The new Art Director for Rue La La (and former Fashion Editor for the magazine group I work for), Graham Kostic is a fashion force of serious reckoning. Few people have even a pinky-worth of his daring, unfussy brand of style and creative vision—which is exactly why when he says how much he loves Hotel Basico—“so much that it’s often in my dreams”—I listen.
With only 15 rooms, the hipster-approved Hotel Basico draws on raw design elements (exposed piping! Concrete and sand walls! Pools made from repurposed petroleum tanks!) for a playful, industrial take on modern design.
Graham gives designtripper a special account:
“We stayed in the Sofia suite, which the girl at the front desk told us was the largest and most private suite. Hello, Luxury!
My favorite design element was the exposed pipe sink and entire wall of mirror that jutted up against a gigantic shower basin. I also loved all the details in the public spaces: oversized, mirrored mosaic urns with plants; large rubber intertubes as wall décor; an xylophone with brightly colored wheels. It was just the right amount of elevated whimsy to match the very masculine feel.
Designtrippers, beware: Playa Del Carmen is uber-cheesy along the main strip. We saw a middle-age woman dancing on a pole to ‘Party in the USA’ by Miley Cyrus. But the hotel is totally worth it—just be sure to take a day trip to Tulum (about 45 minutes away). It’s authentically Mexican with it’s bright, flashy colors, baby blue beaches and small but impressive ruins. It’s a charming town that is so unabashedly Mexican, it’s well worth the drive.
Down the street from the hotel was a place called La Cucaracha. It is a local karaoke place—the only American songs were by the Beatles, Queen and Britney Spears. It’s definitely off the strip and beat-down, but again, definitely worth it to get the local flavor without straying too far.