Have you ever wondered how Los Cabos became the premiere spot in Mexico for luxury and glamour? Who put Los Cabos on the map? And why do people love vacationing in these communities? We’ll tell you everything there is to know, from the groundbreaking and historical developments that have occurred in Los Cabos to the amazing lifestyle residents and guests can enjoy in the two original communities that started it all.
In the early 1950’s, a man named Don Abelardo Rodriguez Jr. came to Baja California Sur. Rodriguez was the son of the interim President of Mexico, General Abelardo Rodriguez, and had wealth and freedom to travel. A few years earlier, in 1948, Abelardo and his wife Lucille Bremer opened a luxury resort in Los Cruces. When he arrived in Los Cabos, meaning The Capes, he found a mostly uninhabited area with some fishing and hunting lodges. Rodriguez recognized the coast’s unique beauty and realized he could make something special there too. In 1957, the husband-and-wife team built the Hotel Palmilla on the undeveloped shore of the Sea of Cortez. It’s known today as the monumental One&Only Palmilla. But back then, it was a small 15-room resort that guests could only access by private plane or yacht. Luckily, that was no problem for the kind of people who frequented the resort. Lucille Bremer was a Hollywood movie star, and usually had the company of her counterparts at the Palmilla. Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, John Wayne and even President Eisenhower were among the guests who stayed at the Palmilla in its early days. Word soon got out and other exclusive resorts and hotels opened in Los Cabos, catering to the glamorous lifestyle of the Hollywood elite. Guests like Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Mick Jagger and Elton John made Los Cabos their private playground in the 60’s and 70’s.
Then, in 1994 two Houston-based friends and business associates were visiting, and like Rodriguez, they saw the potential for something really special on the undeveloped mountainsides close to the Palmilla Hotel. They had come to play at the new Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and couldn’t help but notice the pristine ocean fronts that had gone untouched until then. The two friends were visionaries and successful developers, so they bought a small portion of land on the oceanfront near the Palmilla. They set about developing five houses, all of which sold before completion. They decided to call their project, the first luxury community in Los Cabos, Villas Del Mar. They realized the potential of Villas Del Mar and continued to expand. The community was renowned for excellence in design, quality of life and top-tier management and services. Villas Del Mar set the standard for high-end resort communities. Not long after, Del Mar Development created a second community called Espiritu. But Del Mar Development didn’t stop there. They’ve continued the legacy that Don Abelardo Rodriguez jr. and Lucille Bremer started all those years ago by expanding the mountainside in to six communities, with another in development. The beauty of Los Cabos has been made available to people from all over the world. Thanks to these trailblazers, we can experience the pristine landscapes, the living sea and the warmth of the Mexican sun that is only found in Los Cabos. Let’s dive a little deeper into the way of life in two of the original Los Cabos communities, Villas Del Mar and Espiritu.
Villas Del Mar and Espiritu
With all available activities, residents and guests staying in Espiritu and Villas Del Mar are never bored. The two communities neighbor each other, so they share many of the same exciting options. For off-site excursions, you can enjoy access to the Elegant Mexico Activity Concierge. This service arranges everything from yacht charters, art walks, whale watching trips to spa services and quiet tee times at the golf courses. From romantic outings to family fun, they’ll help you arrange whatever your heart desires. This hassle-free service is also completely customizable, so guests get exactly the experience they hope for. On site, the possibilities are endless. Guests and residents can walk over to the One&Only Palmilla to enjoy the hotel amenities like first class spa treatments, exclusive fine dining and bars and cocktail lounges. You’ll have five restaurants to choose from.
We love SEARED, the gourmet steak house serving Wagyu A5 and certified Kobe beef, and Suviche which serves sushi and ceviche. Both were brought to Los Cabos by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Residents and visitors of the communities will be only a short walk away from culinary heaven. Also included is access to the the 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Palmilla golf course, an amazing private beach club, state of the art medical and fitness facilities, yoga and wellness meets at the hilltop sanctuary Mirador de la Cruz, and undisturbed beach access where you’ll find the most swimmable beach in all of Los Cabos.
