Playa de La Paz
La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
Starting Price $1.295M+
Rental $1,100 per night
Given its name by Spanish Explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1596, La Paz is a place where time seems to have stopped. Less than two hours by car north of Cabo San Lucas and tucked against the Sea of Cortéz, La Paz is equal parts authentic and sophisticated. The city has captured the attention of travelers, residents, and sea-faring divers alike since Jacques Cousteau dubbed the Sea of Cortéz “the world’s aquarium” in 1940. In fact, rich marine life, snorkeling, scuba diving or whale watching are only minutes away by boat, including one of the signature experiences of swimming with whale sharks in their natural habitat.
While Cousteau can be credited for putting the region on the map, La Paz has British-born developer and now passionate and current resident Jeffrey Curtiss to thank for its recent ascendance. Curtiss found professional and financial success in trading and distribution in Britain before moving to La Paz in 2005, following after his son James (who owns the local boating and diving business, The Cortez Club). Curtiss, a committed first-time developer, has since spent more than a decade seeing his project through to the impeccable state it has attained today. Known as Playa de La Paz, it is a boutique collection of 23 luxury residences—designed by renowned Mexican architect Gerardo Ulate—on a secluded private beach pressed up against the infinitely calming Sea of Cortéz. When CSQ spoke to Curtiss about the project, he described Playa de La Paz as his life’s work: “I see it as an undertaking of passion and a pursuit of immaculate design, detail, and beauty.”
The dream of a developer—Curtiss in this case—isn’t complete without the support of partners. Curtiss found two of his dear friends—John Hargreaves, the Monaco-based founder of mega Matalan clothing chains throughout Europe, and Jeffrey Hecktman, head of Hilco Global Asset Liquidators—a dream team who turned Playa de La Paz into a world-class destination and residential community immersed in the traditions of Mexico.
Starting at $1.295M, the residences range in size from 2,900 to 9,000 sq. ft., containing between one and four bedrooms. Each residence features Calacatta marble in the bathrooms and indigenous granite and Viking appliances in the kitchen, as well as special selections of high-quality imported woods, furnishings, linens, and—in some units—even specifically sourced artwork lending a special native feel to the well-arranged space. While CSQ spent time on property, there were a few other residents there but the feeling was one of complete immersion in a world of beauty and tranquility. At La Paz, you will feel at home, as if you have always belonged there.
Ownership comes with access to the property’s many amenities, including a 164-foot infinity pool, jacuzzi, tennis courts, luxury gym, round-the-clock security, beach cabanas, a state-of-the-art water desalination plant producing 100,000 liters of drinking water daily, and, of course, your personal concierge to work with you on anything you might need or want—from fresh groceries from the farmer’s market to hiring a private chef or masseur. They will also ensure your travels are as smooth as your time at Playa de La Paz will undoubtedly be, including arranging a private charter from Los Cabos directly to La Paz.
Can’t Miss Restaurant
In the heart of La Paz yet just two blocks from the ocean, Las Tres Virgenes grills fresh fish all day and night and boasts an extensive wine list selected by manager and sommelier Pedro.
Attraction Out of Town
Bahia Balandra, a UNESCO biodiversity World Heritage Site, is a beach located on a circular gulf with a sandbar stretching across a bay, allowing you to walk halfway immersed in warm, turquoise water.
A surfing village southwest of La Paz, Todo Santos is a government-designated Pueblo Mágico—a small town honored for natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance.
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Starting Price $4.5M
In Spanish, mandarina means Mandarin Orange, the delicate sweet fruit comprised of dozens of rich pieces. This visual expresses Ricardo Santa Cruz’s intent when envisioning Mandarina—many pieces coming together to form a lush, interconnected project.
Set on Mexico’s beautifully expansive and diverse western coastline, the long-awaited construction of what many consider to be the most significant ultra-luxury private residential and resort community in the country has begun.
Less than a three-hour flight from Los Angeles and about a 45-minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport sits the vision and result of a decade of passionate dedication for RLH Properties, the developer of Mandarina, and Santa Cruz, who has been working with RLH Properties since the inception of the project and is currently contracted by RLH to spearhead sales and marketing efforts.
To be completed by the end of 2019, Mandarina required years of searching for land, design, and project management. In fact, the name Mandarina completely expresses the story. When they started their search in Riviera Nayarit in 2008, the 636 acres of untouched land were parceled out to be 58 different properties, each belonging to different individual families. Santa Cruz used persistence and faith in bringing the land back under one metaphorical roof.
The property will offer One&Only Private Homes and Resort Suites in addition to a Rosewood Resort and Residences, which will feature dining options as well as a holistic spa, beach club, and equestrian center. Upon completion, One& Only Mandarina will feature 55 villas and a 108-room resort.
