boarding. Catering and at-home dining are also available from Club Ninety Six. 

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THE AMENITIES OF DEL MAR DEVELOPMENT

ONE&ONLY PALMILL A

P

almilla is where the concept of luxury living south of the border first took root, when a visionary young man

named Don Albelardo “Rod” Rodriguez, the son of a Mexican president, purchased the tract of land at Punta Palmilla in 1953. Soon, he began constructing the now-legendary Palmilla Hotel, these days known as the One&Only Palmilla. Though today it stands unparalleled in Mexico for its luxury and detail, it is still very much the same relaxing experience it was when first conceived and built. One of the coveted privileges of Del Mar homeowners and guests is access to the restaurants and spa of One&Only Palmilla, located immediately adjacent to Villas Del Mar. Among the favorite restaurants here is Market by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, where “Euro-Asian cuisine with Mexican inspirations” is found along with Mexico’s most extensive wine list. “Casual elegance” describes Agua, another popular dining venue at One&Only, perched on a bluff overlooking the sea and adjacent to the resort’s new infinity-edge pool. For the ultimate in pampering, the spa at One&Only offers 13 private treatment villas, each with an airconditioned massage pavilion and open-air garden. Double villas are designed to share the experience with a friend or loved one, and all include rain showers, Mexican daybeds and whirlpool baths as well as private vanity areas fully stocked with all locker amenities. Of course, the guest accommodations at One&Only are unsurpassed should family or guests require more space than is available in your Del Mar home. 

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HEALTHY LIVING

healthy living south of the border

When you envision the ideal vacation in Mexico, you likely see yourself enjoying the life of leisure: sipping margaritas by the pool and snacking on tortilla chips smothered in fresh guacamole. The term “healthy living” may not initially come to mind. Yet when the sunshine and sea breezes rouse you out of bed in the morning—and you realize bathing suit season lasts all year—you may find that motivation comes a bit more naturally. Back home, healthy choices can seem so complicated. Information inundates us about what to eat, what not to eat and what diet or exercise fad to try next. At Del Mar, a healthy lifestyle is much less complicated and easy to find right at your doorstep. The choices are many and enticing. Mornings are ideal for a walk or jog on Del Mar’s many paths and trails which lead past the rolling green fairways of Palmilla’s picturesque golf course, on the endless pristine beaches and up to the hilltop sanctuary of Mirador de la Cruz, where the panoramic views stretch to the distance. Del Mar Development preserved the Mirador as a green space for homeowners and guests to enjoy as a place for reflection or solitude. Guests have been spotted heading uphill with a yoga mat in hand. For a healthy dose of ocean therapy, venture to the sea for an early morning kayak or a stand-up paddle board ride on the warm waters of Palmilla Bay, where you’re likely to catch a glimpse of breaching whales and jumping manta rays. You can grab your gear and take off right from Club Ninety Six, Del Mar Development’s private beach club, located on the most swimmable beach in Cabo.

BY NICOLE MONTGOMERY

I n spi r at ion A bou n d s Perhaps most inspiring of all is Del Mar’s newest addition, the sprawling Club Espiritu, a 10,000-square-foot facility built high enough on the hillside to allow members to gaze at the ocean and surrounding mountains while hitting the weights or the treadmill. Built to accommodate everyone from the novice to the professional athlete, Club Espiritu has all the latest top-of-the-line strength and cardio equipment, spinning and Pilates studios, fresh-air yoga pavilion and lap pool. Personalized instruction and a schedule of complimentary classes are offered daily. Many members enjoy finishing their workouts with a massage in one of the club’s private treatment rooms, or relaxing in the steam or sauna. 44

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HEALTHY LIVING

Featured on the cover of July 2010 Architectural Digest

“The club is very Zen-like,” says homeowner Lani Karls, whose family takes full advantage of the fitness options. Home in Vancouver, Canada, the whole Karls family—mom, dad and two grown daughters in their mid-20s—all work together running the clothing lines they founded, Mac & Jac, Kensie and Kensie Girl. While escaping to their second home in Cabo, they train together as a family, pushing each other through Fitness Director Kelly Loehr’s boot camp-style sessions. “The workouts become our quality time,” Lani says. “They bring out our healthy competition. We have this amazing, inspiring place to get out, walk, run, train…it’s so beautiful. I’m so relaxed here. You just don’t get that feeling back home.”

Much more than just a vegetable market, Mercado is a weekly community event featuring live music and displays from local artists and artisans.

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Dining Makes A Difference Eating a more healthy diet while on vacation also comes more naturally when tropical fruits and delicious locally grown vegetables are always in season. To assist, Del Mar is planting its own community citrus grove with tiered organic herb and vegetable gardens where homeowners will soon be able to plant their own favorite foods. In nearby San Jose del Cabo, The Mercado Organico (Organic Market) takes place every Saturday during peak season. Much more than just a vegetable market, Mercado is a weekly community event featuring live music and displays from local artists and artisans. Local farmers sell their freshest organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, eggs and poultry, while restaurants serve delicious healthy fare on a sprawling event lawn 10 minutes from the Del Mar community. Back at Del Mar, a private in-residence chef can make even the healthiest of meals rich and flavorful. A breakfast of fresh mango, berries or kiwi covered in natural yogurt and granola made from scratch that very morning makes for a nice start to the day. At Club Ninety Six, which sources nearly all of its produce from the local organic Flora Farm, the chef can pair a fresh salad with locally caught fresh fish for lunch or dinner. The restaurant will happily customize dishes for any member looking to make healthier choices. Vacation should be a chance to nourish the body and the mind, an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Del Mar offers a healthy dose of inspiration and an active lifestyle that offers ample opportunity to explore and seek adventure. After making just a few of those healthy choices, the guilty pleasures such as sipping frozen margaritas by the pool become more enjoyable and a bit more guilt-free. After all, healthy living is all about balance. What could be less complicated than that? 

“ 2 0 1 0 C A D e s i g n e r o f t h e Ye a r ” P L A Z A L O S P O RTA L E S # 1 | C A R R E T. T R A N S P E N I N S U L A R K M 3 1 . 5 S A N J O S E D E L C A B O | M E X I C O | T E L 5 2 . 6 2 4 . 1 4 4 . 6 6 1 0 | w w w . s a n d ra e s p i n e t . c o m


Palmilla Golf Club’s 27 holes range from the mountains to the sea.

