By Michelle Suderman
Señor Mañana has been a fixture of the San José del Cabo landscape for years, and the place and the people behind it are greeting 2021 feeling refreshed, reenergized, and with a renewed sense of purpose. And a new name: the Señor Mañana UnHotel.
They are creating a niche in the hospitality industry. Neither a large hotel nor a small hostel, this is a welcoming and down-to-earth place to lay your head, in a comfortable bed, in a clean, private, secure, and peaceful room.
Rooms can accommodate two, three, or four people and are decorated with local art. Bedding and pillows are organic cotton and antiallergen. Group rentals can be arranged for family reunions or getaways with friends. This is both a kid-friendly and pet-friendly space.
But wait. There is much more to the Señor Mañana UnHotel than your bed and your room. Wake up feeling relaxed and at home. Open the door, step outside. Breathe in the fresh air. You are surrounded by plant life and the sounds of birds, and perhaps the tantalizing scent of coffee from the little café at the entrance to this very Baja space.
There are catwalks and staircases leading to the common areas: a large open-air palapa, a place for gathering together, having breakfast, and the occasional event; a smaller palapa lounge with comfy sofas, a center table, even a desk; gardens with hammocks for a little R&D (redefined here as reading and dozing). On the ground floor, you’ll find the communal kitchen, laundry facilities, and the patio, good for a cookout on the grill. And the café.
The café at the entrance may be small, but it has a big heart. Using locally sourced produce, so local that you can pluck a mango, guava, or banana as you walk by the trees in the garden, it offers fruit plates, juices and smoothies in the mornings. Heartier breakfasts are also available. In the afternoon, enjoy a light meal, like a baguette sandwich accompanied by a cold beer. Right outside, there are bistro-style tables and chairs shaded by the trees. To minimize the use of disposable containers, the café does not offer take-out. But they will be happy to fill up your travel mug.
Reconnecting with the Planet and Ourselves
Ecological awareness has always been essential here, and with its new energy the Señor Mañana UnHotel has made it a focus, emphasizing personal and spiritual growth, physical and emotional wellbeing, mindfulness, a social conscience, caring for our planet.
The tipping point for this rethinking of the space came from both global and personal places. Cinthya and Hernán recently celebrated twenty years of making this a home away from home for visitors, and it seemed like the right time to reflect on how they could make a larger difference.
The Earth’s environment has been in flux for its entire existence. No news there. But humanity and our technology have brought such changes to a dizzying pace. Grand initiatives are all well and good, but more personal and local projects such as the Señor Mañana UnHotel are the foundation for true evolution. Everything here is aimed at moving toward a kinder, cleaner, and healthier world, to ensure the present and future wellbeing of its inhabitants.
Some of the measures designed to minimize environmental impact include composting, participation in the government recycling program Yo Reciclo, and the use of eco-friendly cleaning products. Reducing waste is a priority, of course, but unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced them to replace the refillable glass water bottles in the rooms with plastic ones, just for now.
Your hosts, Hernán and Cinthya, recognize that many guests prefer to spend their time enjoying the area rather than researching options. So, they have done the research for you, recommending only reliable local businesses offering tours and activities that don’t leave a big footprint on the environment. Or simply pointing you in the direction of the closest beach, where the only footprints will be the ones you leave in the sand.
To get to that beach, it’s a short walk to the estuary pathway, where the slow-moving river has created a lush environment in the middle of a desert. You may find yourself slowing down too, to take in the verdant plant life. It is also a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Your hosts can recommend the best beaches for swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, standup paddle boarding, or surfing. Board rentals are readily available, as are classes for beginners. Don’t forget to watch for whales.
The UnHotel is minutes from the bike path for a leisurely evening pedal past the shops, restaurants, and bars of the hotel district. Across the bridge over the estuary, it’s a short jaunt to the sleepier village of La Playita. Or a longer ride along the hilly paved road past beautiful mountain vistas to reach the dirt roads and beaches of the East Cape.
Just steps from the UnHotel, the central plaza is perfect for an evening stroll or simply sitting on a bench, eating ice-cream as you take in the ambience. Listening to the municipal palace bell sound the hour. The clock isn’t always right, but this a place to quit looking at clocks, put away the watches, and unwind.
On Thursday evenings, the plaza becomes the hub for the Art Walk, creating a vibrant atmosphere with live music and local artists showing their work. Galleries on adjoining streets throw open their doors to welcome the public, whether to browse or to buy.
It’s a short walk to the Saturday Organic Market, where artisans offer crafts, clothing, jewelry, baked goods, and other products. Food stands serve healthy fare for every taste, including plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. The spreading branches of a large tree provide shade for live performances by local musicians, yoga, and dance classes.
Back to Basics
Baja California Sur is a beautiful and inviting place where the desert meets the sea. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, long pristine beaches. Plant life, wildlife, marine life like no other. Multiple ecosystems coexisting on a narrow peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.
It’s so inviting that thoughtless and uncaring development and the massive influx of tourism are endangering this beauty: closing off beaches, lowering water tables, shrinking natural habitats for animals and plants, polluting the seas.
This is a fragile environment needing protection and care. The Señor Mañana UnHotel is committed to it. They seek an evolution and a revolution in travel.
In essence, they always have. Now they are putting these goals at the forefront. I know this, because a dozen years ago, it was my first home in Baja California Sur, and I believe in what they are doing.
The Señor Mañana UnHotel
Álvaro Obregón 1
Centro Histórico, C.P. 23400
San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur