MEXICO, October 07, 2021, By Laurie Werner, (FORBES).- Just as fans of certain wines can stay in cottages among the vines in Italy, France and other wine producing countries, fans of the Mexican liquor Mezcal can stay now at its point of production.
A highly designed luxury boutique hotel, Casa Silencio, opened two weeks ago by the founders of the artisanal brand Mezcal El Silencio on the nine acre property next to the distillery 45 miles from Oaxaca.
Even without its Mezcal link, the property would be worth a visit. Located in the Valley of Xaaga, nicknamed The Valley of Silence, there is already a mystical element to it. Distillery co-founders Vicente Cisneros and Fausto Zapata also worked closely with celebrated Mexican architect Alejandro D’Acosta, famed for his innovative approach to sustainable construction using raw and reclaimed materials. The resulting architecture and interior design take their inspiration from the local landscape in a sharp, rustic, modern style using steel, stone, wood and textiles created by artisans in the area as components and a blend of ancient and modern architecture techniques.
Guests experience a sense of drama as soon as they arrive. After departing from the main road and entering the valley, they encounter a series of plazas each featuring massive stone monolith sculptures, eventually giving way to views of the surrounding mountains.
The interiors, designed by Martina D’Acosta, make extensive use of the work of local artists, artisans and craftspeople in the furnishings, artwork and decorative elements in the six suites and public spaces. Examples include: rugs designed and produced in Teotitlán del Valle; curtains pedal-loomed by the Hernandez Quero family in Mitla; stone pieces carved in San Salvador El Seco; and abstract wooden pieces made in Huayapam. There are surprise rooms tucked away in corners such as a library stocking books by Mexican authors and artists selected by Cisneros and Zapata. And all are shaded in a muted, moody color scheme again reflecting the mystical, mysterious tone of the area.
The six suites are constructed on two levels with geometric shapes and designed with furniture, art, textiles and overall décor reflecting the process of Mezcal production. Decorative features include burnt wood furnishings, distressed leather, artisanal candles, hand woven rugs, velvet upholstery and copper lamps. They also have fireplaces and bathrooms designed to resemble spa settings with dark stone.
In the restaurant, local, authentic Oaxacan cuisine is showcased, produced by executive chef Daniel Robles Sumano with some international flourishes due to his training in Paris, Belgium and Barcelona. The setting also complements the complex menu: a combination indoor/outdoor space allowing views of the surrounding countryside and desert stars, meals lit by candlelight and served on a 53 foot long communal table carved from a single 17 ton slab of basalt.
At the center of the property is the distillery with its open-air circular roof allowing natural sunlight to enter the process of roasting and fermenting the agave plants, a process in which guests are invited to take part. The reward for their efforts: gourmet bites created by the owner of one of Oaxaca’s best restaurants and, naturally, a selection of Mezcals to taste while taking in the scenery of the mysterious valley.