Image: Kaspar Lerch
January 31 2012
When Claus Sendlinger launched Design Hotels (www.designhotels.com) – a one-stop booking agency for contemporary, individual hotels from Bali to LA – in 1993, he didn’t just group together like-minded properties under a single URL, he also accelerated the entire boutique-hotel trend.
The Steve Jobs of the hospitality world, Sendlinger is pushing the boundaries again, this time with a temporary “pop-up” camp made up of 99 rustic cabanas on a 900m stretch of Caribbean sand in Mexico. Until May 5, Tulum’s Papaya Playa (www.papayaplayaproject.com; oceanfront casitas from $445) sees a bunch of Sendlinger’s best industry contacts – a mix of mavericks in food, music, design and wellness – create the equivalent of a guerrilla Comme des Garçons store on a Caribbean beach. If it works in retail, then why not with hotels, is Sendlinger’s line of thinking.
Partners include Emilio Heredia, owner of the Papaya Playa beach bungalow resort, while the food, such as pizzas cooked in a simple clay oven, is from the crew behind Kater Holzig restaurant in Berlin. There’s also organic food-to-go courtesy of Copenhagen’s 42°RAW, and a full-service spa incorporating Mayan shamanism.