A beloved resort is reborn with reimagined experiences that draw from the area’s rich history and culture
Rancho Pescadero Brings Responsible Luxury to Baja’s Unspoiled Coastline
Immersed in the uncomplicated pleasures of Baja’s striking landscape, embraced by wild deserts, pounding surf and majestic mountain ranges, Rancho Pescadero has been the most sought-after hotel in Todos Santos since it first opened with just 12 rooms in 2009. Spending the past couple of years in respite, the property has been consciously approaching a reinvention that raises the bar on responsible development and elevates the guest experience, taking travelers on a voyage of self-discovery and personal enrichment. This September, Rancho Pescadero will unveil a ground-up transformation inclusive of 103 suites and villas on 30 sprawling oceanfront acres where barefoot luxury meets Mexican soul.
Set within the quaint, unhurried fishing and agricultural community of El Pescadero, the journey begins at an unmarked concrete entryway where resort owner Lisa Harper believes guests ‘cross over.’ Conjuring whimsical feelings of transcending into an otherworldly realm, check-in desks are replaced by towering living altars, a ceiling dripping with hanging vines and dramatic, shadowy lighting that uses lamps to replicate moonlight during the late hours. Two diverging paths upon entry — one made of sand and the other brick — invite visitors to choose how they make their way through the property’s grounds, which have been designed to mimic Baja’s unique biosphere, unfolding in winding paths from the desert to the ocean with lush gardens bursting with color, secret nooks and serene shady spaces in between.
With a preeminent commitment to celebrating indigenous plants and the beauty of the undisturbed dunes that dot the shore, Rancho Pescadero’s conscious, landscape-driven design uses local materials with nature as a consistent focal point. Nine interconnected gardens planted with native flora and fauna complement a bird sanctuary, sea turtle hatchery and a Huerta with goats, chickens and bees. Tucked within the gardens, a show-stopping conservatory built with Palo de Arco, which grows widely in the region, doubles as an artful abstract sculpture, while a communal table sets the stage for farm-to-table cooking classes, salsa-making workshops, Mezcalita mixology lessons and gardening tutorials where guests can design their own bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. Paying homage to the local way of living off the land, Rancho’s visitors are encouraged to pick limes from the orchard’s citrus trees to garnish their cocktails and gather eggs from the chicken coop for their Huevos Rancheros.
The resort’s 103 suites and villas feature clean lines, neutral tones and textures that add vibrance while allowing nature to shine through. Local designer Alejandra Templeton takes travelers on a journey through Mexico from the moment they enter; talavera bathroom tiling handmade by artisans in Tlaquepaque, steel headboards with leather tassel detailing made in Chihuahua, copper vases from Michoacán and fabrics sourced from Tijuana are just some of the items that have been custom-made for the resort, with the artisans hand selected by Templeton, who ensures everything purchased is fair-trade. Strategically spread across the property to ensure guests have a front row seat to nature’s live show, the suites have roof decks that offer panoramic ocean views and patios with plush day beds that encourage a mix of indoor and outdoor living. Tucked into the dunes, twelve oceanfront villas are personalized with plunge pools, fire pits and private beach access. Striking bathrooms decorated with peacock green talavera wall tiling and free-standing, oversized black terrazzo bathtubs lead to outdoor patios with rainfall showers, flagstone and sand flooring and indigenous plants. A double sink area with floor-to-ceiling windows brings the outside in. 96% of the resort’s accommodations have ocean or coastal views, including its ten penthouses and single Hacienda, which can be converted into 2 and 3-bedroom villas.
From Land to Sea
Rancho Pescadero’s ethnobotanical culinary program invites travelers to savor flavors gathered from the earth, the ocean and the spirit of Mexico. Botánica garden restaurant honors ingredients from the property’s Huerta and El Pescadero’s agricultural community, which is prolific with strawberry, herb, vegetable and chili farms. Centered around the restaurant’s barbacoa pit, the resort’s signature hangover experience begins with preparations for slowly roasting meat underground over a 12-hour period while sipping local spirits such as pulque and tepache around the fire. The next morning, guests are invited to unearth their bounty and enjoy it with handmade tortillas fresh off the comal. This style of cooking using the earth traces back to ancient Mayan civilizations.
At Centro — the heart of the property — black walls decorated with milagros made with punctured tin, designed to replicate those found in local churches, are juxtaposed by the soft sands and ocean waves in the distance. Two swimming pools, a discreetly camouflaged concierge desk and a rooftop breakfast bar with vast ocean views where guests can count the migrant whales create an idyllic gathering place. At Centro Café, an all-day menu of classic Mexican dishes features freshly brewed coffee from Doce Cuarenta, a cafe in Todos Santos that works exclusively with Mexican producers.
