Tag Archives: calafia condos

Cuba Gooding Sr. Named Goodwill Ambassador, Receives Rosarito Key

Cuba Gooding Sr. Named Goodwill Ambassador, Receives Rosarito Key

Cuba Gooding Sr. Named Goodwill Ambassador, Receives Rosarito Key - Photo by Laura Wong.

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO—Noted singer Cuba Gooding Sr., was presented a key to Rosarito and named a goodwill ambassador for the city by Mayor Hugo Torres at a weekend concert here.

“I am humbled by this, it means a lot to me,” said Gooding, who is best known for his 1972 super hit “Everybody Plays The Fool” as lead singer of the Main Ingredient. He also is the father of well-known actor Cuba Gooding Jr.

Mr. Gooding, who has a vacation home in Rosarito, said he is troubled because some in the U.S. have gotten the impression that Rosarito is unsafe because of the government’s crackdown on drug cartels and wanted to help correct that impression. read more »

Rainy Day in Calafia Rosarito Baja

By Marilyn K. Simon

We woke up Saturday AM to something quite unfamiliar… RAIN!  Not to worry… we got the most extraordinary rainbow with it!

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Marilyn K. Simon, Ph.D.
Online Faculty Mentor
Del Mar, CA
Calafia Mexico


Thanksgiving from the White House to Calafia, Rosarito Beach, Mexico

By Melinda Bates

Melind Bates in The White House Rose Garden with the lucky turkey who got pardoned on Thanksgiving by President Bill Clinton

Melind Bates in The White House Rose Garden with the lucky turkey who got pardoned on Thanksgiving by President Bill Clinton

That’s me in the picture there, and you may wonder why I’m petting a turkey.  Good question!  (‘Cause, you know, who does that?  Not to mention, isn’t that the biggest turkey you’ve ever seen?)  Well, that’s not just ANY turkey.  That’s the official, White House turkey!  You’ve probably seen a video clip of a President smiling, laying his hand on a humongous white bird and officially “pardoning” it, as the beginning of Thanksgiving.

This happens every year in the White House Rose Garden, and there I am, just before President Bill Clinton steps out of the Oval Office (far left corner) to honor this tradition.

Why am I there?  That’s another good question.  I’m there because my office, for all eight years of the Clinton administration, was just across the House in the East Wing.  Every morning I’d see the President’s schedule for official events.  So, when the President was doing something fun and interesting, I’d walk on over to watch.  Just one of the incredible perks of being a Special Assistant to the President and Director, White House Visitors Office – and of being a lifelong friend of Bill.

For this particular event, the turkey farmer selected brings a van with not one, but two of these huge birds.  Why two?  Because 1) the birds are so darn top-heavy you never know if or when they might just topple over and lie there with their little feet in the air (NOT a great visual for TV) and 2) you also never know when they might keel over from the sheer excitement and stress of the moment, and then you’d have a DEAD turkey for the shot, and that would be horrible!  So there’s always a back-up turkey.  Just in case.  And POTUS pardons it, and it goes off to live in a petting zoo somewhere.  Probably just as well.  I always thought there could be no natural way to grow a turkey that size. read more »

A heartfelt Gracias! – A Baja Real Estate Testimonial

Written By: Professor Wade Lorentzon aka Lorenzo

Children of Casa de Paz

Children of Casa de Paz

I am a professor of Psychology here in Calgary and for the past ten summers have brought teams of 25 eager dedicated students for the month of August to work with the 55 children of Casa de Paz, nestled in the beautiful vineyard filled Guadalupe valley. The orphanage is a sanctuary, an oasis of love and careful family nurture on a 20 hectare working vegetable farm.

A year ago to continue my vision for a Beach house/guest home for returning students and their families I inquired at Calafia and met my new found friends Max and Kathy Katz, who represent the selling of many fine condo and homes along the gold coast of Baja. read more »

Opening Of English-Language Mediation Center In Rosarito Beach Delayed Until Early 2010

Rosarito Beach

Rosarito Beach

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO—The opening of an English-language mediation center in this city to hear disputes has been postponed until early 2010.

