Xtabay Hotel

Design Team: Rodrigo Romero & Rodrigo Espindola – Status: Schematic Design –

Rodrigo Romero Design – Xtabay Hotel

In 2007, my partner at the time, Architect Rodrigo Espindola, and I designed this hotel to be located on a beach in Baja, Mexico.

We were trying to maximize ocean views from as many hotel rooms as possible. This was a determining factor for the curved shape of the two buildings. As opposed to a rectangular building, in which only the rooms toward one side (or 50% of the hotel rooms) would have a view, the spiraled shape of the two buildings allowed about 90 to 95% of the hotel rooms to have an ocean view.

Another important feature of this hotel was the intensive green roof in which local species of grasses, shrubs, and trees would grow. The benefits created from this type of roof are:

  • Additional vegetated exterior spaces for hotel guests and others to use as a public park for resting, walking, and socializing.
  • Attracting and providing habitat for beneficial insects and birds.
  • Capturing and slowing down rainwater runoff.
  • Lower energy costs due to additional thermal insulation provided by the growing medium to the two buildings.

Natural lighting and natural ventilation were also important factors that helped shape the hotel. Both buildings have large open air atriums that bring the exterior (light and air) right into the center of each building. This allows each hotel room to have windows on two opposing walls (one ocean-facing and one atrium-facing) and for cross ventilation to take place. The ocean breeze can enter each room and flow through the room and out into the atrium. If the air within the atrium heats up, it would create a stack effect that would lift the warm air up to the sky and pull new air from the ground floor and hotel rooms.

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