Vidanta Los Cabos
Shortlisted in the AHEAD Awards Americas, under the Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces category and re-opened last winter, Vidanta Los Cabos is a luxurious beachside resort in Mexico’s Baja California Sur state. The peaceful resort sits on a pristine beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Rockwell Group was tasked with refreshing and updating the amenity spaces, therefore improving circulation, access, and views, while also pivoting the resort’s appeal to a younger demographic.
The U-shaped resort faces the beach and embraces several swimming pools in the front. To break up the uniformity and symmetry of the pre-existing plan, Rockwell Group raised the pools by 2 metres for better beach views, removing half of the swimming pools in the process to utilise the remaining pools, so they’d have more of a fulfilling effect overall.
Rockwell Group grounded the amenity spaces with regional materials such as rope, Mexican tile, wood, and added youthful twists like a renovated Airstream trailer for serving tacos, and 70s bar games. They also updated the exterior of the resort, including a new landscaping and site plan, a newly constructed porte cochere, and front entrance.
Entrance and Lobby
As guests enter the lobby, a sky bridge now provides views and circulation directly out to the beach by way of grand, bleacher-like stairs.
Sitting under existing canopies and directly on the reflecting pool, the SHOREbar is a large, casual, open-air pavilion serving all day food and drinks. Rockwell Group added a truss structure to a dramatic, curved thatch roof and moved the bar so it had ocean views. Clusters of pendant lights hang over wood lounges and tables, with subtle industrial details and blue rugs and upholstery.
Also added were classic board games such as shuffleboard and foosball and a back garden outfitted with swings.
In addition to this, a classic Airstream trailer was renovated creating a small operable kitchen inside, for the back of the space, and bringing a youthful and current twist to the venue.
The exclusive day club is elevated from the beach for privacy and surrounded by a trellis made of wood to support lush greenery. The club includes a central pool as well as two private infinity plunge pools with two-storey VIP cabanas, and three additional VIP plunge pools. Twig cabanas are juxtaposed with lush, rich curtains.
This bar and lounge doubles as a club with a custom built credenza serving as the DJ booth. Authentic furniture pieces and lighting give way to the local culture.
An array of architectural finishes, from Mexican tiles to pebbles, stacked stone, and Mexican altar shadowboxes set into niches add texture and colour to the space. A lengthy corridor creates a dramatic and welcoming private entry to the lounge at night.
Half-moon banquettes face the beach on a private deck. The open-air pavilion is surrounded by geometric wood screen walls and shutters.
Chef Brian Malarkey’s restaurant Herringbone has been imagined as an airy Mexican beach house that sits on a series of the resort’s cascading reflecting pools with views of the ocean further afield. Operable glazing along the facades allows the space to literally open to the surrounding property, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors.
Lush trees and gardens are brought within the space to reinforce this concept, as well as Herringbone’s emphasis on using the freshest seafood, meat, and seasonal produce in their cuisine.
Custom industrial accessories juxtapose the kitchen, providing the feel of an authentic Mexican cocina with views from the dining room. Rope accents and industrial fixtures, design features that are a nod to existing Herringbone locations in California and Las Vegas, have been reinterpreted in a way that feels fresh but familiar, such as the adobe-like, handmade space for the restrooms. The restaurant aims to create a relaxing environment that simultaneously provides moments of calm and surprise.
The architectural lighting design was overseen by Evoke USA. The company was responsible for the conceptualisation of lighting for all areas, including the interior, exterior, landscape and hardscape. Clark Johnson, Evoke USA Design Director and Owner, commented:
“This project is another example of a long relationship with Rockwell group and Principal Shawn Sullivan, who allowed Evoke to light his project trusting that Evoke will do the project justice. We are very happy with the outcome of the project and feel it elevates the overall feeling and experience of the new Grand Mayan Resort.
“We are honoured to have been entrusted to light such a wonderful project.”
To find out more, please visit www.vidanta.com/en/web/los-cabos.
About the AHEAD Awards
AHEAD, the Awards for Hospitality, Experience and Design, comprises four annual, regional awards schemes run over a two year period, culminating in a global biennale. The awards are dedicated to the relentless pursuit of the exceptional, recognising design in all its forms, and the guest experiences created in hospitality projects worldwide.
Running on a two year cycle, awards ceremonies in Singapore, Miami, Dubai and London will celebrate the most outstanding new hospitality projects in each region. The awards are entered, judged and attended by leading hotel owners, developers, operators, architects and designers from around the world.