Hotel El Ganzo Is Causing a Scene in San José del Cabo

Hotel El Ganzo Is Causing a Scene in San José del Cabo

By Erica CampbellDec 29, 2023

What do you get when you mix creativity, music and a boutique hotel experience? El Ganzo, a hotel nestled on the scenic beachfront of San José del Cabo, Mexico is actively answering that question. The boutique hotel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, has become a destination for independent music and artistry, boasting a Musicians in Residence program, CRANIA, an on-site music venue and an underground music studio that’s witnessed sessions from acts like Anderson .Paak, Damian Rice, L ‘Imperatrice and more.

This year, the El Ganzo is hosting a New Year's Eve experience for attendees, merging sets from acts like Dixon and Diplo with curated wellness and culinary programming. Paco Rosas, the hotel’s Music Director, oversees the music residencies, using his multiple decades of sound design, engineering, and music experience to transform the hotel into a living, breathing cultural hub.

Here PAPER speaks to Rosas about the hotel's Musicians in Residence program, his dedication to cultivating artistry in San Jose del Cabo and how he's working with El Ganzo to create an immersive experience to celebrate the new year.

Why was it important for El Ganzo to incorporate artists and a Musicians in Residence program into their hotel?

The Musicians in Residence program is the heart of what makes El Ganzo a unique haven for creativity. Our founder envisioned a space where artists and creative souls could thrive without the constraints of pretentiousness or commercial pressures. The decision to incorporate the Musicians in Residence program was a direct response to this vision — a commitment to fostering an environment where artistic expression reigns.

At El Ganzo, we believe that true artistry should flourish organically, untouched by commercial limitations. By building a cultural hub around this principle, in the form of a hotel, we've ensured that the artistic vision and its content are never compromised. The very essence of this place lies in its cultural program, and the Musicians in Residence program is a living testament to that commitment.

What do you do differently at El Ganzo in comparison to other musician residencies?

What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to artistic integrity. In curating the music program, we prioritize artists who bring something unique to the table, those who are unafraid to explore uncharted territories within their craft. It's not just about creating an event; it's about fostering an environment where musicians can experiment, evolve and surprise both themselves and their audience.

El Ganzo's music program is more than a series of performances; it's an alternative narrative woven into the cultural fabric of Baja. We take pride in being a distinctive voice, offering something refreshingly different to the cultural landscape. Our approach is not just about showcasing music; it's about creating an immersive experience that challenges norms and sparks a vibrant dialogue between artists and their surroundings.

How does your creativity in other aspects of your career (sound design, engineering, etc.) differ from the creativity you explore with El Ganzo?

Creativity, for me, is a versatile force that takes on different hues depending on the situation. What sets the creativity at El Ganzo apart is the multifaceted nature of the project — it demands a "jack-of-all-trades" approach. Here, creativity isn't confined to one discipline; it's a dynamic dance that requires me to be a fly on the wall one moment and a catalyst for inspiration the next.

El Ganzo isn't just a place; it's an experience that demands a delicate balance of observation and intervention. I see myself as a bridge, connecting diverse outlets — the artist, the hotel, Baja and the audience.

In sound design and engineering, the creativity might be technical, precise, and structured, ensuring every note and sound is finely tuned. At El Ganzo, this creativity is both a necessity and a complement. It's about adapting, evolving, and contributing to the overarching artistic vision. It's about being a chameleon, seamlessly blending into the background when needed and emerging as a driving force when the moment calls for it.

What are your hopes for the future of El Ganzo and music? What can music lovers expect?

Our hopes for the future of El Ganzo are as expansive as the creative spirit that fuels this project. We aim to not only continue but to magnify this extraordinary idea that has become our passion. The momentum is building, and the enthusiasm and acceptance from artists for what we're doing continues to climb. Our aspiration is to see an even more diverse array of artists, both emerging talents and established names, grace our unique corner of the world.

We envision El Ganzo not just as a cultural hub in Mexico but as a global icon, a beacon that resonates far beyond borders. We want every musician, every band, to aspire to include El Ganzo on their bucket list. For music lovers, we promise an experience that goes beyond the auditory, leaving them with a full heart and ears attuned to the beauty of the diverse and unexpected. We invite music lovers to join us on this journey, to witness the evolution of a space that transcends the conventional and sets the stage for unforgettable moments.

