Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Legend of Hotel California in Todos Santos

The Hotel California was founded in 1948 by a Chinese immigrant named Mr. Wong. After three years of construction, the hotel opened on February 5th, 1950. Mr. Wong lived in the 16-room hotel with his wife and seven daughters. Trying to fool the locals into believing that they were Mexican, Mr. Wong changed his name to Don Antonio Tabasco. That plan didn't quite work out as planned as the locals simply began calling him "El Chino".

In the 1950s, "El Chino" brought ice from La Paz to the hotel and it was the first business in Todos Santos to serve ice. That was a big hit with the locals as it was the only place in town where one could buy a cold beer. El Chino eventually opened a restaurant as well. The business prospered and El Chino became very well known in the region, eventually opening a store called "El Popular", inside of the hotel. In time he also opened the first gas station of Todos Santos, right next door to the hotel. El Chino was establishing himself as a successful businessman and built a good reputation as a man of vision. This was just the beginning of the colorful history of the hotel, which over time would become even more intriguing.

During the 1960s and 1970s, precise details of the story of the Hotel California are a bit "hazy" at best but not that uncommon either when compared to the local culture of that time period in general. There are many stories making the rounds about the hotel and how much of it all is true, nobody knows for sure.

One such rumor, saying that the hit song of the group The Eagles was based on the hotel. Some even said one of the members of the group owned the hotel at one time. Both a rumors are false. However, many visitors continue to come to the hotel, captivated by the "coincidences" between the lyrics of the popular song and architecture of the hotel and its surroundings.

There are many other rumors, legends and stories surrounding the hotel and its history. Most remain unsubstantiated but the Hotel California, located less than an hour drive from Cabo San Lucas, continues to fascinate people from around the world today. 

The Eagle's now famous song, is often heard playing in the background when you first walk in...