GOLFasas good it gets 48

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s we putted out on the first green of the Ocean Course at Palmilla Golf Club and walked back toward our cart, club manager Jason Ballog turned to me and said, “Now the fun begins.”

He was right. Not that the first hole wasn’t fun, a warm-up par-four, but as

we rounded a bend in the cart path and pulled up to the second tee box, the splendor of golf in Los Cabos became crystal clear. A deep desert arroyo led downhill to a green neatly tucked into a hillside. Behind the putting surface, the Sea of Cortez sparkled in the late afternoon sun. Fishing boats crossed the horizon in search of the day’s last marlin, dorado or tuna. The cacti were blooming and the desert was unusually green.

BY GEORGE FULLER

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Other Area Courses The Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol advertises that it has the “three best finishing holes in golf,” and it’s hard to argue that they don’t. But it’s No. 17 you’ll be discussing over margaritas in the clubhouse later in the day, the one that gets all the shutters snapping and raves from the golfers. This par-three is 178 yards from the back tees, all of it carry over a sandy white beach. The Sea of Cortez is lapping the shoreline and the putting surface is buttressed by rocks. You’ll love this hole even if you miss your tee shot, but you’ll feel even greater satisfaction if you make the green and putt out for birdie or par. Cabo Del Sol’s second layout is the Tom Weiskopfdesigned Desert Course. Like Palmilla’s Mountain Course, the Desert plays to higher elevations and takes advantage of panoramic views from all 18 holes. Stretching to more than 7,100 yards for the better player, this is a layout that will give golfers all they can handle. At Cabo Real, designed by Robert Trent Jones II, two holes play right at the water, Nos. 14 and 15. On No. 15, a 154-yard par-three, the ocean is on the left, and if you hit long from the tee, you might be in the pool at the adjacent hotel, Las Ventanas al Paraiso. If you put a diving board on the back of the putting surface, you could literally dive into the pool. New and worth playing is Club Campestre San Jose, on the outskirts of San Jose del Cabo. Nicklaus Design created this medium-length course that plays in the foothills and boasts ocean views from many holes. Bonus here is that the green fee is somewhat less than other courses in the area.

ONE OF THE FIRST COURSES BUILT IN LOS CABOS AND STILL AMONG THE BEST, PALMILLA GOLF CLUB SET THE STANDARD FOR GOLF DEVELOPMENT IN THE AREA WHEN IT OPENED IN 1992.

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“Looks like Scottsdale, but with an ocean,” I marveled. And it’s true: the desert golf courses at the tip of Baja California Sur will remind you of those gems in Scottsdale, Arizona. But in Los Cabos, the desert runs down to the sea. That’s the good news. The more important information—at least while you’re on the second tee box of the Ocean Course at Palmilla—is that once you’re done admiring the view you’ll need to cross the aforementioned arroyo with your drive and again on your approach to the putting surface. In fact, as Ballog pointed out as I was teeing up my second tee shot, the first having been overcooked left into the deepest part of the canyon, “Golf at Palmilla is defined by these arroyos and desert washes.” And he proceeded to tick them off in his head. “Yep,” he concluded a few minutes later, “23 of 27 holes either have arroyos bordering them or an arroyo you need to carry on one or more shots.”

The next couple of hours bore out his assessment. One of the first courses built in Los Cabos and still among the best, Palmilla Golf Club set the standard for golf development in the area when it opened in 1992. Though today almost a dozen other courses have been opened for play within 25 miles, the 27 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed fun at Palmilla still tops many golfers’ must-play lists. One reason for this—in addition to the design excellence and challenge of the golf course itself—is the level of service that Ballog and his team provide. “We are a Troon Golf facility,” he explains. “That brings with it an expectation of quality. And since we share Palmilla Resort with One&Only Palmilla and Del Mar Development, in addition to accepting public play, we strive to meet and exceed every need of a very

discerning clientele, whether it be for lessons or just an icy towel to wipe your neck and face after a round.” The Ocean Course is the most requested by those visiting Los Cabos, primarily because it winds out of desert foothills and down to the inviting shoreline at No. 3. A right-leaning par-four, a desert wash runs in front of the tee box and all the way along the right side of the hole, allowing golfers to play a safer shot left—which leaves a longer second shot to the green—or cut off a bigger chunk of the yardage and risk not making the carry. On the hillsides bordering this lovely hole overlooking the Sea of Cortez are examples of the magnificent homes found at Palmilla. The routing turns back from the sea at this juncture and winds its way back into the foothills toward the clubhouse, along the way traversing several more arroyos and providing a good deal of fun and strategic play for the golfer.

Opposite: Hole No. 7 on the Ocean Course begins the trek back into the foothills. Above: Hole No. 3 on the Ocean Course plays down to the beach.

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Palmilla Golf Club’s par-3s are particularly strong as shown above.

THE OCEAN COURSE IS THE MOST REQUESTED BY THOSE VISITING LOS CABOS....

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Many area residents and members, on the other hand, name the Mountain Course as their favorite. It offers up panoramic views of the coastline from a quiet elevation. Late in the afternoon, amidst the high desert cacti and colorful wildflowers and caressed by a cooling breeze, the Mountain Course can be a serene experience, while also playing the most challenging of the three nines. The Arroyo nine, meanwhile, is a resort-level course that still asks players to overcome desert washes on eight of nine holes either from the tee or to the green. In 2008, all the greens and bunkers were renovated on the Arroyo and Mountain courses; and the same work was completed on the Ocean in 2009. At the same time the driving range and practice area were improved. If you’re looking for the best golf experience in Los Cabos, remember, Palmilla Golf Club is where the fun begins.  D E L M A R E S C A P E S 2 0 1 1    5

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P H OTOS BY B EN I TA R. C LOWA R D, B R C P H OTO G R A P H Y

dream weddings AT C LU B N I N E T Y S I X

C

an you imagine a more ideal backdrop for a dream-day wedding than the perfect weather, turquoise waters, sandy beaches, glorious sunsets and dramatic natural beauty of Los Cabos? Woven together with the carefree atmosphere and charming hospitality of Mexico, Los Cabos weddings make for

cherished lifetime memories. But like any wedding, making this Cabo dream a reality takes more than just an idea and a patch of sand. It requires facts, research and most importantly, a venue. Luckily, Club Ninety Six, Del Mar Development’s private beach club in the exclusive seaside community of Palmilla, is at your service. BY K AT H RY N H ELT S L E Y

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When it comes to weddings at Club Ninety Six, “Someone always comes up to me and says, ‘I’ve never been to a wedding like this!’”

