Villa Santa Cruz

Greening Up the Garden

Tuesday, November 08, 2011
The Villa Santa Cruz garden has a new look this year. In the spirit of being “green,” we scoured the property and found all sorts of discarded building materials that we repurposed to create raised planting beds. You can see that old concrete blocks hold our zucchini plants, a spare tire contains our cabbage plants, and extra roof tiles surround the spinach and sunflower seedlings.    

When you walk through the garden, you can brush up on your Spanish vocabulary – all the signs that name the vegetables and flowers are in English and Español. One day soon, we’ll be picking betabels (beets), zanahorias (carrots), and albahaca (basil), just to name a few. 

While we patiently wait for the seeds to grow and produce, we'll be collecting new breakfast and lunch recipes that incorporate the fresh veggies into the meals served here at the Villa.  If you have a favorite, please send it our way!

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Day of the Dead v. Halloween - Friends or Foes?

Sunday, October 30, 2011
El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a national holiday in Mexico that is, ironically, full of life, color and energy. The belief is that the spirits of the deceased return once a year to spend time with their families. And so, between October 31 and November 2, Mexican families visit cemeteries, decorate the graves of their loved ones, and rejoice in the reunion of their families – the past with the present. With delicious food and lively music, the Day of the Dead is actually a celebration of life. 

In the town of Todos Santos, with a healthy mix of both Mexicans and Gringos, the juxtaposition of the celebrations of American Halloween and Mexican Day of the Dead are a bit peculiar at first glance. The two holidays are based on completely opposite ideas of death – Halloween stems from an innate fear of ghosts and spirits while the Day of the Dead is a joyous time to reunite with deceased friends and family members. However, as the centuries have ticked by, and Halloween has morphed from a superstitious terror-invoking event into a secular, community-oriented festivity, the spirit of the two holidays now seem to complement each other. 

Here in Todos Santos, Halloween and Day of the Dead revelry are in full force. The Sandbar hosted a wild Halloween party on Friday night, followed by the traditional costume extravaganza at the Hotel California on Saturday night. And, the streets and storefronts in Todos Santos are festively decorated for the Day of the Dead. The traditional Mexican Catrina, the well-dressed skeleton figurine seen all over Mexico, has made a grand appearance at La Garra Bar, the Cultural Center is decorated with a Day of the Dead altar, and a skeleton has even saddled up to the bar at Cafelix. At Villa Santa Cruz, the beautiful talavera urn that adorns our staircase reminds us of this lively holiday year-round. What a time to be in Todos Santos!


La Garra Bar's Catrina

The Cultural Center


Cafelix's Bony Patron

Villa Santa Cruz Urn

Anonymous commented on 30-Oct-2011 07:14 PM
Jess, what a great posting. todos is really cooking with both holidays. can't wait to see you. In early Dec! Give Mateo and sugar a hello kiss for me.
Villa Santa Cruz commented on 31-Oct-2011 03:02 PM
So looking forward to your visit (and Sugar too)!

Lights, Camera, Action! Todos Santos Theater just around the corner....

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Blue Moon Productions is at it again! The local outdoor theater in Todos Santos, Teatro Luna Azul, is in the middle of preparations for their new show. Last year they brought us the wildly successful The Wizard of Oz with a Todos Twist, and now they are gearing up for the murder-mystery spectacle . . . And Then There was Nun. Starring local Todos Santos talent, the performances are guaranteed to be a fun night out under the stars.

Purchase your ticket and book your room at Villa Santa Cruz now (we’ll book you into the Villa and have your Blue Moon ticket ready upon check-in)! Want to make the night even more fun? You can arrange to have dinner at the Villa before the show. Then, just drive a mile or two down the road for the performance and enjoy! 


Tickets are $200 pesos each. Performance Dates are:

Friday, December 16, 2011 & Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, January 20, 2012 & Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012 & Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012 & Saturday, March 10, 2012

Organic Basil Field at Villa Santa Cruz

Monday, October 03, 2011

Even in the hot summer months, produce abounds in Todos Santos and at Villa Santa Cruz. We are co-oping with a local organic farmer, Sueño Tropical, to grow beautiful basil in our southernmost lot. The seedlings were planted in early August and are already producing boxes full of healthy, fragrant basil.  Picked in the cool early mornings, the subtle smell of basil gently drifts through the Villa and out to the beach. The expansive green field is a delightful sight from our Roof Terrace and Guest Suites. 

Turtle Release Just Up our Road

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just up the road from Villa Santa Cruz, at Las Playitas Beach, the dedicated volunteers of Tortugueros Las Playitas, an environmental conservation group who specialize in Endangered Sea Turtle population recovery and habitat protection, are hard at work rescuing sea turtle nests and releasing hatchlings into the ocean.  While they have spent the summer patrolling the beaches, rescuing turtle eggs and monitoring their incubation, the turtle release season is now in full swing!

You can participate in their recovery efforts by assisting in the turtle releases.  When the nests hatch and a release is scheduled, the group notifies the community via email blasts and Facebook posts.  Head to out to Las Playitas beach (click here for the map) just before sunset and help those turtles take their long walk from the shore to the beach.  It is a truly amazing experience.

