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2016 MCHAP

Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen

Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

June 2015


Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos


Rockwell Group (Interior design of the ballrooms, meeting rooms, two signature restaurants and the kiosks.)


Ganzi S. de R.L. de C.V.


Paul Rivera Photography


Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen does not follow the all-inclusive model, changing the paradigm of the hotels in the area with a fresh and different approach, offering a wide range of sensations and experiences based on mexican culture concepts. The first creative concept was to design a Mexican village street, what we call a “Paseo”, which recreates the experience of walking down a pedestrian street, which starts from the entrance of the hotel, 12 meters above sea level, and gradually descending to the platforms of the swimming pools, encountering along the way the typical Mexican kiosks selling traditional food and drink, ice creams and coffee. The space below the Paseo was the perfect place to create an intimate atmosphere. A completely different light ambience in an underground experience, surrounded by the natural mangroves, an introspective place to purify the senses: the spa. One of the most iconical sacred places of purification in this mayan lands are the Cenotes, and what better than having our interpretation of one of them to create the spa´s relaxation zone. The selection of materials and finishes was based on adaptation to the surroundings, with sand-colored cladding and stone, extensive use of natural wood, native vegetation, water bodies, and warm, indirect lighting, among other details. The project’s largest and most significant spaces were purpose-designed to showcase artworks. The concept of this art was worked on in conjunction with the artist César López-Negrete, and his pieces were specifically created for this project.


As one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, the paradise-like Playa del Carmen makes a great leap forward with the development of this hotel, located within a protected mangrove area and near the vibrant energy of the 5th Avenue combining the local environment and culture in a modern setting on an irregular site that slopes down to the sea, with a 140-meter beachfront.


A series of studies of distribution, land use and protection of the natural area led to the development of an architectural program divided into three blocks. The first block forms the connection between the avenue and the hotel, creating an interior roadway for pedestrians and vehicles lined by retail stores, generating an informal urban ambience recalling that of the famous 5th Avenue. This indoor street ascends to define the access route to the main plaza, which becomes the motor lobby. The second block is located at the center of the site, forming a visual and spatial connection between various elements. It takes a rectangular shape, surrounded by a four-story block of hotel rooms. Inside are the fabulous mangrove gardens, which are preserved and used to create the perfect setting for the surrounding rooms. The third block offers the best views, which are shared with the rest of the site and enhanced with a striking 12-meter high window that spans 55 meters. Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen is a hotel with just over 300 rooms but we sought to create a resort atmosphere that is more relaxed, incorporating vegetation and sea views, with a modern design that uses materials that afford a welcoming atmosphere despite the scale of the project.

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