El Dorado Golf & Beach Club is an exclusive country club on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The Peninsula extends 775 miles from Mexicali, Baja California in the north, to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur in the south, separating the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California.
San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas are the two main cities in the Los Cabos region. The well-known 30-km “Golden Corridor” region of resorts connects them, a region where El Dorado is located.
Los Cabos has beautiful desert landscapes and breathtaking beaches along the Sea of Cortez, including the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, a natural relic on the list of the World Heritage Sites, among other the beautiful rock formations sculpted by the Pacific’s encounter with the Sea of Cortez.
Los Cabos also has a rich marine life. You are likely to encounter sea lions, dolphins, and sharks on your boat rides. You can find any activity you like: fishing, golf, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, horseback riding, and a vibrant nightlife.
Like many tourist destinations, Los Cabos has excellent hotels, dining, and entertainment. It experienced exponential growth since 1970, going from 10,000 inhabitants to 280,000 in 2015; Thus, the city had to get better infrastructure to attend to those who live there and those who visit: roughly 3.5 million people in 2019.
Cellular coverage, naturally, is something that concerns the tourism industry. Given the expansion that had taken place in the area, there was very little cellular signal available at El Dorado, and the situation was becoming more untenable each year. With that in mind, El Dorado partnered with QMC Telecom to provide its guests with the best guest connectivity experience.
The need for invisible cellular connectivity
As a luxury resort, El Dorado welcomes people from all over the world, including many celebrities and famous people. One of the resort’s main attractions is its spectacular Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, a members-only beach club, and a private day spa.
Needless to say, all guests arriving at El Dorado are expecting a superb experience – from the amenities the resort offers to every detail involved in making the guest’s stay more pleasant. An important part of the experience is nature and beauty in the region.
Especially for that reason, El Dorado didn’t want a macro cell tower installed on its property. This type of construction would interfere with the natural beauty of the place.
With this in mind, QMC proposed a camouflaged solution: hidden in plain sight, it could solve the resort’s – and the customer’s – connectivity needs.
First thing’s first: designing the solution
One of the limitations that the resort faced was the mountainous topography: it was hard to cover specific areas since the mountain acted as a natural barrier for the cellular signal, and the reach of a macro cell was lower than normal. Hence, the region’s resorts need an almost exclusive coverage project to provide connectivity to guests and employees.
Based on El Dorado’s identified construction constraints, QMC designed a solution to reduce the infrastructure’s visual impact: a special concealment solution, camouflaging the antennas.
One of the most popular uses of camouflaged solutions was in the form of a pine tree monopole. But for El Dorado, QMC designed a unique project to match the resort’s golf course landscape: a rock.
A unique camouflaged connectivity project
As we mentioned before, Los Cabos is popular for its rock formations, including The Arch, The Pelican Rock, Neptune’s Finger, and The Lookout.
To blend the cellular antennas into the landscape and cover the whole resort with only one connectivity solution, QMC designed a “fake rock” to hide the antennas.
The whole process was extremely professional, counting on designers to create the rock’s shape and photoshopping it in several formats and angles to visualize how it would impact the Golf Course’s landscape.
Once the design was approved, local stones were used to replicate original small rocks so the camouflage samples could completely match with the surrounding landscape.
Results: connectivity through the rocks
When anyone goes on vacation to a superb location, there is a baseline expectation around that experience. There are some things that you don’t even think about lacking, once they have become so omnipresent. Cellular coverage is one of those.
For El Dorado, given its with high profile guests, not providing such an essential service was entirely out of the question. It was essential for customers to connect with their families and friends and be able to share their updates via exciting social media experiences.
That’s why El Dorado was one of the first special projects QMC attempted. From a commercial and technical perspective, we have that vision of the future: connectivity is here to stay.