A new wave of cool is crescendoing across Mexico, taking hotels and homes into new architectural terrain. By looking to Mexico’s rich past as well as its future, a group of pioneering architects, designers, and hoteliers is redefining Mexico’s very own luxury groove.
The Riviera Nayarit may not have the name recognition of other Mexican resorts, which is entirely by design. Mandarina, a new low-environmental-impact, high-luxury resort and residential development takes full advantage of this exceptional jungle-by-the-sea setting. “This is an amazing area with truly raw, untouched land,” says developer Ricardo Santa Cruz of the 640-acre community located 40 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. The sprawling resort will include a five-star One&Only Hotel and branded residences, as well as next-level services, features, and amenities, all set within a pristine environment focused on preservation. A polo and equestrian club, beach club, and gardens are all surrounded by miles of trails, rainforest, and unspoiled coastline. “It will be the lowest-density high-end resort in Mexico,” says Santa Cruz. The architectural scene-stealer? It just might be its series of 54, nature-embracing homes designed by Rick Joy, architect of the cult-coveted Amangiri Resort and Spa in Utah. The homes incorporate both jungle vegetation and dramatic views of the Pacific while maintaining the lowest of nature profiles, with colors and materials selected to best camouflage into the jungle.
Carretera Federal Libre 200
Nayarit, Mexico 63724
Nobu Hotel Los Cabos
Mexico’s first ryokan-style retreat, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, brings clean-lined Japanese design to a beautiful beachfront location in Cabo San Lucas. Offering a near-total departure from other resorts in the area, Nobu’s striking stone and concrete design makes for extreme minimalism. The result is a contemplative environment that never feels cold, with architectural restraint activated by views of the Pacific, which come into play from the hotel’s many pools, restaurants, and guest rooms. The hotel’s arresting architecture—designed by California architectural firm WATG with interiors by Studio PCH, also based in California—is a starting point for a full-sensory experience that includes everything from wooden soaking tubs to Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature fare.
23473 Cabo San Lucas
Baja California Sur
+52 624 689 0160
Chablé Resort Yucatan
Spread across 750 acres of remote Yucatan jungle, Chablé Resort offers a high-contrast study in then-and-now Mexico: Consider its combination of glass-and-concrete stand-alone villas that come outfitted with plunge pools and smart technology with an architectural ruin artfully blended into the compound. Ancient Mayan-inspired spa treatments take center stage at its wellness center while the Temazcal Ceremony offers a shaman-led journey involving chanting, rocks, fire, and teas.
Tablaje #642, Chocholá
+52 55 4161 4262
Classic colonial design gets the modern-day treatment at Casa Delphine, a recently opened boutique hotel in San Miguel de Allende. Southern California-based jewelry designer Amanda Keidan reimagined the two-story, high-ceilinged space into an intimate five-room boutique hotel where original architectural details meet minimalist luxury with a bohemian twist: Think hand-laid boveda ceilings and hand-carved stonework paired with luxurious bedding and brand-new bathrooms. Located in the heart of the city, Casa Delphine offers wellness cooking courses, meditation retreats, as well as design and architectural tours of San Miguel de Allende.
Calzada de la Presa 69a, Centro
San Miguel de Allende
+52 415 152 2461
Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos
Once the land of low-key villages, Baja Peninsula’s East Cape is morphing into a magnet for people seeking a laid-back, entirely scene-free setting. Leading the transformation is Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos, part of a 1,000-acre private beach-front resort community. Situated on a stretch of swimmable beach, all rooms and suites in the hotel commune with the Sea of Cortez and the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. All have views of the sea—one of the most biodiverse in Mexico with more than 900 species of fish, and some effortlessly connect with the beach via private plunge pools that look onto the sand. With six pools, five restaurants and no shortage of contemplative corners, the resort offers a prime perch to decompress amid stunning minimalist design.
C. Eureka s/n, 23570 La Ribera
+52 624 689 0292