“It really is the most beautiful place to get married in all of Cabo,” declares Amy Abbott, Los Cabos’ leading event coordinator and owner of Amy Abbott Events. For almost a decade, Abbott has been an integral part of the Los Cabos community and in that time she has pretty much seen it all. Fireworks, horse-drawn carriages, maraca players and an onstage bride-togroom serenade are all in a day’s work. However, one constant remains. When it comes to weddings at Club Ninety Six, “Someone always comes up to me and says, ‘I’ve never been to a wedding like this!’” So what makes a wedding at Club Ninety Six unique? To begin with, “You have to be a member or sponsored by a member to use the club as a venue, so it is your club...your place,” says Abbott. This makes it a simple choice for members. They are already known to the staff and, in a way, it is like being married at home…with all the extra benefits of a five-star hotel. The beauty of the Club and the perfection of the décor are also striking. Abbott describes Club Ninety Six as having “a clean, earthy feel—with every little detail executed to perfection.” The Club’s classic beauty and understated, Old World-style décor make an excellent base layer for each bride to start from—supporting her vision rather than distracting from it. The layout of the Club is another contributing factor. “There are so many options,” Abbott says. With the ability to accommodate groups from two to 200, a couple can choose to be married on the beautiful private beachfront or among palm trees on the lawn. There is a beachside fire pit for informal cocktail gatherings as well as an upper dining terrace and lounge for more extended celebrations. Easily accessible to guests, yet still secure, private and exclusive, Club Ninety Six makes the wedding ceremony, dining, dancing and celebrating all possible within one seamless location. Another unusual feature is the Club’s flexibility with hours of availability. “With most places around here, you are done at 10 p.m.,” Abbott says. But festivities at Club Ninety Six can last into the wee hours of the morning. That same flexibility extends

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to every aspect of an event. Club Ninety Six is open to the endless options for personalizing each wedding. According to Abbott, to the staff at Club Ninety Six, you are family. They will work with you to personalize your event, to make it entirely your own.

A D r e a m Day C o m e T ru e It’s impossible not to have fun at a Cabo wedding. The carefree atmosphere is enticing and at the Club, there is no need to compromise on the quality of your event. Couples who have chosen Club Ninety Six have found that an intimate, barefoot-in-the-sand feel is easy to achieve, but at the same time they also enjoy a sophisticated, personalized and memorable event. “This is service you won’t get anywhere else,” Abbott says. “It is exceptional service.”

As an example of the Club’s service level that prepares for every circumstance, she cites: “Imagine celebrating with your friends and family. The evening is winding down, everything has been fantastic. You and your guests are relaxed and happy...and maybe a little hungry. Right on cue, the event staff emerges from the kitchen bearing a snack that you remember from countless family celebrations growing up. Everyone laughs as they sample the goodies, adding another unforgettable memory to your perfect day.” Delivering unique moments like this is the delight of the Club’s talented staff. Customized menus, family traditions, cultural influences...it is a staff that will bend over backwards to accommodate every bride’s vision. Working with local organic farmers and fishermen to ensure the use of the freshest ingredients possible, the Club Ninety Six team will create any type of menu desired. Their attention to detail and commitment to excellence in flavor are unequaled in Cabo. The Club also works with the most talented and innovative vendors to provide the right look and entertainment for any kind of wedding. Live music, a fireworks display, cigar rolling, fire dancing, “If you can dream it,” Abbott says, “Club Ninety Six can make it happen.” 

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IN THE SPIRIT

Spirits of Adventure Tez Abbott uncorks a perfectly chilled bottle of Club Ninety Six Chardonnay, a Sonoma Coast 2008 release. Abbott, the Club’s General Manager and resident wine expert, pours a glass and swirls, warms the bowl slightly with the palm of his hand to release the flavors, and breathes deeply with his nose over the side of the glass. A few moments later he sips. “Mmmm,” is all I hear. “That’s very nice,” he says. The 2008 Chardonnay is one of two specially selected and custom-labeled wines that Bighorn Cellars has created for Club Ninety Six, the other being a 2005 Napa Valley red blending merlot, cabernet and Syrah. “We have some homeowners who also have ties to the Napa Valley,” Abbott says. “They helped select these wines and make Club Ninety Six labels a reality.” Club Ninety Six also carries a variety of wines produced in Mexico— mostly from the Guadalupe Valley near Ensenada and the U.S. border—which Abbott says have come light years in terms of quality over the past 20 years. Abbott and his team also offer wine dinners (often with the winemakers in attendance) throughout the season at Club Ninety Six, including a popular sunset wine/dinner cruise. And of course, it being Mexico, tequila and even mescal—which Abbott says is the new trend in spirits—tastings are a regular offering.—George Fuller

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THE DEL MAR EXPERIENCE

My Perfect Del Mar Vacation

by Anthony Dias Blue

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of the rental was three hours of daily maid service, including laundry and bed-making.

THERE WERE FIVE ROOMY BEDROOMS, A LARGE LIVING ROOM THAT OPENED OUT ONTO A POOL DECK, A SPACIOUS KITCHEN AND A DINING ROOM.