How did you go about curating the experience and deciding which artists would be on the bill?

Curating the NYE experience involved aligning our vision with the spirit of celebration. We wanted to bring together a lineup that not only speaks to the dance enthusiasts but also appeals to the melomaniacs and psychonauts who form a vibrant part of our community.

The selection of artists was a meticulous dance of musical synergy. We sought out performers whose beats could weave seamlessly into the fabric of the celebration, creating an atmosphere that pulsates with energy and excitement. The artists on the lineup were chosen not just for their musical prowess but for their ability to elevate the experience, taking attendees on a journey that transcends the ordinary.

Each artist brings a distinct flavor to the celebration, ensuring that every moment is infused with the magic of their craft. It's a collective journey where the dance floor becomes a shared space for connection, celebration, and a musical experience that lingers long after the night is over.

The programming includes lots of wellness options as well as music experiences. Was it important for you to have both?

Absolutely, it was crucial for us to strike a balance between wellness options and music experiences in our NYE programming. We firmly believe that a holistic celebration extends beyond just the auditory. In a three-day celebration, maintaining equilibrium is key to ensuring that attendees not only revel in the moment but emerge from the experience feeling rejuvenated and whole.

Our goal is for attendees to leave the celebration feeling as wholesome as they arrived, if not better. By incorporating wellness elements alongside the music experiences, we're curating an event that honors the multidimensional nature of the human experience—where joy, celebration, and self-care harmoniously coexist. It's not just a party; it's a transformative journey that engages both the body and the soul.

What are some of the other non-music experiences, from location to food that will add to the overall NYE programming?

The NYE celebration spans three days, immersing guests in a dynamic experience that extends beyond the beats and melodies. We've carefully curated a 360-degree celebration, utilizing every venue within our little den—from El Ganzo to The Sculpture Garden, Crania, and Veleros Beach Club.

Dining experiences are an integral part of the celebration, with perfectly curated dinners designed to tantalize the taste buds and elevate the overall sensory experience. We want our guests to indulge in a culinary journey that complements the rhythm of the celebration.

Art takes center stage as well, with on-site art exhibitions adding a visual dimension to the festivities. The NYE programming is a symphony that engages every sense. It's about more than just music; it's about creating a holistic experience where guests can immerse themselves in a sensory journey. Whether it's the beats echoing through the venues, the exquisite flavors on the palate, or the visual spectacle of curated art, every detail is meticulously crafted.

What was the initial goal you wanted to achieve with the NYE programming?

Our goal for the NYE programming is nothing short of creating an immersive celebration that transcends boundaries and invites people to revel in the joy of music and the resilience of the human spirit. It's more than just a party; it's a collective journey to dance, celebrate, and usher in the new year. We want attendees to not just hear the music but to feel it coursing through their veins, compelling them to dance until they can dance no more. The essence of the celebration lies in the recognition of the human spirit's strength and the ability of music to amplify that strength.

Our role is to curate an experience where people can be fully present, casting aside any expectations other than basking in the moment and being grateful for the journey that led them to this point. It's about ending the old year with a crescendo of celebration and opening a new chapter with a rhythm that sets the tone for what lies ahead.

What do you hope music fans and attendees think, feel and walk away with after they experience NYE at El Ganzo?

My ultimate hope is that every music fan and attendee walks away from the NYE celebration at El Ganzo feeling like they've just experienced the best New Year's celebration of their lives. Beyond the celebration itself, I hope attendees leave with a yearning—a yearning to return, to relive the magic, and to make El Ganzo a recurring chapter in their lives. The desire for them to come back over and over again is a testament to the lasting impact we aim to create.

What's your 2024 new years resolution (for yourself and El Ganzo)?

My resolution for 2024 is a continuation of the unwavering commitment to protecting and nurturing El Ganzo as an oasis for artists. I aspire to contribute to the legacy of this unique space, ensuring that it thrives for generations to come. My personal resolution is to be an integral part of this journey until my ears and hands don't work anymore. It's a promise to continue fostering a space where artists can thrive, where creativity knows no bounds and where the magic of music and art unfolds in ways that transcend time.

Photography courtesy of El Ganzo / Infamous PR