Where to stay: MEXICO
For people who care where they stay. Authentic. Soulful. Charm. Design. Indie. Local.
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Marquee Playa Hotel | Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Travelers to Playa del Carmen have plenty of choices already, but something new, luxe, and stylish is always welcome. Marquee Playa Hotel offers its own perspective on the Riviera Maya scene, drawing inspiration from, of all things, the golden age of Hollywood glamour — monochrome portraits and film stills adorn the walls, and while the interior-design style is mostly minimalist, you just might catch a glimpse of Art Deco here and there.
Camino Real Polanco | Mexico City
Architecture aficionados should book at least one night at Camino Real in Polanco. The hotel, built for the 1968 Olympics, was designed by the late architect Ricardo Legorreta, who was renowned for his Mexican modernist style. In the Camino Real, that style is expressed through a reverent nod to Mexico's past, with part of the hotel's exterior evoking a pre-Hispanic pyramid.
Central Hotel Boutique | Chihuahua, Mexico
It would be hard to imagine a more distinguished setting for a hotel in Chihuahua, right in the heart of the historic city center, next to the Plaza de Armas and the 18th-century cathedral. Central Hotel Boutique makes its home in a distinguished building as well: Casa Trías dates back to 1845, and is the city’s oldest estate-style courtyard house. Now it's the most stylish and luxurious lodging in town.
Hacienda Peña Pobre | Mexico City
There are few cities in the world quite as overwhelming as Mexico City, but even here there are green spaces to be found, if you know where to look. Hacienda Peña Pobre lies not in the ultra-urban heart of the city but near its southern edge; more importantly, it’s set just yards from the Bosque de Tlalpan, a sizable urban forest and a popular destination for locals in need of some greenery.
TreeHouse Boutique Hotel | Mérida, Mexico
The capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán is Mérida, and if all you know about the Yucatán peninsula is the Caribbean coast, you’re in for a surprise: a stunning colonial city, established nearly 500 years ago, right on top of an existing Maya one. The result is a place that’s chock full of historical resonance, and the same can be said for the astonishingly lovely (and adults-only!) Treehouse Boutique Hotel.
Bellview Hotel Boutique | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Any hotel that’s modestly sized, memorable, and presents a unique point of view on its setting qualifies as a boutique hotel in our book. And BellView fits the bill. For while there are plenty of bigger and more contemporary hotels in this town, there’s nothing else like BellView, whose four rooms and suites are overflowing with the sort of historical elegance that’s in painfully short supply around here.
Edelmira Hotel Boutique | Guanajuato, Mexico
Guanajuato is a labyrinth of underground passageways, cobbled alleys, and colonial architecture nestled in one of Mexico’s most picturesque valleys. A UNESCO world heritage site, Guanajuato's narrow, winding thoroughfares have a lost-in-time feel, and Edelmira Hotel provides a stylish home base from which to launch delightfully meandering, self-guided walking tours.
Hotel Casa Santo Origen | Oaxaca City, Mexico
Set where Oaxaca City's northern suburbs meet the foothills of the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca mountains, Casa Santo Origen creates a sense of secluded tranquility. It achieves this through a compound-like layout that emphasizes privacy, a location 15 minutes away from downtown traffic, and through warm and welcoming interiors that display colonial, indigenous, and contemporary influences.
Villa Escondida | Santa Maria Huatulco, Mexico
The Pacific coast of Oaxaca is pretty close to paradise on earth, and it’s shocking at this late date that a place like Villa Escondida can have a little stretch of coastline all to itself, a short distance from the Huatulco airport. This is a hotel, but just barely: with four suites it’s about as small as they come, and if you’re traveling with a party of ten or fewer, it’s not out of the question that the whole villa could be yours.
Las Alamandas | Costalegre, Mexico
Set in beautiful tropical gardens on a 1500-acre nature reserve, Las Alamandas Resort is a magical hideaway with just 16 suites in seven characteristically brightly painted casitas. This is the perfect place to really get away from it all with a vast stretch of white sand beach, fresh-water lagoons, coves and rocky islands to discover. Guests also enjoy two restaurants and bars, a wealth of spa treatments and a large pool to relax beside.
Una Vida | Tulum, Mexico
With Tulum getting busier, guests are looking for a bit of extra privacy and seclusion, and hoteliers, looking for space, are establishing hotels outside of the most obvious locations. Una Vida is one of these — set on a verdant piece of land west of city center, where the rainforest meets the town, it’s a villa-style hotel, its rooms and suites clustered together in groups of two or three across the property.
Casona Sforza | Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Known for its sandy beaches, green setting and surfing spots, Mexico’s Puerto Escondido now has one more card up its leafy sleeve: a new hotel with strong sustainability credentials, designed by acclaimed Mexican architect Alberto Kalach. Casona Sforza, conceived by the entrepreneur Ezequiel Ayarza Sforza, has just opened its doors and combines an eco-approach with striking architecture and state-of-the-art hospitality and interiors.
