Most of us take vacations for the express purpose of getting
away from it all. The desks piled high with paperwork,
unmanageable schedules, unbearable bosses, traffic
gridlocks and all things necessary but at times unwanted.
Cabo San Lucas is the ultimate great escape but it isn't all
that easy to find peace and quiet in a town known for it's
party atmosphere and large, impersonal hotels and resorts.
Or is it?
The good news is that a trip to the end of the world's longest
peninsula offers the life-weary a charming oasis of
tranquility just a few minutes away from the action and
excitement that is Cabo. Find your way down the
transpenninsular highway south towards Land's End, look
for the new CostCo and just a short distance past, turn right
and head for the hills. At the top of a well-maintained dirt
road you'll come to discover what we've decided is one of
the best little known secrets in Los Cabos... the Casa
Contenta Bed & Breakfast Inn.
Casa Contenta is a fine example of just what can be
accomplished once you've found what it is you love to do.
The owners, Craig and Lori Harrison, are natural-born hosts
whose charm and warmth make guests like us feel most
welcome. From the moment you enter the gated compound
with it's myriad gardens awash in color from countless
flowers and cacti, you start to feel the weight of the world
slide off your shoulders. Unlike arriving at a large hotel or
resort, this feels like coming home. Venture forth to the front
door and chances are that you'll find it unlocked and for
some unknown reason, you feel perfectly comfortable
walking right in.
Once inside you're greeted by unending curves and levels,
eye-grabbing artwork from Mexico and around the world and
by members of the staff that don't walk upright. Enter Solo
and Luna, 2 of the original "family" members who, save for
the fur and paws, think they are human, albeit canine
versions. Solo and Luna are the protectors of the casa who
love guests but dislike ATV's, loud automobiles, birds that
try to take the airspace above the terrace and not being
taken along on walks in the hills above. Recently, a new
addition to the family has entered the picture. Oso (Spanish
for bear) is his name and he owes his life to Lori who saved
him from certain death. Lori found Oso very ill and
malnourished hiding beneath a car in an area of Colonias,
small houses built for the lower income families of Cabo.
Since his discovery by Lori, Oso has been given a new
lease on life, medical attention, and the love it takes to stage
a major comeback. Such is the nature of our hosts.
Craig and Lori Harrison know what travelers want and need,
in fact, that knowledge comes from being avid travelers who
have ventured around the world to such destinations as Bali
and Morocco. The two met while on vacation at a Bed &
Breakfast in Maui and then parted ways as friends only to
meet again four years later at a meeting arranged by a
business associate and friend of Lori's in Toronto, Canada.
Call it Kismet, call it fate, it would be unfair and completely
unromantic to call it coincidence that Lori's friend was also
Craig's friend. The chance re-meeting led to a wedding.
Craig had already discovered Los Cabos and was and still
is active in the sale of property at some of the most
exclusive residential developments in the area including
Montecristo, a decidedly upscale fractional ownership
development headed by Ernesto Coppell of the Pueblo
Bonito Group. Craig's extensive knowledge of real estate in
Cabo gave the couple an edge in finding the right property
for their B & B project. Originally a single family home, Casa
Contenta is still just that, a home. Guests here enjoy all of
the comforts of a large, spacious and architecturally stylish
home with the benefit of having a full-time staff and hosts
on-site. Privacy is not an issue regardless of which of the
four guest bedrooms you choose for your stay. Lori even
devises little ways of letting them know if you'd like early
morning coffee delivered to your room or if you'd prefer to
While a comfortable and roomy bedroom and a daily
breakfast are part of the package, calling this place a B & B
just doesn't do it justice. This is B & B2! While staying at the
casa, we were often surprised with little treats like sweet
iced tea while lounging by the pool and larger surprises like
steamed shrimp with drawn butter and cocktail sauce to
accompany a few glasses of wine on the terrace at sunset.
