Located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, Quin­tana Roo, Mexico, a 3,200m2 plot of land neighbors the busiest and most important touristic avenue in the city known as the 5th Avenue, a 5 km long pedestrian-orient­ed street filled with vitality and 24 hour activities. Existing since the early 1980’s flea market type stalls and local restaurants, bars and stores have grasped both interna­tional and national attention. Because of the intensity and vibrancy of the area, the client’s request was to maintain the synergy and a relationship with the street without losing the tranquility and privacy of the hotel guests.

The hotel had to respond to the aesthet­ic values of the Mexican culture and translate it into a whole new contemporary artistic concept, placing close attention to details and permanence to the area. Cacao contributes to the activation of the city’s streets while creating self-monitored sidewalks that remain busy and self-monitored day and night. As a re­sult, achieving to be a part and a promoter of city life.

The building’s floor area is 9,067 m2 on a plot of 3,200 m2. Contains 60 spacious guest rooms and suites with a dining area, roof top bar and infinity pool.

Inspired by colonial Mexican architecture, a tra­ditional central patio is incorporated to the design. Al­lowing the entrance of natural light and crossed venti­lation. Moreover, the paved stone courtyard covered by parasols provides natural shade with a light white textile canopy that provides the illusion of open space and gen­tly diffuses the intensity of the sun during the day. One of the major influences within the design schemes were the bioclimatic factors, located on an extremely humid and hot climate, a grid that allows crossed ventilation was in­corporated allowing the cooling down of temperatures and shadings within the building.

During the beginning of the design process the sidewalk was defined to be a fundamental aspect of the Project. It was considered to be the integrating factor with the exterior of the building; being so, the existing gap between the sidewalk and the street was removed, resulting in the integration and expansion of both ele­ments; giving a greater importance to the pedestrian and revitalizing the surrounding street areas.

Since the building is located adjacent to the 5th Avenue, consisting of single and two level build­ings, Cacao Hotel recess its facades and incorporates the use of balconies and terraces in order to become less invasive and to maintain a connection with its surroundings.


Project Info






Playa del Carmen, Q. ROO, MX.


3,200 m2; 34,444 sq ft.


9,067 m2; 97,596 sq ft.

Architectural design

Arq. Rodrigo G. de la Peña L.

Architectural design team

Arq. Miguel Ángel Galván G., Arq. José Juan Garza C., Arq. Samantha Calzada.


Arq. Jorge Taboada.

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