Mex­i­can charm lures snow­birds

Costabaja Re­sort and Spa project short drive from down­town La Paz

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - JOSH SKAPIN

Some say chivalry’s dead. But not in La Paz, where the old-fash­ioned val­ues of the res­i­dents are part of the Mex­i­can city’s well-known charm.

The lo­cals have be­come part of the ap­peal for West­ern Cana­di­ans ex­plor­ing their op­tions for a sunny sec­ond home.

Con­nie and Mike Roche bought a town­house at a devel­op­ment called CostaBaja Re­sort and Spa that’s a 10-minute drive from down­town La Paz. It sits on a pri­vate beach and features the only golf course in Mex­ico de­signed by pro­fes­sional golf star Gary Player.

While the re­sort pro­vides ev­ery­thing needed for a re­lax­ing re­treat, the Roches aren’t shy about slip­ping into town for a knee-deep ex­pe­ri­ence of La Paz, a city with more than 400 years of his­tory.

“It’s au­then­tic,” says Con­nie, a re­tired nurse. Mike is a lawyer.

“The peo­ple are so friendly and po­lite. It’s al­most like it’s set back in time to see the chivalry and their po­lite at­ti­tude.”

Con­nie is tak­ing Mex­i­can cook­ing lessons. She and Mike are build­ing their Span­ish vo­cab­u­lary, which has helped them cre­ate a net­work of both Cana­dian and Mex­i­can friends.

“We do all our shop­ping in town at Mex­i­can style mar­kets,” adds Con­nie. “We really en­joy the cul­ture.” Con­nie says the Roches spend as much time as they can at CostaBaja.

“It feels like home,” says Con­nie.

“Each time we come it’s harder to leave.”

The Roches bought a twobed­room unit with an of­fice in Costa Baja’s town­home devel­op­ment called Las Coli­nas, which in Span­ish trans­lates to ‘the hills.”

This devel­op­ment is lo­cated along the 10th and 11th fair­ways of the golf course and in­cludes views of the nearby Sea of Cortez.

The town­homes in Las Coli­nas are both one and two­s­torey lay­outs. They are decked out in warm­coloured stucco and stone.

The Roches’ town­home points west look­ing out at the water.

“It’s rus­tic look­ing,” says Con­nie. “We fur­nished it in a Mex­i­can coun­try theme to make us feel like we’re in Mex-


Con­nie and Mike Roche. BACK­GROUND: Con­nie is a re­tired nurse while her hus­band, Mike, is a lawyer from West­ern Canada. The cou­ple bought a two-bed­room town­home in La Paz, Mex­ico called Costa Baja Re­sort and Spa. The cou­ple en­joys its sec­ond home for a num­ber of rea­sons, in­clud­ing the recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties at the re­sort and the cul­ture in its sur­round­ing area. Mike’s an avid wind­surfer who en­joys zip­ping across the nearby Sea of Cortez and golf­ing at the re­sort’s 18-hole course. This is the only course in Mex­ico de­signed by pro golf le­gend Gary Player. Con­nie en­joys ex­plor­ing La Paz, where she’s tak­ing Mex­i­can cook­ing classes. ico and not San Diego.”

The town­home has pa­tios on both sides of the unit — and as Con­nie says, “sun­shine ev­ery day.”

A full-sized pool is only a short walk from their town­home and Con­nie says “it’s bet­ter than hav­ing your own pool—be­cause you don’t have to look af­ter it.”

Be­yond the town­homes, the re­sort of­fers home op­tions in the Vis­ta­Mar vil­las and con­dos. Th­ese homes are crafted in a con­tem­po­rary Baja de­sign boast­ing wooden trel­lises and large pri­vate ter­races with nat­u­ral stone tile.

The project is cur­rently in its sec­ond of nine stages of devel­op­ment. The first phase in­cludes com­ple­tion of a 250-slip ma­rina and a lux­ury ho­tel.

There are many ways the Roches stay ac­tive at CostaBaja.

Mike is an avid wind­surfer and makes good use of the large bod­ies of water within the re­gion.

He’s also a golfer and en­joys lug­ging his clubs out on the re­sort’s par 72 course, which comes with spec­tac­u­lar views. Four­teen out of the 18 holes of­fer a view of the Sea of Cortez.

The re­sort also of­fers a num­ber of din­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties such as Stein­becks, an open-air restau­rant features a se­lec­tion of smoked chicken and fresh fish.

There’s also restau­rants at the beach bar, the golf club house, and es­tab­lish­ments called Azul Marino and La Bar­cac­cia.

Res­i­dents of CostaBaja can also un­wind at the health and well­ness cen­tre, of­fer­ing more than 60 ther­a­pies for skin and body well-be­ing. Visit costabaja re­

Visit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Prop­er­ties,’ for more pho­tos and sto­ries.

Costabaja Re­sort

Con­nie Roche, above, and her hus­band, Mike, pur­chased a town­house at CostaBaja Re­sort and Spa near La Paz in Baja Cal­i­for­nia Sur in Mex­ico.

Photo courtesy Costabaja Re­sort

The ocean glim­mers in the dis­tance at Las Coli­nas Hill­side town­homes at CostaBaja Re­sort and Spa.

Photo courtesy Costabaja Re­sort

The liv­ing room in a Vis­ta­Mar villa at CostaBaja Re­sort.

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