Craig spent a great deal of his earlier life in the wine
business and wine is still one of his passions. Being
treated so well was all the inspiration we needed to venture
into town and pick up a few bottles of wine and some treats
to share with our hosts and fellow guests. There are few
things more enjoyable than good food, good wine and good
conversation with what was soon becoming good friends. If
there is anything that adds to that mix, it has to be the view
from the terrace at Casa Contenta. Land's End seems close
enough to touch, dawn brings the sounds of Baja
awakening and the sunsets cast a colorful orange and red
glow upon everything in view. The terrace captures the
cooling breeze borne off the Pacific coast of the cape and
even though we're in the desert, it's cool and comfortable
under the shaded palapa.
If, as they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the
day, then it should also be the best, right? Well thanks to
Dora, Casa Contenta's senior employee, it is. The fare here
is mostly light featuring fresh fruits, tasty smoothies and a
variety of egg dishes all served up with a smile by Dora.
Choose to dine outside on the second level on a shaded
patio covered with lush green growth, or inside at a large
stone table fit for a king. Whichever you choose, the meal
provides you with the fuel to power a day of sightseeing,
golfing, water sports or other activities readily found in Cabo.
For those more inclined to spend a lazy day relaxing, you're
just a few steps away from a nap in a hammock, a
comfortable padded chaise lounge, or a float in the pool. If a
good book is what your after, the casa has a wide selection
just waiting for a reader.
Wander through the casa and you'll be treated to a wide
variety of art, some from Mexico, many from all around the
globe. Interested in learning a little about where the art
came from or what it signifies? Lori is ready to tell you a tale.
For instance, a wooden sculpture that rests on the dining
table on the second level depicts a Balinese Yogi kneeling
in the fetal position with his head held low in his hands
completely hiding his face. This melancholy figure is said to
absorb the troubles that can plague us all thereby allowing
us to find peace and tranquility. We're not sure if the Yogi
had anything to do with our state of mind, but both of us
seemed unburdened while we tooled about the casa
marveling at pieces small and large, each with it's own
unique personality and significance.
Visit the gardens where you'll find a wide variety of cacti,
vines, flowering shrubs and trees. The curved surfaces of
the casa and the paths around it blend into the surrounding
environment beautifully inviting you to walk the property
where one will find even more sculptures ranging from
children cast in bronze to ducks carved from the root end of
palm trees. Breath in the fragrance of myriad flowers, listen
for the sounds of the local birds from Red Cardinals to
Hummingbirds to Turkey Vultures... in short, just take the
time to enjoy where you are.
Craig and Lori also arrange activities at the casa. From
parties atop the terrace complete with catering and live
music to yoga, golf and horseback riding and more. Lori
enjoys riding her horse, Hurricane, along the beach and in
the dunes just a short drive away from the casa and is
always eager to take guests on an informal guided trip
aboard gentle, rider-friendly horses located at the same
stable where Hurricane resides. Craig is a self-proclaimed
golf nut and can arrange tee times at many of the
world-class golf clubs that line the coast of Los Cabos. Not
only can he arrange the tee time, he can also save you on
the normal rates at some of those courses. If your looking
for some of the best dining that Cabo has to offer, they'll
make recommendations from inexpensive local fare to
gourmet international cuisine. Menus and maps to many of
their favorite eateries are available in a book put together by
Craig. Whatever your desire, just ask and they will most
likely have tips and recommendations to fulfill your needs.
In closing, Casa Contenta Bed & Breakfast was a true
pleasure, a delight for all the senses and a bargain to boot.
The hosts truly enjoy what they do and plans are for an
expansion of the property on two adjacent lots owned by the
Harrison's. If all goes as planned, there will soon be two
private, fully contained casitas separated by another pool, a
large palapa with a bar, grill and seating areas. All we can
say is the more of this wonderful oasis, the better! Rates are
remarkably low and we think that they can't possibly remain
at their current level so book now. We so enjoyed our stay
that we left the casa without returning our keys! Keys that
brought us a sense of contentment that stayed with us long
after our departure.
For more information about Casa Contenta - please visit
For more information about Los Cabos, please visit
Copyright 2005, CabosBest.com
Richard Chudy and Dolores Peralta are the authors of this
article and owners of CabosBest.com, a travel Web site
dedicated to Cabo San Lucas. To learn more, visit them
online at http://www.CabosBest.com