Looking to take a break from the beaches of Cabo San Lucas? Head just up the Pacific Coast to the artsy, relaxed Todos Santos. This typically sleepy town is an easy hour-long drive up from La Estancia Cabo on the newly widened (safer-than-ever) Highway 19.
While Todos Santos is usually associated with great winter surfing, and big wave potential, we’re talking about something else today. Something The Eagles sang about in their 1972 hit: Hotel California.
Okay, so it’s never been confirmed that our beloved Hotel California in Todos Santos and the hotel in their song are one in the same, but there are certainly more than a couple similarities. Most curious is probably the song’s opening lines:
“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy, and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night. There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell..”
Visitors of Baja’s Hotel California know the description of the desert drive is a perfect match (especially in the 1970s) to the roads leading to the sleepy Todos Santos. Not to mention, Todos Santos’ main mission is just a few short blocks away from the hotel’s entrance. We can attest that the mission bells can be heard from this Hotel California.
Now for a little bit of honesty…we’d still love this place even if it’s not “the” Hotel California. And, we think it’s still a pretty interesting place without the song, starting with the hotel’s founder. The hotel was actually founded by a Chinese immigrant, Mr. Wong. Wong, in an effort to fit in better, changed his name to Don Antonio Tobasco. It only sort of worked as Tobasco was known best as “El Chino” or “the Chinese Man.”
If you ask us, Hotel California Todos Santos is a great spot for a bite to eat — and we can’t get enough of their margaritas! Using their Hotel California tequila, they make amazing signature margaritas with flavors that include Tamarindo, Papaya, Jalapeño and Lime. After you’ve hydrated and refueled, take a few moments to wander through the lobby, appreciating the beautiful art fixtures and checking out the awesome gift shop. If you’re looking for souvenirs to take home, this is definitely a must-stop.
Next time you’re with us at Villa La Estancia Cabo San Lucas, take a day trip to Todos Santos. Rock out to The Eagles as you drive up, and then you can decide whether you think Hotel California is the real deal.
We believe. Will you?