For the Ritz-Carlton, the West Enclave Reserve Residences in Los Cabos signify a bold step forward in homeownership. With 27 new residences being built, the legendary resort brand is now offering private, standalone homes along a three-mile stretch of beach overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Reserve Residence owners enjoy the benefits of a stylish, oceanfront home complete with a dedicated residential management team. Anticipatory concierge service, in-residence dining, and a long list of Ritz-Carlton luxuries are easily available too.
Architecturally, the homes mark another kind of upgrade. They represent a distinctly contemporary oasis in an ocean of traditional architecture, situated in a unique vacation destination where desert, mountains, and deep blue sea collide.
The Architectural Intent
The homes are designed in a warm hacienda style, with ceilings clad in natural wood. Their courtyards open up via six-panel glass doors onto decks, pools, and the Sea of Cortez.
Clearly, the architect’s intent is all about merging indoor and outdoor living and creating a feeling of being outside all day long. “You go from inside to outside and don’t even notice the transition,” says Fernando de Haro, founder of Abax Arquitectos. “People leave their windows open day and night. There are terraces inside and outside the house, and the ocean breezes deliver cross ventilation throughout most of the rooms.
The desert sun is reflected everywhere inside: in the materials, textures, wall colors, and with the abundance of natural light. “There are sunny days all year long, and the light changes from bright white in the morning to reddish in the afternoon,” de Haro says. “With that change of light, you feel the change in the color of your home—we worked with the light, so there’s a sense of merging with the desert.”
The influence of the Sea of Cortez cannot be denied. It’s a cobalt backdrop for the development, one that creates a sense of place like no other. “You learn what it is to live in the desert near the water. There’s the dark blue of the water and the light from the sun,” de Haro says. “A lot of people who bought these homes have homes on other beaches, but here they feel a great difference. It’s the result of the wide-open ocean and the experience of being in that place.”
The Next Generation
“It was incredible to see how the sea has such a presence, and the sunrise and sunset and hills, too, with their different colors,” says Bertha Figueroa, the architect with Mexico City-based Abax Arquitectos who handled the interiors. “We wanted to achieve that with the basic colors of the houses.”
Inside, she used basic, earthy colors, with hints of greens, yellows, and grays to punctuate the site’s Mexican heritage. Outside, the residences are clad in a native stone called morisca, one that shifts in the sunlight like a chameleon, its colors ranging from beige to orange. At sunset it turns red.
The architectural shift toward modernism is designed to attract a younger generation to Los Cabos. To be sure, the West Enclave maintains Ritz-Carlton’s core values, but with a hip interpretation. “It’s a new concept that’s relaxed and stylish for a new Cabo way of life,” she says. “There’s refinement, but it’s not stiff—it fits the way the new generation lives.”
For Mexico City-based Carlos Rojo, the 47-year-old CEO of Grupo Financiero Interacciones, that refinement means amenities like restaurants, golf courses, a hospital, and a soon-to-be-completed Ritz-Carlton hotel. He bought his second home—a five-bedroom, beachfront affair—at the Reserve Residences six months ago.
He liked its look. “It’s radically different. Most of the things you see around Cabo are a mixture of Mexican and Spanish architecture,” he says. “This is very clean and very peaceful. I fell in love with not only the house but the architect’s design.”
The Big Picture
The community is part of a 2,000-acre development called Puerto Los Cabos, created by Grupo Questro. The West Enclave is the fourth community on the master-planned property and the second for Ritz-Carlton. Grupo Questro began acquiring land 30 years ago, breaking ground in 2005. Its most appealing acquisition is the three-mile stretch of beachfront along the sea.
“You come across the bridge and we’ve got a marina with 200 slips; we can accommodate yachts up to 250 feet,” says Jeff Lawrence, director of sales at Puerto Los Cabos. “People come in from California and around the world—we’ve got a tour coming in from the Mediterranean next week.”
They come to fish at Gordo Banks, with its world-class fishing grounds and the largest billfish tournament on the planet. And they come for San José del Cabo’s arts and culture scene, with galleries, restaurants, and retailers just four minutes back across that bridge.
Still, Puerto Los Cabos is catching up on the arts and entertainment front. “We already have a culture garden in place,” Lawrence says. “We’re planning a museum and a private residential golf course with a club and a hotel.”
The Bottom Line
When the community is built out, four more parcels will likely be filled in with hotels, making it a perfect holiday retreat for family-oriented homeowners like Carlos Rojo. “We have a big family, with four kids, so I’m spending my Christmas holiday with extended family there,” he says. “Plus, when the hotel is built, we can have somebody stay there.”
And his home has proven a positive influence on his bottom line. “It’s a very good investment, because it’s in a growth area,” he says. “I bought it a year ago and now it’s already up 50 percent. I don’t have any interest in selling, but it’s going to continue to grow in value.”
That kind of return on investment—accompanied by modern architecture and site-sensitive design—add up to next-level living on the Baja Peninsula.
Image Credits: Photography by Francisco Estrada/ courtesy of Grupo Questro.