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t was hot, steamy and noisy as we pushed our way through the crowd of vacationers in the San Jose del Cabo airport. Three full planes had landed at once and chaos reigned. We had about 15 bags between us, and the porters seemed to be on break. Everything changed when we straggled out onto the sidewalk in front of the terminal. We were met by two Villas Del Mar employees in crisp white uniforms, who took charge of our luggage and hustled us into an air-conditioned, leatherlined Suburban stocked with cold water, sodas and beer. Our perfect vacation had begun. For the past several years, I have taken my family to Cabo San Lucas in December. Located at the tip of Baja California, this Mexican resort is just a two-hour flight from Los Angeles. The weather is always great and the available accommodations range from beach shacks to palatial villas. Nightlife options span from raunchy tequila bars to exquisite Jean-Georges Vongerichten haute cuisine. This time we decided to go

for the gold and stay in a villa at the ultra-exclusive Villas Del Mar at Palmilla. Built on a rocky rise that stretches along two miles of pristine oceanfront property overlooking the Sea of Cortez and adjacent to one of the world’s most luxurious resorts, One&Only Palmilla, Villas Del Mar offers the comforts of an über-luxury vacation home along with the services and amenities of a five-star resort. Just across the highway from Villas Del Mar are 27 holes of Jack Nicklaus-designed golf and state-of-the-art tennis facilities, and guests have access to the extraordinary spa at the One&Only Palmilla.

Wh i t e G l ov e S e rv i c e The Suburban came to a smooth stop in front of our villa. Standing at attention in front were two members of the Villas Del Mar staff and, in white coats, our butler, Rolando, and the chef, Geraldo. Our luggage was quickly and silently whisked into the house and placed in the appropriate bedrooms. There were eight of us: my three daughters, two sons-in-law, my three-year-old granddaughter, my wife and me. The villa could have held 10 or more comfortably. There were five roomy bedrooms, a large living room that opened out onto a pool deck, a spacious kitchen and a dining room. In addition, there was a lovely outdoor dining area where we had breakfast and lunch every day. Another covered seating area with a fireplace adjoined the pool. From our terrace we had a sweeping view of the sea and a front row seat for whale sightings, of which there were many each day. Included in the cost

A n I dy l l ic L i f e st y l e We quickly settled into a routine. Breakfast at nine. Huevos rancheros— fried eggs with spicy tomato sauce, guacamole and tortillas; refried beans; omelets; fresh-cut tropical fruit; fresh squeezed juices; coffee and chilaquiles—tortillas, cheese and avocado with eggs. This was followed by a few hours of reading, sunning and swimming. Then came lunch. Chiles rellenos—poblano chiles stuffed with cheese; fish tacos made with fresh sable; enchiladas; stuffed lobster tails; wine, beer and colorful exotic salads. This was followed by a few hours of reading, sunning and swimming. In the afternoon some of us (not me) played golf or tennis and went to the beach. Villas Del Mar has the nicest and most swimmable beach in the area. Many area beaches face the Pacific Ocean and are not recommended for swimming because of powerful rip tides. The beach in front of Villas Del Mar faces onto the Sea of Cortez and proved safe and lovely. Once the sun went down, we had many options. The nearby town of San Jose del Cabo is quite pleasant and authentic. There are a number of good restaurants including Tequila, Morgan’s, El Chilar and our favorite, Don Emiliano, which serves

remarkably skillful and high-end Mexican food prepared by chef Margarita de Salinas. Club Ninety Six is the lavish club for the exclusive use of Villas Del Mar residents and guests. It includes a large clubhouse, an outdoor bar that offers excellent margaritas, plus burgers and other casual food, two free-form pools, a childrens’ pool and access to a private catamaran. A fitness center contains every exercise machine anyone could want and for lunch or dinner, a fine dining room with temperaturecontrolled members’ wine cellar and an excellent wine list. Most evenings we dined outside at a table near the fire pit overlooking the beach. Club Ninety Six was easily reachable from our villa via our golf cart. The food is contemporary Mexican mixed with traditional grill items. All is adeptly prepared and quite delicious. Service is friendly and highly professional. Unfortunately, our week of luxury ended all too soon. The re-entry to reality was jarring to say the least. As we said tearful goodbyes to Rolando and Geraldo and the rest of the staff, we all agreed that it was the perfect vacation—the best we had ever experienced. 

Escape to   Del Mar No matter the time of year, sometimes all you can think about is the sun-warmed sand, turquoise waters and ice-cold margaritas of Los Cabos, Mexico. Luckily, Del Mar’s exclusive Rental Program takes the idea of a dream vacation beyond the beach and into an unparalleled escape for those seeking sanctuary from the demands of daily life. Renting at Villas Del Mar and Espiritu Del Mar combines the privacy and gated security of your own spectacular villa with all the services and amenities of a five-star resort. Whether you wish to be on the beach, nestled into the hillside with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez or overlooking the green fairways of the Palmilla golf course, the homes at Del Mar feature awe-inspiring views, expansive outdoor terraces, private pools and spas, and two to six bedroom floor plans, some with detached guest suites.

G U E S T S O F D E L M A R E N J OY I M P E C CA B L E S I G N AT U R E S E R V I C E : „„Pre-arrival concierge service to arrange everything from groceries to activities, from dinner reservations to tee times „„Pre-arranged private airport transfers in air-conditioned SUV’s  „„Arrival greeting at home by personal butler and amenity of homemade margaritas, guacamole and salsa  „„A personal chef for breakfast and lunch „„Private butler

Reprinted courtesy of Tasting Panel magazine, where Anthony Dias Blue is editor-in-chief.

„„Daily housekeeping services „„Access to two private clubs:

u Club Ninety Six, located on Cabo’s safest swimming beach with ocean view pools and indoor/outdoor dining u Club Espiritu, the new hillside state-of-the-art fitness center with massage treatment rooms „„Private 50-foot sailing catamaran for exploring the Sea of Cortez for charter „„Access to the restaurants and spa of the neighboring One&Only Palmilla hotel „„Several nearby championship golf courses, including 27 holes at Palmilla Golf Club, plus courses designed by Tom Weiskopf and Tom Fazio „„Private golf cart for the duration of stay

To learn more about the Del Mar Escapes Rental Program, please contact Sean Emmerton at s.emmerton@delmarescapes.com or call toll-free from the U.S., (866) 845-5277. D E L M A R E S C A P E S 2 0 1 1    6

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BUILT TO LAST FOR GENERATIONS

the hundred-year home

TO ENJOY

There are many remarkable sights to see along the 20-mile stretch of scenic Baja California coastline called Los Cabos. Some are natural phenomena such as the majestic rock formations at Land’s End; while others are cultural, such as the old mission in San Jose del Cabo (circa 1730). But one sight

BY KATHRYN HELTSLEY

combines these elements of land

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sculpted by nature with the visionary touch of human hands: Casita Mountain in Villas Del Mar, a majestic point of land overlooking the Sea of Cortez.

