Landing by private jet into the sparkling clean and updated Cabo San Lucas airport is a breeze. A private VIP area is set apart from the crowds of tourists and outside the lounge awaits the SUV with cold towels, water and comfort for the easy 45-minute drive to paradise.
My idea of paradise is a beach that is tranquil, secluded, private and away from the throngs of drunk tourists. A place where you can truly relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of life and marvel at the beauty of nature. I found this place, and I am truly reluctant to share it with anyone for fear I will lose the chance to return and experience this hidden gem again. But it is so special, that I hope you will someday get to experience it. The new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in Costa Palmas is a property that will take your breath away.
Costa Palmas is a brand new, 1000-acre private beachfront resort community on two miles of quiet beach on the Sea of Cortés, located just outside of Cabo San Lucas. Surrounded by organic orchards and farms and including a stunning 250 slip deep-water marina, the area will be home to an all-new Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Los Cabos, a Robert Trent Jones II 18-hole golf course, and the Costa Palmas Beach & Yacht Club with space for superyachts up to 250 feet. This will ultimately become one of the more exclusive billionaire retreats, considering the current popularity of neighboring La Paz, which hosted a dozen of the wealthiest families and their superyachts over New Year’s Eve.
In 2018, Four Seasons in conjunction with Los Angeles-based Irongate development, headed by Jason Grosfeld, will open its very first property in Los Cabos, Mexico. Grosfeld is involved in the acquisition, financing and development of high-end commercial properties in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Among his high profile properties in Hawaii are the Watermark and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach.
I spoke with Jason Grosfeld in a long-range interview about his plans for the new Costa Palmas property and his thoughts for the future of the area.
What first attracted you to the Costa Palmas property?
“I first saw the property 10 years ago, a friend of mine owned it and I never got it out of mind. The combination of three key factors when you’re a resort developer are; proximity to a major international airport, deep white sand beach with swimmable and safe water for kids, and is it unique for the area. Most areas have miles and miles of resorts stacked up, so what’s particularly unique about this part of Baja is that our beach faces north up into the Sea of Cortes, so it’s incredibly protected. What that affords us is still water like a lake for most of the time. It’s kind of Caribbean style, magical clear water with a sand bottom. There is no algae, no coral, and its pure sand on the bottom of a shallow, easy sand bar shelf for 50 meters.”
“This property is what I had been searching for with my own family to go on vacation and it doesn’t exist. Where could you go within four hours of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Texas, Denver and the entire West Coast and get that kind of weather and oceanography and topography? We approached the Four Seasons and they fell in love with the site as well and they realized how unique it was and different than everything else on the Cabo San Lucas hotel corridor.”
What makes this property different than the numerous hotels on the Cabo corridor?
“We just recently opened up for public sales and the response has been incredible. People come down and they spend a couple nights in the cabanas and they fall in love with the area. A big attraction to buyers is the marina and the fact that we have 1,000 mostly flat acres. What that affords us, is tons of activities and certainly more than the Cabo corridor, which has sloped properties to the ocean. Not only do we have the water activities with the calm water but you also have great land activities from ATV’s to horseback riding. Most of the people I know don’t just want to go on vacation and sit by a pool and drink cocktails, they really want activities, and we do three times more activities than any other property in Cabo. When you add in the marina, you would never have dreamed of having the amenities of a club, a Four Seasons, and also an adjacent world class private yacht marina.”
With neighboring La Paz becoming the new destination for superyachts, this sounds like a dream destination for luxury boating.
“We are actually getting a lot of the superyacht owners inquiring when we will be ready for them, and in a few months the marina will be ready for the big yachts and actually can accommodate 250-foot superyachts.”
How does this property fit in with your other properties, (Watermark and The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach)?
“We take our design aesthetic pretty seriously, we try to look at something that is very site specific and what we are trying to accomplish is to give people a very light and elemental feeling that is contemporary but also relaxed, using natural materials that feel fresh and clean without being stark. We wanted to create something that was very different, but also very comfortable, and people liked our cabanas so much that they have asked to have their home in the aesthetic and vernacular of the cabana. We have a great team of architects and interior designers and we hope that we will attract and educate buyers who want something different and fresh.”
How does it work flying into Cabo San Lucas airport for high-end travelers on private jets?
“The clearance when you arrive into Cabo on a private jet is faster than you could experience anywhere in the world. You are usually out of there within five minutes. The jets pull right up to the private terminal, you walk 20 feet, you pass customs quickly and you are at your car. There is an airstrip 5-10 miles away from our property that may be renovated. It currently takes prop planes but there is talk about improving it for jets.”
What are your future dreams for Costa Palmas?
“Since we have arrived, and announced Four Seasons, people are definitely taking much more notice of the area. We heard about new hotels wanting to develop around us. We have a second hotel planned and not announced yet for our property and it is an ultra-luxury property. We are establishing Costa Palmas as the high-end, ultra-luxury master plan in all of Cabo. I don’t think anything else will compare.”
I took a hard hat ATV tour of the entire property and was shown the layout for a wide selection of residences available. The planned community includes; Marina Residences with two, three and four-bedroom layouts from 2,523 to 4,978 square feet; Beachfront residences with single-level three and four-bedroom residences on the Sea and ranging from 3,806 to 4,598 square feet; two-level townhomes are offered in four- and five-bedroom configurations from 6,528 to 6,792 square feet; Ocean view residences near the Beach Club include one, two, three or four bedroom floor plans and range from 2,523 to 4,598 square feet and Golf course residences are available in one- to four-bedroom configurations and range from 1,150 to 4,598 square feet. Expect to pay over $15 million for one of the very limited beachfront residences.
Although my visit was brief, I was the first journalist to officially spend an overnight in one of the spectacular beachfront Cabanas that are used only for VIP guests and potential property owners. These are not available to the general public, and I am hoping they keep them once the resort is finished. Upon arrival I was greeted by the charming staff including; Sales Manager Pete Hardie & GM Ricardo Medina.
After checking into my cabana, I was met by the resorts amazing massage therapist Carolina Bañuelos, who indulged me in a blended coffee, organic coconut oil and cinnamon body scrub followed by a blissful deep tissue massage. With the sound of the lapping surf in front of my balcony, this was the perfect way to welcome me to paradise.
That evening we were treated to a sit-down dinner in the small and very private beach club pavilion directly on the sand. Dinner was catered by the amazing executive chef Gonzalo Cerda, while a local musician played in the background. With bartenders that knew exactly what you wanted to drink before even asking, this is service to write home about, and considering you are the only guest for miles, it is something I will never forget.
After sleeping like a baby under an amazing super moon, I spent the morning alongside the resorts Aventura team member Jose Manriquez, and we helped release baby sea turtles back into the ocean on the Bahia las Palmas. The resorts conservation team does a great job at protecting the eggs from predators until they are ready to be gently coaxed into the surf. From there it was a fabulous hike to the nearby Santiago Waterfalls for a jump off the cliff into the crystal blue and cold water. An extra added attraction for guests is that Costa Palmas provides guides, coaches and mentors to take you and your family on rare excursions through their Aventura program. This was the perfect way to end the day and head back to the airport. I will truly miss Costa Palmas and can’t wait for my return, in fact, my bags are already packed.