For more information, visit our Turtle Releases page. To donate to the effort and help save these endangered sea turtles, click here.  This is a great community organization with a global impact!

Jenna commented on 04-Oct-2011 06:48 PM
wow! those turtles are so cute. I wish I could have been there to see them all

Viva Mexico! Mexican Independence Day Celebrated in Todos Santos

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We are lucky in Todos Santos to have many festivals, parades, and events throughout the year, but, without doubt, the biggest night of them all celebrates the Día de Independencia - Mexican Independence Day.

While the actual Independence Day is September 16, the celebration begins the night before with a grand party in the main plaza.  The Mission is dressed up in a light show, food stands made of palm fronds appear so you can feast on authentic and delicious churros, tamales, and pozole (just to name a few), you can play Mexican Bingo, vote for the queen of Todos Santos, and watch the dance and music troops performing on stage.



The night culminates around 11pm with the infamous El Grito - literally "the yell."  The yell is a call-and-response between the speaker and the audience, mimicking the yell from Hidalgo in 1810, encouraging the people to revolt against the Spanish colonial government.  

In Todos Santos, this year's yell was led by Esthela Ponce, the Presidenta Municipal de La Paz (akin to the Mayor).  She yelled and we spiritedly responded:

"Viva Hidalgo!


Viva Morelos!


Viva el Pueblo Mágico de Todos Santos!


Viva Mexico!


Yes indeed, Viva Mexico!


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Love in the Moonlight - Katie & Oliver's Wedding at Villa Santa Cruz

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Villa Santa Cruz was aglow on Saturday, September 10 to celebrate the union of bride and groom, Katie & Oliver.   With a calm breeze in the air and beautiful afternoon light filtering through wispy clouds, the pair exchanged vows on the dunes before 35 of their closest family members and friends.  The bride was truly a sight in a lovely sheath style gown, next to her darling flower girls who blew bubbles throughout the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the newly married couple joined their guests around the pool for cocktails, appetizers and lively Mexican guitar music.  

Katie & Oliver then invited their guests to find their seats at the reception and join them for a champagne and tequila toast (yes, tequila from the Villa Santa Cruz barrel)!

Landi's Restaurant catered the wedding and prepared an exquisite traditional Mexican feast, complete with chicken mole and delicious chili rellenos.

After dinner, all the wedding guests went out to the beach in front of the Villa to watch a beautiful sunset.  When they returned, it was time to cut the cake (a rich chocolate truffle delight prepared by the Hotel California).  

As guests danced the night away (and jumped in the pool for a midnight swim), the full moon was a sight to be seen.  The moonlight washed over the Villa and property, providing the perfect ambiance for love.  

We wish Katie & Oliver a lifetime of happiness!

Anonymous commented on 03-Oct-2011 05:38 AM
Absolutely beautiful location and couple. Much love and much happiness to Katie and Oliver. Love you guys!!!! Who is that good looking preacher man? :-)

When Life Gives You Mangoes...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When life gives you mangoes, it is time to get creative in the kitchen! With over 40 mango trees on our property at Villa Santa Cruz, our trees are just dripping with fruit. In fact, the entire Pueblo Mágico of Todos Santos is overflowing with mangoes. We love to incorporate mangoes into the meals we serve our hotel guests – fresh mango slices at breakfast and mango salsa to liven up fish tacos at lunch. 

Here is our favorite mango salsa recipe. Enjoy!

Mango Salsa

1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the mango salsa by combining the mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper in a bowl. Add the lime juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Buen Provecho!

Downward Dog, Anyone?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Villa Santa Cruz, Boutique Hotel on the Beach, was the ideal setting for 20 yogis from San Diego to take a deep breath and find their inner calm. From July 16 – 20, the Villa was the main headquarters for a Yoga Retreat organized by Asana in Paradise. The Retreat’s yoga instructor, Roxanne DePalma, led morning and night classes on the Villa’s Roof Terrace and at the Pool. Combined with a week of warm weather and delicious meals prepared by Todos Santos local Dominique Sawyer, the Yoga Retreat was a huge success!

Yoga photographers, Todd LeVeck and Micaela Malmi of Epic PhotoJournalism, were on site capturing the experience. Click here to see their complete photo album of the Yoga Retreat on Facebook. Additionally, you can read Micaela’s Blog Post about the Retreat here.  We love the sentiment captured in these lines from her Blog, "Lunch is followed by another yoga class by the poolside where our yoga teacher reminds us that we should really feel the surfaces beneath our feet - the grass, the sand, the ocean.  It is a beautiful reminder to just stop and observe. And to take time to feel."  

Sunset Photo Shoot with Sofft Shoes

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Villa Santa Cruz was ready for its close-up yesterday evening when the internationally recognized shoe company, Söfft Shoes, came to do a photo shoot for its Spring 2012 collection. The team arrived just before sunset and headed out to the beach to take advantage of the beautiful golden light of Todos Santos. The model, Gabriela, was absolutely stunning as she posed on the winding path that leads from the hotel out to the beach – the Villa’s version of a runway! After hundreds of camera clicks and a wardrobe change, the photographers got their shots and excitedly said, “It’s a wrap!” Check out the pictures below to see a few photos of the shoot.