A new hotel in the Mexican ocean town of Puerto Escondido has gone completely off-grid, allowing patrons to relax knowing their stay is leaving a minimal carbon footprint.
Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the verdant Oaxan mountains, Hotel Terrestre, the newest addition to Grupa Habita’s lifestyle resort line, uses nothing but solar power to operate its facilities, taking “the experience of sustainable tourism into new territory.” And while the hotel does offer free Wi-Fi access and a wireless speaker in each room, the ethos of the luxury lodging encourages visitors to “disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature, synchronizing their day with the cycle of the sun.”
Designed by architect Alberto Kalach and his Taller de Arquitectura X (TAX) studio, the seven-building complex was constructed using only locally sourced materials. Kalach also took inspiration from the surrounding environment to create a space of wood, brick, earth, and concrete that invites guests to rest and rejuvenate.
“From its overall architectural statement, and down to the smallest detail, the design blends in a uniquely respectful way with the site’s marine landscape. Thus, water, flora, light, and air become intrinsic elements of Terrestre’s groundbreaking design,” the hotel website says.
Adding to their earth-conscious design, Kalach and TAX built innovative cooling techniques into the hotel structure, removing the need for energy-hogging air conditioning systems.
The brutalist style hotel comprises 14 individual villas, a detached open-air restaurant, as well as several swimming facilities for exercise and revitalization treatments, including a stunning hexagonal spa. The resort includes facilities for ultimate unwinding, with a chilled water bath, steam room, and outdoor shower.
Each villa is designed to “merge harmoniously with the outside,” employing wooden slats for windows instead of traditional glass, allowing the tropical copal tree-scented breezes to waft through and cool the inside. Interior designers Fernanda Romandia and Diana Backal kept the color palette earthy and rustic to complement the natural building materials. Custom-made furniture from Mexican designer Oscar Hagerman adds to the “one-of-a-kind sensorial atmosphere.”
Every suite is equipped with a private outdoor bathroom and swimming pool, as well as a roof-top terrace with lush gardens, hammocks, and lounge areas that look out onto the Pacific Ocean. The associated restaurant draws from the local produce markets to create both Mexican and Mediterranean recipes. Curated cocktails, fine wines, and non-alcoholic drinks round out the menu.
For those looking for extra stimulation, guests can visit the exhibition spaces at Casa Wabi, a unique cultural space and artist residency created by artist Bosco Sodo. Its main house was crafted by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando, and its ceramic workshop with a 22-meter-tall chimney was also designed by Kalach and TAX.
Several other homes in the area are also the product of well-known architects, like the raw concrete Casa Tiny by Venezuelan Aranza de Ariño, and Casa Volta, a trio of terracotta villas by the Mexico City firm Ambrosi Etchegaray. Other regional diversions include viewing archeological sites, surfing, hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, and bioluminescence viewings.