Openings: Baja Club Hotel, La Paz, Mexico

In a December 2019 article, Forbes outlined some very good reasons for choosing La Paz over Cabo San Lucas – especially if one favors nature related adventures and ecotourism over late-night misbehavings. And now the pretty Mexican beach town has a hotel that ticks all the right boxes for the 21st Century mediarati traveler.

Yet another new property from the venerable Grupo Habita (who opened Circulo Mexicano in Mexico City last July, pandemic conditions be damned), the new Baja Club – a member of the venerable Design Hotels group – eschews the usual beachy glitz for an almost rustic feel in a made over early 20th Century Mission style villa – yet there is a kind of breezy, chic about the four story modern extension. An adaptive reuse project by Max von Werz Arquitectos and Jaune Architecture, it boasts 32 rooms and suites, a pool and spa, a restaurant and rooftop bar – which at a Habita hotel, always ends up being the sceniest of scenes.

The 1910 hacienda was originally known as Casa Antigua, and was the site of oyster pearl harvesting – so it has an elegant history, to be sure. And the aforementioned designers looked to traditional Mexican earthenware for the green and red tones which characterize the visual essence of the makeover. Many historic elements were left intact, including original ironmongery, ironwork windows, exposed wood beams, tiled bathrooms, red terrazzo floors, and the villa’s handsome, rough stucco fa├žade. The new building is situated around a central courtyard of patios and gardens, but with room terraces looking gloriously out over La Paz Bay.

Notably, as Grupo Habita is arguably Mexico’s most forward-looking hospitality brand, centered on a uniquely holistic philosophy, bioclimatic design was employed in developing Baja Club, including the restoration of an original pergola, with the intent to preserve native vegetation. An outdoor kitchen beckons guests to interact with the hotel’s extensive greenery as much as possible, offering a sense of serenity in these very anxious times.

Air travel to Mexico is technically not restricted right now – though it’s certainly recommended that U.S. citizens make the trip post-Covid-vaccination. And with temps already reaching into the ’80s in La Paz, it’s hard to imagine a better way to shake off the quarantine blues.

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