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Little Boxes On A Hillside

Hotel Endemico

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

Hotel Endemico

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.

Hotel Endemico

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.

Hotel Endemico

The EcoLofts are only 20 square feet each, but contain all the necessities (bathroom, bed, closet) and some luxuries, as well.

Eco Hotel Endemico

The interiors are sleek and modern, an interesting contrast to the wild terrain outside. Really, they're like very small suites.

Eco Hotel Endemico

But with views like these, who wants to stay indoors?

Hotel Endemico

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.  

Hotel Endemico

Although the EcoLofts are undeniably luxurious, their design is strikingly similar to the cool cabins we've been spotlighting for years here 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.

Hotel Endemico

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.

Hotel Endemico

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.

Eco Hotel Endemico

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

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  • Georgia

    May 3, 2012

    These are not ‘slum-type’ houses – they complement the hills of Tijuana and are nicely set into the surrounding environment. They are well designed and thoroughly thought out pieces of architecture. Calling the slum like is indeed disrespectful.

  • Garrett

    April 26, 2012

    20 square feet? Or is it 200 square feet?

  • Maria

    February 24, 2012

    Hi Rafael – Thanks for your comment. I understand your concerns about development in Baja California and displacement of the poor; this an issue in Los Angeles as well. However I do feel that saying the ecoLofts are slum like and disrespectful to nature is a little excessive. They were designed to be as low-impact as possible and I think that’s something to be celebrated just because so many developments are not eco-friendly at all. Sadly, gentrification is the way of the world right now. Thanks for sharing your perspective, it’s good to hear from a Baja native on the subject!

  • Rafael Peredo

    February 24, 2012

    I love the Guadalupe Valley, i’m from Baja California, I do not know much about architecture, I visited this place last week,what I perceived is a a lack of respect to the natural surrounding!, so let me get this straight, now what is “in” is to build slum type houses like the ones in the poor neighborhoods and informal settlements that crowd the hills of Tijuana, and now call them Ecolofts?

  • Maria

    January 31, 2012

    @Chrissy Definitely. I’m sure Gracia deliberately chose the white walls with strong black lines and floor to ceiling windows to make the lofts feel more spacious. Also, the magic of photographic angles might also have something to do with it. 🙂

  • Chrissy Travels

    January 28, 2012

    Wow! Really cool find! The pics of the interior make them look surprisingly larger than you would expect.

  • Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    January 27, 2012

    Are they all made out of ticky-tacky? Because they all look the same… 🙂

Any comments?