On Location: Entryway to the Sea

Upon entering Puerta Cortés — a 500-plus-acre property in La Paz, Baja California, I was immediately intrigued by its essentially untouched landscape and its proximity to the marvelous Sea of Cortez.

Puerta Cortés, is surrounded by the world’s richest body of water — home to rare sea life such as whale sharks, dolphins, grey whales, humpbacks, orcas, sea lions and more. Nearly 40 percent of the world’s sea life is represented in the Sea of Cortez, making it a prime destination for snorkeling, scuba diving, and sea life exploration.

With seven marinas, Puerta Cortés demanded that I spent a day out on the water to discover Isla Espiritu Santo, swim with whale sharks, and explore sea lions habitats. I followed my day-long boating excursion with an ocean-view dinner as the sun set on the water.

Vista Mar

El Cortés Golf Club

Only two hours from Cabo San Lucas, La Paz offers an experience that heavily contrasts the bustle of a major city. Downtown La Paz offers an authentic Mexican city experience, while Puerta Cortés exudes an unparalleled feeling of privacy, serenity and comfort.

“I love the fact that even though you are in the city, you have this feeling that you are not really in a city,” says President of Ascendancy Antonio Davila, who admires the small town feel of La Paz.

El Cortés Golf Club, boasting sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez from 17 of its 18 holes, is accompanied by a cliffside Clubhouse with views unlike any other. The perfect destination for a Mexican-style breakfast, the Clubhouse evokes a peaceful atmosphere — complete with a calming morning breeze coming off the sea, views of the course’s lush greenery and the crystal blue Sea of Cortez, and an assortment of growing cacti to complete the mountainous desert landscape.

Las Colinas

After spending a morning at the golf course, I headed to Blue Cortés — the signature beach club at Puerta Cortés — to enjoy an afternoon soaking in the sun, relaxing in the infinity pool, and indulging in fine international cuisine while poolside. 

Located only two hours from Cabo San Lucas, La Paz offers an experience that heavily contrasts the bustle of a major city. Downtown La Paz offers an authentic Mexican city experience, while Puerta Cortés exudes an unparalleled feeling of privacy, serenity and comfort.

“I love the fact that even though you are in the city, you have this feeling that you are not really in a city,” says President of Ascendancy Antonio Davila, who admires the authentic, comfortable and small town feel of La Paz. 

When Davila visited the property with his wife six years ago, he immediately fell in love with the serene landscape of La Paz. 

“My wife and I were amazed by the fact that La Paz wasn’t better known, because we just found it to be the most beautiful place we’d ever seen,” he says. “I was mesmerized by its beauty, spectacular scenery and extraordinary amenities.”

Last year, Ascendancy — a Mexican-based family office and asset management firm — purchased the property and launched a $5 million renovation, which should be complete within the next 12 to 18 months. 

Currently the property offers two residential options — Las Colinas and Vista Mar, and Ascendancy is negotiating the construction of two, five-star hotels. The property will also soon sell cliffside, ocean-view lots. Other upgrades will include additional restaurants, an expanded on-site market, and a complete face lift for the beachfront.

“Puerta Cortés is an exclusive hideaway for those seeking unparalleled, coastal living and adventure in one of the most privileged locations in the world. I have met so many well-traveled visitors and residents who have seen and experienced some of the most incredible destinations in the world and have decided Puerta Cortés is where they want to be,” Davila says. 

The biggest draw of Puerta Cortes “to me is the gateway to the Sea of Cortez, its beautiful colors and wonderful sea life.” Davila says his favorite thing about living in La Paz is “being about to go out on the water with my family and experience all of the beautiful sea life. I love the quality of life that my family gets living here.”

Photos courtesy Puerta Cortés

This editorial appeared in the Unique Homes Ultimate ’19 Issue.

Unique Homes takes a behind-the-scenes look at the new and exclusive resort, Mandarina, in Nayarit, Mexico.

By Kristen Ordonez

The curves and ridges of the cobblestone streets describe the character of the charming, seaside town of Sayulita, located on the western coastal state of Nayarit, Mexico. Unique Homes was recently invited by RLH and RSC and The Agency to stay in the town of Sayulita as part of a larger effort to discover and learn about Mandarina, a new exclusive resort that will feature hotel rooms, one of the world’s first collections of One&Only branded residences and other world-class amenities.
Though only a 15-minute drive separates Sayulita from the land Mandarina is located on, entering the site is like stepping directly into a tropical jungle, surrounded by the sounds of native creatures and the crashing waves along the Pacific coast. The site of the resort is expansive and includes a variety of landscapes that will feature amenities for every kind of adventure-seeker. The flat plots of fertile farmland lining the road to the property will offer locally grown produce for an authentic farm-to-table experience at the restaurants that will be on the site. In the background was an amazing protected mountain range that nestled us closer to the cliffs and the shore.

The steep climbs and alternating landscapes provide a challenge for active guests on the trail system, open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders. These trails take you through thick patches of jungle that are both reminiscent of how out of our element you are, but also envelope you in a sense of quiet wonder that fill you with a sense of contentment. On the shore, two stretches of beach will satisfy those looking to relax somewhere that feels world’s away from everything. This property is the definition of unique, providing incredible vistas of every terrain imaginable, from the crystal clear waters you can see from cliffs formed by a long-dormant volcano many years ago, to the green flatlands that will eventually play host the world-class Mandarina Polo and Equestrian Club.
Apart from certain sections of the site that were already under construction, a large part of the property is waiting to be developed, which according to Ricardo Santa Cruz, RSC President and CEO, will be done in stages coinciding with sales of the One&Only Private Homes. Santa Cruz has been working and negotiating with citizens and authorities within the region for more than 10 years to acquire the land for Mandarina, an endeavor that has formed a closer relationship between Mandarina and the town along the coast of Nayarit. Santa Cruz, alongside architect Rick Joy, aim to bring a tailored luxury experience that immerses you into the landscape and the surrounding communities by keeping authenticity a key principle.
A sense of individuality and uniqueness are undeniable, as few have come to find once they set foot in Mandarina. There will be no other place quite like it.
A closer, in-depth look at the Mandarina project will be included in Unique Home’s upcoming Ultimate issue, which will be on sale in May.

Photos courtesy of Mandarina and Hayes Davidson

Style Selector
Select the layout
Choose the theme
Preset colors
No Preset
Select the pattern