Kahal oceanfront restaurant is arguably one of the most luxurious spots to spend an afternoon or evening admiring Baja’s stunning sunsets. With a sweeping, curved infinity pool as its piece de resistance, the restaurant is decorated with shades of rose and shimmering pearl designed to resemble the inside of a seashell, with a large mural of ocean waves that lights up when the sun sets. A menu of fresh seafood sourced from fisherman in nearby Punta Lobos is accompanied by an elegant raw bar with a selection of crudos, oysters and ceviche treated with elevated preparations. By day, guests can unwind in cenote-style jacuzzis and double-loungers that float inside the pool while enjoying uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean. By night, fire pits cater to cozy conversations over the sounds of the ocean.
The resort’s 25,000 square foot spa and wellness center evokes the feeling of being in a sacred space. A central outdoor water feature resembling a cenote adds to its mystical vibe. An apothecary with a philosophy rooted in the wisdom of plants invites visitors to pick herbs from the adjacent gardens to create their own Baja blend of soaks, teas, masks and scrubs. In this playground for physical and spiritual wellbeing, bespoke wellness programs are tailored to the individual. A hydrotherapy circuit with an ice fountain, steam room, experience shower and Himalayan salt sauna; twelve treatment nests; two yoga shalas and a reformer Pilates studio are just the start. A shaded relaxation pavilion, Olympic-sized lap pool edged with palm trees, Pickleball courts and an indoor/outdoor gym with TRX and state-of-the-art equipment round out offerings. Here, a variety of daily rituals, including sound bath healings, earthing mediations and native cacao ceremonies are best enjoyed with a backdrop of the sun dipping over the horizon, occasionally meeting the moon that rises over the Sierra de la Laguna mountains when the timing is just right.
At the heart of Rancho Pescadero is a mission to preserve the local environment and protect the surrounding community. Indigenous plants moved during construction have been meticulously restored and materials from the original hotel have been recycled for new use. Zero plastics, composting and dark sky lighting are some of the basics employed by Harper and her team. A gray water recycling system captures rainwater from the arroyos to maintain the property’s landscaping while a new desalination and water bottling plant ensures a constant supply of fresh drinking water. To reduce carbon emissions and conserve energy, only electric carts and bicycles are used throughout the property and a large solar farm is being added to support Rancho’s goal of converting to its own fully sustainable power grid. Harper and her team’s regenerative efforts go far beyond the resort; to start, they are building homes for Rancho’s employees that employees will have the rights to own and building a technical school that will be open to all residents of the area.
A stay at Rancho comes with a wide range of complimentary “discovery” activities that encourage travelers to experience Baja authentically at their own pace. Ceviche-making, sunrise meditations, yoga, sustainability tours, build-your-own bouquet workshops and aromatherapy at the apothecary are among the experiences offered at no additional charge to guests.
Getting There & Local Activities
Rancho Pescadero is located an hour north of the San José del Cabo International Airport, with direct, nonstop flight service from nearly a dozen U.S. cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta and Chicago. The hotel can coordinate airport transportation, car service to Todos Santos and nearby surf breaks, and activities that range from hiking, fishing, golfing and ATV tours to whale watching, snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming with whale sharks.
Rates start at $895 per night. For a limited time, travelers can take advantage of Rancho’s opening offer, which includes 20% off best available rates, 15% off spa services, complimentary discovery activities, a welcome and sunrise amenity and the use of bikes, surf boards, yoga and fishing equipment. Booking is available through November 30, 2021. The offer is valid for travel from September 10 – November 30, 2021.
About Rancho Pescadero
Just an hour north of Cabo near the artist’s enclave of Todos Santos, Rancho Pescadero is a destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the nature, rich culture and beauty of Mexico’s Baja region. A playground of 30 beachfront acres located beneath the soaring peaks of the Sierra Laguna mountains, Rancho Pescadero is a restorative retreat where nature, wellness, and sustainably sourced cuisine reign supreme and travelers are guided through a journey of personal enrichment designed to restore their mind, body and spirit. Amenities include 103 luxury suites and oceanfront villas with curated spaces designed to inspire a mix of indoor and outdoor living; nine lush gardens; an ethnobotanical culinary concept that includes a farm and Huerta; an outdoor wellness center complete with a full-service spa, apothecary, and wide array of fitness and yoga/meditation offerings; and multiple dining concepts that include a sprawling oceanfront restaurant. While the guest experience leaves nothing to be desired, Rancho Pescadero’s sincere and soulful approach — a genuine interest in the wellbeing of its people and local community, is what set the hotel apart and creates a memorable legacy for the small fishing village of El Pescadero. The property is part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection. Future development will include homes and villas as part of the Rancho Pescadero private residences collection. www.ranchopescadero.com/
Rancho Pescadero brings responsible luxury, nature-driven design and an intuitive approach to wellness to Baja’s unspoiled coastline
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