If brevity is the soul of wit, serendipity is the soul of travel!
The absolute best aspect of travel is the unforseen twists and unpredictable turns that lead to such satisfying intellectual stimulation and emotional fulfillment. The following sequence of events from last week is a wonderful example of precisely what I mean.
1) I find out my advisory board meeting will be at Secrets Puerto Los Cabos. Great, I have been wanting to learn more about that development.
2) In the airport departure lounge, I decide spontaneously to reach out to a good friend and business contact Juan Carlos Del Rio, Managing Director of Epic Group Los Cabos and suggest to him we get together for a drink and chat.
3) We meet one afternoon on the Secrets patio and Juan Carlos brings along Rafael Sanchez Navarro of Grupo Questro whose company owns and is developing Puerto Los Cabos. He mentions offhandedly a boutique hotel they own located nearby at the marina.
4) Later that evening, on a whim I email Rafael to see if I could do a site inspection the next morning before I catch my afternoon flight. He readily agrees and sets it up.
Sitting in the airport at DFW, I was focused on my upcoming advisory board meeting agenda. Stumbling upon one of the most interesting hotels I have every visited was the absolute farthest thing from my mind. How could I possibly have known that El Ganzo was about to give me goose bumps!
As you can tell from their logo, El Ganzo means “goose” in Spanish although the conventional spelling is el ganso with an “s”. After I concluded my tour, I asked my intrepid guide Miriam Reuter about the spelling deviation. She had the perfect explanation. “As you have discovered for yourself, El Ganzo does things differently than other hotels. As such, even the name demands its own flair.” At the end of the next few posts, you can judge for yourself if indeed El Ganzo does not offer a unique travel experience.
Now, where to start? For a boutique hotel with just 72 rooms, there is a lot to explain. I know, let’s begin just as I did. I arrived a little early so while I waited to meet Miriam, I walked out on the verandah, ordered a cappuccino and sat gazing out at the marina. Some of you may know that just off the coast of Los Cabos are some of the world’s best sport fishing grounds and many boats harbor here. Rather than trying to explain such niceties as the marina being a “4 S” with 400 slips and a drystock with a 150 ton lift . . . why parade my gross ignorance for all the world to see . . .just click here and read away. Fortunately, one needn’t be a Fleet Admiral to sit and drink in the aesthetic beauty of the place. Anyway, Miriam’s here to start our tour.
As we walked to the front entrance to the hotel, I asked Miriam to explain the basic concept of their signature Artist In Residence program. Here is a brief synopsis with a fuller explanation and more examples to come later. Artists and musicians from around the world are invited to come and experience the hotel while they create, interpret and record works of art. No money changes hands. This is all based on trade. The artists are responsible for their own airfare but once they arrive they are provided airport transfers, accommodations and a generous meal allowance (since the property is not all-inclusive). They in turn are expected to exercise their creative gifts leaving behind a permanent record of their visit.
As you can perhaps tell from the picture at the top of this page, the entrance to the hotel is on one end, giving the impression there couldn’t be more than a half-dozen rooms. The wider shot above gives a very different perspective. Now take a look at the pictures below. The one on the left again shows the entrance. The one on the right is a closer view of a magnificent piece of art by the Mexican graffiti artist Saner.
I have barely scratched the surface and already it is time to wind down this post. But I have oh so much more to tell you about El Ganzo. In a later post I will give you links to some incredible pictures of this property. When we next reconvene, I will take you by the hand and lead you down steep steps to secret chambers, on mysterious boat rides to a shady oasis and on a two-wheel journey through enchanted gardens. Harry Potter, eat your heart out!