Anyone who takes their surfing seriously will be well aware of Puerto Escondido on the Oaxacan coast in southern Mexico. They are probably reluctant to tell you about it, however, for fear of you crowding their perfect wave and invading their own private paradise.
But we’re willing to let you in on the secret, right down to the digs where you should be laying your head after a day spent riding the surf. Genius hotelier Carlos Couturier of Grupo Habita has extended his stable of boutique hotels to now include Hotel Escondido – a member of Design Hotels – which comprises 16 bungalows designed in harmony with local tradition. Each of the huts hosts a palapa rooftop, wooden floorboards and stucco walls with contemporised use of traditional Mexican patterns on the furnishings. Tucked away on a private stretch of coastline between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range, Hotel Escondido caters to surfers as well as their non-surfing travel companions and beach bums in general (lounge chairs, private pools and in-room massages abound).
The design itself is the work of architect Federico Rivera Rio, who has artfully maintained the charm of Oaxaca’s traditional beach huts while equipping them with mod cons such as air-conditioning. Clustering together like a tiny cacti-ensconced village near the famous Zicatela Beach (home to the Quiksilver Pro), each of the huts is within earshot of the beach, meaning you’ll be lulled to sleep by the crashing waves. That is unless you’ve come to party, in which case the bar and underground dance club will keep you occupied long into the night.