Solar-Powered 3-Bedroom, 2-Bath Beach House in the Town of San Felipe. Casual Relaxation, Spectacular Views.
The setting of this home is right out of a dream. Of all the world's oceans, Jacques Cousteau favored the Sea of Cortez, calling it "The Aquarium of the World." His favorite body of water fills two walls of glass directly in front of this expansive home.
The photos say it all: Stunning views...empty white-sand beaches...ultra-clear skies. And the only sounds you're likely to hear are the gentle surf and ocean breezes.
There's really no other place like Baja California, The pristine land has changed little since Fernando Cortés first saw it in 1533. And every sunrise over the sea begins the day in spectacular fashion.
Our huge front room combines living, dining, and kitchen into one 700-square-foot space, with four sets of doors which open to a broad Spanish-style veranda. Spend the day reading in the lounge chairs, mixing a drink or two at the hand-carved bar, or walking on miles of secluded beach.
The kitchen area offers 20 feet of counter space, while a massive wooden dining table easily accommodates your entire group for memorable meals.
Each of the three spacious bedrooms features a queen bed, while the two bathrooms feature large showers. There's also a queen platform airbed for children or extra guests.
The town of San Felipe is completely safe and friendly -- and unlike a Cabo or Cancun, it offers an *authentic* Mexico experience.
(If anyone in your group has concerns about Baja, search the following for a great Lonely Planet article: "Are Americans Safer in Mexico than at Home?")
In Baja, wild nature is everywhere. The houses range from humble one-room shacks to desert palaces. As you can see in the photos, our home is nicer than average, yet still simple and casual, by design.
Despite the incomparable setting, this is still a Baja beach house -- not a designer bungalow on Nantucket.
Please note that the house is off the grid, with a solar electric system...a rooftop tank holding mountain spring (email hidden)d a propane-fired fridge, stove and water heater. Everything usually works, but conservation has real meaning here, and there is always a measure of unpredictability when you go greener.
In short, if you require a concierge to run your holidays, can't stand a little dust from the desert, or would be horrified to light a candle if the lights go out, our beach house is not the ideal spot for you. This is a place for hearty living -- a place Steinbeck would have loved.
It takes only a few minutes to travel from this isolated beachfront retreat to all the shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, and other attractions of San Felipe.
Dining options range from casual to fine. Regardless of which you choose, you'll love the freshness, taste, and purity of San Felipe's seafood-focused cuisine. (Arid Baja has none of the "issues" of mainland Mexico.)
At your doorstep await unforgettable wilderness adventures, in untouched desert backcountry where mountains soar 10,000 feet over huge dry lakes.
The Sea of Cortez (also known as the Mar de Cortés and Vermilion Sea) offers kayaking, windsurfing, boating, fishing, and more.
And after sunset, clear air and virtually no ambient light ensure the finest skies left on this planet.
All just a 5 1/2-hour drive from Los Angeles...4 hours from San Diego.
> Mapping for Mexico is a bit difficult. You can enter "San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico" in the most popular mapping program, zoom out till you see El Dorado Ranch and Playa Hawaii north of San Felipe. Our home is on the beach in this area.
> Biologically speaking the Sea of Cortez is the richest body of water on the planet. This diverse sea supports more than 900 varieties of fish, and more than 2,000 species of marine invertebrates.
> The house features solar power, and a generator back-up is usually available. The refrigerator, kitchen stove, and water heater are fired by propane. Please note that the propane fridge is not as cold as a typical electric unit. It's a good idea to load items already cold from an ice chest.
> Spring water is trucked in, and stored in a 1,000-gallon tank. The first tanks of water and propane are included. If required, a water refill will cost you $50. The cost of a propane refill varies.
> There is no AC, no landline, and no internet at the house. Disconnecting for awhile is a blessing, but if necessary, you can use high-speed internet at the Baja Highlands office in town, or at a local cafe.
> Pets are welcome.
> Please smoke on the veranda.
> Sheets are provided for the three beds. You should bring bath and beach towels, as well as your favorite toiletries, including paper.
> Basic kitchenware is provided. There are often extra paper towels, garbage bags, and dish soap, but bring some of your own, or buy it locally.
> A 600-square-foot garage with RV doors is available with advance arrangements -- but there's plenty of easy parking outdoors on approx. 1 1/2 acres.
> If you have kids, please note that the bluff in front of the house is about 20 feet above the sand.
> The closest road down to the beach begins about 150 feet above the entrance to the property. Turn right at the first opportunity, then follow the road right/left as it winds down to the sand. The beach itself is fine sand, and deep in places. Motorcycles and ATVs are welcome. For four-wheeled vehicles, 4WD is highly recommended.
