Why you’ll love Casa Tota
Think of Baja California and most people immediately think of Cabo San Lucas, the spring break favourite for Mexico’s northern neighbours. Few people, however, think of Todo Santos. And let’s just hope it stays that way.
This quiet, bohemian town, positioned half-way between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas on the Baja peninsula, is an absolute joy. Home to colonial brick buildings, at least 20 art galleries and year-round good weather, Todo Santos is a lovely place to spend a night or two. We visited with the kids and in-laws and were fortunate to find Hotel Casa Tota, a well-priced, newish hotel positioned in the heart of the town.
With 15 reasonably priced rooms, a great swimming pool and lots of clever ‘extras’ (free filtered water in the bedrooms and a free 10 minute massage for example), Hotel Casa Tota is an excellent example of how budget can be stylish (and doesn’t have to be dorm rooms and hostels). There’s a good range of accommodation, an excellent restaurant and some fun initiatives that draw an artsy crowd. My favourite? Their policy that if you give something back, for example artwork, they will let you stay for free.
Why you’ll love Casa Tota
Hotel Casa Tota is a great hotel for families. We stayed for two nights and the kids had a great time exploring the hotel, swimming in the pool and ordering seemingly dozens of freshly made smoothies every day.
The hotel doesn’t offer anything in particular for families but there’s a good choice of accommodation that does make it easy for those travelling with young children to all share one room. What also works well is the location, right in the centre of town, which made it very simple to explore Todos Santos.
And while the kids weren’t overly impressed by the time we reached our fifth art gallery, they did enjoy spending time on the nearby beach Playa los Cerritos and watching for whales from the sun deck of Hacienda Cerritos.
Hotel Casa Tota is a 15-room budget boutique hotel set over two stories around a central swimming pool. There are four categories of rooms:
Deluxe King These are the largest rooms with double doors overlooking the street and the hotel’s sidewalk cafe. These rooms come with a desk and chair as well as a King size bed.
King Smaller than the Deluxe Kings, these rooms open onto the courtyard.
Queen Also facing the courtyard, the Queen bedrooms come with a, surprise, surprise, Queen size bed.
Doubles Furnished with two “matrimonial” sized beds (smaller than a Queen, bigger than a Twin), these rooms house four people easily.
A Standard King is also available. Located on the ground floor this room has been adapted to make it handicapped accessible.
All the rooms feature air conditioners, ceiling fans, desks, platform beds, plasma TVs with cable, room service, original art and wireless internet and are accessed through our staffed lobby and open to our courtyard pool. Water filters are also provided in all rooms.
The green-tiled bathrooms are modern and large with plenty of good quality of bath products on offer that are refilled daily.
Best rooms for families: We stayed in one of the ground-floor Doubles that worked perfectly for us and the two kids. Given how much our youngest moves, however, the two children struggled to share the ‘matrimonial’ sized bed. We ended up borrowing a sun lounger mattress and used that as an extra sleeping space every night. Note, there are no extra beds or mattresses available, only what is provided in the rooms. The rooms are all very good sizes with lots of space for families. There are no inter-connecting rooms.
The hotel’s restaurant, La Santena Restaurant and Cantina, is located on the ground floor with a terrace overlooking the street. The food is excellent and we ate most of our meals here. Please note that breakfast is not included in the rates.
As the hotel states on its website, “Jorge the bartender’s father makes our cheese. We know the farmers who grow our greens. Many of our herbs are grown here on site in our rooftop garden.”
The cantina also features their own brand of tequilas and mezcals.
Breakfast: The breakfasts were truly excellent. During the course of our stay we tried the eggs benedict, chilaquiles and pancakes. The kids were also spied at the bar ordering freshly made smoothies on a regular basis!
The Lunch and Dinner menu was equally as good and we enjoyed the Super Burros (an enormous wrap), tortilla soup, a spinach and goats cheese salad, and the (not for the faint hearted) nacho macho.
For Kids: There are no dedicated kids’ menus but kid-friendly fare is available and the kitchen is happy to accommodate requests.
Activities for Parents: Swimming pool, surfing (lessons can be arranged), visiting art galleries, whale watching, massages, hiking, biking, snorkelling, diving and shopping.
Activities for Kids: Swimming pool, surfing, whale watching, sandcastle-building, ice-cream eating, biking, snorkelling and volunteering at the Tortugueros Las Playitas, turtle conservation project.
Air-Conditioning, Babysitting, common rooms, doctors & hospitals, laundry service, pets allowed, pushchair friendly, swimming pool, travel desk, wheelchair access, WiFi, eco-friendly.
When to go:
Todos Santos enjoys year-round warm weather and is cooler in summer and warmer in winter than the rest of the Baja peninsula, thanks to the cooling factor of the Pacific Ocean. Remember to pack layers, however, as the nights can still be cool.
May and June are warm but it’s when the crowds have gone home and before the hurricane season starts. October and November are also good months. If you want to spot whales then visit from December to March and see the majestic humpback whales breach off the coast. September is rainy season.
Location & Travel:
Hotel Casa Tota is located in Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico.
Todos Santos is positioned half-way between La Paz (approximately 1.5-2 hrs) and Cabo San Lucas (approximately 1 hr) on the Baja Peninsula. There are airports at La Paz, the Manuel Marquez de Leon International Airport, and in Cabo San Lucas, the Cabo San Lucas International Airport. Flights to La Paz are generally significantly cheaper than flights to Cabo San Lucas.
1) Todos Santos is what Cabo San Lucas used to be, make sure you stay at least one night in this pretty, artsy town.
2) Bring a cot if travelling with infants.
3) Remember your FREE 10-minute massage offered daily on the rooftop, and don’t forget to tip!