About The Hotelito
A Five Star B&B Where the Desert Meets the Water
I came to Todos Santos, about nine years ago, for a week’s vacation, staying with friends who owned the renowned Casa Dracula, an old sugar Baron’s house. By the end of that week I had planned a return visit with my adult daughter and my dog. We drove the 1200 miles from Los Angeles, where I had been living and working, and spent a month here in July. The drive down confirmed that this indeed was a place of stunning natural beauty. A weird mixture of dry semi barren desert landscape and mesmeric blue seas, oasis of lush palms and a still vibrant Ranchero culture.
I saw the 5 acre piece of land that Hotelito now stands on and fell in love, not only with it’s incredible location, raised above the arroyo and the Huerta of Todos Santos looking across to the Church and town, but also how close it was to the breath-taking beach of La Cachora and the lagoon where the whales come very close to the shore each year on their migration northwards after birthing.
The land had been farmed for years and then had lain fallow for quite some time. There were nine gnarled old Mango trees and eight Palm trees. Other than that it was an empty canvas for me to color. In fact, this whole adventure of mine could only be described as impulse buying on a grand scale.
I had worked for years as an Interior Designer, both in Europe and the USA and the scope of work I had overseen over the years had been wide ranging. Whilst working in Spain we had undertaken projects in Latin America and I had attended design school in Madrid, so thought I was qualified and jumped in ready for a change of life style!
And what a change it has proven to be! It is said that ignorance is bliss, and that proved to be the case!
I started by building a few family houses and one for rental, “The Hacienda de Chilcote”, named after an indigenous tree from the mountains which a Mexican botanist friend convinced me I simply had to have. One fine morning, nine ranchero friends of his showed up with the Chilicote tree. It must be said its bark is exquisite, but it only flowers in the summer months, the rest of the time it looks half dead.
Because of my great love of horses, and latterly goats and sheep, I have been fortunate enough to get to know some of the old rancheros, especially my beloved Don Antonio who grows the organic Alfalfa and hay for the horses. We have traded goats and sheep in the last few years and one of my greatest pleasures is when I go to visit him and have lunch with him and his sons and often come home with an orphaned lamb that needs bottle feeding. We are proud “grandparents” to many goats. His billy goat Nero comes to visit my girl goats, Anjelica and Mimi, until I can bear his smell no longer and plead with Don Antonio to come and take him back to his ranch. The goats are situated well away from the Hotelito so this is not an experience shared by my guests!
After a few years I decided I was ready for another bout of building and built what is now The Hotelito. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted. Something unique and colourful; a mini homage to my much admired and beloved Mexican architects Barragan and Legoretto. More than anything I wanted each little casita to have space and privacy, so I built each one as a stand-alone house. A private tiny world for each guest to call home.
Apart from placing in each of the four rooms at least one piece of serious design furniture that had been part of my personal collection gathered over the past 30 years, my one major extravagance was to purchase the most expensive beds I could find, which I had shipped down from the States. And then of course I had to ship over some English bed linens…then we had to have down and feather pillows too (although we do keep hypo allergenic pillows for those who aren’t down obsessed like me).
My driving goal whilst creating The Hotelito was “I want a five star Bed and Breakfast”.
Estefania supplies the five star breakfast! Her Huevos Rancheros, or Huevos Mexicanos, and her home-made muffins and pink grapefruit marmalade have become famous.
This past year we have added a little kitchen for guest’s use which has proved incredibly popular. Fishermen love to bring home the catch of the day and put it on the BBQ, and others just appreciate being able to make a smoothie at lunch time or a salad and hang by the pool in a hammock. Alma’s fish shop is great if you don’t fish and just want to buy some delicious, fresh out of the sea, shrimp or fish. We have an abundance of good organic producers who sell daily. There is also a good health food store and quality wines and olive oils, from the Vale de Guadalupe region of Baja ,are available at the local wine store. Great bread from the Italian owned Cafe Todos Santos completes a perfect snack.
Owner, The Hotelito