Baja's Las Rosas Hotel & Spa...
A Novelo Family Legacy

......... A Vision for Four Generations

Antonio Novelo moved to Ensenada from Ciudad del Carmen Campeche, Mexico in 1939 . He bought a piece of land for $40 right on the water where a river flowed into the sea. For Baja California, this was long before the days of the tourists, surfers, and sunbathers who currently flock to Mexico's Golden Coast.

Antonio was a visionary for his time. While he and his wife Lupita earned a living by providing shark livers to the government, he developed his property with a scraper that his mule would drag to level out the mounds of white sand.

This was right in the middle of World War II. Antonio's shark livers had the necessary nutrients for soldiers at war, and his leveled sand became a campground during the conflict. Little did he know that this little scraggly campground with pup-tent and tin trailers would blossom into a sprawling 500 acre resort community called Estero Beach.

During the war, Antonio was puzzled when he first saw a lady laying out on the beach on a towel. He was working so hard he had no idea about leisure time or knowledge of tourism. History proved him to be a quick study. In 1945, he constructed a landmark restaurant in Estero Beach around which a beautiful resort developed. It was his legacy to his son Antonio Novelo, Jr. (Tony) and his family, who have since developed the premier resorts of Baja Norte.

Tony Novelo continued in the family tradition. “I always wanted to build in one of the most beautiful areas in Ensenada. I found this property at the right moment”, Tony stated.

During 1986, the year of the devaluation of the Peso, a lot of Mexicans that had money opted to go to the United States to buy homes, properties and make business investments. Tony, however, saw a unique opportunity to invest, instead, in Mexico, contrary to popular belief.

Because of this, he was able to buy such a beautiful piece of property that was for sale at the time. Tony was very fortunate that at that particular time his eldest child, Ana Belinda, was engaged to Guillermo Martinez De Castro, an extremely gifted architect. A year later, Guillermo became the architect of Las Rosas Hotel and Spa.

The idea behind Las Rosas Hotel was to build a “boutique” style Hotel; one which contained a spa, tennis court, gym and offered exquisite cuisine.

The Inauguration of Las Rosas took place in 1987. It was the first success of many. The presentation included one of the most famous and popular singers of the time, Brazilian Singer Denise De Kalaffe.

Tony always had a dream that the Las Rosas Hotel would become the pinnacle in a story of success. This is why, for many years there has been a lot of famous people that have gone to the Hotel. Such personalities include Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Luis Donaldo Colosio, Tennis Stars Stan Smith and Alejandro Olmedo as well as many movies stars. In fact, a movie was once filmed at Las Rosas – Treacherous.

The Hotel Las Rosas, since its beginning, has been a favorite meeting place among the very important people involved in the culture, art and business of Mexico; and of course, to the American Tourist that we have been proud to have as our guests.

“On one of my trips that I took to Baja California Sur, as I entered the Hotel Palmilla located between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, I stood under an arch and looked out at the pool, the terrace and the ocean. It was this view that inspired me to build something with a similar concept in mind. That was when I spoke with Guillermo, and having captured my idea perfectly, he designed and developed the project at Las Rosas Hotel in a very unique way”.

It was the first Hotel in Baja California Norte to be in such a Special Category. It was the premiere example of the type of construction that was to be built along the Rosarito to Ensenada corridor. Part of the success of the Hotel is in its design which has a panoramic view that is one of a kind.

Tony, apart from owning the Las Rosas Hotel, also owns Estero Beach Hotel / Resort, which has a tradition that dates back 60 years in the Tourism Business. His son, Marco Antonio inaugurated a small “boutique” style hotel just a few months ago. This Hotel is the Casa Natalie and is located just north of Las Rosas Hotel.

The overtly energetic Tony is currently building his third hotel at the Peninsula of Estero which is one of the most beautiful places in Baja California. The Hotel, to be named Arenas will be inaugurated in 2008. The concepts of this Hotel will be a combination of fabulous beach, spa, water sports and gym. Two of the children of Tony and his wife, Mariana, will be the administrators of Arenas.

Tony holds great pride in the fact that four of his six children graduated from USC. The family considers themselves to be a Trojan Family and have cultivated close ties to the University and its Alumni. Marco, his oldest son, who now oversees the operations of Las Rosas Resort & Spa and Casa Natalie Hotel & Spa, was a tennis champ at USC. As was Lupita, who played on the Mexican Olympic Tennis Team. Luis is the general manager of Estero Beach Hotel Resort.

Tony's choice of USC as the college for his children was not random. In 1960, George Toley the legendary tennis coach for USC visited Estero Beach. They eventually became tennis buddies. He was a tennis addict, and the rest is history. At Los Rosas, there is a professional tennis stadium dedicated to the memory of George Toley.

We have had the pleasure of knowing the Novelo family for over 10 years and Las Rosas is always on our mind. We have photographed for several magazines at Las Rosas over the years. So, we know how special it is. Without hesitation, we selected Las Rosas to be part of our new television show, "Super Models of Sports' Dream Vacations."

With its world class spa, tennis stadium, tide pools and outdoor activities, Las Rosas Resort is the perfect vacation spot for the health conscience. The Super Models of Sports cruised to Ensenada via Carnival Cruise, then took a short shuttle to Las Rosas to film a segment of the show.

Las Rosas is a refreshing blend of Mediterranean charm and Mexican tradition. Rising above the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific, Las Rosas affords you picture postcard vistas of Todos Santos Island, Ensenada, and world class sunsets from your oceanfront room. Even Las Rosas' unique swimming pool overlooks the ocean and, at times, seems to merge with the shimmering sea beyond.

The food is superb! With Baja's famed Pacific Lobster, succulent Ensenada fresh seafood, and the hearty traditional fare of Mexico, the food cannot be beat in all of Baja.

The Spa at Las Rosas is open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. From the moment you step inside, you're greeted with an atmosphere of soothing aesthetics, with textures that are both rich and worldly. Their goal is to surround you with an environment of comfort and tranquility, making it that much easier to leave the outside world behind. Their menu of services include massage, facials, body treatments and two different chocolate body treatments.

Las Rosa Hotel & Spa is a true monument to Antonio Novelo, Sr. and his children, grandchildren, and their children who will take the reigns someday. It is a rewarding rendezvous just an hour south of San Diego at Km. 105.5 and two miles north of Ensenada. A short drive away yet light years from the ordinary.

For reservations, call toll free (866) 447-6727 or (866) 667-6727. You can make reservations online by logging on to