Spring Break at the Rosarito Beach Hotel

Looking for a last-minute spring break destination?  The Rosarito Beach Hotel in Baja California, Mexico, offers students and families everything they’d want in an affordable beach getaway.

This iconic hotel was made popular mid-century as a retreat that catered to Mexican presidents, international royalty, and Hollywood stars, and the little beach town grew around it.

View of the beach from the Rosarito Beach Towers.

View of the beach from the Rosarito Beach Towers.

The Beach

Resting on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the deep azure waves crash onto the sand of this small, picturesque beach.

Some of the rooms are in the hacienda style of the historic lobby.

Some of the rooms are in the hacienda style of the historic lobby.

The Rooms

You have choices of room styles in the hotel. The original historic building offers rooms that are older but very charming and authentically Mexican; the new tower building has luxury suites with contemporary décor that overlook the ocean.

Tower rooms overlook the Pacific Ocean

Tower rooms overlook the Pacific Ocean. ©Baja Tourism

The hotel offers standard oceanfront rooms with double occupancy from $99 and deluxe condominiums for quadruple occupancy from $139.  Each package includes breakfast, a welcome margarita and a Fast Pass for quicker and easier return for those who are driving back to the U.S.

The Food

Azteca, the hotel restaurant, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The old world atmosphere is very cozy.  They are known for their huevos rancheros – fried eggs served with warm corn tortillas, topped with salsa, accompanied with refried beans, Mexican-style rice, and guacamole. But it’s their shredded beef tacos that keep me coming back.  They are the best I’ve had in Mexico (or the world, for that matter) and it’s difficult for me to force myself to order something different.

The tamales at Susanna's are out of this world!

The tamales at Susanna’s are out of this world!

If you want to venture outside the hotel, Susanna’s restaurant, just a short stroll into downtown, is a favorite eatery for both locals and tourists.  Try her special tamales – they melt in your mouth.  I was delighted to hear that Suzanna is currently in the process of marketing them to the rest of the world, which is convenient because traveling to Baja just for her tamales is getting expensive!

Surf Taco right off the highway

Surf Taco right off the highway

You can watch your tacos being made while you sit at the counter.

You can watch your tacos being made while you sit at the counter.

Don’t be afraid to try the street food in Rosarito.  You can watch your food being prepared with fresh ingredients right in front of you.  Try not to drool on the counter.

The pier at sunset. ©Rosarito Beach Hotel

The pier at sunset. ©Rosarito Beach Hotel

The Sunsets

The pier on the beach of the Rosarito Beach Hotel is the perfect juxtaposition to catch the stunning multi-colored sunsets.

The Location

The Baja hotel is just a 20 minute drive south of the California border.  The close proximity to the U.S. border combined with the scenic location between the Pacific Ocean and foothills of the Peninsula Ranges make Rosarito Beach a very appealing retreat, and an reasonably priced option to take a “two-nation vacation” combined with San Diego.

Locally-made art at a home furnishing shop.

Locally-made art at a home furnishing shop.

The Shopping

Close to the hotel are a variety of shopping venues including arts and craft galleries along Popotla Boulevard, or the open air markets of Mercado de Artesanias where you can bargain for locally-made pottery, souvenirs and jewelry.

Rosarito Beach is known for its world-class surfing.

Rosarito Beach is known for its world-class surfing. ©Baja Tourism

The Activities

There’s no shortage of active pursuits on Rosarito Beach, from walking along the quarter-mile pier, swimming and sun-bathing, world-class surfing, and paddle boarding, to horseback riding on the beach.

Riding horses on the beach. ©Baja Tourism

Riding horses on the beach. ©Baja Tourism

A show rehearsal in the Salon Mexicano.

A show rehearsal in the Salon Mexicano.

The Entertainment

Rosa & Rita, the hacienda-style bar in the hotel, is one of Baja’s best karaoke venues. If you prefer dancing, the hotel’s Adobe Lounge is the place to go.  You can also find folkloric ballet and other shows in the Salon Mexicano, and can sometimes even see the practice sessions. Outside the hotel, there is a local theatre guild and events like blues festival are often booked on the beach.

This one's for me, that one's for.... me, too!

This one’s for me, that one’s for…. me, too!

The Margaritas

Belly up to the hotel bar or take a seat at one of the tables and grab an authentic on-the-rocks, salt-rimmed Mexican margarita.  In general, the margaritas south of the border are less sweet, more tangy than their frozen American counterparts.

Spa reception area decorated in talavera tile.

Spa reception area decorated in talavera tile.

The Spa

The on-site Casa Playa spa is located in what was once part of the family mansion.  For pampering and nurturing, guests can choose from one of ten different types of massages.

A deep fried lobster at Puerto Nuevo.

A deep fried lobster at Puerto Nuevo.

The Lobsters

Just a short 10-mile drive south of Rosarito and you’ll be in Puerto Nuevo.  This small fishing village hosts more than 30 restaurants and shops, and has become one of the most famous lobster destinations, claiming to serve more lobsters than anyplace in the world. The lobster preparation here is a science, deep-fried to perfect texture, drenched in butter and served with homemade tortillas whose heavenly aroma permeates the restaurant.

The view driving south from Rosarito Beach.

The view driving south from Rosarito Beach.

The view driving north to Rosarito Beach.

The view driving north to Rosarito Beach.

The Area

The location of the hotel is a perfect base to venture out for day trips into Baja.  Even the drive along the highway is an adventure in itself, from the stunning Pacific on one side, and a variety of interesting landmarks on the other, such as the Christ of the Sacred Heart landmark statue, eye-popping architecture, and genuinely funny ways that shops entice tourists to stop in.

