A decade after discovering undeveloped beachfront in Mexico, Ron Hatfield now enjoys year-round ocean views. By, Diane M. Byrne

Since the 17th century, vessels including merchant ships, modern motoryachts, and sportfishing boats have visited the Los Cabos region of Mexico. At the tip of Baja California, its deep, blue waters offer a wide variety of fish, and it is renowned as the marlin mecca of the world. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that hotels and second homes were developed to attract vacationers and avid travelers. Unlike other areas of Mexico—indeed, many oceanside regions in general—Los Cabos is anything but overdeveloped. Instead, picture stretches of uninhabited beaches, with towering mountains providing spectacular views of sand and sea.

That’s what captivated Ron Hatfield, a real estate developer, when he visited the region with his then-business partner, Ken Schnitzer, 15 years ago. “The elevation of the land off the beach provided incredible sites for mountainside homes overlooking the Sea of Cortez,” Hatfield recalls. They acquired land to offer a handful of homes, which sold so quickly that they purchased additional acreage to create the community of Villas Del Mar. Five years later, Hatfield, president of Del Mar Developments, purchased his own home site and now lives there year-round.

Besides enjoying access to golfing and members-only clubs, Hatfield has one of the more distinctive homes in Villas Del Mar. “It’s built into the mountainside for complete privacy and also has a separate honeymoon suite overlooking the sea,” he explains. Mixing traditional furnishings with Spanish-style ones lends what he considers a casual elegance, ideal for hosting dinner parties for neighbors one day, then welcoming his grown children and grandchildren the next. His favorite room? The living room. “My glass pocket doors disappear into the walls, so it’s open all the way around with views of the sea and the mountains. I get fresh sea air while relaxing and watching the game or reading a book.”

Another bonus: The region is virtually free of crime. “Los Cabos is definitely a safe place,” Hatfield says. “I feel very secure and have absolutely no apprehension at all about bringing family or friends here.”