Shortly after opening his Hotel Encanto in Acapulco, Mexican architect Miguel Ángel Aragonés chose the breezy shores of Baja California for his Mar Adentro Hotel and Residences. Combining 198 rooms and exclusive private estates, the hotel rises on the gulf separating the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland; also known as the Sea of Cortez, this strip of water is home to numerous Unesco sites and to the world’s richest marine ecosystem.
A quieter alternative to neighbouring Cabo San Lucas, downtown San José del Cabo is only minutes away from the property. Centuries before the Hollywood and Miami elites flocked to Los Cabos for their sun-splashed holidays, Spanish galleons sailed these waters on their trade route to the Philippines. The town’s colonial-era charm carries through still today, rekindled by the legends of pirates and the bygone lustre of a defunct pearling industry.
Aragonés’ avant-garde inspiration moves from the deep sense of isolation he found on this isolated enclave contained by its own body of waters and its own air. His vision maintains a constant dialogue with this context, his white aesthetics melding magically with the harsh sunlight that floods the region all year round. Hovering from above, Mar Adentro stands as a whitewashed archipelago, harmonically assimilated into a deep-blue seascape, with volumes shaped in modular cubes as if they quietly stood afloat. Inside, the rooms are serially stocked with fittings by Italian design authority Poliform —their essential, geometrical taste imprinting a contemplative mood to the rooms and amplifying the view that pours into them.
What sets Mar Adentro truly apart, however, is the lifestyle menu conceived for its residents. Besides the high-tech room experience with on-demand butler services, customised light controls and à la carte pillows, a whole host of vibrant activities also take place in and around its Plaza. A refined art space displays local and international artists, while the LA-based concert venue Hotel Café brings on stage rising musicians with an artist-in-residence program. A curated selection of designer boutiques will also settle shortly into a well-appointed shopping area; among them, acclaimed Mexican designer Carla Fernández, known for her fascination with the archives of indigenous couture.
For the health-conscious, the Mar Abierto Spa creates bespoke regimens for clean living where nutritional routines and training sessions are on offer together with clinical aromatherapy cycles to treat sleep, vitality and other need-areas. A private beach club, two oceanfront pools and a beach-side lounge complete the picture of utter bliss.
Photo © Joe Fletcher.