In the land of Samba we say that God is Brazilian, but apparently the headquarters of paradise are in the area around Baja California Sur.
Known as the South territory of South California, it is bordered to the north by the state of Baja California, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the east by the Gulf of California, also known as the “Sea of Cortés.”
Fortún Jiménez de Bertadoña discovered the Baja California Peninsula in early 1534. However, it was Hernán Cortés who recognized the peninsula as the "Island of California" in May 1535, and is therefore officially credited with the discovery.
The earliest known application of the name "California" to this island of the Amazons was in the romance novel Las Sergas de Esplandián by Spanish author Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, whose earliest surviving edition is from 1510.
The book described the Island of California as being east of the Asian mainland, "Very close to the side of the Terrestrial Paradise; and it is peopled by black women, without any man among them, for they live in the manner of Amazons." The Island was ruled by Queen Califia. In his work, the author drew on a long-standing European belief in such an island.
An email from Mark Kerwin, director of sales and marketing of Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, appears in my inbox. He is the first angel "Dear Miss Maslaton, we are looking forward to your arrival and I will have the confirmation letter and all paperwork today. Please take a minute to go over them in order that we may better serve you prior to your arrival."
A second e-mail with the title “Your upcoming visit” - this time from Lilian Martinez, the reservations manager at Las Ventanas al Paraiso - contains the guest preference form. After requesting a Mercedes G-Class rather than a convertible Mini Cooper for my airport transfers, I am entertained by the next question: "Would you like our Romance Department to contact you?”
At Las Ventanas, no detail is too small in creating romantic memories that last a lifetime.
“You may want your song playing in the suite when you check in, or a private dinner on the beach with a bonfire and serenading Mexican Trio. View our complete Romance Menu PDF.” Intrigued, I peek at the different possibilities: "Request a handwritten love letter to be discovered amongst household bills, telling your intended about a surprise romantic getaway to Las Ventanas. Order an Aphrodisiac Dinner menu specially created by LVP’s Executive Chef for private dinners.
Hire a Mexican Caballero to ride in on a white horse bearing your intended’s engagement ring while you have a romantic beach dinner, or just bringing a bouquet of flowers. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the desert at either dawn or sunset, or on the full moon, with Las Ventanas al Paraiso preparing a picnic basket with breakfast or a light supper or wine and cheese.
Have a romantic message in a bottle delivered to the beach while you dine on the sand; book a salsa dance lesson for two. Attend our Chef's cooking lessons specially created for newly married men to learn how to make a romantic breakfast or a dinner for two." I am a little confused with so many choices. While I think of my options, I decide to move to the next question. This form is really fun!
My room preferences: Extra pillows, hypoallergenic pillows, extra blanket, no extra bed and because of the Rosewood Hotels’ ”Green Initiative” I have checked the option “every other day” to have my linens laundered.
The phone rings. I ignore the call. The next section is about my dietary requirements: I decide to be very demanding and request, gluten-free, Kosher, no shellfish, low fat and uncheck the need of decaf/espresso machine in my room. I also understand that my dining needs will require a few reservations in the several and exclusive restaurants of the resort.
From 8:30 to 9 PM on Monday: fish at the Sea Grill; Tuesday: Baja Mediterranean cuisine en suite after a “raindrop aromatherapy massage” (still to be scheduled); Wednesday: a degustation at La Cava; Thursday: “Guaycura Night” - a multi course barbecue on the beach; Friday: private beach dinner enjoying a movie under stars, in front of the sea listening the sound of the waves in a spectacular and private Cinema set-up composed of a 50” Plasma HDTV and home theater equipment, a glass of the house champagne with a plate of Botanas as a “Welcome” treat from the Executive Chef; Saturday: LVP Special Air Meal on the flight home; Sunday: Patzy’s Pizza home delivery in New York.
In addition to my spa treatments, I am offered an opportunity to schedule golf, tennis classes and other interesting activities in advance.
Among them, behind the wheel of a powerful ATV, I will be able to enjoy an exciting waterfront adventure to El Tule Arroyo, Migriño, the beachfront sand dunes of San José del Cabo, or take a desert ride - guided by an experienced naturalist - through the apparently breathtaking mountain scenery.
Ah, I forgot. Apparently only at Las Ventanas, I can drive a Porsche Boxster (245 HP) along the sunny shores of Baja. I acknowledge that is a truly unique opportunity awaiting me. I might discover Todos Santos, San Lucas, San José and La Paz, the capital of Baja California. Horseback riding will be improvised; after all, one cannot plan everything in life.
Blackberry blinks, you’ve got mail. ”Mrs. Maslaton, I am delighted to confirm your round trip private transportation. Please feel free to contact me should there be any other special detail that I would need to know in order to ensure an enjoyable stay at Las Ventanas al Paraiso. Julio Salas Guest Transportation Service” – That one, I am proud to introduce as my third Angel.
Cleaners, dog and newspaper, you are organized. Paradise, please wait for me. I’m on my way!