Valle de Guadalupe is home to more than 100 wineries. // © 2016 Adobe Guadalupe La Villa de Valle Breakfast/Kerry Brown
Feature image (above): The 22-room Encuentro Guadalupe features spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. // © 2016 Edgar Lima
If Baja California’s tourism is ever going to rebound, it will probably be Valle de Guadalupe providing the bounce. Valle de Guadalupe — Mexico’s answer to Napa Valley — is about a two-hour drive from the California border, and clients can travel along the coastal Highway 1, which provides plenty of great views of the Pacific Ocean along the way.
There are currently 100-plus wineries in Valle de Guadalupe. Once a traveler is in the region, it’s difficult to get lost, since one major road, Highway 3, cuts north and south through the valley. A pleasant, laid-back getaway could center on leisurely meals and dropping in to sophisticated tasting rooms.
The region currently has a small selection of hotels and villas, a situation that is constantly evolving. Here are some of our favorite spots to stay in this idyllic valley.
Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards & Inn
During my exploration of Valle de Guadalupe, I overnighted at Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards & Inn, a small hotel that makes a big impression. While there are only six rooms at the property, which blends Iranian and Mexican architecture in its design, there’s a lot to explore.
During my stay, I enjoyed an educational hour in the hotel’s wine-tasting room, had lunch at the on-site food truck and wandered past the property’s extensive horse stables. One element of my stay that took some getting used to was the intentional lack of room keys; thankfully, the honor system seems to work at the property. Breakfast is included in the gorgeous Mexican kitchen, which is made beautiful by authentic Talavera tiles. There’s also the option to book a massage utilizing Adobe Guadalupe’s signature mescal, Lucifer Especial.
Recommend Adobe Guadalupe for equine-loving clients, as horseback riding is available. A ride can even be combined with a wine tasting at the neighboring Monte Xanic vineyards.
Small is beautiful in Valle de Guadalupe, and this ethos is embodied by Casa Mayoral, a sophisticated boutique hotel with only four rooms, each independent of the other and designed with an eye to sustainability. Rooms have either mountain or garden views. In addition to a house breakfast, there is also a property chef available to cook personalized dinners for guests.
If clients are fans of modernist architecture, they’ll find Encuentro Guadalupe fascinating. The hotel’s 22 minimalist, box-like independent rooms are grouped on the hillside, providing amazing views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor sitting area. Amenities include an outdoor pool and massage services. While there’s an on-site restaurant — which is as equally stunning as the rooms — there are also many topflight restaurants only a short drive away. One of the best is La Esperanza, an eatery overseen by celebrity chef Miguel Angel Guerrero, one of the founders of the celebrated Baja Med cuisine.
La Villa del Valle
La Villa del Valle is an elegant country inn situated on 70 acres, ideally situated for exploring the valley. The adults-only property has just six rooms. The on-site Corazon de Tierra restaurant sources much of its produce from the property’s organic vegetable garden. Breakfast is included, and the complimentary glass of wine and “botana” (snack) each evening is a nice touch. The inn has a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi and massage services. A tip for agents: Book clients in one of the three rooms with its own balcony.
Terra del Valle Bed & Breakfast
Terra del Valle Bed & Breakfast is a good choice for travelers looking for a B&B experience with a “green” accent. The property has five rooms, which use natural materials such as wheat straw, wood and river stones in their construction. Each room also has its own balcony with a hammock. Like classic B&Bs, breakfast is a big deal, and in addition to organic food, local wines can be ordered to accompany breakfast (this is the wine valley, after all). Guests can also use the dining room to cook their own meals throughout the day. Terra del Valle provides complimentary bicycles for its guests, and since Valle de Guadalupe is relatively flat, clients won’t have to be in Olympic condition to enjoy a ride.