The Best Design Hotels in Mexico

Mexico is already well known for its all-inclusive resorts but a select group of design hotels is captivating travelers in hotspots from bohemian Tulum to colonial Merida. Looking for next-level interior design and architecture as memorable as the destination? Book yourself into one of these nine distinctive hotels on your next vacation.

Calle Miguel Lerdo de Tejada 2308, Lafayette, 44160 Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico
Housed across a 1940s mansion and modernist tower, Casa Fayette is a stylish boutique lodging inspired by Guadalajara hometown hero Luis Barragán. With the architect in mind, Milanese interiors firm Dimore Studio designed the hotel’s 37 rooms in a Mexican palette of artichoke, salmon, and burgundy, adding a mix of custom and European furnishings by the likes of Pierre Frey and Michael Thonet. Downstairs, public spaces take on a global-chic aesthetic informed by the surrounding Lafayette neighborhood. Graphic cement tiles line the pool and spa area, while a glam brass-and-wood bar complements tropical-palm-patterned seating in the restaurant.
Calle 38 norte Mz 4 Lote 3, Gonzalo Guerrero, 77720 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
“We hope you adapt to our bohemian philosophy,” say the staff at Hotel La Semilla, by way of explanation when guests ask why rooms have no televisions (there is, however, Wi-Fi and AC). With distressed walls and furniture, the hotel has a shabby chic feel (or, as they describe it, “rough luxe”), and owners Alexis and Angie treat all guests as friends. Part of the room rate is earmarked as a donation to the Friends of Sian Ka’an, a conservation group dedicated to the preservation of the nearby Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
Paseo Malecon San Jose Lote 8, Zona Hotelera, 23400 San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico
Arriving at Viceroy Los Cabos (formerly Mar Adentro) is like getting a glimpse into the future of hospitality. Linked by a seemingly boundless plane of water, a series of minimalist white cubes—housing a rooftop bar, spa, world-class fitness center, movie theater, and more—rises from the desert landscape like a mirage, the work of Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragonés. The view is memorable at Nido, a ceviche restaurant that sits under a nestlike dome of twigs. Equally striking are the 104 modernist guest rooms. Unlike the region’s traditional stucco and terra-cotta haciendas, they’re serenely spare, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Sea of Cortez and tablets that guests can use to create their own lighting concept.
México 1 Km 5, Misiones del Cabo, 23455 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico
Design junkies will find plenty to love at The Cape on Monuments Beach. Designed by Mexican architect Javier Sánchez, the hotel eschews resort staples like wicker and rattan for a sleeker look that marries mid-century standards with locally sourced furnishings and art. In the 161 spacious guest rooms, leather headboards and copper-leafed tubs complement private tiled balconies with ocean views. The style extends to the public spaces, which include Manta (acclaimed Mexican chef Enrique Olvera’s globally inspired seafood restaurant), a saltwater pool, and a spa that’s cleverly tucked into a natural rock formation.
Av. Veracruz 102, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Mexican hotelier Grupo Habita turned the shell of a 1928 French neoclassical mansion into a wholly contemporary property, CONDESAdf, which immediately became the standard for boutique hotels in Mexico City when it opened to rave reviews in 2005. Ten years on, it has plenty of competition, but remains a favorite among travelers who appreciate clean, contemporary design and location, location, location. Named for its neighborhood, the hotel occupies a prime spot on the edge of Parque España in trendy Condesa. The terrace bar offers an elevated view of the city—which spreads out like a crazy quilt below—and is especially lovely at sunset, when the fading light paints the surrounding mountains a gentle gold. After a craft cocktail or dinner at the hotel’s patio-level restaurant, guests can retire to rooms kitted out with flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and Malin+Goetz bath amenities.
Juan Salvador Agraz 37, Contadero, 05300 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The 2009 opening of Distrito Capital-one of several properties in Mexico City owned by boutique hotel trendsetters Grupo Habita-was a welcome event in the business-oriented neighborhood of Santa Fe. Though the area has a number of hotels, Distrito Capital both literally and figuratively towers above them all. Occupying a skyscraper, the minimalist property features sleek, quiet rooms, some of which have soaking tubs. While the color palette is predominantly black and white, large windows let in plenty of natural light, and oversize light fixtures cast a soft glow. The open-air pool and lounge, both found on the lobby level, are excellent places to unwind.
Av. Pdte. Masaryk 201, Polanco, Polanco V Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Ultra-modern Hotel Habita sits on upscale avenue Presidente Masaryk, in the midst of the Polanco’s fine restaurants and shops. Opened in 2000 and renovated in 2012, the hotel, which looks like a glass cube, continues to attract travelers who appreciate its sleek design and superb location. Rooms are typical of Grupo Habita hotels-spare and uncluttered, with luxurious toiletries and high-tech amenities, like flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The staff is accommodating and will help guests with everything from transportation recommendations to securing reservations at top nearby restaurants, such as Biko, Pujol, and Quintonil. All three appeared on the 2015 “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants” list.
Calle Paseo de Montejo 480 x 41, Centro, Mérida, Yucatán
With a name like that, it’s no wonder this boutique hotel is a prime spot for romantic getaways in the Yucatan’s capital city. The two pink-hued colonial mansions are as charming as they are camera-friendly, bedecked in vibrant modern art and picturesque patios and outdoor corners that mix lush greenery and sleek furnishings. Life here feels like its perpetually viewed through rose-colored glasses, and it’s not just the walls: the spa offers an enticing menu of xocolatherapies; the tequila bar has over 250 varieties to sample; the oasis-like swimming pool is a palm-shaded spot for afternoon dips; and there’s even a chocolate shop on-site. Guests can dine on gourmet fusion fare in the restaurant, or head up to the rooftop lounge for cocktails with a side of live jazz. As for the guest rooms, they’re no less indulgent with their rose and cocoa palettes and patterned-tile floors; minimalist bathrooms have sumptuous open-air stone tubs, large walk-in rainfall showers, and handmade chocolate soaps.
N° Km 54+ 23300 800, México 19, 23300 Todos Santos, B.C.S., Mexico
Why we love it: A stylish but mellow alternative to the glitz of Los Cabos

The Highlights:
- Chic rooms, some with soaking tubs, outdoor lounges, or ocean views
- On-site restaurant Benno and its creative Mexican-Mediterranean fare
- Proximity to Todos Santos and the chance to connect with the local community

The Review:
Liz Lambert has made a name for herself converting quirky motels into cool-kid haunts in Texas and beyond. With Hotel San Cristóbal, she brings her magic to a transcendent Pueblo Mágico in the Baja Peninsula. Now she’s bringing her magic to a transcendent Pueblo Mágico in the Baja Peninsula. Just outside of Todos Santos proper, on the small fishing beach of Punta Lobos, the whitewashed, cubist property houses 32 serenely chic rooms, complete with crisp Sferra linens and serape-inspired duvets, vibrant ceramic-tiled bathrooms, and windows that overlook sunny Pacific waves (keep your eyes peeled for migrating gray and humpback whales).

Resist the urge to confine yourself to your Coco-Mat mattress, however. Adventure awaits in the form of surfing off nearby Playa Cerritos, learning to make pottery in an off-site class, or accompanying chef Edgar Palau on a trip to source fresh fish from local anglers. There’s also a beautiful central pool and lounge, a library, a seaside mirador, and a small retail shop on property. When hunger strikes, head to Benno, where biodynamic meals that fuse Mexican and Mediterranean flavors pair perfectly with small-batch mezcals and sustainably harvested regional wines.
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