Our Love Story in Baja
In 2001, on a trip down the Baja, Matt fell in love with this stretch of raw land and knew it was special. It was his chance to own a “piece of the Pacific,” and so, with no plan in hand, he bought 40+ acres and began to build a hacienda-style Villa that paid homage to Mexico’s rich architectural history. Life in those days was both simple and crazy: living off-grid in a trailer on the dune, through hurricanes, through farming disasters, and desperately trying to learn Spanish from audio tapes.
In 2006, I (Jessica) fell in love with Matt and the land. I was living in San Francisco, in my third year of law school, and came to Cabo with my family on vacation over the holidays. We headed north to Todos Santos to stay on the property in a neighboring home. Standing under the Palapa with my parents and sister, watching my brother surf, Matt walked up the dune and introduced himself. We fell in love fast and a year later we were engaged in the Crow’s Nest of the Palapa and married on the Villa’s Roof Terrace in January 2009. At that time, still living in San Francisco in the height of the Great Recession, we decided to leave our careers, follow our hearts and make Todos Santos our full-time home. Our dream was to create a space for our guests to experience the same magic we felt and still feel every time we watch the sun set gently on the horizon. In 2011, we officially opened as a boutique hotel and wedding venue.
Over the next decade, we wholly dedicated ourselves to the slow growth of both the hotel and our family – our children are Cruise (age 10) and Lila (age 6). By 2018, never willing to miss an opportunity to do more, we doubled down and added the four Beach View Bungalows, remodeled the Main Villa pool, and joined The Green Room in 2019.
The Villa Santa Cruz Family Grows
Joyce and I (Guillermo) first discovered Villa Santa Cruz as guests in 2015, striking up a friendship with Matt over breakfast each morning. We were drawn to the quiet beauty of the property, returning year after year, often with our two sons, Emilio and Milan. With each visit, we all discovered we had much in common and shared a vision for the future of the property. In March 2020, just weeks before the pandemic, we took the plunge and became co-owners of Villa Santa Cruz and The Green Room.
Reimagining Villa Santa Cruz
Facing unprecedented times, the four or us decided the best path forward was to lean into the downtime and expand the property. Our goal was to elevate the guest experience, enhance the landscape and convert the property into a boutique hotel. We began with the design and build of the Tented Ocean Suites and the remodel of the North Villa, converting it from a private home into three additional hotel rooms. From there, we added the arrival court and new entry, the lake, farm, new reception, and redesigned and upgraded the Main Villa Rooms & Bungalows. In 2022 – 2023, we took on the biggest project to date – adding eight Rooftop Villas in the center of the property that surround a new lap/family pool.
Villa Santa Cruz today reflects the collective vision and efforts of our two families. For us, the Villa is more than a hotel, it is home to our families and pets, and the place where our personal and professional lives intertwine into one. We feel a magic here – a sacred bond to the sand, surf and canopy of stars – and we invite you to share that with us and create your own connection to this beautiful place.
Want to find out more about our story?
Read the interview on Forbes.com How to Quit your Job and Open a Beachfront Hotel in Baja Mexico