ecoLofts: Green Living in Mexico’s Wine Country
Arranged on a hillside about 40 minutes outside of Ensenada, Mexico, in the heart of Mexico's emerging wine country, are 20 little cabins that make up Eco Hotel Endémico Resguardo Silvestre, a new green hotel from Mexican hospitality company Grupo Habita and Tijuana-based designer Jorge Gracia.
The little cabins are called EcoLofts and they're everything the eco-conscious traveler could want. From construction to completion, the EcoLofts have been carefully designed and placed to complement the surrounding environment and to give guests the feeling of being secluded in nature.
Although Hotel Endémico is located on 100 hectares of land in the Ecuentro Guadalupe, a modern development that contains a winery and residential area, guests who stay in EcoLofts are in a world of their own.
The EcoLofts are only 20 square feet each, but contain all the necessities (bathroom, bed, closet) and some luxuries, as well.
The interiors are sleek and modern, an interesting contrast to the wild terrain outside. Really, they're like very small suites.
But with views like these, who wants to stay indoors?
Each EcoLoft has been equipped with its own outdoor terrace with a clay fire pit for taking in the panoramic vista of the Valle de Guadalupe.
Although the EcoLofts are undeniably luxurious, their design is strikingly similar to the cool cabins we've been spotlighting for years on Been-Seen. In fact, the builders used many of the same methods as Cinco Camp, a small hotel in West Texas made out of shipping containers, to minimize environmental impact. The overall shape of the EcoLofts is similar to that of the Signal Shed, a cabin in Eastern Oregon.
Like the Signal Shed, the EcoLofts are elevated on stilts and constructed out of steel and wood materials, both of which are plentiful in the area. These materials were selected for their durability, as well as for the patina they take on after being weathered by the environment. The idea is that, as time goes by, the EcoLofts will blend even further into the landscape.
The cabins were put together in Mexicali, about three hours north-east of Ensenada, and brought to the hillside fully completed. Once placed on the site, all that needed to be done was to hook up the water and electricity for the EcoLofts to be up and running and ready for guests.
Aside from the cool EcoLofts, the communal areas at Hotel Endémico aren't too shabby. A stunning pool and hot tub have been carved into the hillside for amazing views of the valley. Guests can also tour the nearby winery, run by a Napa Valley enologist, and participate in various events put on by the Culinary Arts School of Tijuana. The hotel's restaurant follows the slow-food ethos and serves dishes cooked from locally sourced ingredients. The hotel is scheduled to open in the next few months and rates will start at $200 per night. We'll be sure to check it out on our next trip to Baja. MT
Images ©Gracia Studio