By Larry French
The partners of Marena Development, in 1989, decided to take beautiful piece of the Baja coast in a well know cove, south of Rosarito, to create the most luxurious, premium, residential resort that the area had ever seen. Originally Villas Marena the resort was the first to develop a top flight condominium community and today still stands as one of the absolute best addresses in Baja.
A VISION OF LUXURY REALIZED
The land was originally owned by the Cota family and was a popular camping spot from as far back as the 1940’s. Surfers from around the world would set up camp to sample the smooth pealing point waves. Surfing Legends the likes of Skip Fry, Corky Carroll and Jerry Lopez would dawn the point for pleasure and even a few completions. Marena’s decision to transform this idyllic piece of Baja into the Coast’s first true luxury development turned out to me a monumental one.
The charm of the architecture and the well planned layout of this location are exceptional and were unprecedented, at the time, in this sleepy village in the area south of Rosarito know as Bahia Descanso, “restful bay”. This area represented the premium Rosarito Real Estate and a unique geography on this section of the coast at the time of construction.
People who know the area are very cognizant of the unique micro-climate in this locality. Southern orientation, with coastal hills, keep the winds side shore, the weather patterns a little sunnier and the area more temperate than just 15 minutes up the coast.
THE VILLAS – UNIQUE ON THE COAST
The first phase included twenty-seven luxury villas & one custom home-site. Each villa would have an idyllic layout for a seaside retreat. Drive into a private, two car garage with complete laundry facilities. Pull in and park in safety and comfort. Walk into a lush, well appointed personal courtyard and feel the Mediterranean essence of this Riviera style resort.
The courtyards offer a special space for private puttering in your own garden. It is the perfect place for a private hot tub, koi pond or outdoor kitchen. Some of the villas have a casita with a third bedroom bordering the courtyard. . The oceanfront master suite represents the dream we all have in coastal sleeping comfort. The sounds of the waves pour past the private balcony and into the spacious sleeping space accented with the warmth of a cozy fireplace.
The open floor plan of the lower level provides a spacious living space with great accommodations for home entertainment and adorned with another fireplace. A well designed kitchen opens up to the dining and living area. Walk though the space and onto the brick patio and your private wood sundeck. Outdoor living space is what the villas bring better than any condo and most homes in the area. This is what makes life in a Marena villa so special.
By 1992 this first phase of what would become one of the coasts most coveted developments would be completed. Villas Marena, as it was know back then, launched a new era of development on Baja’s Gold Coast. Baja had not yet scene this Riviera style of luxury architecture and planning combined with stylish oceanfront amenities.
Also included in this original phase was an impressive clubhouse, a fully equipped gym, a spectacular pool with children’s section and an infinity edge that hangs out over the pacific. This area also included terraced patio areas, access to a private cove beach below and a small landing for kayaks and inflatable boats. Later a boom with a winch was added to the landing to launch small watercraft from the little beach. The lush landscaping and well-manicured environment lead to a quick sellout of this original offering.
THE TRADITION OF CONDO QUALITY BEGINS
The next phase, Las Floras, was a low-rise condominium complex with 6 floors and 5 units across. Each unit was a new level of luxury in a condo offering. Massive oceanfront master suits with Jacuzzi tubs and lavish appointments. In front of the building are beautiful reflection ponds. Behind the building is one of the most charming & creative architectural compositions one will ever see in a residential resort. What looks to be a little Mediterranean village street is actually a collection of enclosures that provide each unit with a spacious private garage.
The phase three offering was the first high-rise offering from the developer. The Las Brisas tower is a full 10 stories high and features two spectacular penthouse units. Each 3800sqft penthouse is on two floors with one of the homes sporting a private elevator between levels (this unit can be seen here). Additionally there are two three bedroom garden units and 6 two bedroom luxury condos. Like the first two phases this one sold out before it was finished in 1996.
With this phase came what is likely the coasts finest tennis courts were added.
The next two towers brought the resort to a different level. Two 12 story towers with two 3000 sqft units on each floor, except penthouses and special units that combined an entire floor to create 5500 luxury lofts. These were appointed in the finest of finished and finished in 2000 & 2003 respectively. To this day these are some of the most coveted properties on the coast and many come with full garages.
PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE– A UNIQUE OFFERING TO THE COAST
Last but definitely not least the most recent phase was completed in 2008. This is a luxury tower comprised of three sections, typically two units across each, with 12 floors plus an additional penthouse level on the middle section. Properties range in size from 1500 to 5600 sqft. While every condo in this building is an experience in luxurious resort living the Punta Marena units are something to behold. They are unique on the coast and offer over 100 feet of spectacular oceanfront. Massive open great room is a true spectacle of wraparound windows with a generous terrace all the way around. Each of the three spacious bedrooms with in suite bathrooms is oceanfront with the master having the units’ second fireplace and a huge Jacuzzi tub in it. The views pan from sunrise over Bahia Descanso to the sunset off of Calafia point.
Every unit in the towers has reverse osmosis, high end appliances (bosch, ge profile, dacor, etc…) and they all feature high ceilings, solid core doors and all the luxury finishes you would expect of the highest end resorts on the coast. Quality, style, luxury and performance characterize the Marena experience.
Finally, as if this were not enough, the developer added the a spectacular new complex with another oceanfront pool/Jacuzzi, a banquet room with a caterers kitchen and a sunset BBQ terrace that is the site of Saturday sunset mixers for local residents. Also at the bottom of the new building is a cardio workout room and beach lockers for all the ocean toys. A dog park the size of a football field was also added.
ONE OF BAJAS FINEST ADDRESSES
Club Marena has a 20 year history of delivery, success and very happy residents. In fact one unique thing about club Marena buyers is that many of them are current owners. Many people who buy in Club Marena buy there again to either upgrade their residence or invest in the future of the development. At any rate Marena represents one of the finest addresses Baja has to offer. Come down and check out what the buzz is about.