Glamping At Cuatro/Cuatros

The place with the funny name, explained
BY: TOM EMANUEL

In the last issue of this rag, we talked about the various approaches to camping. Some people are into the rugged outdoors. They glory in living rough with their shabby tents, a hunting knife, a coffee pot, a fire starter, and one set of clothes for a week. They have the best boots money can buy, an upscale backpack, extra thick socks, a fine micro-fiber all-weather jacket, and (if they are male) a full beard and a pony tail.

Then there are folks who hate getting muddy, wearing the same clothes for more than 6 hours, or having to start a fire to get warm. They are into luxury with a dollop of the beauty of nature. They think camping is when you have a suite in a hotel room with an ocean or mountain view. They love to see the world of nature without having to get too close to it. The men are typically clean shaven with a sleek woman at their side.

And we mentioned a place where you can combine both of these experiences into one unique trip. It is called glamping, a contraction of glamorous camping. Ensenada hosts a glamping resort which has just the ticket for people who love the outdoors but also love a little luxury along with it.  A beautiful camp site with a real bed in it, a fine glass of wine in the late afternoon, followed by a sumptious dinner by candlelight.  It’s called CuatroCuatros. Four/fours. Yeah, stupid name that nobody can seem to explain.

It’s nestled in a verdant valley covered in vineyards named the Canon de Tigre, (Tiger canyon), and has a camp site like you have never experienced unless you have been on a very high end safari in Africa where you don’t have to lift anything but your camera. Here you can occupy one of the cabanas in the residential zone which sports 11 single and 7 double cabanas consisting of pristine canvas tents set five feet off the ground on expansive wooden platforms. The singles contain a king sized bed and the doubles are furnished with two queen sized beds.  All are lavished with the finest linens money can buy. What, you were expecting sleeping bags? Pay attention to what we’re saying here!

The canvas tents are double walled with a window in each side.  The ceiling is 8 feet high in the middle and about 5 feet high along the side walls. Think M*A*S*H here without HawkEye and Pierce.

Each tent has a couple of fabric covered easy chairs and an old fashioned wood-burning stove for heat in the winter, coziness in the spring and fall. There is also a portable free standing airconditioner – very modern and compact – for when you don’t want to be out on the patio in hot weather.  The opening has very sturdy full zipper for privacy. The patio is part of the platform on which the tent rests, and is about 7 feet wide by 10 feet deep and has two lounge chairs for reading, a table and a couple of wicker chairs for coffee, games, drinks, or a snack. When viewed from the outside the back of the tent gives onto a large strange looking oblong wooden box.  But from the inside you have the use of a wonderful full bathroom with a real toilet, a sink and a shower. On the otherside of the shower is a very nice touch, a small enclosed area open to the sky with a lounge where one person can sunbathe all nudie.

Of course the camp is pet friendly and family oriented so you can pack up the whole fan damily and make a weekend of it.  Perhaps you could just spend your whole vacation relaxing in serene contemplation, reading and enjoying the verdant nature filled with vineyards, olive orchards, flora, fauna and the sparkling sea. Restoring your balance and learning new ideas in coastal Mexico can bring true peace back into your life.

The largest tent by far on the property is the full service Cabanas Restaurant. The wooden floor of the restaurant tent is filled with beautifully grained parque tables offset with comfortable camping chairs, and graced with fresh cut flowers. They provide gourmet dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the food is truly exquisite.  I recommend the lamb chops in a terrific bernaise sauce on a bed of wild rice, (which my wife enjoyed), or the fresh bass bathed in a fine wine sauce covered with capers and olive slices resting on spinach leaves (which I loved).  The prices are reasonable for such beautifully prepared meals.  The wines are produced from their own vineyard and a visit to the winery is must during your stay.  Don’t worry about running out of cash because they do take both Visa and Mastercard.

The residential resort is set in  a lovely expansive valley among an abundance of mountainous wild terrain on 1,730 acres with about 1.2 miles of coastline.

There are a multitude of things to do here besides luxuriating tent side and enjoying gourmet food. They sport a spa with a masseuse who offers a list of inviting relaxing massages. They have an equestrian club for those who want to explore ocean views by horseback. Two massive wooden boats staked out on the property, looking like they are ready for the flood, make a unique conversation piece. They have miles of walking and hiking trails. They have a bar and relaxation area on a point overlooking the ocean open during the late spring and all summer.

They invite you to experience the thrill of two zip lines. The shorter one whips you in a seat harness across a valley and deposits you on a mountain side where you hike a couple of hundred yards to what they swear is the longest zip line in all of Mexico. It carries you 3/4 of a mile down the mountain towards the cabanas in the breath-taking ride of a lifetime. And if you want do overs, they will come and pick you up in 6 seat massive four-wheel drive truck to bring you back to the starting point.

The truck ride is a wild experience all on its own. Very bouncy and rough. There is no pavement here and if you will have to hang on tightly to keep from losing your teeth. It is about a mile and a half through dry river beds and up pretty steep mesquite-covered hillsides. But the view and the zip rides are totally worth it.

CuatroCuatros will provide you with a tent and all of these recreation opportunities for 2,900 pesos ($165 USD) per night.  It is not inexpensive in terms of Mexican properties, but it is a long ways from $400-500 per night for a fine hotel in San Francisco or New York.  Plus CautroCuatros is more fun, a unique experience not to missed.  CuatroCuatros it is located on highway 1 (Ensenada/Tijuana free road) just three miles north of the toll booth as you enter Ensenada from the north.  Follow the small blue and white signs.  Their reservation number is 646-174-6789.