by Jincy IypeJan 23, 2023
A popular surf town, Todos Santos in Mexico has close to 355 days of sunshine and is heralded as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Due to its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer, the immediate landscape offers five distinct ecosystems, the desert with 200-year-old Cardon Cacti, the Sierra La Laguna Mountain range which is also visible from the hotel, beaches along the Pacific coast, an oasis with 5,000 palm trees, and farmland belonging to the Mesa farming community. Because of this diversity, UNESCO has designated Todos Santos as a Biosphere Reserve, one of only two such sites in Baja. Hotel Paradero occupies five acres of previously untouched land situated within the boundaries of the Mesa farmland.
Mexico-born Ruben Valdez and Yashar Yektajo of Yektajo Valdez Architects conceptualised a design that creates a fluid transition of indoor and outdoor living. Paradero Todos Santos is a 35-suite property that marks the beginning of Paradero Hotel’s long-term plan to expand its experience-inclusive brand throughout additional pristine and natural destinations in Mexico. Paradero loosely translates to 'a stop on the road' and is a reference to the ancestral arrival of communities to Baja. Yektajo and Valdez’s design aims to capture Paradero Hotel's fundamental belief that outdoor experiences go hand-in-hand with sustainability, community development, and conservation. The concept pays homage to the coastal town of Todos Santos and the multifaceted ecosystem by immersing guests in nature even when indoors.
The overall layout of the property is designed in a trapezoid shape, with each suite offering views of the surrounding terrain. While the overall mass of the structure is finished in beige-coloured concrete, the interior design is peppered with materials including tornillo timber and custom-made metal. The 35 suites range from 780 square feet to 2,674 square feet with combined indoor and outdoor space. Windows are strategically positioned to allow for cross ventilation, minimising the need for air conditioning. The suites, which are located along the periphery of the property, are framed to have vista’s looking out towards the expansive ecosystem surrounding the site. The inner wall of the structures is a solid sinuous wall with a single access door. This concrete wave appears as an abstraction of the surrounding mountain range.
The rooms are subdivided into Garden Suites, Rooftop Suites and a Master Casita. The Garden Suites extend into the landscape with outdoor living room space that either looks out to fields or at the 200-year-old Cardon Cacti forest. Feeding into the idea of outdoor living the suites feature a hammock, and a few suites even incorporate outdoor circular soaking tubs. The Rooftop Suites have panoramic rooftops, with built-in suspended star nets. The Master Casita is located at the corner of the structure and has three floors. Designed to feel like a luxury residence, the casita has a kitchenette, dining area and its own plunge pool.
Public spaces on the property include the 'Living Room', a multi-purpose hub for gathering while the roof doubles as a yoga deck. Along the perimeter of the property are a 130-foot-long infinity pool, hot tub, and half-moon lounge deck that looks towards the cacti. This edge is designed for the guests to look out towards the landscape. The restaurant on location is open to the public and offers a theatrical experience with an elevated, open-fire kitchen that features a wood-fired oven and a traditional Oaxacan clay tortilla oven.
These structures, however, only make up 20 per cent of the Paradero, which has a 100,000-square-foot botanical garden. Mexico City-based landscape architecture firm, Polen, selected 80 endemic species to populate the grounds. More than 20,000 plants, including those found on the land prior to the building make up, are present on the plot. Shaded by 100 locally grown palm trees and other endemic species, is the Ojo de Agua Spa, a wellness oasis that is inspired by secret watering holes that coexist between Sierra La Laguna and the Pacific.
The ecologically inspire outdoor flows into the sanctuary-like interiors. The boundary between this indoor and outdoor space is defined by the contemplative outdoor seating areas. Design by B Huber, the interior design is meant to create a new brand of hotel experience, offering a sense of community and representative of Mexico. The colour scheme focuses on monochromatic tones and incorporates natural colour palette, inspired by the surrounding sand and mountain range. All furnishings were either custom designed or locally sourced from Guadalajara and Oaxaca. All suite bathrooms feature a rain shower and organic bath amenities which were also made in Mexico. A subtle detail that can be viewed throughout the project is the triangle pattern, a sacred symbol of the Mayan culture, which also ties the details of the hotel together. The central axiom of the hospitality design is to have guests experience all the elements, from the warm sun and the dusty trails to the sea breeze and the starry skies.
Name: Paradero Todos Santos
Location: Todos Santos, Mexico
Year of completion: 2021
Architect: Yektajo Valdez Architects
Interior designer: B Huber
Landscape designer: Polen