Opening Shot is a column that peeks inside new hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops with dreamy interiors.
CONRAD TULUM RIVIERA MAYA
Location: Tulum, Mexico
Designers: HBA, Ersawe, Paulina Moran, Ezequiel Farca
On Offer: Long considered an upscale brand for urban briefcase warriors, Conrad Hotels and Resorts has been letting down its hair in recent years, opening in destinations like the Maldives’ Rangali Island where its two-floor underwater suite became Instagram du jour. The 349-room Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya is the brand’s latest foray into the leisure category. Surrounded by lush mangroves on a secluded bay in Quintana Roo, prolific firm HBA looked to Mayan architecture for inspiration when conceiving the property and tasked a team of local artisans to bring that vision to life with earthy materials and showstopping elements like the lobby’s intricately engraved doors and sculptural lighting installation.
Standout Features: The 11 restaurants and bars take a more eclectic approach. Mediterranean restaurant Maratea unites influences from southern Spain and Greece with Turkey and North Africa inside a vibrant space by interior designer Paulina Moran lined in bold-pattern cerulean blue tiles. Mexico City-based studio Ersawe is behind the moody palette of Autor where chef Jersaí Miranda turns out locally tinged dishes like Yucatan suckling pig and mole negro, as well as a high-execution degustation menu. Japan’s izakayas inform the teppanyaki spot Kengai, designed by studio Ezequiel Farca. While the culinary offerings take a global point of view, the spa program leans into regional traditions. Outfitted with thermal facilities and private casitas, the treatment to book is the Mayan Manteada, an ancient massage technique incorporating shawls; or sign-up for one of the sacred cenote ceremonies led by the in-house shaman.