This luxury 5-star hotel is truly about rethinking the future—it’s the polar opposite of crowds, skyscrapers, noise, congestion and pollution. The concept of real luxury is an environmentally-conscious oasis—a place far from the distractions of modern life.
Global Design & Architecture Design Awards 2019
Third Award | Category: Hospitality (Built)
Studio: Grupo Aviatur & Coco Raynes Associates, Inc
Architect: Coco Raynes
Country: United States
The extreme simplicity of the project is deceptive. Behind the carefully crafted and planned structures, this hotel is at the cutting edge of self-sustainable technology, and it truly embraces the ethos necessary to ensure the survival of our planet.
—Water is provided by the hotel’s own desalination plant.
—Electricity is solar powered.
—The site is a protected sanctuary where the ecosystem remained untouched—not a single tree was cut during the construction.
Located in Barú, off the Caribbean coast of Colombia, the 32-hectare resort is nestled in a private bay. It comprises 55 guest bungalows, three restaurants and bars (one directly on the water), two cafés, a music pavilion, a spa, a craft boutique, and a clubhouse that includes a conference salon and large swimming pool. Guests can enjoy two beaches, one of them on a private island adjacent to the hotel.
The octagonal guest bungalows are situated along the beach and in the treetops. Each one is carefully oriented to ensure privacy—guests do not see their neighbors. Seaside rooms have private decks and swimming pools, all designed to adapt to individual site conditions. As a result, they are unique sizes and shapes, even wrapping around existing trees. Treetop bungalows rise above the forest canopy and feature hot tubs and sun decks.
The resort was built using only natural, locally-sourced materials, paying tribute to the Colombian indegenious craftsmanship. Constructed as a wooden framework, the buildings are crowned with stunning, hand-tied beamed ceilings. Roofs made from thatched palm fronds complete the exotic look. The bathrooms are fitted with modern amenities, and surfaces are finished in matte, cream-colored marble for understated elegance.
The three-level clubhouse offers 360° views and blends seamlessly with the site. Constructed of concrete and glass, there are few barriers between interior and exterior. The building floats above a ground-level, open-air restaurant. Ceilings and partitions are wrapped in natural bamboo. The first level features a glass-enclosed salon for conferences. A bar on the top-level terrace is designed with white onyx, lit from inside, and contrasting with the rustic lighting.
Boardwalks, reserved for pedestrians and joggers, connect the bungalows through the natural forest and vegetation. Signs guide visitors within the resort and blend with the wooden railings along the paths. Electric golf cars provide transportation on separate stone paths. Guests can choose to arrive by hotel boats or by private helicopter.