By Ruth Doherty
Heading off on vacation is a luxury that hasn't been afforded to us over the last year but, as the world opens up again, so do design-driven hotels. And there's a crop of new design hotels in Mexico that are leading the way in enticing back the seasoned travelers.
Whether you're looking for tropical, wild oceanside expanses and mountainous forests on the west coast, or cultural social hubs in historic Mexico City or La Paz, these new hotels in Mexico cater for all tastes.
Get ready for sparkling seas, meticulous yet inviting interiors, and a burgeoning foodie scene... We're already packing.
See: The best hotels in the world – take a look
1. Baja Club, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
Traditional charm meets luxe new additions at this classic Mexican hacienda that’s been reborn as a colonial-meets-contemporary hotspot in the historic center of La Paz. A chic 1910 villa is the heart of the Baja Club, which opens up to a new five-story extension with a spa and rooftop bar.
The villa, which opened in March 2021 and was designed by Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha, boasts authentic character, with huge timber beams, terrazzo floor tiles, and ornaments ironmongery. The house of renowned architect Luis Barragán was the inspiration for the hotel's furniture, materials and colonial-era tone. You'll find Mexican earthenware, woven fabrics and preserved antique brickwork, all reflective of the hotel's surroundings and traditions. A hip yet relaxed gem close to the coast.
- See: Best new design hotels in the US – everything you need to know
2. Circulo Mexicano, Mexico City, Mexico
This buzzing boutique hotel is something of a social hub in historic Mexico City. The utilitarian-style rooms of the Circulo Mexicano are inspired by the Shaker movement, and design firm La Metropolitana have references local design heritage in the beautiful pieces it chose to furnish the hotel with. Expect Oaxan textiles and weaved palms in this traditional patio-peppered house.
There's a central open space and rooftop pool and bar, and the main restaurant is surrounded by artisan shops. A cosmopolitan and cultural hangout with delicious dishes by renowned chef Gabriela Cámara, of seafood mecca Contramar.
3. One & Only Mandarina, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Situated perfectly to take in the wild, raw beauty of the Pacific coast, the One & Only Mandarina sits atop lush cliffs within Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit coastline. A modern architectural masterpiece, it blends low-density contemporary style and sustainable design and architecture with seclusion and adventurous atmosphere.
Positioned under the emerald canopy of the awe-inspiring coastal rainforest lapping against the warm Pacific Ocean, the resort is a beachfront sanctuary stretched across a 33-hectare landscape of unspoiled nature - thoughtfully planned, utilising intelligent and resource-efficient architecture as well as sustainable practices to blend with the nature and honour the resort’s commitment to local communities.
A place to kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes, or get active in the majestic natural surroundings.
4. Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, Jalisco, Mexico
See: Best design hotels in the world – our most coveted global destinations
Set on more than 2,000 acres of an eco-reserve on the Pacific coast, this contemporary-style cliffside resort and golf club will be a pristine oasis with and access to multiple beaches and private coves to discover.
Nestled on its own private peninsula in the state of Jalisco, between the towns of La Manzanilla and Barra de Navidad, Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo soaks up the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. Four of the most revered Mexican and architecture firms were brought on board to bring it to life. Victor Legorreta, Mauricio Rocha, Mario Schjetnan – who formed the firm LegoRocha for this project – and Uribe Krayer created a resort that blends into the topography.
The thoughtful interior showcases local materials and textiles that include elements of pre-Hispanic culture, colonial heritage, and contemporary architecture. Sit back, relax and take in ocean views from towering cliffs that descend more than 90m below. Opening late 2021.
5. Kimpton Aluna Hotel, Tulum, Mexico
If you're looking for a relaxed retreat that combines the buzz of downtown Tulum with its white-sand beach vibes, the Kimpton Aluna Hotel is ideal. The luxury lifestyle hotspot has killer rooftop jungle views - head here for everything from yoga to cocktails - and two pools, including a swim-up bar.
Interiors are modern rustic and earthy, with oversized rattan pendants and chairs, clay pots, wooden beams and timber furniture. When you fancy exploring or heading to the beach, hop on one of the hotel's pretty pastel-blue bikes, or jump in the hotel's vintage house cars and head to the off-site private beach club.
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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