> Kayaks and other small watercraft can be launched easily from the beach. Be aware of the tides! The Gulf of California has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, and at low tide, the ocean recedes far from the beach for a few hours.
> PWCs and boats on trailers can also be launched from the beach. A 4WD tow vehicle is essential. Again, be aware of the tides.
> There is a wood-burning fireplace. In the unlikely event that you want to use this heat source (sometimes, in Winter), bring your own firewood, as you will find little/none in Baja.
> There are large supermarkets in central San Felipe (such as Calimax, on the main drag). You can get fresh food and everything else you might need at reasonable prices.
> Wheelchair access to the home is fairly easy. The showers are very large, but otherwise of standard design.
> It costs over $100 to get an off-grid home ready for each guest, so generally there is a three-night minimum. Of course you are free to pay for the three nights and enjoy the home for 2 3/4 days. ;)
> Snowbird? Looking for a long-term retreat? Low rates are available to quality candidates.
Other Things to Note
1. Don’t worry about the troubles you may have read about, as the gang conflicts (equivalent to Mafia battles in the U.S.) have largely stopped, and there never was any of that in San Felipe or smaller Baja towns.
2. You should note that even at the height of the troubles, any foreigner has been safer in Mexico than in any U.S. city. A lot safer.
But don't take our word for it. Search the following Lonely Planet article on the web:
Are Americans safer in Mexico than at home?
Leave the digital games and electric hair dryer at home.
Disconnect. Relax. Rediscover.
My husband and I had a great week here in this house - what a beautiful view to wake up to! That may have been our favourite part. Being able to walk right down to the water and hearing the sound of the waves as we fell asleep was perfect. The house is spacious and bright and would be a perfect place to come back to enjoy with family! Maybe some day.
This is NOT a good review mostly because of the hosts response2r email (each included below.) #1We read every word of the description for this posting&were excited2be essentially "indoor camping."#2As of this writing, we have stayed@multiple Baja homes&viewed20+more. We luv Baja so much, we ended up staying in the area2months&want to own r own piece of heaven.#3We r hosts rselves w/nearly400reviews. We fully understand how difficult it is to receive criticism of a home u love&cherish but believe u have to take a step back&re-evaluate what u may or may not being doing well for the guest experience.#4In reference to r lack of contacting Mike, we had just arrived to Baja from Chicago w/r dog (if any of u have traveled w/pets, u know how much appreciated finding a place that allows u to travel together)&had2exhaustedly scramble to find other accommodations. One of r biggest requirements for r trip was "unplugging" from technology. Once we were settled, relaxed, rejuvenated, it occurred to us, Mike didn't know of these issues. It is a bit challenging for those of us that have never been to Baja before (or Mexico-for that matter:)) to figure out how to "plug-in".#5Not sure when the last time Mike has personally visited Baja or his property but every other property we have seen WAS pristine clean which was not what we expected at all based upon Mike's very detailed description: “if you require a concierge to run your holidays, can't stand a little dust from the desert, or would be horrified to light a candle if the lights go out, our beach house is not the ideal spot for you” However, there is an enormous disparity between pristine and disgustingly filthy.
Chris&I have been back&forth as to how to proceed with r experience@ur home. We did arrive early on r check in day&couldn't resist the temptation to check it out. Although the view was just as promised, it was really disgustingly filthy. Ok, so we r early. The cleaning guys arrived the moment we were leaving w/not even a nod of their heads&only a dirty mop. When we returned, ur beautiful home was exactly as we originally found it-disgustingly dirty w/the dirty linens remade. I would like to request ur direct email address in order to send u pictures.
Although we did not stay there, we agreed that at least contacting u in order to alert u to the issues you have w/ur cleaning crew would hopefully avoid having a similar experience for ur next guests.
Ur saying that u did not stay at the house at all from the 3rd&ur contacting me on the 10th?
U can send photos using the link, but my direct email is
I imagine that the situation was as always in Baja. As noted in the description, it definitely is not a pristine home on Nantucket. Most people love it (like the honeymoon couple who stayed just before you), but some people do not.
Every once in a blue moon, a review mystifies us. This is one of them.
For the record, we stay at this home often (and hate to leave). After the local maintenance crew does their job, we always find the house in the same condition: Clean If Not Pristine.
If this couple had contacted us when they checked in, we would have taken immediate action to resolve any issue. Unfortunately, we did not hear from them for a full week -- the day before their reservation ended. (Note: there is ample access to wifi in the area).
The email attributed to us above is not quoted properly in terms of spelling/grammar, but the content is essentially correct. We're not sure what response was desired; we provided an email address as requested, so they could send photos, and we waited to follow up. We didn't hear from them again.
