Danzante means Dancer. It is the theme at the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto in Danzante Bay. It is a million star resort because the absence of lighting makes a perfect dark sky canvas for the sparkling diamonds of the night. The isolation of the resort allows human stars like Coach Byron Scott and Lorena Ochoa to enjoy the amenities with serenity. Last week’s biggest star at the golf course unveiling was architect Rees Jones, selected by owner and developer Owen Perry who began his career in Hawaii. “Doc Jones” referenced his father with pride and likens this Danzante Bay creation to his dad’s Mauna Kea design with Rockefeller in Hawaii. When asked what jumped out at him during the land preview with
Owen, Rees chuckled, “Snakes!” This is high desert terrain with cacti, arroyos and canyons of the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range that dramatically plunge to the azure sea. Only 11 holes are finished but they are absolutely stunning! The pinnacle of the course is the 17 th Par 3 high above the sea. The small green is perched on a rocky peninsula with steep chasms between the tee and landing area. A bunker generously guards three sides of the green and doubles as a fall prevention border over the high cliff. Drive too far and you’re diving for Titleist. Too short and forget it. Reload. This is a wow hole with a bird’s eye view of the Sea of Cortez. Number 18 returns home, downhill with wide-angle views of the resort and bay.
The resort itself is a paradise for relaxation. The staff is so genuinely friendly and helpful you don’t want to leave them. Spacious suites make for sweet dreams. Large balconies could hold a party or serve up solitude on the lounge chairs with expansive golf course and ocean views. Casa Mia, The Market and Danzante restaurants serve gourmet cuisine in entertaining atmospheres. Wednesday is Beach Party Night with audience participation fun and dancing on the sand after an exquisite surf and turf buffet. Local stuffed clams are a highlight. Folkorico dancing is impressive on Mexican night and the Disco on the hillside is the place to kick up heels after hours leaving the resort calm for retreaters. Signs express that the areas are for serenity, not sorority. It is what makes this resort so unique. Classic features in design separate the swimming pools from the wading pools, all decorated as sea turtles. The Jacuzzi is big enough for large groups.
The Sabila Spa provides the ultimate in services and hydration therapies with hot and cold pools, tubs, showers and saunas. Named after the healing plant, herb extracts are incorporated in its menu of spa treatments. An extension of the spa is found along the virgin beach where a soulful Hector explained the Solatorio, a path of healing with a circular yoga center, compass and walled fire pit where “the teacher” leads holistic Aztecan rituals. He explained the process in a soft lilting voice and demonstrated how she would blow into her conch, “tooooot” as it resounds off the mountain.
Rejuvenation pairs with exhilaration. Hike, kayak, paddleboard, snorkel in the bay or take a Zodiak adventure island hopping in the waters Jaques Cousteau called the Aquarium of the World. 40% of the global marine life thrives here including the colorful sergeant majors and an abundance of starfish, purple and gold dancing over the coral with elongated limbs. Loreto Bay boasts some of the best whale watching. Blues, Humpbacks and the friendly and magnificent whale shark can be seen up close and personal. The zodiac boats do 360’s to form large wave action that is like ringing the recess bell for the dolphin school. They gleefully dance across the foamy ramps of water.
Currently direct flights on Alaska Airlines from LAX transport to this idyllic spot. As others discover the unique setting, more connections will be made. It is pretty much like Cabo was decades ago and now that area is exploding. We hope Loreto grows gracefully and the calm charm of Villa del Palmar remains impenetrable by Sr. Frog’s.
Next year the final 7 holes will complete the golf course. Changes in the conceptual layouts are made along the way. As Mr. Perry explained, ”It’s like opening a bottle of wine.” Your impression changes with the reality of what you have. After viewing the routing, we believe it is an excellent tasting. Mr. Jones believes this will become one of the best seaside golf courses in Mexico and quite possibly the world. It might be his pearl by the sea or diamond in the desert. Either way it danced into our hearts as a favorite spot.