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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LODGING GUIDE - Playa del Paraiso

The New Way to Accommodate in San Felipe
by Sean Harrington

Beach and desert enthusiasts, anglers and golfers, as well as thousands of other tourists visit the beautiful seaside city of San Felipe every year. Savvy entrepreneurs realizing the need have been providing lodging opportunities since even before the highway came to San Felipe. Way back then San Felipe was for fishing. The accommodations where for rugged outdoorsmen with little thought to comfort. They came to fish!

What San Felipe has been missing is a truly upscale, right on the sand beachfront, world-class, knock your socks off, “which suite do the Kennedys stay in” kind of resort hotel. While Rome wasn't built in a day, the first phase of Playa del Paraiso Hotel/Condo Resort has just been completed and is now open for business. There are one-, two- and three-bedroom suites that are all super nice and full beachfront.

Passing through the newly constructed Grand Entry and security post one can't help but be impressed with San Felipe's tallest structure. On your way to guest services you will pass by the steel structure of phase two, destined to soar to 11 stories over the beach. The towers offer nearly aerial type views of San Felipe, the Sea of Cortez, the Marina and, to the west as far as the eye can see, the Sonoran Desert framed by the Sierra San Pedro Martir Range.

Arriving at guest services, it strikes you that this building is very upscale, with extraordinarily clean and well maintained grounds. As you enter, the world at your feet becomes handsomely tiled with natural stone and eight-foot tall arched solid wood doors adorned with wrought iron details grace all entries.

The elevator area is set off from the surrounding hall by travertine tiles, which are stylishly and artfully installed. The high-tech elevator itself is strikingly beautiful; operation is smooth, silent and confidence inspiring. The halls are warm and inviting with travertine floors and handmade copper light fixtures.

The suites themselves are spacious with high ceilings allowing for more of the eight-foot tall arched solid wood doors, the combination adds volume and richness to the space. Kitchens are first class, touting the newest in modern appliances, beautiful cabinetry and granite tops. Heading for the bedrooms, you no doubt stop in your tracks to view the spacious living areas designed to continue onto the outdoor balcony through and beyond the oversized picture windows to the spectacular views offered by this enchanting site. Spectacular sea views are available from almost anywhere within the suite. Spacious bedrooms, extravagant bath areas and modern designer Mexican motifs are elegant as well as functional. Day or night the views from the balconies will beat anything on HBO or Showtime.

Venture out to the garden area where lushly landscaped gardens surround the tiled pool deck. Slip into the marble rimmed infinity pool or the nearby hot tub, kick back and enjoy the view. The planned fitness center isn’t built yet. Swimming, or walking the acres of golden sandy beaches and digging for clams will have to suffice for your exercise requirements. The Spa is a future development as is the restaurant; however, “in-room massage services” are offered and San Felipe is full of wonderful restaurants. Come and enjoy the beginning of a legacy. You’ll be able to say we stayed there back when.