Boca de agua hotel by Frida Escobedo brings floating treehouses to the Yucatán jungle

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Sited by the Laguna de los Siete Colores in Mexico, Boca de Agua is the latest hospitality project signed by Charlotte Perriand Award winner and architect Frida Escobedo. The project takes shape as a series of treehouse accommodations that float on pillars for minimal ground impact, framing, and reaching for the vitality of the Yucatán Peninsula. Boca de Agua will open its doors on November 1st, 2023, offering 26 rooms, including 22 suites.

Having recently undertaken the redesign of the MET wing in New York, Frida Escobedo approached this project by following the hotel’s desire to create a place that contributes to environmental, social, and cultural regeneration while offering its guests an equally regenerative experience; the property sits a few steps from the mostly intact jungle, where wildlife freely roams the property. Complementing that tropical atmosphere is a palette of wood, natural light, and neutral tones taking center stage across all 26 accommodations. The entire construction is even designed to age naturally over time and tell its own story.

frida escobedo recalls Yucatán stone temples & wooden houses

Frida Escobedo’s design approach to the Boca de Agua hotel is a modern reflection of the traditional social centers with stone temples and wooden houses of the Yucatán region. Moreover, with references to local culture, the common areas serve as visual anchors in the landscape. A series of passages connect these spaces with the villas for accommodation, the pool area, and recreational and relaxation areas — namely a rooftop with a lagoon view, a pier, a restaurant, a bar, a kitchen, and terraces. Other facilities on-site include a security booth and offices. Among the hotel’s 26 rooms and suites, the Masterpool Jungle Treehouse is the most notable, featuring its own pool and a spacious terrace for guest enjoyment.

custom-made, local design and restorative activities 

Most of the furniture at Boca de Agua is designed by an in-house team and local artisans who use recycled waste from nearby industrial processes, including leftover wood from a nearby plywood processor. The furniture selection features exclusive pieces from Mexican and local brands like Bandido StudioCacao Design, Nossara Towel, and Hacha Ceramics, among others. Boca de Agua also offers programs that include nature therapies, whereby ancestral rituals complemented by modern scientific knowledge enhance the therapeutic experience.

Program-wise, guests will find a range of activities catering to different types of travelers, from relaxation sessions at Treehouse Massages to outdoor activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing. Exploring nature and culture-rich areas is also possible; guests can even participate in local projects. The retreat is incomplete without a restaurant that highlights Yucatecan cuisine with international influences and locally sourced ingredients, as well as a bar offering an exclusive mixology experience.

cultural and environmental regeneration at boca de agua

Thanks to the hotel’s construction on pillars, over 90% of the land remained intact. Local Chicozapote wood was used, sourced from a forest logging program certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Additionally, the property has a wastewater treatment plant for specific on-site uses, ensuring no waste ends up in the lagoon.

In line with its cultural regeneration goal, Boca de Agua collaborates with the local community and universities, regional NGOs, and government organizations to develop what is now the only project with a rehabilitated mangrove ecosystem by the sea in Bacalar. The hotel also partners with the nonprofit organization Mono Araña, which studies the behavior of spider monkeys living on-site and works to protect and expand their natural habitat, as well as Ammper for renewable energy.