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designing the dream Robert Jones, Vice President of Construction for Del Mar Development, believes in first impressions. “I call it the First Seven Seconds,” he says. “The first passage into the house is critical. A person can walk into a home and say, ‘I love it.’ That’s why we’ve added archways, immediate views out to the sea, intricately crafted wrought iron gates off the street and artisan touches throughout the home.” Jones says his mission—for the important first seven seconds and beyond—is to make homeowners’ dreams come true. “The quality of the design, craftsmanship and materials of our homes is a given,” he says. “So what I concentrate on is the dream. Between someone’s needs are their dreams. If you are listening, you can hear that. We design to those dreams. Those intangibles, those dreams, are what Jones translates into the design of a home. “We’ve built yoga rooms, writing rooms, chef’s kitchens,” he says. “Those are the things that transform a house into a dream home. “One homeowner talked about how much he enjoyed fresh-squeezed limes in his margaritas, so we added fruit-bearing lime trees in the yard. Another homeowner remarked how much she

SOLD BEFORE COMPLETION, THOSE SIX VILLAS REPRESENTED THE BEGINNINGS OF VILLAS DEL MAR AND PROVED THERE WAS IMMENSE POTENTIAL IN THE STEEP, DRAMATIC HILLSIDE OVERLOOKING THE SEA.

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With all the development along this magical coastline, what is it about Casita Mountain and Villas Del Mar that sets it apart and makes people want to take a closer look? According to Robert Jones, Vice President of Construction at Del Mar Development, it is the appropriate use of the land and the construction of homes built to last for generations to enjoy. “The concept of the Hundred-Year Home is a reflection of something that I see happening down here,” Jones says. “If you look at the old-world architecture of places like Montemarte in France, there is an intangible quality to them. Those communities fit perfectly into their space. You just know that they’ve been there for a hundred years and they will be

there for a hundred more. That is what Casita Mountain is, without a doubt.”

A n E x t r aor di na ry Si t e Del Mar Development was formed soon after developers Ron Hatfield and Kenneth Schnitzer discovered the site while vacationing in Palmilla in 1995. Immediately recognizing that they had encountered something extraordinary, the duo bought the land and built six villas, harnessing innovation and a passionate commitment to quality that was previously unheard of in Cabo. Sold before completion, those six villas represented the beginnings of Villas Del Mar and proved there was immense potential in the

steep, dramatic hillside overlooking the sea that other developers had thought to be unbuildable. This passion for the land is evident in the fabric of Villas Del Mar, as well as in the neighboring communities of Espiritu Del Mar and Oasis Palmilla. “We envision each community and how it will interact with the site,” Jones says. “This initial survey is just as important as the specifics of each individual house.” Long-time Villas Del Mar resident Dick Michaux couldn’t agree more. Michaux and his wife Ginny have lived in Villas Del Mar since 1999. “When we first came to Villas Del Mar we weren’t really looking for a place, but we were captured by the location, the charm and the weather,” he says. The Michauxs now have six grandchildren and a lot

loved sliced Mexican mangoes for breakfast, so we planted her mango trees. Another said how much she loved the smell of plumeria, so we planted plumeria at her entry so she got that scent every time she walked into her home. Those things are not on the design plan, but those are the things I listen for.”

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Long-time Villas Del Mar resident Dick Michaux and his wife Ginny have lived in Villas Del Mar since 1999. “When we first came to Villas Del Mar we weren’t really looking for a place, but we were captured by the location, the charm and the weather,” he says. 68

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of memories surrounding their home in Villas Del Mar. In residence from the middle of November to the first week of April, the Michaux’s two children and their families visit during the holidays, and Spring Break has become a family tradition. “We have a big multi-generation and multi-family week, and everyone just pitches in to get things done,” Michaux says. “The highlight for the parents in coming down here is to enjoy their children. They work hard, and when they come down here they just want to spend time with the kids.”  Other activities take a backseat to quality family time for the Michaux clan. Life centers around the beach and the pool, as well as the kitchen. “We cook, we enjoy meals together, eat healthily at home,” he says. The kitchen and options for outdoor living are big sources of satisfaction and fit perfectly with their Los Cabos lifestyle.

R o c k- S o l i d F o u n da t i o n Jones’ goal is to build a community of homes that will last for centuries, taking on the venerable feel of the neighborhoods he so admires in other parts of the world. To accomplish this, he and his team

consider long-term questions, such as the best use of the land to withstand the tests of time and nature. A lot of planning goes into protecting the views and emphasizing the quality of the architectural design of each home and its relationship with the setting. Eschewing the “McMansion” concept, Jones focuses on creating an architectural brand authentic to Old Mexico. “We do that by paying attention to the details,” Jones explains. “The people we work with are all very passionate about the design process, and in the end, these passionate designers leave behind a product that has an emotional honesty.” The Michaux family experienced this passionate creative process when their home was built. When they first arrived all they saw was a piece of earth with lines denoting the outer walls. Even though the house was not yet built, the surrounding community inspired confidence. “The double seawall they had built went all the way down to the bedrock,” Dick says. “That gave us the feeling that our home wasn’t going to wash away. We bought the dirt with lines, started dreaming about it, and

when we moved in it was everything we had dreamed about.” As they watched their dream home unfold, the Michauxs got to know the construction crew and developed a friendship with Jones which remains steadfast today. “We got to know Robert,” Michaux says, “and he translated our choices into reality. It’s what I call world-class real estate in a world-class setting.”

