You can be quite sure that when a colourful guy owns a place, that place will be – colourful. This is certainly the case with that luxury resort Las Ventanas al Paraiso, that Ty Warner bought in 2004 from Mexican developer Javier Burrillo Azcarraga…. yes, the gal is still in Los Cabos, but she has moved three miles west along Tourism Corridor, the four-lane highway that skirts the sea, with undulating scrubland and desert on one side and a string of resorts along the other (and the blue blue ocean beyond).
Retail specialist Harold (Ty) Warner – he is the largest manufacturer of soft toys in the USA – visits this 71-room pad regularly. He also finds time, of course, to visit his other hotels, Kona Village Resort on Kailua-Kona, Four Seasons New York, Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara and, also Santa Barbara, the San Ysidro Ranch (managed, like Las Ventanas, by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts)…
Rosewood’s new President and CEO, Radha Arora, came to visit Las Ventanas a few weeks ago. It was his first experience of Los Cabos, and he loved it. Ty Warner, by contrast, comes many times, as the gal has already said.
On one of these visits, he changed the spa. There is no longer a reception desk. Now there is an open-sided palapas roundel as welcome area. Look up into its thatched roof to see the hanging, gentian-blue wicker decorations, exactly matching the blue solid embroidery, Mexican style, on natural linen cushions on the chairs around.
Colour, here, there and nearly everywhere. The exceptions are the new gym, dark and calm for serious workouts, and, near the spa roundel, a permanent year-round ‘Christmas tree’ of local earthenware pots dotted with semi-translucent white glass shapes that are inner-lit, at night.
And inner-lighting pervades the salon inside the spa complex. Look at the fabulous hair-wash chair, actually more a bed than a chair.
You sit yourself in it, lie back and the halo around you changes colour, from white through to dayglo pink to yellow and much more. If you feel compelled to buy one for your at-home beauty routine, look for the name Teknowash Plus.
Personally I would be more inclined to look for the name Sergio Bustamente. He is the sculptor responsible for the fabulous carnival-type masks that adorn the walls of the beauty salon here. I love’em, all painted in pale lemon and black on white.
They are also hung in the spa boutique which, not surprisingly (since Ty Warner is a retail guy) is pretty sensational. The gear at my visit was all plain white or deep raspberry mousse, striking and fit-anyone.
But there is masses of shopping here at Las Ventanas. The on-site hotel boss, Martein van Wagenberg, who started out studying tropical plant diseases back home in the Netherlands until he found the hotel work he was doing to make some pocket money actually much more exciting, has been working on a new art gallery.
It is full of the most sensational Mexican folk paintings. What painter L.S. Lowry did for northern England a hundred years ago, a myriad of Mexican villagers do today, portraying a collage of their local traditional life.
Of course Ty Warner cannot be left out. The art gallery extends into a section for Beanie Babies. Nearby is the base of the Director of Romance, who can make your wedding (or anniversary or confirmation or whatever) unique.
She can do it on the spur of the moment, she says, or she can plan for next year. Nothing is too much trouble, she can arrange a wedding night under the stars, whatever you want – although she tells the gal that, so far, she cannot actually find a husband for you…
Everyone comes here to feel good. Play golf on the Tom Fazio Querencia course five minutes away, take a cooking class, borrow a British Racing Green Mini Cooper or a BMW Rockster motorbike (or a Porsche Boxter), design your own margarita, dine from Jean Georges Vongerichten’s menus or try Suviche, a combination of ceviche and sushi, book dinner in the wine cellar, stargaze on a clear night, sunbathe all day long…
The main swimming pool, shaped like a woman’s body – supermodel Gisele Bündchen rather than a supertub burgerphile – meanders its way like a stream down, down to beach level (regulars do not use the beach, they watch others on it).