Christ of the Sacred Heart landmark.

Christ of the Sacred Heart landmark.

 

This funky sculpture is the actual home of two artists!

This funky sculpture is the actual home of two artists!

Couldn't resist a photo with the owner after reading the window!

Couldn’t resist a photo with the owner after reading the window!

"Soup of the Day: Tequila"

“Soup of the Day: Tequila”

The Owner

The family-owned hotel was founded in 1925 and the community of Rosarito, which became a city in 1995, grew up around it.  I had the opportunity to meet Señor Hugo Torres, the current owner and former Mayor of Rosarito.  What a kind and gracious man!  Sr. Torres’ vision has accomplished much to improve Baja tourism.

Señor Hugo Torres flanked by a "Patti" on each side

Señor Hugo Torres flanked by a “Patti” on each side

Ah, yes, the Parties

Naturally there will be those who are looking to party during spring break.  Rosarito Beach will ground zero for numerous parties on the beach and in the downtown night clubs.  While these parties provide a lot of fun, they have not been known to be as raucous or riotous as the revelries in say Cancun or Miami.

Rosarito Beach at spring break. ©Baja Tourism

Rosarito Beach at spring break. ©Baja Tourism

A destination for all seasons…

Spring break isn’t the only fun time at this beachfront destination.  The Rosarito Beach Hotel maintains a full schedule of events, like the Mexican Food Festival (May), the Baja Blues Festival (August), the Annual Mariachi & Folkloric Festival (October), the Day of the Dead Festival (November) and many others.

If you are a food, music or culture lover, you will find an event you like. Please click here for a full schedule of events at the Rosarito Beach Hotel.

 

Comments

  1. I’ve not been to the Baja California. It sounds fantastic. I especially liked your pictures of the food.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water RanchMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      The food in Baja is wonderful. I didn’t mention, but the fish tacos and shrimp tacos are yummy!

  2. Tacos, tamales and margaritas consumed in a beautiful beachfront setting filled with history. It all sounds perfect to me. . .que bueno!!
    Jackie Smith recently posted…Finding Greek Treasures in the South PacificMy Profile

  3. Rosarito sounds like an easy place to visit from southern California and it seems like a very good value for what they offer. (Great food photos). However, being an old fogey, I think I’d most definitely skip Spring Break.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…How to Travel Without Your DogMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      I know, the crowds and parties of spring break are not for everyone. That’s what I like best about the Rosarito Beach Hotel — it’s a place I can visit at different times of the year, depending on what event they are hosting… food, music, culture, there’s something to please everyone.

  4. Great post but I love the pictures. Some of them are priceless!
    Irene S. Levine recently posted…Hotel Review: Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, a rich blend of old and new
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    • luggageandlipstick says:

      I’ve had a lot of fun in Rosarito, as you can see! I prefer non-pretentious places that do not take themselves too seriously and allow you to thoroughly enjoy yourself with food and culture.

  5. Margaritas, spa and huge lobsters…what’s not to like in a getaway vacation like this….never been, but I would love to visit some day!
    noelmorata recently posted…Aloha Friday photo – A Big island LifeMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Definitely put it on your bucket list, Noel. Lots of fun, great food, and the hotel is very nice and affordable. Great combination!

  6. We love Baja, although we’ve only been twice, we really like the area. We usually start in Cabo and then we spend the majority of our time with our friends who live near El Cardonal – quite remote – on the sea of Cortez. We find the food to be wonderful, the people gracious and kind, and as you captured, the sunsets are stunning! And what’s not to love about Tequila?!
    Patti recently posted…The Stuff Movies Are Made Of ~My Profile

  7. Rosarita Beach sounds like a treat for anyone needing a break from this crazy winter weather. And that is almost all of us!
    Donna Hull recently posted…Stopping in SubiacoMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      I know, Donna! It’s been a brutal winter for a lot of country. We even had snow here in South Carolina! Rosarito Beach has nice weather for most of the year, and it’s a fun and affordable place for a winter break.

  8. Oh, what a beautiful location! I love your photos!!

  9. Sounds like the perfect weekend getaway if you live in Southern California! Those tamales look delicious!
    Jessica @ The Dining Traveler recently posted…DC Travel and Adventure Show RecapMy Profile

  10. The street food looks mouth-watering! I hope to go to Mexico soon enough to try some authentic Mexican food 😉
    eo.stories recently posted…Milan: 10 Free Things to doMy Profile

  11. Gosh, that food looks absolutely amazing! It looks indeed like the perfect place for a week’s escape: so close to the beach, lovely margarita’s and that spa looks so relaxing too! What more could a girl want?
    Els recently posted…Tetouan: Morocco’s bypassed city of craftsMy Profile

  12. I’d love to visit Baja but I’ll make sure to avoid the spring breakers.
    Brianna recently posted…In search of swamp things with Cajun EncountersMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      I hear you, Briana! Baja can be a bit crazy at spring break, but I’ve been lots of times and it’s been wonderful each time.

  13. Looks like a place with beautiful food, beaches and what a sunset at the pier to finish your day!

  14. A blues festival? On a beach with that type of sunsets? That sounds absolutely heavenly to me!
    Joanna recently posted…Isla Mujeres: 5 Reasons to VisitMy Profile

  15. I’d love to go to California and experience its famous beach life! Always wanted to try that image of a real California girl, haha. Plus, it seems like they have good food there, too!

    http://www.therussianabroad.com
    Olga recently posted…London Pass Decoded: Is It Worth The Money?My Profile

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