Budget issues and additional time needed for training have caused the delay.

The center under the jurisdiction of Baja Attorney General Rommel Moreno will attempt to resolve disputes and disagreements before it becomes necessary to take them into the court system.

The program is called Centro de Justicia Alternitiva and will be in the Pabellon Grand shopping center at the northern entrance to the city.

“We have an estimated 14,000 expatriates who live here and about a million tourists a year,” said Rosarito Mayor Hugo Torres. “This center will be a great step in resolving disagreements in English without court involvement.”

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Broswe for Rosarito Homes for Sale, Ensenada Homes for Sale, Baja Homes for Sale and Mexico Homes for Sale.

Rosarito Beach to help English-speaking visitors

Mexico resort to open a mediation center for tourists, expatriates.
By GARY A. WARNER
Register Travel Editor

Rosarito Beach will open a mediation center next month that will allow English-speaking non-Mexican nationals to air complaints against businesses.

Mayor Hugo Torres announced the court Tuesday, which was authorized by Attorney General Rommel Moreno. An opening day for the court has not been set, but authorities want it up and running by next month. It likely will be located in the Pabellon Grand shopping center. The Spanish name for the program is Centro de Justicia Alternitiva.

Rosarito Beach Condo Hotel

Rosarito Beach Condo Hotel

Authorities said most transactions go smoothly, but the center is a step to assist the large (and financially lucrative) English-speaking population who visit or live in Rosarito Beach.

“We have an estimated 14,000 expatriates who live here and about a million tourists a year,” Torres said Tuesday in a news release. “This action by Attorney General Moreno is a great step in resolving amicably any disagreements between them and local businesses.”

Unlike courts where written documents in Spanish are required, complaints at the center can be given orally and in English. If the mediation center cannot bring the two sides together, the complaint would then move on to traditional Mexican courts.

“This will make it much easier for non-Spanish speakers to have their complaints heard and at no expense,” Torres said.

Areas of possible complaint include disagreements over charges, payments or failure to perform agreed upon services. These can involve not only retail disagreements, but also real estate and professional services.

The center is the latest step by Mayor Torres to burnish the image of Rosarito Beach, damaged by fallout from the ongoing drug war centered in nearby Tijuana and chronic complaints of corruption among police, other officials and some businesses. Tourism to the area has dropped in the past two years, with additional bad news coming from the spring’s outbreak of H1N1 virus (swine flu) in other parts of Mexico.

Since Torres took office in 2007, Rosarito Beach has created a tourist district police force, a tourist assistance bureau, and 24-hour-a-day ombudsman to deal with complaints.

Considering the scenic landscape that Northern Baja California offers, you might want to have a look at real estate for sale in Rosarito especially in Palacio Del Mar, Calafia Condos, Las Gaviotas or Club Marena. Browse for Mexico Real Estate, Baja Real Estate or Ensenada Real Estate.

Rosarito on the Rebound

Good times overcome bad news for a lover of Baja California.
By TERI SFORZA
The Orange County Register

So imagine an Italian Archie Bunker bellowing, “You’re goin’ WHERE?!?!”

Calafia Hotel and Las Olas Grand

Calafia Hotel and Las Olas Grand

My aging dad – and many of my much younger friends – couldn’t quite fathom why my husband and I were heading to Rosarito Beach for a long weekend with our 5-year-old daughter in August. Swine flu! Shootouts! Drug wars! Kidnappings! Carjackings! All this, and worse, had become synonymous in their minds with the Mexican border area around Tijuana.

