HBA designs Waldorf Astoria Cancun with jewel-like moments

Posted in Projects on 18 July, 2023

Waldorf Astoria Cancun brings a new level of resort luxury to the Yucatan Peninsula with interiors led by HBA San Francisco, architecture by SB Architects and landscape architecture by EDSA. 

Not far from its roots, the design of the 173-room Waldorf Astoria Cancun incorporates memorable moments and bespoke detailing that embody the spirit of the locale and its surrounding elements. HBA San Francisco conceived a story of place for the interiors with inspiration from the white sand beaches of the Mexican Caribbean, the formation of natural pearls, and the artistic and cultural significance of shells.

Waldorf Astoria Cancun. All images: Noah Webb. Above: Entrance. Top: Lobby

The arrival experience begins along the winding road through the sprawling mangrove jungle. Once at the private porte-cochère, hand-carved Tzalam entry doors are a portal to a modern sanctuary with a relaxed sense of luxury, seclusion and intrigue.

Inside the lobby lounge, guests’ eyes are immediately led outward to the cascading view beyond, framed by marching stone portals that emphasize the formality of the architecture and underscore the dramatic volume heights, crowned by twinkling chandeliers. Soft, moody lighting accentuates the material palette, where raw and polished stones combine with natural woods, warm metallic and pearlescent notes, and carpet patterns that emulate the movement of water. At the center is the signature Waldorf Astoria clock, designed with lightweight transparency to maintain a visual connection to the sea and adorned with jewelry-like rings and pearl-accented pendulums.

Peacock Alley. An intimate respite from the grandeur of the main lobby

A hallmark of the Waldorf Astoria brand, Peacock Alley is an intimate respite from the grandeur of the main lobby. Furnishings are plush and soft with an emphasis on texture. Sparkling palissandro stone at the bar combines with translucent shelving and warm metal accents to establish a jewel-like presence. Directly opposite Peacock Alley is the Waldorf Astoria Lounge. Deep, saturated hues envelop the space while artwork, accessories and literature tell a story of a fictional character – an explorer, botanist and Yucatan enthusiast – whose studies and interests focus on the surrounding mangroves.

Chaya restaurant. An architectural screening element at the entry recalls local flora and commands attention.

Chaya restaurant evokes the warm, welcoming vibe of an elegant residential kitchen. At the front, dining tables intermingle with individual buffet stations while banquettes oriented toward the view line the rear.

Two views of the Library Lounge and one of Chaya Restaurant

Spa. Couples’ treatment rooms boast the addition of a luxurious private two-person tub.

An indoor-outdoor connection defines the design of Waldorf Astoria Spa. Beyond the double glass doors, guests traverse a lush corridor, fully open to the landscape on one side. Each treatment room is complete with its own private water closet, vanity, shower and changing area.

Above and below: Guest rooms. Luxury is expressed in the details with warm metal tones, sculptural forms, glowing light features, and artful screening elements.

The journey of discovery continues into the private sanctuaries of the guest rooms. Taking cue from the dramatic shadows cast by the abundant local flora, HBA San Francisco designers created an experience rich with layered materiality and playful interactions between light and objects in a fresh neutral palette. The bathroom experience spans the room’s entire length of the room and is defined by a dramatic wet vanity against a bold, blue ombre mosaic wall. Artwork explores the delicate detailing of coral. The shower experience is one to remember, surrounded by large, book-matched marble slabs and world-class views through the floor-to-ceiling windows.


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