fbpx DAN | Daily Architecture News Baja Club Hotel delivers desert chic on Mexico's west coast - DAN | Daily Architecture News
Baja Club Hotel delivers desert chic on Mexico’s west coast

Baja Club Hotel delivers desert chic on Mexico’s west coast

Hospitality Design
WATCH: Global architecture and design highlights, including Baja Club in Mexico.

Overlooking the famed Malecón promenade in the historic heart of La Paz, Mexico, the Baja Club Hotel’s springtime opening is a welcome ray of sunshine on the global travel horizon. Located on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico’s northwest, the Grupo Habita-owned venue occupies an early 20th century hacienda, reborn at the hands of design studios Max von Werz Arquitectos and Jaune Architecture. The designer destination now stands as a glorious example of adaptive reuse, comprising 32 guest rooms and suites, a pool and spa, restaurant, and a rooftop bar that’s already a smash-hit. “After all, this wouldn’t be a Grupo Habita project if it didn’t have the hippest sundowner joint in town,” quips Grupo Habita co-founders Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha.

Baja Club in Mexico by Grup Habita

Grupo Habita’s Baja Club Hotel in northwest Mexico

Grupo Habita has been at the forefront of a design-led venue revolution in Mexico’s hospitality industry since 2000 when it opened the Habita Hotel, its first “lifestyle hotel” in Latin America. Since then, the hospitality group has amassed over a dozen diverse, award-winning hotels across Mexico, and in the United States with The Robey in Chicago. The edgy operators excel at pinpointing untapped locations in Mexico where they unleash their vision and adapt it to suit the personality of the neighbourhood and the city at-large. “It’s about creating experiences for your guests and making the world better through hospitality,” they preach.  

In realising the Baja Club Hotel, their 14th project together, Carlos and Moisés looked to the legendary Sea of Cortés and their own patch of coastline to find inspiration. Through this process they discovered that La Paz was, for centuries, one of the world’s foremost pearl fishing centres, as documented in John Steinbeck’s novel The Pearl. The area boasts such rich biodiversity that French explorer Jacques Cousteau once referred to it as “the aquarium of the world”. While the site of the hotel, a classic mission-style villa built in 1910, was revealed to be the location of oyster pearl harvesting in a former life. This storied past naturally informed the transformation from hacienda to hotel.

Baja Club Hotel in Mexico by Grup Habita
Baja Club Hotel in Mexico by Grup Habita

Tasked with repurposing the old villa, architecture and design firms Max von Werz Arquitectos and Jaune Architecture collaborated closely with the client on the new vision. Perhaps their boldest gesture was the addition of a chic four-storey extension with a show-stopping spiral staircase that masterfully merges old with new. The tiered additions maintain the sleek low-profile of the original home and provide generous terraces with views across La Paz Bay. “Subtle nautical connotations such as the new-build’s horizontal streamlining and the use of prominent timber elements throughout the project play on the maritime context of the hotel,” explains the Grupo Habita team.

Taking cues from the country’s rich culture of colour, texture, and craftsmanship, spaces in the hotel are swathed in the same green and red tones commonly seen on the streets and found in Mexican earthenware and woven materials. Nods to Mexico’s architectural past arrive in the form of an imposing double-door main entrance with original ironmongery, tall windows dressed in intricate ironwork, exposed timber beams, colourfully tiled bathrooms and sensational red terrazzo floors.

Baja Club in Mexico by Grup Habita
Baja Club Hotel in Mexico by Grup Habita

Viewed from the street, a rough stucco facade highlights the villa’s original character, while the new L-shaped building and its 32 rooms frame the pool and walled courtyard, creating clusters of peaceful patios and sun-drenched gardens. From the central courtyard, guests are to feel cocooned in the intimate nature of the property, while a full spa experience is available, as is a restaurant concept centred around Greek flavours.

Working with local artisans, the architecture and design team paid special attention to respecting the surrounding environment through an implementation of “bioclimatic design”. Central to this approach, an original pergola was restored – integral to the preservation of native vegetation on-site – while an outdoor kitchen further encourages guests to interact in the open-air.

As with previous projects in their portfolio, Grupo Habita’s commitment to infusing the local experience into every aspect of the hotel comes from collaborating in a holistic sense. “We use a local team every time we build a hotel – the surroundings and their local traditions are the very heartbeat of our projects,” Carlos says, who in the same breath reveals the simple secret at the core of the business: “The idea is for guests to feel welcomed.”

maxvonwerz.com; jaunearchitecture.com; bajaclubhotel.com

We use a local team every time we build a hotel – the surroundings and their local traditions are the very heartbeat of our projects.

Carlos Couturier Co-founder, Grupo Habita
Baja Club in Mexico by Grup Habita
Baja Club in Mexico by Grup Habita
Baja Club in La Paz, Mexico
Baja Club in La Paz, Mexico

Related stories

Login to join the conversation

Subscriber comments are moderated first. Respect others. Criticise ideas, not people. No offensive language View commenting guidelines

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Further Reading
View all in Hospitality Design
Room service: Inside the Ace Hotel Sydney by Flack Studio
News of the hotel arrives as many Australians continue to endure lockdowns, while international travel has been a no-go for almost two years. But as the state of New South Wales now moves swiftly to open its borders, and the city of Sydney prepares to once again unfurl its glittering splendours, overseas tourists won’t be […]
Hospitality Design
Reutov Design punctuates a New York cafe with lashings of one soothing hue
“Among the endless movement of millions of people and cars, you often want to get in touch with nature,” Dmitry says of his New York experience. “Here is an oasis in the midst of a raging stream. We have created a cafe in which it will be comfortable not only to relax, but also to […]
Hospitality Design
A 1960s London post office is now a swinging sushi restaurant
“The post office was built in the 1960s and our design pays tribute to London’s modernist heritage of that era,” explains Alexy Kos and Che Huang, co-founders of Child Studio. “Our aim was to rediscover and celebrate the unique history of this building and the neighbourhood.” Maido sushi restaurant in London by Child Studio The […]
Hospitality Design
Masquespacio rolls-out new brand identity for Bun burger restaurant
In Milan, this flexibility led to existing architectural archways and exposed bricks becoming defining features of the space. At the second Bun restaurant to open under Masquespacio’s vision, located in Turin, three existing windows informed the decision to expand the colour palette and split the interior into three clearly defined sections. “The idea to play […]
Hospitality Design
Spanish rose: Pukkel restaurant in Huesca by Masquespacio
When professional footballers Jorge Pulido and Mikel Rico decided to broaden their business portfolio to include the Pukkel restaurant in Huesca, their home-ground city in Spain’s north-east, the duo turned to the inimitable stylings of Valencia-based creative consultancy Masquespacio for an unforgettable fit-out.
Hospitality Design
Gold 'n' arches: Bun burger restaurant in Milan by Masquespacio
Few creative studios expertly juggle high-octane colour quite like Spanish design practice Masquespacio. The latest project to come from the dynamic designers – an upbeat restaurant in Milan belonging to the Bun burger chain – is testament to such seemingly effortless skill, spearheaded by practice co-founders Christophe Penasse and Ana Hernández.
Hospitality Design

Back to Top