I confess to having an overly emotional attachment to Rosarito. It was more than 20 years ago that I made my first foray into Baja after moving to California, and it was a revelation – there was a foreign country with a different language … right down the block! I dragged friends there for firsthand lessons on border issues, I bought handmade furniture from artisans there, I got married there nine years ago, and my husband and I vowed to return every year to celebrate our anniversary.

Whoops. Our last foray to Baja was in 2005. Before our daughter. Before cartel kingpin Javier Arellano Felix was nabbed and a savage war of succession erupted around Tijuana among the druglord wanna-be’s eager to replace him.

But as Tijuana‘s underbelly was exposed, Rosarito tried to separate itself from the mayhem. Over the past two years, the city has replaced much of its (notoriously corrupt) police force, created a new tourist police detail, added a tourist assistance bureau and employed a 24-hour-a-day ombudsman to handle complaints. This month, Rosarito Beach will debut a “mediation center,” so English-speakers can air complaints in their own language and settle disputes quickly.

Violence, the city fathers say, is a far more common occurrence in Los Angeles than it is down there. And who thinks twice about going to Los Angeles? Add to this the lure of oceanfront rooms that go, midweek, for as low as $19.25 a night (to mark the Rosarito Beach Hotel’s 1925 opening), and many resorts’ offers of free shuttles from San Ysidro/Chula Vista (on our side of the fence), and it’s a lure this lapsed Baja lover simply could not resist.

A DIFFERENT BAJA NORTE

We passed up the free-shuttle offer; Talavera flower pots beckoned, and we planned to cart as many home from Rosarito’s stalls as our 12-year-old RAV4 could carry.

We’ve never had to wait in a line to get into Mexico before last month. It was only 10 minutes or so until the little traffic light gave us the green PASE, but nonetheless we were waved over for further inspection by Mexican agents with machine guns. They scoured our passports (don’t forget these), matching pictures to faces, and then meticulously matched the VIN number on my car’s dashboard to the VIN number on the Mexican auto insurance policy we had bought just minutes earlier (don’t forget that, either). But we were waved on with a smile, and proceeded straight down the toll road to Rosarito, skirting Tijuana.

In 2000, our wedding was at a funky little backwater just south of the city. Calafia – set breathtakingly on a bluff perched over the sapphire Pacific – was a bit Mission San Juan Capistrano meets Aging Trailer Park. An outdoor restaurant tumbled down the bluffs into a pirate ship/dance floor, a rambling collection of double-wides was dressed up as hotel rooms, and everything was stitched together by brilliant clouds of pink and purple bougainvillea and rough-hewn grottoes beneath heavy-limbed trees. Half of the plastic chairs arranged on the lawn for our wedding guests said TECATE in red letters. A dirt bluff stacked with random junk was next door.

There was no true “luxury” there just a few years ago. So imagine our utter, unadulterated shock as we approached the Calafia turnoff and found A MASSIVE 22-STORY LUXURY TOWER where our sweet little wedding site used to be.

Shrieking and moaning, we proceeded, slack-jawed, down the turnoff, gawking at the colossal Las Olas Grand. Las Vegas big with two infinity pools, private beach, state-of-the-art glass-walled fitness center jutting into the ocean and uber-luxury accommodations (travertine floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances). What on earth had happened in our absence?! It wasn’t until we had rolled past Las Olas that we realized our funky little Calafia was still there, just hidden behind this tourista Gigantor.

Luxury condo-hotel towers have sprouted shockingly amid Baja’s modest Mexican funk, as if the universe opened up a crack and chunks of Miami Beach came shooting up through the Baja bluffs. They have names like La Elegancia, Club Marena, Calafia Resort, Las Palmas, La Jolla Real … as if some developer just woke up and said, “Mi dios! The coast is lovely here, and it’s only 20 miles from San Diego!” The place is not quite transformed, but the startling juxtaposition of old and new made it feel odd for us.