A S e n se

of

P r ese n c e

When you walk into one of Jones’ homes, the house itself has a strong sense of presence. “I see people react to it all the time,” says Jones. The home feels stable, solid and handmade. Nothing is prefabricated; everything is made on site with the finest quality materials. In addition, Del Mar Construction sources many local and indigenous materials, giving the home a real sense of belonging within the location. In his designs, Jones pairs opposing concepts to make everyday experiences extraordinary, such as taking a shower with an ocean view, or having a dining room under the stars. Carefully crafted piece by piece, the homes

are also designed to be low maintenance. “The less there is to maintain, the longer the house is going to last,” is Jones’ philosophy. Michaux echoes this sentiment. “We never have to worry about the structure itself,” he says. This allows the family a more carefree lifestyle. Michaux likes the fact that when they arrive each year in November, “everything has been set up for us and it’s shiny and bright.” No concern about cracks in the ceiling, leaky faucets or storm damage. And if there was a problem, Michaux says, “The great thing is that Robert Jones is still there. They have given us the legacy of great management.” Jones gets a lot of his inspiration and design ideas by listening to the owners. Listening, he says, opens him up to new ideas and shows him new ways to deliver on dreams. “We’ve built the houses, but the people that go in and occupy them are the special element,” he says. “The owners provide the most important intangible. It is they who will make sure Villas Del Mar stays pure for years and years to come.” 

DEL MAR CONSTRUCTION SOURCES MANY LOCAL AND INDIGENOUS MATERIALS, GIVING THE HOME A REAL SENSE OF BELONGING WITHIN THE LOCATION.

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ADDING THOSE SPRINKLES OF MAGIC TO A GLORIOUS SETTING

interior motives

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aking the decision to buy a home at Del Mar might seem like the easy part once you start thinking about how to furnish it. Worry not. Over the past eight years, Ladco’s Resort Design Group has helped 65 other families at Villas Del Mar do exactly that. With a team of in-house professional designers based in Houston, Texas, Ladco is one of the preferred interior design groups for Del Mar Development, not just because they get the work done, but because they get the work done right. The excellence of their work is on display at Del Mar Development’s Club Ninety Six and Club Espiritu, where they designed the interiors, but they are equally aware that for individual homeowners, sometimes the first step is the hardest. “We are not just selling interiors, but getting the homeowner over the hurdles of furnishing a home in Cabo,” says Lynn Yellen, Ladco’s Director of Design. “And it can be intimidating. But we handle all that. When we’re done with our work, all the owner needs to bring is his toothbrush.” Yellen describes the four-step process they recommend that ensures success for every job: consultation, design presentation, selection and installation and finishing touches. She asks every new client to come to the company’s 80,000-square-foot showroom in Houston, where they are able to review furniture styles, accessories, fabric samples and more. During this one-day session, she says, “We work with homeowners, try to find out their lifestyle, how they live, how they envision spending their time at Del Mar.” But what makes Ladco such a blessing to many Del Mar homeowners is the installation oversight. Not only will they order and have your selections shipped to Los Cabos, but they will shepherd everything through customs, handle import taxes and oversee the on-site installation of everything from furnishings, appliances and electronics to cookware and linens. In addition, Yellen and her team travel throughout Mexico to find artisans, craftspeople and unique local objects to give each home that special touch. “We bring in craftsmen from all over Mexico who work with us to create everything from onyx stone work to decorative painting, from blown glass to chandeliers.” “We love what we do,” Yellen says, a sentiment that clearly shows in the perfect homes they help create.  D E L M A R E S C A P E S 2 0 1 1    7

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Q&A

a conversation with chris snell Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Chris Snell has a unique perspective on Los Cabos, both as a highly successful real estate broker and a 20-year resident. A bi-lingual citizen of both the United States and Mexico, he first arrived in Los Cabos in 1991 to work with Koll International as director of real estate for the Palmilla and Cabo del Sol resort projects. Still today, 20 years later, he is a staunch believer in the value of the area, for both its real estate and its way of life. “Los Cabos is the most sought-after destination in Mexico,” he says. “It’s laid back. Few people wear watches. We have all the benefits of home without all the hassles.” And he points out that the region is two to three hours from 26 million people, thus easily accessible. Its latitude is near the Tropic of Cancer, so the weather is similar to Hawaii, only three to five hours closer...and you can drive down if you want to. He notes that you can bring your dog without quarantine restrictions. “Everything is here,” he says. “Fishing, weather, golf, even fiber optic cable so communication is fast and reliable. Plus, everything is geared to kids and families nowadays. And you get so much more for your money than California, Hawaii or Barbados.” He founded Snell Real Estate in 1997 with the primary goal of changing the way real estate was sold in Mexico. Since then, Snell has pioneered the use of U.S. thirdparty escrow service and U.S. title insurance, and has created the safest and most efficient closing process in Mexico. We interviewed him at Del Mar Development’s Club Ninety Six on his 50th birthday, just before he headed out into Palmilla Bay on a paddleboard.

