Serendipitous San Martin, CordeValle

Geographically I know the town is a spot on the map off Hwy 101 near Gilroy. Eons ago it was the original highway referred to as Blood Alley – a busy narrow four-lane road, which handled the abundant north south travelers prior to the freeway project.

Glossy magazine ads for CordeValle resort intrigued me; I finally meandered my way barely an hour south, to discover this charming gem. Following GPS instructions, I reached a gated guardhouse in the midst of a gorgeous valley; brilliant flower gardens edged the road toward CordeValle. Derived from the Spanish phrase, “el Corazon del valle,“ meaning heart of the valley, this Rosewood property is set amidst the rolling hills and wide-open meadowland.

Arrival is efficient, doormen know your name, bags disappear and once inside the stunning entry hall, someone appears with a chilled frothy chocolate coffee beverage! The welcome, we adore the welcome. Stage set, leave your cares behind, you have arrived.

Only 45 rooms, actually all rooms are suite size, have patios and indoor fireplace. Some of the Villa bungalows offer an outdoor Jacuzzi – all rooms enjoy sensational views over the golf course extending to the majestic golden hills. Stunning accommodations punctuated with the brilliant art collection cultivated by the owner, Dr. Hasso Plattner. Art is strategically placed throughout the property, including sculptures amid the beautiful rose gardens. Many sitting spaces are thoughtfully situated about the property; abundant attention to detail. I was very impressed with the level of exceptional service – high staff ratio per guest.

Wildlife is copious, jackrabbits hopping through the swaying high pastures, an array of wild birds, exotic black and white Nuttall’s woodpeckers, starlings and mourning doves coo outside your terrace. Hiking – check, tennis – check, outstanding golf – check, super spa- check, and fine dining – check. Tournament level golf including Championship events take place on the links, highly rated by professional Golf publications.

A Rosewood property situated in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, offering exceptional access, CordeValle is a superb location for a few days escape or a corporate offsite. Outstanding amenities including tennis, a luxury Sense spa, Tuscan inspired Clos La Chance winery and vineyard, and a 7,169-yard championship golf course by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the 45-room resort is a sanctuary. Forbes Four-Star Award.



Highly recommend!


Artful Lodging – Las Ventanas al Paraíso

A sense of place is primary at a hotel or resort. A sense of personal ownership adds an interesting aspect at any property.

As its name implies, Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort, is a window to Paradise. The turquoise waters and expansive white sandy beach provide a refuge during the winter, lovely all year around; however, I prefer to beach it when the cold rains descend.

Practice pod characteristics: whales winter where it is warm, an intelligent habit to cultivate.

The striking white architecture glimpsed from the beach, reminds me of White Towns of Andalusi in the villages of Southern Spain. I love the sense of isolation provided by long corridors between the various buildings, the property stretches and curves connected by these restful corridors and courtyards, many displaying a diverse and playful art collection of owner Ty Warner.

Landscaping is authentic and reflects the desert origins, spare but sophisticated, architectural and appropriate. I love the sand etchings, retraced every morning at dawn. Men in white linen going about their craft as the sun rises; small sparrows circling above, drawn to my terrace chirping for breakfast granola. Brilliant bougainvillea is most appropriate and striking against the white walls – truly perfect in this environment.

One exceptional service example from Pamela, my go to expert for guest services. Clients were visiting in a few days and the private beach cabanas were booked. I requested they create a cabana within one of the large palapas – she responded and designed a private beach shelter for my clients – furniture and hammocks, toys for the kiddos, a plethora of beach amenities necessary to keep a family content and protected from the all day rays of sun. And of course, the requisite Beach Butler for refreshments. I always encourage learning a few words and Cerveza, por favor, is easily mastered. As is Gracias!

Ty Warner has populated the resort with a spectacular collection of his own art. I love this personal touch at resorts, an owner who is truly invested in his property and sharing with guests. Apparently he enjoys visiting and placing the pieces throughout the resort. Art that covers a broad spectrum: sculpture, paintings and pottery. A small gallery also sells local art and handiwork.

Las Ventanas is an authentic escape in every sense of the word.