FACE-LIFT FOR THE AGING STARLET

The main game along this stretch of coast has long been the storied Rosarito Beach Hotel, even as Hollywood sheen gave way to spring-break careen. We last stayed here in 2000 while scoping out where to park our wedding guests. The bed was hard, the poolside music was blaring, the funky smell was unidentifiable. We realized we had grown a bit old for the scene, fleeing farther south to the likes of Las Rocas and Las Rosas resorts. But here we were, eager to check out the Rosarito Beach Hotel’s own Gigantor, the new, 18-story Pacifico Tower. Built last year to cater to the sort of traveler who would be aghast at a stray rodent in the room or an invasive swarm of ants – things that were par for the course at some funkier Baja digs.

We had no reservations. It was the weekend of the first Rosarito Beach Pro-Am surf contest, complete with $10,000 in prizes. We grabbed a one-bedroom condo on the Pacifico’s 15th floor for $149 a night for three nights. We had to wear yellow wrist bracelets (faintly reminiscent of spring break) so security would know we belonged; but the room came with two free margaritas each day and hotel restaurant coupons that could cut dinner bills nearly in half.

As we walked from the old hotel to the new tower, Pacifico seemed to have that old Rosarito thing going: Where there were supposed to be giant glass doors opening into the lobby, no glass had been installed yet. No matter. Once into the lobby, it felt bizarrely like the five-star Kahala resort in Hawaii where I had stayed a few years back: high-ceilinged, exclusive, uber-chic. Off the lobby was a nicely equipped fitness room and a hipster bar with neon and pool tables called “The Joint.” Outside was a gorgeous, sapphire-colored heated swimming pool, flanked by two sapphire hot tubs and an outdoor bar. None of that spring-break red vinyl patio furniture here, but handsome blond faux-wicker.

Goodness. The Rosarito Beach Hotel was all grown up.

The elevator whisked us to the 15th floor and – ears popping – we stepped out. Through the hallway windows we saw, for the first time, how far back into the hills Rosarito rambles, and what a big town it really is.

Then to our “suite.” The first thing that struck us was the stunning ocean view from such a dizzying height; then we absorbed how utterly hip, stylish, minimalist the place was. Floors are Mexican stonework; bed, a heavenly, low-slung platform; sofa, modern leather. On the living room wall hung one highly stylized painting of a flamenco dancer; beside it, a heavy, wooden-framed, floor-to-ceiling mirror. There was one flat-screen TV in the living area, and another in the bedroom; the bedroom’s sliding doors could be opened to make the spaces flow into one another, or closed to make a separate room. Our extra-large, glass-enclosed balcony offered expansive views of sand and ocean (and the more traditional Baja architecture that rambled down the coast); it felt giddy to be dangling so high above the beach.

CHANGE OF ATMOSPHERE

When my friend, colleague and avowed Baja-lover Marla Jo Fisher was here last year, she found Rosarito to be deserted and faintly depressing. It didn’t feel that way at all anymore. True, the town wasn’t crawling with drunken American college students, but that’s a good thing. Rosarito was being enjoyed by her own people – Mexican families staying at the Pacifico Tower, eating in the restaurants, playing on the beach. There were a good number of Americans, but we had that feeling of being much deeper into Mexico – where, you know, there are mostly Mexicans. We loved it.

We didn’t take any special precautions, except to avoid driving at night. We strolled the main drag, visited the Fox movie studio, bargained in the bazaar. We ate fish tacos at the corner taco stand (where gringos still drink beer with breakfast), gave the mariachis a few bucks to sing “Guadalajara” at El Nido. A highlight was Saturday night, when a stage rose beside the Pacifico Tower’s lovely pool; bistro tables with crisp white tablecloths were set up at its edge; and a poolside flamenco show, by candlelight, began. The couple at the table behind us were nose-to-nose in ecstasy the entire time.

This month, the hotel is hosting Havana nights and tango nights. There’s baby-sitting available for just $25 for four hours, and a kids club to help keep children occupied during the day if Mom and Dad have other plans.

We didn’t want to leave. We soaked up the view (and the chocolate fondue) at Calafia, and stocked up on as many gorgeous, hand-painted Talavera pots as our RAV4 could hold (13, it turns out, for $400). Our ride back to El Norte was uneventful, and it took only about an hour (and one bag of too-greasy churros) to slip back across the border.

We were commiserating with folks at Calafia about that monstrosity that sprouted next door like Jack’s beanstalk. But here’s my secret confession: I’m dying to stay at Las Olas Grand for New Year’s. Feliz Nuevo Ano! It is divine to be back under Baja’s eclectic spell.

Contact the writer: tsforza@ocregister.com

Considering the scenic landscape that Northern Baja California offers, you might want to have a look at real estate for sale in Rosarito especially in Palacio Del Mar, Calafia Condos, Las Gaviotas or Club Marena. Browse for Mexico Real Estate, Baja Real Estate, Ensenada Real Estate.

It’s wine festival time on La Ruta del Vino

Written By: Omar Millán Gonález

It’s wine festival time on La Ruta del Vino

It’s wine festival time on La Ruta del Vino

VALLE DE GUADALUPE, Baja California — One hour south of Tijuana, there’s a magical place that for 120 years has captured the flavor of this land.

It’s called La Ruta del Vino (The Wine Route), a road that starts in El Sauzal, outside of Ensenada, and connects to the valleys of Guadalupe, San Antonio de las Minas and Calafia, wine-producing regions where almost 250 producers grow grapes.

In these valleys, and in San Vicente and the Valley of Santo Tomás, 27 miles south of Ensenada, 126 million liters of wine are produced every year. They represent 90 percent of the table wines produced in Mexico, according to Sistema Producto Vid, an association of wine producers in the region.

The bucolic landscape is beautiful year-round, but in August, the grape harvest begins and all the local producers stage their harvest festivals. The area becomes a constant party, revolving around wine. There are wine contests, dancing, grand banquets, concerts, bullfights and guide tours of the wineries the vineyards.

Santo Tomás, founded in 1888, and LA Cetto, founded in 1930, are the oldest vineyards in the region, and their wines have reached countries with long oenological traditions, including France and Italy. read more »

Baja Developers Halt Is this a sign of good things to come?

One of the developments that never stopped construction

Calafia Condos: One of the developments that never stopped construction

With the collapse of the money markets on both sides of the border, it had become almost impossible –or so it seamed- for Baja developers to finish their projects.

Finding investors or financing for the final completion of their development seemed impossible. The financial situation in the U.S. did not make matters any better. Potential buyers stopped investing in Mexico because of the economy. Current buyers began to doubt the developers’ ability to complete their development.  In the last few days –and weeks- however, we have seen a change.

Could it be the end of the bad times for the region? Here are some clues: read more »

Calafia Paradise Resort hosted a charity event to benefit Responsibility

Calafia Condos Club House

Calafia Condos Club House

By Melinda Bates

Recently, Calafia Paradise Resort hosted a charity event to benefit Responsibility, an organization that’s been educating the children who live at the Tijuana dump for over 20 years. They give hope and a chance for a better future to the poorest of the poor.

Guests enjoyed a fabulous paella lunch, sponsored by Ron and Marilyn Simon, and a speech by Melinda Bates, the Ultimate White House Insider. Melinda’s back-stage stories about her years in the heart of the Clinton White House entertained, engaged and informed a large and enthusiastic audience. After the speech she signed copies of her book, Clintonista, a White House Memoir. The event raised almost $1,000 – a respectable amount of money in Mexico!

Melinda travels extensively, speaking about the adventures of her life making history at the world’s most famous house.� When she’s not traveling, she makes her home in beautiful Baja.

For more information about Responsibility, see: http://www.responsibilityonline.org/

For more information about Melinda Bates and her book, and photos of her White House years see: http://www.WhiteHouseBook.com

read more »