After more than a year of renovations, Casa Hormiga launched last year against the tropical backdrop of Bacalar—a secluded Mayan town and lagoon with an adventurous history as a pirate hub. Using sustainable, locally sourced materials, the collaboration between Mexican architecture studio TallerMid51 and co-owners Sofia Lynch and Jose Maria Padilla sought a palette that “aligned with the natural environment found in Bacalar [and] transmits relaxation and comfort.”
The True Essence of Rural Mexico
The 18-room jungle sanctuary was designed to ensure the property conveyed a “wabi-sabi philosophy”—a Japanese termed focused on finding beauty in imperfection—“but where the true essence of rural Mexico is present. Roots, leaves and tree branches occupy structures in varying ways to give each room a clear personality.
Beyond the lush splendor of the setting, Lynch and Padilla drew inspiration from the handmade aesthetics of Morocco, as well as Spanish Colonial influence. Thick stucco walls, wooden beams, and courtyards compose a textural symphony that reinforces the surroundings, while Mexican artisans—from Oaxacan weavers to local ceramicists—animate Casa Hormiga with artful furnishings.
Sustainable wood was sourced locally, along with elements crafted by traditional Mayan woodworkers. Natural fibers punctuate the narrative by injecting “the personality of its creators” into the boutique retreat, Lynch says. Ultimately, the rustic, simple destination is suited to evolve gracefully. “Casa Hormiga is a live project and, as such, nothing is static,” Lynch says. “It will grow with Bacalar, it’ll go through stages. It’s alive.”
The nearby town of Bacalar also offers an immersive and magical experience (having literally been named a Pueblo Mágico in 2006) to travelers willing to explore. Since being named a Pueblo Mágico -Magic Town- back in 2006, it’s been slowly growing, attracting a very distinctive crowd. A different, slower pace is set within the town, and for those looking to dwell within the Yucatan Peninsula’s culture, Bacalar offers a colorful, historical experience.
Another version of this article previously appeared on Hospitality Design.