Hotel Mar Adentro
San José del Cabo, Mexico
On the coast of San José del Cabo, at the Southern tip of Baja California Sur, Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragonés has designed and developed his second luxury hotel and residential project as a tranquil alternative to the tourist destination’s all-inclusive resorts. “When I came across this piece of land, I knew that water needed to be the primary element,” says Aragonés. A large reflecting pool overlooking the ocean serves as the focal point of the complex, which opened last year and includes beachfront villas and condos, 200 guest rooms, and an amalgam of restaurants, shopping, lounge, and spa spaces within eight white, rectilinear edifices. As a counterpoint, the architect created a 2,000-square-foot nestlike enclosure for one of the hotel’s restaurants, which sits at the pool’s center, appearing to float on the water. “I needed to create something opposite of the rigid, concrete buildings—something circular and soft,” says the architect, “so I thought about the form of a cocoon.” Composed of bent steel rods intertwined with twigs from local mangrove trees, this unusual skin casts lively shadows on the interior’s creamy marble floors. And don’t be fooled by its gossamer appearance—the simple structure, according to Aragonés, is resilient enough to withstand the high winds of a hurricane.