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Elle Decor Italia

Drift San José Hotel: low-budget accommodation of high design content

A youthful, low-cost, upscale hostel opens in Mexico’s most expensive resort town

Mike Arce

Drift San José is a low-budget boutique hostel in Mexico blending minimalist design and local touches; shown here, a wall-less box made of natural stone hosting the traditional chinchorro


Mexico’s Caribbean stretch of coastline hosts an endless series of stunningly lavish resorts embedded into lush forest; but still, if you are willing to delve deep in Central America’s nature and wildlife while being surrounded by essential design, here’s a brand new low-budget option for you: located in the hip district of San José del Cabo, Drift San José is a budget accommodation of minimalist design. The affair started back in 2012, when a 6-bedroom apartment building stretching over a 600 square-metre area was purchased with the aim of establishing a high-quality design hostel in one of Mexico’s most prohibitive and luxurious seafront resort town. The main goal was to provide a youthful, social and DIY environment open to independent travellers who liked adventure and culture better than mere comfort. 

Shortly after the property was bought, renovation works kicked off in order to convert the original 6 dwelling units into 8 hotel rooms, a staff kitchen office and laundry, guest coffee bar and retail space. The original structure was barely preserved – indeed, all windows, ceramic tiles, lighting fixtures and doors were removed –, and raw concrete walls and flooring were added at a second stage. Outdoor areas were revamped as well, and now feature a swimming pool, a bar, a venue for events and a patio furnished with untreated wooden tables and kiosk made of timber and concrete. Also, a massive wall-less box made of natural stone was erected as home to the chinchorro, the traditional Mexican hammock. 

Architects were keen to preserve 15 75-year-old palm trees original to the property; as for the outdoor furniture, a mix of minimalist and local touches – see crushed gravel and tiles crafted by local artisans – was implemented so to pay homage to native traditions and history. Interiors blend total-white walls with handmade bricks, while polished concrete surfaces span from the floors to bed-frames and all bathroom cabinetry. Industrial-style windows built by a local welder feature a burnished steel frame and run along an external rail – same for the huge sliding glass sections which open up towards the landscape, thus merging the indoors with the numerous outdoor terraces. An essential furniture selection ranges from small wooden shelves, black wire chairs – matching with the hotel’s finishes –, industrial-inspired chandeliers made of burnished brass, full-length mirrors seemingly laying against the wall, and thin steel structures which double as coat hangers, windowsills, or closet niches…

A major feature of the hostel, the roof also provide plenty of relax and is accessed via a polished concrete bending stairway; up there, amidst palm trees and cactuses, guests are encouraged to socialise or quietly enjoy sweeping views of the sunset. 


Si può avere una casa vacanze più essenziale di così?
→ Una villa nel bosco in Messico
→ Casa ecologica al lago Chapala
→ La casa sull'albero nella giungla per chi ama l'avventura
→ Villa in stile latino intorno a un albero centenario

by Paola Testoni / 5 September 2017


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