Casa Habita | Guadalajara, Mexico
Part of Mexico's celebrated design-led Grupo Habita, Guadalajara's Casa Habita is a boutique hotel housed in a 1940s Art Deco mansion and a newer modernist high-rise annex. The "return to retro" vibe mixes traditional local textiles and ceramics with glassy screens for a distinct early-20th-century flair. The hotel is located in the booming Lafayette district.
Hotel Agua de Ciénega | Hunucma, Mexico
Long simply a stopping point between Mérida and the beach town of Sisal, Hotel Agua de Ciénega is one reason why travelers are now spending a night in the quaint town of Hunucma. The four-poster beds of tzalam wood, outdoor showers, and local textiles in black-and-white woven designs create an atmosphere that is at once contemporary and romantic.
Casona Los Cedros | Espita, Mexico
The town of Espita is becoming an increasingly popular base to explore the Maya sites of Chichén Itzá and Ek Balam, and swim in the many cenotes (sinkholes) nearby. The 9-room Casona Los Cedros, which is the brainchild of owner, architect, and designer Laura Lecué. From the woven basket lamps in the rooms to the wooden chaises by the pool, French-born Lecué was determined that every element of the hotel be produced in Espita itself whenever possible.
Casa Colon | Mérida, Mexico
This restored mansion, which can be rented as a whole, near Parque de las Americas is filled with an eclectic and cosmopolitan selection of furniture pieces and works of art. Headboards in the bedrooms are by local furniture designer Gabriel Peón, there are aluminum tables and chairs by Argentinian Jorge Pensi, and a sofa and tables by Philippe Starck are in a garden with a small pool and fruit trees.
Casa Puuc | Mérida, Mexico
This house built in 1914 in Mérida’s García Ginerés neighborhood was lovingly restored by Mexico City furniture dealer Claudia Fernandez and turned into an intimate six-room hotel. Fernandez, whose discerning eye has helped drive interest in midcentury design (both by Mexican and international designers), has created spaces that are at once inviting and understatedly spare.
Diez Diez | Mérida, Mexico
Much of traditional Yucatán design skews toward the feminine with fanciful tiles, embroidered linens, and a penchant for pastels. This newhotel, a block from the city’s grand boulevard, Paseo Montejo, opts for a decidedly masculine aesthetic instead. The palette is largely black, white, and gray with details using tzalam, a local tropical wood. A winged figure by sculptor Jorge Marín greets guests in the small central courtyard, while a race car theme drives the decor of the largest suite.
Casa Hormiga | Balacar, Mexico
The so-called Riviera Maya may grab the headlines, but it’s worth venturing a little farther, to the southern reaches of the Yucatán Peninsula, for a truly transformative experience. Here, close to the border with Belize, is the town of Bacalar, along the shores of the impossibly clear blue lake of the same name; and it’s in this town that you’ll find the beautifully tranquil Casa Hormiga Hotel & Rituales.
Baja Club | La Paz, Mexico
Located on a breathtaking coastal boardwalk in La Paz – Baja California Sur’s capital, a city brimming with history – Grupo Habita have completed their 14th project, the brand renowned for ‘leading a design revolution in Mexico’s hospitality industry since 2000′ having opened Baja Club, a 32-roomed hotel housed in an early 20th century, bringing desert chic to the handsome Mexican city.
Octavia Casa | Mexico City
Mexican practice PPAA has designed Octavia Casa, a boutique hotel in Mexico City that is based around the eponymous fashion brand. A facade of slim wooden lattices covers the hotel’s concrete and glass exterior, shading the interiors from harsh sunlight and creating a delicate pattern of shadows.
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende | Mexico
Although a 13 plus–acre resort (the largest in the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s cobblestone historic center), the Rosewood San Miguel evokes an authentic sense of place, with buildings made with the limestone used to build parts of the old town, and decor crafted by local artists and artisans.
Mesón Hidalgo | San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Built in 1693, it was rumored to once have been home to a priest who “healed people and performed miracles,” hence its good juju, but today it’s been transformed into three distinctive guest suites and a retail spot, a model that is unlike anything else in the colorful tourist town.
One&Only Mandarina | Lo de Marcos, Mexico
This hidden luxury retreat is nestled upon a rare undeveloped stretch of coastline along the Riviera Nayarit. The resort is set in a spectacular cliff-side location overlooking the Pacific Ocean with dramatic vistas and a lush rainforest setting. One&Only Mandarina is an all-villa resort with 105 spacious, standalone chic treehouses and villas within the emerald cliffsides, a stone’s throw from palm-fringed sands, swimmable shores and an energetic environment crafted for reconnection.