We sat down with Arturo Navarro, tennis lover and real estate professional from Los Cabos Sotheby’s International Realty, to discuss Los Cabos as a tennis destination for luxury travelers, the forthcoming ATP 250 that will be held here, and Rafa Nadal’s tennis academy as a model for developing tennis culture around the world. Read on and join the conversation!
Arturo Navarro in action at the Waldorf Astoria
Q: What is your perspective of Los Cabos as a luxury destination for tennis lovers?
A: Los Cabos is an extraordinary destination for luxury tourism and for those seeking a healthy lifestyle, and tennis is surely part of that. There are many resorts with amazing facilities here. The Waldorf Astoria has courts, for example, and many communities have their own amenities that include tennis courts. Los Cabos offers lifestyle experiences that go beyond mere tourism. We can provide luxury travelers with an experience that includes fine vacation villas, trips aboard a yacht to discover wonderful natural places, amazing sportfishing excursions, and excellent restaurants, to name a few possibilities. Tennis is a part of this and adds to the range of activities that can be enjoyed here.
Q: Which are some of your top spots for playing tennis here?
A: The Waldorf Astoria, definitely. It's in El Pedregal, which is beautiful, and has top-notch synthetic grass courts. Also, they can take a lesson with me there! Additionally, Chileno Bay has two courts. That is a top luxury community with the finest amenities and remarkable places to stay, like Villa Cielito del Mar. Another spot is El Pedregal proper. The residential community. It has its own private beach and a very nice tennis court. At Los Cabos Sotheby’s International Realty we currently have the only beachfront property for sale there. The good thing about those two places – El Pedregal and Chileno – is that, if you want to buy a house, rent, or buy a lot and build your own house, you become a part of the community and get access to the tennis courts. Chileno, I believe, sells you the membership. At El Pedregal, you just pay the HOA and you can use the courts. Pickleball is also available there.
Aerial view of Chileno Bay, with Villa Cielito del Mar on the foreground
Q: The courts at the Waldorf are synthetic grass, right – what about the others?
A: They are hard courts. Synthetic grass is like a carpet, and the ball bounces more slowly. It has benefits for the joints, so you don't get hurt. It's not as hard on your joints. It's not used for professional tournaments, but for recreational and learning purposes, it's very good. On a hard court, tennis becomes a much faster game, and the bounces are always regular. On clay, artificial grass, or natural grass, the ball often bounces irregularly.
Q: Are there also clay courts here in Los Cabos?
A: There is no clay here. It's very difficult to maintain because you need a lot of water, and sweeping, and plenty of maintenance. Los Cabos is not the ideal destination for that. Hard courts and artificial grass are the best options for tennis here.
Q: What seasons of the year are the best for playing here, given that it tends to get rather hot in the summer?
A: You can play all year round in Los Cabos. The three hottest months are July, August, and September. Right now we are in the middle of June and it is still windy and cool. During those hot months you can play early in the morning or in the afternoon, that would be my recommendation.
Q: You were telling me earlier about the need you see here in Los Cabos to build a public tennis center for training young athletes and for the community’s use in general. What would this center look like?
A: It could be a tennis club or an academy, having several different components, like recreational ones, for amateurs who simply like tennis and play during the week or on weekends. Another component would be a high-performance program for young athletes and children. A tennis school for children, but one where it is done methodically, so that they can reach a good level and start competing at the state, regional, national, and even international levels. Once we have the high performance component running, we would be able to attract people from the United States and Canada, because the weather here is amazing and the cost of living is lower than in those countries. This would bring many benefits. If the amateurs see pros playing in the academy, they become more motivated. Children start to look up at healthy role models. It becomes a virtuous cycle, and everyone wants to improve and play.
The courts at the Waldorf Astoria. Image via www.visualitineraries.com
Q: That’s fascinating. Los Cabos is a very prestigious destination for golf, for example, but not so much for tennis yet. Some consolidation work is needed, right?
A: Of course. There are options to play tennis recreationally, as I mentioned before, but at least one club is needed. With the infrastructure and the economy that we have here, it is a 100% viable project. I would be happy to help with something like this. If anyone is interested in investing, we are most definitely here to help.
Q: In relation to the maturing of tennis in Los Cabos, hosting the ATP, which is coming up in August, is key. What are your thoughts on that?
A: Mextenis is doing an excellent job, they are experts in these events. They started out with Acapulco, which they want to turn into a Masters 1000. Here in Los Cabos, they have changed venues and are now in front of the Solaz. The venue is excellent. They are already building the stadium for the upcoming tournament and they are doing a very good job. Three top 10 players are coming. Daniil Medvedev, for instance, was ranked number one in the world a couple of months ago. I think that's obviously going to help Los Cabos to become more of a prestigious tennis hub. This attracts tourism and is full of benefits for the destination. Geoffrey Fernandez, the tournament director, Grupo Pegaso, and Mextenis are doing a fine job with that.
Q: How do we get Rafa Nadal to come here to play?
A: They are surely working on bringing him here! Obviously, when someone like Rafa or Djokovic or Federer comes to a tournament, it is a given that they will fill it, no matter where they play. There are many factors involved in bringing players like that to a tournament, but as Los Cabos consolidates, those kinds of names will come. Right now, the tournament here is ATP 250. When it moves up to ATP 500, which is one of its objectives, players with even better rankings will come.
Q: You were at Rafa Nadal’s academy in Mallorca, weren’t you?
A: Yes, I had the opportunity to visit Rafa's academy in 2018. Luckily, he was also training there for tournaments, and I met him a couple of times, as well as his coach and his managers. I loved being there. You arrive at the academy and it's like a Disneyland of tennis. There are camps for kids, adults, and professionals. The store, the restaurant, everything is geared to tennis. There is even an interactive museum, with all of Rafa’s trophies. It's an incredible experience. The academy is located inland, in the town of Manacor, and the whole island is really beautiful.
Arturo Navarro is a real estate professional at Los Cabos Sotheby’s International Realty. Additionally, he holds the USPTA’s Elite Professional membership category, certifying his expertise in all aspects of tennis teaching and management. Contact Arturo today for selling or buying a luxury property in Los Cabos, and for all things tennis-related in the destination.
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