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DEL MAR ESCAPES: Why is Villas Del Mar of high-end homes is limited. This is a prime force in protecting such a special community? our values and allowing us to keep selling real estate. I was told a CHRIS SNELL: Villas Del Mar is a family based community. We all great quote by Murray Sinclair, one of my favorite guys and one have children or grandchildren and our homeowners are sucof our clients: “The best investment is where the perceived risk is cessful businesspeople or entrepreneurs in one way or another. greater than it actually is.” That fits Villas Del Mar to a tee. They have all worked diligently to enjoy what they have and they   love the lifestyle that having a home in Villas Del Mar provides: What are current buyers looking for? the area’s best swimming beach, access to the One&Only Palmilla, Buyers today are looking for value and quality. They want the worry-free management, etc. Villas Del Mar is without a doubt the best home in the best location and in the best community. In Los best community in all of Baja and probably all of Mexico. Cabos, that is Villas Del Mar and Espiritu Del Mar. Buyers are paying   cash and investing in a real, tangible asset that they can buy right What is your history with Del Mar Development? now and enjoy. It is the ultimate play in wealth preservation and a I was a salesman for Koll International in 1991 working out of great hedge against a falling U.S. dollar. the Palmilla Hotel and we were selling the original 14 Villas Del   Mar units in pre-construction. The first one we sold was to Don What are the top two priorities today’s buyer considers Diamond from Tucson, Arizona. It was a four-bedroom oceanfront before purchasing in Mexico? home and he paid $575,000. I specifically remember when Mr. After successfully closing more than $1 billion in real estate sales, Diamond handed a check to Don Koll for the full amount; Mr. we have a pretty good idea of what the savvy buyer is looking for. Diamond paused and said, “I am not paying you enough for this First and foremost, our purchasers want to make sure that their villa.” Koll smiled, took the check and Villas transaction is safe and secure. In today’s Del Mar was officially underway. world, there is zero tolerance for risk. For In early 1994, I “cold-called” Kenneth this reason, over 60 percent of our sales “Everything is here,” Schnitzer in Houston, Texas, on the advice come from client referrals, because our he says. “Fishing, of a family friend in Houston. As a native clients know that protecting their interests Texan, I knew Schnitzer as “Mr. Houston” is our first priority. The second most weather, golf, even and I really wanted a developer like him important issue is the home’s view. The fiber optic cable so to come to Palmilla. Continental Airlines homes that sell feature the best locations had just started a non-stop from Houston, and the best views. Buyers initially find the communication is so the timing was right. homes with the best views, then they start Once I told him we had just opened comparing the amenities, services, etc. to fast and reliable. two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf courses, make their buying decision. This is one of his next question was, “Do you have the reasons that the Casita product at Villa a hotel where I can stay?” So, Mr. Schnitzer flew in and saw Del Mar and Espiritu Del Mar have been the most successful selling what we were doing at Palmilla and he loved the Villas Del Mar product type in Los Cabos history. concept. If you knew Kenneth, he was a bulldog once he bit   into something. After a few more visits and meetings with Koll, Your current tips on buying right now? Kenneth brought down Ron Hatfield and the rest is history. Be safe. Don’t let anyone tell you, “That’s the way we do it in Mexico.” Those two guys dove in headfirst and built more product than Never release your money--meaning deposits, payments, etc.--to we ever imagined. a seller until you have your title. Buying in Mexico is as safe as you want to make it. Do it right and it is as safe as a U.S. transaction. What is your current view of the   Los Cabos real estate market? Is Los Cabos safe? I have said for years that Los Cabos will prove to be “the most I live here with my wife and daughter. My brother lives here with resilient market in North America” and I firmly believe this. Despite his wife and kids and I cannot think of a better, safer place in the real estate market in the U.S., we have proven that our homes North America to live. are still in demand and continue to provide our clients with a   quality investment that they can use and enjoy. Asset protection What are your favorite things about Los Cabos? and wealth preservation are the new “in” and the best homes in I love the outdoors and whether it is fishing, golfing, hanging out the area are selling as fast as we can get them on the market. Los at the Beach Club, paddle boarding or watching football games Cabos welcomes more than one million tourists per year. We are with our owners and friends, there is a certain indescribable within a three-hour flight time of 26 million people and regardless freedom here that is liberating. Everyone you see is happy...and of what happens in L.A., Phoenix or Miami, our inventory levels that is the greatest thing in the world. 

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DEL MAR LIFE

by Kathryn Heltsley photos by Cathy Buchanan

giving back When it comes to charitable work and giving back to the community in Los Cabos, Del Mar Development is ahead of the curve. As a leader in luxury resort real estate development, Del Mar Development understands the benefits of investing in quality of life; it is a cornerstone of their success. The company’s flagship community of Villas Del Mar has been flourishing just outside of San Jose del Cabo for 15 years, and has almost singlehandedly put Los Cabos on the map as a destination for those seeking a luxury lifestyle south of the border. However, Del Mar’s President Ron Hatfield was not content to solely deliver on that quality of life promise for his homeowners. His vision extends outward into the greater Los Cabos Community. “We are proud to be a part of Los Cabos,” Hatfield says. “We take pride in the fact we have generated thousands of jobs and millions of dollars for the local community.” To wit, Del Mar Development utilizes local staff whenever possible, ranging from craftsmen and construction workers to accountants, artisans, architects and more. Hatfield’s strong, personal commitment to the Los Cabos area has also driven the company to establish longstanding relationships with several local charities and service organizations. One of the most visible and successful examples of their involvement is the Del Mar Development Champions Cup Tennis Tournament, a charitable event the scale of which is unmatched not only in Los Cabos, but in all of Mexico. The tournament, which in 2009 brought world-class tennis to Palmilla with players such as Patrick Rafter and Pete Sampras, created tremendous community awareness for the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation (loscaboschildren. org), and gave local children an opportunity to participate in tennis clinics with the pros. The LCCF, founded by former Villas Del Mar homeowner Tom Walsh, counted

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Del Mar Development as one of the first corporate sponsors, and to date, Del Mar Development efforts have helped raise more than $1 million for the Foundation which provides medical, educational and humanitarian assistance to the children, their families and supportive organizations of the Los Cabos area. Del Mar Development also regularly donates to the local fire departments and Red Cross, sponsors events such as the LigaMac Jazz Fest and Dog Day Afternoon benefiting the local Humane Society, and acts as a staunch steward of the environment, both in charitable donations and in development decisions on building and land use. In addition, the company regularly donates the gift of a luxurious Villas Del Mar getaway to charitable auctions throughout the United States. “We are committed to investing time, energy and funds into the needs of this neighborhood and improving the quality of life for everyone,” Hatfield explains. He understands that those who are drawn to live in Del Mar Development’s communities of Villas Del Mar, Oasis Palmilla and Espiritu Del Mar are attracted to more than just the area’s exquisite beauty. They are equally drawn by the sense of community they find. Robert Jones, Vice President of Construction for Del Mar Development, sums it up when he says, “As our communities grow, we want the good that we create here to reverberate throughout the surrounding community. We develop more than just real estate; at Del Mar Development, we develop dreams. Dreams that emerge from a real sense of community and an atmosphere of possibility. Here at Del Mar Development, we are expanding those dreams beyond the gates of our communities and planting the seeds of possibility throughout this beautiful region that we call home.” 

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color of the

cabo A PHOTO ESSAY

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CABO MORNING October dawn. The sun begins its ascent above the orange horizon. Night folds its sheets. Fishing boats scurry toward their favored sunrise spots and perched on a rock outcropping a few yards offshore a huddle of cormorants.

