This story has been updated to add additional comment from Governor Newsom’s spokeswoman and to reflect the recollection of a second source who came forward to say that the governor was indeed spotted at the resort in question.
A key question remains: Who paid for this vacation?
The Globe has received several photos and a now-removed Tweet from sources who were in Cabo San Lucas in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur over Thanksgiving at the same time California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his family vacationed.
The sources said the Newsoms stayed nearby at a $23,000 to $29,000 per night villa, La Datcha Cabo San Lucas villa, owned by Russian entrepreneur and businessman Oleg Tinkov. The sources said from their rental they could see the 10,000 to 12,000 square foot villa, and said it comes with two chefs, four to five servers, personal trainers, and the like.
“We were told the governor and his family were there,” one source said. “We could see him, and a blonde woman who looked like his wife, and kids, and another couple.”
Governor Newsom just extended California’s COVID State of Emergency into its second year, and recently ordered all students ages 5-11 to receive vaccinations in order to attend in-person school. Mask mandates and vaccine requirements are still in place.
“It’s no wonder that Newsom has decided to escape his own draconian mandates in favor of Mexico for a week-long Thanksgiving vacation,” Ric Grenell recently wrote at the Globe. “And yet this is not the first time Newsom has blatantly disregarded his own rules. He issues Emergency Orders for the people but vacations in Mexico like life is back to normal.”
“La Datcha Cabo San Lucas is located on the Pacific coast at the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula,” gushes the website of the posh resort. “This place is a true haven for the fans of offshore fishing and water sports.”
The question is, at $29,000 per night for the holiday rate, did Gov. Newsom pay for it? If not, who picked up the tab for the $203,000 week-long stay at La Datcha Cabo San Lucas vacation villa for the Newsoms? Was it a gift?
Newsom was paid $209,747 in 2020 as Governor of California.
The Globe contacted the governor’s press office midday on Tuesday and asked:
“The California Globe is preparing to report on the governor’s recent vacation. Can you tell us whether the governor paid for his vacation villa himself. If not, who did?”
We heard back from the governor’s press secretary late in the day: “Katy – This was a personal trip paid for by the family.”
The Globe has no reason to doubt the word of the press secretary. But “by the family” is an intriguingly crafted answer, especially when one’s family members include prominent Californians whose surnames are Brown, Pelosi and Getty.
The Globe replied to the press secretary asking, “Thank you for your reply Erin. What family paid for this?”
After the article published, Governor Newsom’s Press Secretary Erin Mellon emailed and said, “The Newsom family.”
She called the Globe and again said “the Newsom family” paid for the villa in Cabo. We asked “What Newsoms?” She finally said, “The governor… paid for it for a personal trip.”
Meanwhile, this is a description of the La Datcha Cabo San Lucas vacation villa:
“The villa can easily accommodate up to 20 people as it has two large and eight regular-size bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, a toilet and a walk-in wardrobe.
The two large bedrooms each have an adjacent private terrace — one with a fireplace and the other with a swimming pool. The latter bedroom also features a study.”
The sources said they were staying in Pedregal (near Cabo) and were nearby La Datcha Cabo San Lucas. They were there for Thanksgiving and to sport fish. They said one night the Newsom’s had some locals over doing a fire show as entertainment.
The source said the fire entertainment was loud, so he posted on Twitter to Gov. Newsom and the First Partner: “How’s the fire show at your compound in Cabo? Watching you from 4 houses over and you and the staff are not wearing masks.”
The source said that within 3 minutes of his Tweet, the lights at the Newsom compound went off and the fire show was over. The source took down the Tweet shortly thereafter.
Price is all-inclusive for food and beverages (except for alcohol).
It also includes a full staff at disposal composed by chefs, butlers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, concierge, fitness instructor and masseur.
Оpen from October to August.
Daily rates start from 23,000 $ + taxes per day.
Major holidays rates start from 29,000 $ + taxes per day.
The sources said this is another example of Gov. Newsom not living the way the people of California do. It’s reminiscent of the French Laundry restaurant episode in 2020: Gov. Gavin Newsom was caught maskless attending a birthday dinner in November 2020 at the famed Michelin-starred restaurant, The French Laundry in Yountville, while he locked the state down, ordered businesses and schools closed, social distancing and mask mandates, California Globe reported.
After this story appeared, the governor’s spokesperson reached out to ask for clarification. She denies that the governor stayed at the La Datcha Cabo San Lucas villa, telling the Globe, “that is not even where the family stayed.” The spokesperson declined to clarify where in Mexico the governor stayed or the cost of that stay, other than repeating her assertion that the trip was funded by “The Newsom family.” In declining to specify further, the spokesperson added, “I cannot provide the location due to security concerns. They rented a home.”
As was reported in our original story, the Globe has no reason to doubt the word of the press secretary. However, in the absence of the governor’s confirmation of his exact whereabouts — a fact he has lately declined to share on a regular basis with the people he serves — the Globe stands by its story and will continue to report on these developments.
The original source, when pressed for further detail, commented to the Globe:
“With the black SUVs, and 15 cars at the tennis courts which are not there usually, and a guy that looked like him, a blonde that looked like her, the Lt. Gov in charge, and Gavin in Cabo, it’s pretty hard to not put the math together.”
The source also said that they could see the Newsoms with binoculars from their rental house.
Finally, after our story appeared, a second source reached out to the Globe. She emailed to say, “I have a side profile photo of [Newsom] on the public beach near the Palmilla with one child and his wife.” The Palmilla Hideaway Luxury Condo Rental is adjacent to the La Datcha.