Hey guys! My name is Davis Gerber and I’m currently a staff cameraman for Cuixmala and Hacienda de San Antonio. In this article, I will be sharing my journey of how I managed to land this fantastic gig as well as provide you with some insights into what this breathtaking eco-resort is all about.
I grew up in California and my childhood was a mix of every sport there is, romping around my uncle’s small “farm” with his animals such as chickens, pigs, cows, etc. and my weekends were spent surfing all over San Diego County. So it’s safe to say I had a pretty well-rounded childhood.
I know in many ways that it’s due to this variety of interests that led me to where I am today. I picked up a camera at an early age and jumped at every opportunity to shoot anything and everything. After studying in Europe during college, I think I began to know that I wanted to see more of the world. The idea was to figure out a way to use my camera to do so.
Not too long after college I took an opportunity to lead guest relations at Cuixmala, opting to leave a staff photographer role – but hoping I might work my way to that position at Cuixmala. It was gradual as I proved myself, but now a few years later I have overseen the construction of both websites, shot all the ongoing photo/video material, run social media, and best of all I get to do it for both Cuixmala and Hacienda de San Antonio.
A Typical Day for me at Cuixmala Resort
As of late, my days at Cuixmala have been spent brainstorming a new web design, shooting photos when I see weather line up or accommodations free (as I’m always trying to improve my work) – all while simultaneously looking for interesting video angles to share the property in its best light.
I can be an interior photographer one day, foodie the next, and a wannabe Nat Geo wildlife photographer the day after that. Ultimately, I’m just always working to create unique material to share a well-rounded look at all that Cuixmala is. It can be a little overwhelming at times, but in a good way.
The owners have always graciously given me the time to explore and refine how the properties are seen. My time here has been life-changing in so many ways, but most of all the variety of experiences I have crammed into just a few short years has been the biggest gift. I’m still learning every day.
Why Cuixmala is such a Special Place
I can clearly remember the first time I visited Cuixmala – I didn’t sleep for the 48 hours I was on the property. I was taking photos of everything and it was like I had been struck by lightning! Somehow I had leapt from shooting for a small brewery in San Diego one day, to interviewing for a job on the most unbelievable property in Mexico the next. It was everything I had been aiming for incomprehensibly realized in an instant.
Cuixmala is simply like no other place in the world. No matter how many ways you say it, the thousands of acres which compose the property are unimaginable until you see in person just how far the property stretches.
The hotel’s connection to the land and the ethics behind it – in combination with the level of luxury from its snow white palatial interiors and incredible service in all hotel/guest activity operations – all just a short flight from Los Angeles, is something that can’t be topped. Everyone is always bewildered when they realize this world exists so close to the US.
Rich History of the Cuixmala Property
Sir James Goldsmith built the property as his private estate. He began to prioritize preservation and sustainability influenced in his later years by his brother (an eco-warrior). He started with the land of the hotel grounds, and then began acquiring the neighboring land to later have it all officially declared a Biosphere Reserve. It now totals more than 30,000 acres.
After Sir James passed away, the property fell into the care of his daughter Alix and her husband Goffredo Marcaccini – who have since opened it as a hotel. I would say the hotel, in all its glamor, serves most of all to show people that you don’t have to sacrifice the earth to achieve high luxury. I again think that this is one of Sir James Goldsmith’s lasting legacies now continued by his daughter, her husband and the Marcaccini family.
Best Rooms Available at the Resort
The rooms at Cuixmala are flawless – from one-bedroom casitas to the master suite, you really can’t go wrong. If I were to visit Cuixmala as a guest I would choose a bungalow: Laguna, Palmar or Faro. These all stand out because they are private, beautiful and you get to enjoy all the benefits of Casa Cuixmala, its iconic pool and most of all you are on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Click the link here to check out the range of rooms on offer.
Top 5 Things To Do at Cuixmala, Mexico
Staying at Cuixmala is a once in a lifetime experience that will leave a lasting impression. Not only is the eco-resort incredible, but the coastline, lush jungle, coconut palm groves, savannahs, lagoons and wildlife take your stay to the next level. There is so much natural beauty to experience here! Below are my recommendations for the best things to do in Cuixmala:
- Horseback Riding: No question that an evening ride ending running full speed down the vast and empty Playa Cuixmala will never be beat!
- Surfing: The two local beaches are dreams in their own ways, and the surf can be great at times.
- Quad Biking: Ride to Playa Escondida and enjoy a private beach day with your special someone or with friends.
- Playa Caleta Blanca: Head to this beach and take off on the boat for more than the standard few hours that the cruises get to enjoy. Have the kitchen prepare a ton of food and go fishing or whale watching, and then go explore the coast. Head to Las Islas Cocinas and set up a picnic on one of the small deserted beaches and enjoy the whole day out!
- Bonfire Dinner Party: This rarely happens outside when the hotel puts them on for holidays, but if I were a guest I would try to meet as many guests as possible and split the cost of one big fogata dinner on the beach. Meeting new people, drinking and dancing in the sand around a bonfire would be epic. I would love to see guests interact that way.
Amazing Restaurants and Cuisine on Offer
The restaurants are on par with everything in Cuixmala. Casa Gomez has traditional Mexican cuisine and Casa Cuixmala has more of a fine dining flare. Anything with the catch of the day is sure to be excellent. I have had some mean racks of ribs or cortes de res in Casa Gomez too, and the salads with all the ingredients direct from the hortalizas (just a few minutes drive from where you are eating) are always delicious.
My Favorite Experiences from Cuixmala
My favorite experiences from my time in Cuixmala have been horseback riding adventures. I don’t go all the time but I have had the great fortune to ride often in Cuixmala. Riding by zebras or galloping down Playa Cuixmala with the cowboys, goofing off with no hands and our feet out of the stirrups – these are all incredibly fun moments that I will cherish forever.
Need to Know Before you Go
Rent a car and explore the property, take your time or go out with no objective other than driving slowly and soaking it in. I guarantee you will see some beautiful things. Do a yoga class in the studio at sunset, and give yourself an extra day to venture off and explore the local beaches.
Remember to just have fun! Too often I see guests never offer more than a stiff hello as they breeze by each other, as opposed to linking up and making the most out of the experiences with others. I understand that not everyone wants to head out with strangers, but it’s a safe bet that if someone is at Cuixmala, there is an interesting story there and perhaps someone to at least enjoy a margarita with under one of the palapas.
Cuixmala was made to have beautiful gatherings by night and sun-drenched beach picnics by day – so make your visit something different than any other trip. Take that boat ride, gallop on that horse, try surfing and just break your routine. You will fall in love with this resort!