A lone pelican drifts on the breeze above the sea’s rippling skin. A lone runner on the beach. Song birds squeal in the sharp golden light and the lapping sea beats a gentle rhythm on the shore. Stretching their tiny necks toward the sun all the morning’s flowers open their eyes. —George Fuller

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“NOW, ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM, I WAS PAUSING FOR A MOMENT...AND COULD HEAR THE VOICE OF THE WATER THAT HAD TAUGHT ME TO SING.”—PABLO NERUDA

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AFTER THE DESERT After the forests of cacti reaching to the sky with multiple arms too dangerous to hug. After the mountains’ rugged scowl where no one dares to climb. After the desert’s dusty cloak spreading from one sea coast to the other.

After all this is the beckoning water, Bright blue with its shimmering shirt, rich with life regal and small. After all this is the curled surf its wild mane of snowy hair. After all this is the cooling breeze welcome as a long exhale after you’ve held your breath a little too long. —George Fuller

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SILHOUETTE Finished with dreaming the slow fish through the seaweed, I open my eyes. The window is open. From my pillow I hear the wind whispering secrets into the eager ears of bougainvillea. Closing my eyes again I see clouds laughing, at sunlight underwater. I see glass worn smooth by the tides. Lying here I dream of the one who will stand in the garden, hair illumined by the morning light, her words vessels sailing the long sea of my thought. —George Fuller

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FROM THE CHEF

Shrimp & Scallop Ceviche 1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (30-40 per pound) 1 pound bay scallops 1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped 3 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced 2 stalks celery, diced 5 green onions, sliced 6 limes, juiced 2 small serrano peppers, seeded and minced 1/4 teaspoon salt

Business lunch. Birthday dinner.

1/8 teaspoon white pepper 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

BE THERE.

SM

Combine the shrimp, scallops, cilantro, tomatoes, celery, green onions, lime juice and serrano peppers in a bowl. Season with salt, white pepper and black pepper; stir and pour into a glass or plastic container. Cover and refrigerate three hours to overnight. Serve the seafood with the lime juice marinade.

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FROM THE DESK OF RON HATFIELD

DelMar escapes LOS CABOS  MEXICO

PUBLISHER

Dear Reader, It’s been 15 years since my partner, the late Kenneth Schnitzer, and I
bought our first sliver of land in Palmilla, Los Cabos, and broke ground on
Villas Del Mar.

 Now, with three communities established and more than 186 homes sold, I
am pleased to share a little of our history and provide a glimpse into the unique Cabo
lifestyle in the first issue of Del Mar Escapes magazine.

 It seems most fitting to dedicate this issue to our talented

Trae Walker trae@flagshipcp.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

George Fuller george@flagshipcp.com DESIGN DIRECTOR

Randi Karabin karabincreative@me.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Anthony Dias Blue Kathryn Heltsley Michael Koehn Nicole Montgomery Ann Wycoff

team of
employees who make Del Mar what it is today. It is their dedication, hard work
and commitment to excellence that make Del Mar the special place I choose to call
home year-round. 

 At Del Mar Development, we strive to build more than vacation homes. Our goal is to
create communities where our owners and guests always feel at home, safe and
connected. This unique lifestyle is meant to be shared with family, friends and loved ones for many years to come.

 I hope you enjoy this look at what makes Del Mar Los Cabos one of the most
desirable places in the world. 

 Sincerely,



CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Daniel Bayer Cathy Buchanan Benita R. Cloward, BRC Photography Sandra Corrion George Fuller Bruce Herman Mango Productions Sandra Mendoza John McKinney Rigoberto Moreno ADVERTISING SALES

Kristin Heaton Anabelle Salum Tiedje Steve Bliman D E L M A R A D V I S O RY B O A R D

Ron Hatfield

 President of Del Mar Development

Sharon Carter Carol Fowler Nicole Montgomery

Published Exclusively for Del Mar Development by:

P.O. Box 20410, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269 Phone: 480.296.1202 Copyright 2011 by Flagship Custom Publishing. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Flagship Custom Publishing and Del Mar Development. 6    D E L

M A R E S C A P E S 2 0 11

AD TO COME


FROM THE DESK OF RON HATFIELD

DelMar escapes LOS CABOS  MEXICO

Dear Reader, It’s been 15 years since my partner, the late Kenneth Schnitzer, and I
bought our first sliver of land in Palmilla, Los Cabos, and broke ground on
Villas Del Mar.

 Now, with three communities established and more than 186 homes sold, I
am pleased to share a little of our history and provide a glimpse into the unique Cabo
lifestyle in the first issue of Del Mar Escapes magazine.



PUBLISHER

Trae Walker trae@flagshipcp.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

George Fuller george@flagshipcp.com DESIGN DIRECTOR

Randi Karabin karabincreative@me.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Anthony Dias Blue Kathryn Heltsley Michael Koehn Nicole Montgomery Ann Wycoff

It seems most fitting to dedicate this issue to our talented team of
employees who make Del Mar what it is today. It is their dedication, hard work
and commitment to excellence that make Del Mar the special place I choose to call
home year-round. 

 At Del Mar Development, we strive to build more than vacation homes. Our goal is to
create communities where our owners and guests always feel at home, safe and
connected. This unique lifestyle is meant to be shared with family, friends and loved ones for many years to come.

 I hope you enjoy this look at what makes Del Mar Los Cabos one of the most
desirable places in the world. 

 Sincerely,



CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Daniel Bayer Cathy Buchanan Benita R. Cloward, BRC Photography Sandra Corrion George Fuller Bruce Herman Mango Productions Sandra Mendoza John McKinney Rigoberto Moreno ADVERTISING SALES

Kristin Heaton Anabelle Salum Tiedje Steve Bliman D E L M A R A D V I S O RY B O A R D

Ron Hatfield

 Developer and President of Del Mar Development

Sharon Carter Carol Fowler Nicole Montgomery

Published Exclusively for Del Mar Development by:

P.O. Box 20410, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269 Phone: 480.296.1202 Copyright 2011 by Flagship Custom Publishing. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from Flagship Custom Publishing and Del Mar Development. 6    D E L

M A R E S C A P E S 2 0 11

AD TO COME


Del Mar 11