Anyhow.... This is the review from the honeymooners who stayed immediately before these guests (same house, same cleaning crew): "The place was amazing and the pictures tell it all. We will do it all over again when we have the time. Honestly, it was really hard to leave. The neighborhood isn't the most upscale thing you've seen, but it was quiet, which was just what we were looking for. Thank you for the great experience." And the guests immediately before that: "Property is just as described. Stunning views and absolutely off the grid. Was very nice to unwind and disconnect. Had a couple of hiccups with the propane and water but was quickly resolved. Would definitely return for vacation in the future. Already planning for trip next year. The views are amazing! The view of the sunset will melt your worries away. Would absolutely recommend this place to anyone willing to part with technology and blow dryer in order to unwind and relax! :)" And the guests immediately before that: "Everything was great. you could not get a better view than this -- we hope to put a time lapse video up of sunrise if we can get the software sorted."
The place was amazing and the pictures tell it all. We will do it all over again when we have the time. Honestly, it was really hard to leave. The neighborhood isn't the most upscale thing you've seen, but it was quite which was just what we were looking for. Thank you for the great experience.
Property is just as described. Stunning views and absolutely off the grid. Was very nice to unwind and disconnect. Had a couple of hiccups with the propane and water but was quickly resolved. Would definitely return for vacation in the future. Already planning for trip next year. The views are amazing! The view of the sunset will melt your worries away. Would absolutely recommend this place to anyone willing to part with technology and blow dryer in order to unwind and relax! :)
Every thing was great you could not get a better view than this - we hope to put a time lapse video up of sun rise if we can get the software sorted.
Mike and Kiyoe's beachfront retreat is AMAZING! It is exactly as described in their listing, right down to the gorgeous sunrise views - our photos look just like theirs! Though you're just a few minutes outside of town, you have the whole bluff and beach to yourself. Watching the tide rise and fall was really incredible. The house is large and well laid out. We enjoyed bbqing and even pretended we'd lost power so we could enjoy candlelight every night (since the power, water and everything worked just fine while we were there). Will definitely be back!
Seriously speaking, I do not believe that this property should be listed on Airbnb. The location was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by many half built houses, totally abandoned, on the edge of a cliff about to fall into the sea. The house was filthy and had obviously not been cleaned for years. Dozens of empty bottles in the cupboards, a can of coconut milk covered in alfoil in the cupboard, with about 3 inches of mould growing. We had paid for cleaning, heaven only knows where that money went. The bathrooms were disgusting, making taking a shower a most unpleasant experience. There were practically no cooking equipment, we had to try and cool pasta in a kettle.
It's a good thing this guest didn't stay in our other Baja house; that one really *is* isolated!
Oh well, some people just aren't cut out for travel in Baja California.
Another review will illustrate. This is from the guest, Holly Micelli, who stayed *immediately* after Ms. Kershaw. Same oceanfront bluff...same cleaning...same everything:
"Mike and Kiyoe's beachfront retreat is AMAZING! It is exactly as described in their listing, right down to the gorgeous sunrise views -- our photos look just like theirs! Though you're just a few minutes outside of town, you have the whole bluff and beach to yourself. Watching the tide rise and fall was really incredible. The house is large and well laid out. We enjoyed bbq'ing and even pretended we'd lost power so we could enjoy candlelight every night (since the power, water and everything worked just fine while we were there). Will definitely be back!"
See what I mean? Most reviews are just like Holly's, and we love them. When this bad one comes, how can one react except to shake the head and be thankful for a sense of adventure?
For the record: There are at least 50 restaurants, bars, and markets within a 10-minute drive. There are quite a few beautiful homes in the general neighborhood, a few shacks, and a few still under construction. Our home is cleaned regularly, and while it's not a Ritz-Carlton (nor would I want it to be), no sensible person would call it filthy. As noted in the Description, the kitchenware is indeed basic, though adequate for 99% of guests. Finally, the ocean bluff, a federally protected environmental zone, has remained pretty much the same for decades, if not millennia.
We wish we could tell in advance who will love Baja, and who should be turned away. I will say that if you like backpacking, and/or enjoy discovery in a new culture, then this house is for you.
This host has 368 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
Mike is an American who has lived in Europe and Japan. A graduate of UCLA, he also works in L.A. as an international marketing consultant. For fun, he likes basketball, tennis, volleyball, hiking, skiing, cycling, and motorcycling.
Kiyoe (Kay) is a Japanese national. For fun, she likes running, hiking, tennis, and clogging. 日本の”おもてなし”をモットーにしています。どうぞ日本語でお気軽にお問い合わせください。お待ちしています。