Kanai Retreat

A unique hotel inspired by an ancient Mayan city seamlessly integrates interior and exterior spaces in harmony with an extortionary natural setting.

Located on Mexico’s magnificent Yucatan coastline, comprised of lush mangroves and pristine beaches, the Kanai Retreat is the centerpiece of the W Kanai Resort which includes four hotels and a Beach Club. In response to a natural preservation order limiting the development of the site, Meier Partners conceived of the complex as a floating city, elevated over the flood plain and hovering above a carpet of mangroves.  This unique approach allows the preservation of a unique natural environment while also creating a striking architectural composition.

Inspired by the dispersed organization of a Mayan City, Meier Partners chose to spread the program across the site instead of concentrating it in one area.  The T-shape of the main hotel building establishes surrounds the main pool, while setbacks on superimposed stories provide generous terrace spaces for the individual guest rooms, all with unobstructed views toward the sea.  State-of the art spa and fitness facilities are integrated into the architectural composition, along two restaurants and three bars. The Beach Club services the entire resort as well as future residential housing units along two surrounding golf courses. The dramatic forms of the resort’s buildings are incised into the site against the infinite horizon of sea and sky, characterized throughout by a playful merging of hovering planes that seamlessly connect indoor and outdoor spaces.   

Throughout the complex, building and landscape flow into one another as meandering gardens, courtyards, sinuous pools, and waterworks intersect with terraces and foot paths. This dynamic interweaving of nature, landscape, and architecture embodies the spirit of W Hotels and offers a unique experience unlike any other resort of the Riviera Maya.