Immersed in a thriving tropical jungle between the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Mandarina will host a remarkable Polo and Equestrian Club that, according to RLH Properties Deputy CEO Juan Bremer, will be one of the project’s sleeping giants. “One of the most unique and exceptional offerings within Mandarina is the world-class Polo and Equestrian Club, which will capture the equestrian spirit that is deeply rooted in Mexican culture,” says Bremer. “Mandarina’s facility will be a place where riders of all ages will gather, learn, practice, and compete.”
The signature beauty of the One&Only project is the architecture of Rick Joy, a renowned American architect known for his extreme sensitivity and respect for the surrounding environment in which he is designing (seen notably at the Amangiri Resort in Utah). Based in Tucson, Ariz., Joy has been involved in the Mandarina project since day one, conducting research first-hand on the region’s geology, climate, scenic views, and even scouting some nearby towns in search of local materials and authentic suppliers.
Though One&Only will debut in 2019, the sales process has already begun and the sales team would tell you there is no better time than now to get involved. Purchasing a private home on the property allows you the opportunity to collaborate with the design of your space, working closely with the Mandarina team.
One&Only Private Homes will feature 55 unique villas perched atop cliffs overlooking the ocean and surrounded by the tropical forest. Ranging from four to eight bedrooms and $4.5M to $12M, each home sits on 2.5 acres of land and includes an outstanding infinity pool.
It is the first time that One&Only—owned by Dubai-based Kerzner International Holdings Ltd. with noted projects in Dubai, Maldives, South Africa, and Australia—incorporates a residential vertical, selling homes.
To complete the experience at Mandarina, homeowners will have access to the holistic One&Only Spa and the One&Only Majahua Beach Club—with infinity-edge pools, beachside terraces, and a dining area situated adjacent to a jetty that houses a fire pit the Mandarina staff lights nightly in honor of the dormant volcano Mandarina sits above.
Out of the water, the property houses an incredibly immense and thorough trail system that offers miles of hiking, biking, and horseback trails winding through Mandarina. The youngest members of the community will get to enjoy a truly unique Kids Club—serving as a refuge for children to discover, learn, stimulate, and connect with nature.
One of the least explored destination so far, we are sure that with its exotic wildlife, tropical jungle, privacy and untouched beaches Mandarina will be soon one of the most exclusive destination for your second home.
Investing in the Community
It was safe to assume that the $1B investment in Mandarina would represent a boom in tourism and economic growth for the surrounding area, however it was unexpected that the town just next door—El Monteón—would undergo a complete rebirth. The Beach Club of El Monteón, for example, was built by RLH Properties for $2M and is managed by a local, Roberto, who credits Santa Cruz with mentorship and management knowledge. Educating, supporting, and renovating, Mandarina is completely involved in communal life at El Monteón, and any future homeowners at Mandarina can decide to be part of this incredible renaissance.
Quivira Golf Club and Residences
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico
Copala Condos and Residences starting at $350,000
Coronado Single-Story Homes starting at $1.5M
Montecristo Residences—Tuscan Style Private Villas—starting at $1.5M
Home to more than 160 golf courses—the majority of which are blessed with spectacular views—Mexico, much like Hawaii, consistently remains a go-to destination for U.S. golfers. Nowhere is the evidence of golf’s assurgence in Mexico more obvious than in Mexico City, where the PGA Tour World Golf Championship was held in March 2018.
Many miles from Mexico City but just south of La Paz, Quivira Golf Club and Residences sits at the southernmost tip of Baja California on a three-mile stretch of secluded beach within the private development of Quivira Los Cabos.
The vision of Ernesto Coppel—Mexico’s 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year and current President of Consejo Nacional Empresarial Turístico (CNET)—Quivira is an 1,850-acre master-planned community that houses four resorts and five options for residence—from two-bedroom condominiums to 7,300-sq.-ft. private homes.
Also on the property is Pueblo Bonito, a 201-room resort that allows guests access to the Armonia Spa—named among the three “Best Spas in Mexico and Central America” by Condé Nast Traveler. Rounding out the acreage is the award-winning Quivira Golf Club, spotlighted by a Jack Nicklaus–designed course. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course was voted “2014 Best New International Course” by Golf Magazine and “One of the World’s 100 Great Golf Courses in the World” by Golf Digest.
At the course’s peak, players find themselves hundreds of feet above the Baja Peninsula, teeing off against a spectacular backdrop of sheer granite cliffs and windswept dunes. Location aside, the Par-4 5th (with a semi-blind green) and Par-5 12th (the longest hole with a hidden green) present a tremendous challenge to even the most skilled amateurs.
Benefits of residence within Quivira extend geographically. The property is just ten minutes from eclectic Downtown Cabo San Lucas, and residential membership comes with unique “Q” life customized experiences ranging from art walks in town, daylong trips at sea, and private wine tastings.