Baja beach lovers looking for a respite from trendy Cabo San Lucas
should set their sights on the expat artists’ colony of Todos
Santos, an hour’s drive north along the desert coastline. There, on
the town outskirts, a bumpy dirt lane will lead them to the Posada
La Poza, an intimate seven-room oasis nestled behind terracotta
walls. Owned and operated by former Swiss banker Juerg Weisendanger
and his artist wife, Libusche (Lily), the boutique inn offers one
of the most serene stays imaginable.
We arrived in time for lunch on the rooftop terrace, shaded from
the sun by a slatted stranglewood roof. In front, a marsh lagoon
protecting a bird sanctuary curved around like a painter’s palette.
Snowy egrets and herons graced the marsh edges; pelicans glided low
over the water; and hawks circled above. Beyond, the turquoise
Pacific Ocean tossed up magnificent breakers on the golden sand,
and farther out, gray whales breached and spouted as they passed by
on their annual migration from Alaska (mid-December to March).
Facing such a picture-perfect scene, it was hard to concentrate
on lunch. But the delicious tuna cones (a gourmet version of fish
tacos) with local organic salad, accompanied by a crisp, white
Mexican wine (the inn’s wine list showcases noted wines from the
vineyards of Northern Baja) did a good job of keeping our
checked us into our junior suite, handing us a basket stocked with
binoculars (for watching the birds and whales) and a selection of
classical, jazz and blues music for the CD player in our suite. Set
in two adobe-colored buildings, all seven rooms are charmingly
furnished with Mexican bookshelves and armoires, and oil paintings
and sketches by Lily decorate the walls. But the two junior suites
have the added feature of a stone hot tub outside on a private
patio overlooking the garden. Beside the hot tub, a hammock and
patio bench piled with pillows looked inviting we made use of them
later but sunning by the pool won out that afternoon.
The pool, with a large adjacent hot tub, is set in a pine,
cactus and bougainvillea garden by the lagoon. A white-sand beach
was created along the shore of the lagoon; it provides an idyllic
spot for relaxing in a hammock and bird watching.
Later in the afternoon, we roused ourselves to walk from the inn
along a scenic sand trail beside the lagoon, past giant cactuses
hundreds of years old, to the endless wide stretch of beach. Except
for a few fellow walkers and their dogs in the distance, the beach
was deserted and the only footprints in the sand were ours.
That evening, we sampled more of Juerg’s cooking (he’s also a
chef), this time dining in the inn’s El Gusto! restaurant. He
served up fettuccini with white truffle oil and Parmesan cheese,
for which he is famous locally.
While he helps out in the kitchen at night, Lily’s influence is
found at breakfast. Morning coffee and cookies are available in the
garden at 7 a.m. A hearty breakfast is served later and might
feature Lily’s warm cranberry-and-fruit bread pudding, fruit
muesli, cheese omelette with bacon and a basket of fresh-baked
For clients who want to do absolutely nothing except read, doze
in a hammock, eat well and revel in a slice of Baja tranquility,
the Posada La Poza is an ideal retreat.
Posada La Poza
The Posada La Poza is recommended by various luxury guides, but
its rates are moderate. Depending on the season, a junior suite
goes for $215-$240 a night for two, including breakfast.
Todos Santos is perfect as a two- to four-night addition to a
Cabo San Lucas vacation or for a total escape, as a vacation
A car rental is needed to get from the Cabo San Lucas or La Paz
Commission: 10 percent
EXPLORING TODOS SANTOS
Clients can stroll the town’s crafts stores, handmade silver
jewelry shops and art galleries. At the beach at nearby Punta
Lobos, watch the local fishermen in the afternoons skillfully
battle the waves as they return in their pangas (fishing
Guests can also visit the Todos Santos Cultural Center and view
the old black-and-white photos of Baja missions as well as the
recreated house and barn showing how the early rancheros lived. A
day trip to La Paz is ideal for snorkeling with sea lions in the
wild at Los Islotes.