El Perdido Hotel Courtesy Iwan Baan

El Perdido Hotel Highlights Agricultural Ties Amid Escalating Development

The recently completed hotel is Guadalajara-based Estudio ALA’s first hospitality project in Baja California.

Located just south of Todos Santos, Mexico, and half a mile from the Pacific Ocean in the small agricultural village of El Pescadero, the recently opened El Perdido Hotel utilizes traditional construction materials to pay homage to the regional culture. Over the last decade, the area has quickly developed; however, there are still many spots with secluded wilderness, beaches, and rich farmland. Estudio ALA’s first hospitality project is one such oasis.

For the new hotel project, Estudio ALA cofounder Armida Fernández began with a climate analysis. “We always try to be sustainable, conscious, and responsive to the location,” she says. To accommodate the site’s varying geographic conditions, wind, precipitation, and heat, the main building and guest villas are laid out for maximum efficiency, while the communal areas, such as the central house with sunken conversation pit, have no walls to allow for natural ventilation. The hotel also has a water treatment system, saltwater pool, and has eliminated all single-use plastics.

“[El Perdido] is about options: being with people, with yourself, visiting the area, and understanding the culture. To give and not to take.”

Estudio ALA cofounder, Armida Fernández

Courtesy Iwan Baan

The design of El Perdido fully embraces its location through materiality and classic construction techniques. Time-honored materials like rammed earth, thatched roofs, and Palo de Arco wood were used throughout. By choosing only locally sourced materials and working with local artisans, Fernández has made sure that the guest experience is fully enveloped by the distinct beauty and heritage of Baja California Sur. “It provides a glimpse to the past while suggesting potential design language for the future,” she says.

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While the private guest villas and more public central house capture indoor/outdoor living at its best, the restaurant, Coyote Canyon, sunken courtyard, chapel, and other amenities are carefully placed within the vegetation—a mix of native plants and cacti, ideal for El Pescadero’s arid desert climate and fluctuating temperatures. Each walk “is specifically calibrated to connect guests to the regional contexts in which El Perdido is located,” Fernández adds.

Courtesy Iwan Baan

Finally, guests can enjoy panoramic views from the observatory. Originally, guest villas were intended to be two-story, but to keep the architecture quiet and as unobtrusive as possible, a separate spiraling observation platform was built with views from the agricultural valley to the mountains and the ocean. “El Perdido is a full experience—an architecture that blends with the surroundings. It is all about engagement with the context. It is about options: being with people, with yourself, visiting the area, and understanding the culture. To give and not to take,” she concludes.

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