Anyone Want a Vacation in Cabo? I Give You Good Deal.

After first buying in just over 3 years ago, I just inked my third contract in 3 years. In fact, today is the anniversary date of my second contract a year ago.

The Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, developed by HKS, same guys who did Cowboy’s Stadium.


So, this puts me at a capital investment of about $160,000, with rights of occupancy for 15 Studio and 15 1BR Suite weeks per year, excluding only the last two weeks of the year (Xmas and NY). About a 10 year lease on each of the three contracts.

From here, I’ll be buying in equally in the new resort just up the coast, also being developed by HKS. Golf course, wave pool, lazy river, lagoons…all the goodies. Hacienda style. First occupancy March of 2017.

I’m booked to go visit it all March 21, for a week. …Sure beats futzing and writing about what to eat.

And now, headed out the door to the place that started it all, back in a week.  Friends coming down from N. Cal, who we met in La Paz three years ago, at the point where I bought in here at Cabo. So, it’s full circle.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Randy on February 25, 2015 at 11:24

    Hi Richard. I’ve been a fan of the blog for a few yers. I may be interested in renting the Cabo pad. I’d appreciate any info you can send e on it (rates, availability and such).

    I may alos be inteested in your cabin also, so any of that nifo would be appreciated alos. Thanks.


    • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2015 at 16:15

      Hey Randy.

      Easiest way is to hit the links to the listings for each property and put in a request via the form. that kicks off the auto rate sheets and all that.


  2. Tatertot on February 25, 2015 at 12:20

    “I just inked my third contract..”

    Was this in between the ‘black flag’ and ‘A’ or on the other arm?

    Just to let everyone know, my wife and I rented one of Richard’s Cabo pads at the Grand Solmar in January, and it was absolutely the best vacation we’ve ever had.

    There’s a fishing village within easy walking distance, so you are by no means trapped at the resort. Plenty to do ‘outside the fence.’ But, you really won’t want to leave the resort grounds. The pools (5? 7?) are immaculate and not crowded, the perfect sandy beach is right there, and always nearly deserted. Happy hour at 11 and 5.

    That was our first trip ever to Mexico and had no idea what to expect. There was no crime or drug trade around that we could see, it’s all about tourists and their safety (and money). They don’t have to take it from you…you give it to them with a big smile.

    The Grand Solmar gets two Tatertot “Thumbs-up!”

    • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2015 at 16:19

      Yea, Tim’s wife hit me up about this time last year so it was a big plan, wedding anniversary I think.

      I must admit I was really worried that Tim might be miffed, with no vegetable garden out front, or wild moose strolling about. I think he landed a few fish, though.

  3. Matthew on February 25, 2015 at 13:21

    Wow, I’m very interested in what exactly you’re doing here. Running the math it looks like the 1BR’s bring in rev’s of 50k and studio’s about 40k?

    How much of that is profit?

    How does one get started in a venture like this?

    And what are the contracts for? Leasing the rooms for 15 weeks?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2015 at 16:35

      Hey Mattew:

      Well, the rates are different seasonally. Rough back of napkin, the 30 weeks (15 1BR and 15 Studio) would gross 60-70K assuming you were able to book them all. OTOH, I did this because it’s only Feb and I’m almost out of 2015 weeks (began booking them last summer, of course, will soon be getting inquiries for 2016).

      The right to occupy contract is basically a 10 year deal and capital outlay is about 160k. So, you have to amortize that.

      In addition, each week rented out comes with an anual maintenance charge, payable upon booking. Plus some small other incidental fees depending on a few booking options.

      All told, it nets out around $40k per year. It’s not bad considering I can do it anywhere with computer, phone, Internet, and total average time is an hour or two per day.

      There’s one other source of revenue, and that’s unlimited bookings at my nightly rate, which is like 1/3 of booking direct on their website, especially with the 30% tax they impose. So, I do a fair number of 3 and 4 night bookings in each unit type and I mark up $100 per night. So, $300-$400 per pop. These are usually last minute deals, like a guy who just wanted 4 nights, arriving tomorrow.

      Also, for the weekly 7-night deals, it has to be a Saturday or Sunday arrival, but for the nightly rate, arrival anytime subj availability. Currently, I sell the studio at a nightly of $495 and the Suite at $625 per night. That’ll go down about $100 per night beginning May, through November.

      One last thing is that when someone wants 8 or 9 nights, then we do the 7-night deal, and I tack on the extra nights at the front or back and pass it along at my cost.

  4. Austin on February 26, 2015 at 11:11

    Probably a stupid question, but how does this compare to an all inclusive resort? I’ve only been on a few Cancun all inclusives. There is a kitchen in the room so you could save by making your own meal for breakfast/lunch but not sure what a typical dinner/drinks would cost. It looks like they have a good selection of restaurants on site. The property looks amazing so maybe I’m not comparing apples to apples.

    • tatertot on February 26, 2015 at 13:00

      We usually go to Hawaii for vacation, and paid way more there for a much, much smaller room. They also soak you for everything…parking, dining, and misc charges all day long.

      The rooms at Grand Solmar all have a full kitchen, so you can cook your own food if you like, but we enjoyed visiting the local restaurants. We did stock up on fruit and made our own coffee every morning, that was nice.

      We plan on going next year for 2 weeks and cooking our own breakfasts/some meals. You could really make it a very cheap trip. There’s a Wal-Mart a few minutes away by taxi.

      The best part, we went out fishing, caught a pile of tuna and mahi-mahi, then took the fillets to a restaurant on the marina, and for $10 each they cooked our fish (perfectly, 6 ways) and served to us with a full meal.

      Margaritas were extra, and so was the freshly made guacamole. Can’t wait to go back.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 26, 2015 at 13:28


      Well apart from my bountiful potato dispensation at the hands of just a potato farmer (I think that’s how Tim got characterized like first thing here), Tim has a bead.

      I get asked about “all inclusive” all inclusively all the time (which never includes alcohol and that can be half you vacation cost if you’re honest with yourself). I don’t deal it.

      Just like airport transportation, they’re welcome to make arrangements and I give all the relevant info. I also tell them there’s a full kitchen so consider a strategy where you shop big first day: eggs, breakfast meat, tons and tons of fruit (leave the starchies), alcohol.

      You get up in the morning, lounge around, nurse the hangover. 10-11am, do up a nice bfast from the shopping. Then hit the pool. I recommend against drinking early, which is to say 2pm (It will catch up). So 2 or so, you come back, shower up, hit the alcohol portion of your shopping, and 4ish, you hit the beach for a dinner out on the local economy.

      Please tip generously. I tip upwards of 50% in this context, sometimes.

      Anyway, that’s my way, and thanks Tim for dipping your toe into some of my unconventional.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 26, 2015 at 13:30

      …Opps, to clarify, yes, Solmar does all inclusive. Last I checked, it’s $100 per day per adult, $50 per day per child. My guests are told how to do that deal on their own if they want.

      Like I said, I don’t deal it.

    • Austin on February 27, 2015 at 07:10

      Thanks so much guys! I like the routine you described too. I tend to start drinking way to early at the all inclusives and then there goes your day.

    • tatertot on February 27, 2015 at 12:55

      I don’t drink (much) but was drunk off my ass within 10 minutes of arrival…

      Standing in line for your room key, they bring around trays of margaritas. XXX Atomic Margaritas. Holy Shit, Batman. We were so drunk, we could barely get to our room and I tipped the bellboy $20.

      After that, it was just one or two drinks a day, by the pool, at happy hour. Sometimes the drinks were so strong you had to water it down.

      Like I said…they know how to have a good time in Old Mejico!

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