The residents of Espiritu and Villas Del Mar form a community of happy, relaxed,like-minded people. With so many coming to live their best lives, it’s no wonder that they’ve made one of the most pleasant places to live in all of Mexico. Everything is only a stroll or cart-ride away, and cars are seen as an occasional tool rather than a necessity. The communities are staffed by over 200 people, and everyone is treated like family. Guests and residents enjoy a rich social network, complete with community events and shared cultural experiences. Homeowners build privileged connections with each other, as well as long lasting friendships with guests who keep coming back year after year. Espiritu has 28 acres of community parks, gardens and open spaces. There is also a tennis court and sports playing fields where community members regularly meet for social games. Many of these facilities have play areas for the little ones, and green spaces for joggers and dog walkers. Everytime you leave your villa, you’ll meet a friend. The communities are also extremely safe. Leaving doors unlocked is the norm there, and residents are beyond respectful to each other. Del Mar Developments have blended privacy and sociability perfectly, so when you want anonymity, you’ll have no trouble finding it. Whether you’re looking for high-class social functions or undisturbed relaxation, life here means a community connection beyond compare.
Del Mar: The resort homes that started it all
Villas Del Mar is recognized worldwide for setting the bar in luxury resort home design. And it was set high! Its homes are known for their alluring architecture. Some of the older beachfront homes feature a timeless design, while the newer penthouse homes blend contemporary design with traditional Mexican decor. All houses have a unified theme, without any two looking the same. Two decades after Villas Del Mar was founded, it continues to innovate with remodels and new additions. The homes feature an emphasis on outdoor living, the best part of Los Cabos life, with wide windows and glass doors to let the Mexican sun fill the rooms. Pool decks are larger-than-life, and the outdoor dining and lounging areas look out off the mountainside and onto the ocean. There are homes sized to accommodate all kinds of groups, from couples to multi-generational families. Some of the homes even have detached casitas for additional guests.
Espiritu: The most exclusive resort homes in Los Cabos
All of the homes in Espiritu were built by a team of experienced engineers and designers working with Del Mar Development. Del Mar Development had invaluable experience going into this project, having already built the successful Villas Del Mar. At Espiritu, you’ll find homes of extremely high quality with stunning outdoor living spaces. Large pools and decks, lush plant life and BBQ and lounge areas are the norm. Many newer communities in Los Cabos were built quickly and shoddily, attempting to capitalize on the real estate opportunity that the two original communities initiated. But at Espiritu, homeowners know their properties are top-notch. They experience luxury everyday! Espiritu also offers interior design services and has a full service onsite Design Center. Owners can make use of these services, ensuring that their homes are beautiful beyond compare for their own pleasure and for their guestsâ€™ as well. Ladco Resort Design, a nationally known Houston design group, provides expert consultation and furnishing. They cater to individual tastes, so no home in Espiritu is the same as another.
While you’re staying at Villas Del Mar or Espiritu, you’ll never want to leave! But once you manage to pull yourself away from all the pampering, it’ll be time to see the rest of what Los Cabos has to offer. Since you’ll be so close to San Jose Del Cabo, you’ll want to spend some time there. San Jose Del Cabo is the tranquilo older brother of Cabo San Lucas, with a much richer heritage and such a beautiful cultural scene that you won’t miss any of the busy streets and crowds over in the more touristy San Lucas. But since it’s only a 30-minute drive away, why not visit there for some amazing nightlife as well? Back in San Jose Del Cabo, go on an Art Walk in the artists district or a sightseeing tour to discover the heritage of the area.
You’ll have amazing food at your villa, but while you’re out, you should stop for a bite at Jazmin’s Restaurant for traditional fare, or at Don Sanchez for contemporary gourmet. When you’re ready to venture out a little further, the onsite activity concierge will help you get around. If you’re in to the great outdoors, check out our blog for all the great nature activities you’ll find in Los Cabos. There’s a great camel ride tour in Cabo San Lucas. And if you want to spend some time indoors, visit some of the luxury malls in the area. Now that you know the interesting history of the exclusive communities in Los Cabos, it’s time to see them first hand! We’ve got amazing rentals for you to stay at that you’ll fall head over heels for. Browse through our properties in Los Cabos and find the perfect one for you. As a guest of Elegant Mexico, we’ll make sure you receive all the resort treatments in the luxury of your own private vacation home.