Francisco Estrada, Chris Burnside / Olson Kundig, Martien Mulder, Benjamin Benschneider
The design of the JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa seamlessly blends architecture and art with the site’s powerful desert landscape and an endless panorama of the Pacific Ocean. Though separated from the water by a 35-foot-tall dune, the resort provides visitors with an horizon-framing view from the main arrival hall, which appears to draw the water into the resort
The grandeur of the 299-room, 561,000 square foot resort is honed to an intimate scale starting with the entry hall where a cadence of tall columns inspired by pre-Columbian architecture draws visitors forward. In the grand gathering spaces such as the 8,000 square foot ballroom, large steel girders are wrapped in dark wood, and soffits are incorporated throughout which lend warmth and a human scale to large spaces.
The ocean view takes center stage from nearly every vantage point as visitors explore intuitive pathways throughout the property. Just past the main entry, two infinity pools appear to connect with the water beyond; as guests move throughout the property, they are greeted with unexpected glimpses of the water, which is framed by native landscaping and sculpted sand dunes that stretch 750 feet across the front of the property.
Smooth concrete and stucco buildings throughout the complex, whose color was derived from the sand of the surrounding desert, were designed to appear native to the site. Open travertine-covered hallways and floors combined with local soil aggregates, further blur the physical boundaries of indoors and outdoors, site and architecture.
The guest rooms, library, bar and restaurant incorporate rich textures and warm desert tones that lend a soft earthy elegance to interior spaces. Specially commissioned art pieces commissioned from Mexican artisans including Jaume Plensa, Jorge Yázpik, and Sam Falls are woven throughout the interior and exterior spaces of the resort, as well as individual guest rooms.
The landscape design of the resort accentuates the architecture and reinforces the site’s relationship to its natural context. The design weaves together indigenous species including the Cardon plant, a type of thorn scrub, and native Torote and Palo Blanco trees. The verticality of Royal, Date, and Mexican Fan Palms lend a sense of transition between built and natural forms, while select exotic plants provide bolder colors in the sunken gardens, such as the Gardens of Paradise.
Project Team: Design Principal - Jim Olson Principal - Kevin M. Kudo-King Project Manager - Jerry Garcia Project Architect - Martina Bendel Staff - Jorge Ribera Interiors - Debbie Kennedy, Charlie Hellstern, Cristina Acevedo Landscape Architect - Michelle Arab