In 1999, Kurt Graham bought a small piece of property in LaVentana, California Baja Sur that included a palapa and a fish rendering room. A palapa is a traditional Mexican shelter roofed with palm leaves or branches. With the Sea of Cortez at the front door, and nothing but sand beneath the palapa, Kurt and his friend Marina Romary set out to create a very special kind of resort.
They started with a few RV rental spots. Over the years it has grown to 9 rooms plus 10 RV spots. The fish rendering room was turned into a casita for the owner, and there is a manager’s apartment and two sleeping rooms. The floor beneath the palapa is now concrete floor and there is a full kitchen for guests, a restaurant and a wood fired stove.
Kurt was a lineman from Arkansas. He chose Baja because he had retired and needed to live in a warm climate for his health. Kurt’s entrepreneurial spirit and jack-of-all-trades skillsets made him a master at managing the many details it took to build Kurt N Marina’s from simple beginnings.
Marina is a well-known restaurateur and lodging owner/manager. Don’s Steak House, which she owned and managed for over forty years, was a regional favorite, and the Notaras Lodge, her family namesake, is a northwest showcase of log-building craftsmanship and design. Kurt spent his time in La Ventana while Marina managed the restaurant and lodge in Soap Lake.
Gualqui (pronounced Walky) Gomez came on board in 2008. Walky became Kurt’s right hand person, helping him plan, design, and install additions to the resort. She provided assistance as an interpreter and a guide, becoming a large part of the success of Kurt N Marina’s resort. Kurt passed away in 2011. Walky continues to be the on-site manager, with the support of her daughter Nicole.
Marina sold her restaurant and lodge in Soap Lake in 2014 and now spends most of the winter at Kurt N Marina’s Resort. She still cooks, and entertains, as she always has, in her big-hearted, gracious, Greek-rooted ways.
Kurt N Marina’s was built with a lot of love, sweat and tears, and hope. We believe you will find our resort a place you can relax at and enjoy for its hospitality, good food and easy friendships that you will look forward to coming back to year-after-year.