Weird and wonderful hotels in Mexico for a unique vacation

Seashell House

The Seashell House is a fun cottage rental for a family, complete with pool and minutes from Isla Mujeres' lovely beaches

Photo: Sean Mezzo / Seashell House

Resembling a cottage straight out of Alice in Wonderland, the Seashell House is an actual home for rent on Isla Mujeres, Cancun’s quieter neighbor across the water.

The island has a much more relaxed vibe than Cancun and is known for snorkeling, tranquil bike rides, and a small turtle sanctuary.

Nido del Quetzalcoatl House

Explore the psychedelic complex of Nido del Quetzalcoatl House (Quetzalcoatl's Nest) near Mexico City

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Just north of Mexico City sits Nido del Quetzalcoatl (Quetzalcoatl’s Nest), named after the Mesoamerican feathered serpent deity.

The psychedelic complex includes 10 private apartments scattered around 165,000 square feet of land, each with incredible views of the surrounding garden and connected to each other through a series of tunnels.

The surreal estate is close enough to Mexico City to be convenient but removed enough that you’ll forget there’s a sprawling metropolis next door.


This is tobuhotel, otherwise referred to as Tube Hotel, the name speaks for itself

Cozy, glass-fronted rooms have been built inside enormous concrete tubes that are stacked up like pyramids.

As tubes are stacked nearby and on top of each other, the hotel’s occasional party atmosphere works best for heavy sleepers and travelers with a good set of ear plugs.

Bathrooms are shared and the wifi signal may or may not reach your tube. Speak with the hotel staff about arranging a cooking class with the local celebrity chef.

Playa Viva

The off-grid eco-luxury resort of Playa Viva is making a name for itself

While Playa Viva is most famous for its hyper-Instagrammable beachfront bamboo treehouse, its commitment to sustainability is reason enough to visit.

In addition to offering (very popular) yoga classes, Playa Viva operates a sustainable permaculture farm, organizes guests to help baby sea turtles return to the ocean, and arranges trips for guests to town, where they can volunteer in the same community where the resort’s employees live.

Matices Hotel de Barricas

Spend the night in a tequila brewing barrel

Coming for a drinking tour is oodles more fun when you know you will be sleeping on site here.

The interior of each oversized cask is surprisingly sleek too, with curved wood-paneled ceilings, air-conditioning and enough space for a sofa, bathroom and private terrace for tequila cocktails under the stars.

Hotel Castillo Santa Cecilia

On the grounds of a 17th century hacienda a castle has been converted into a sprawling hotel complete with four-poster beds to live out a medieval Spanish fantasy.

Opened since 1952, it's fit for actual royalty: Spanish King Carlos de Borbon and Queen Doña Sofia have stayed here and graced the ballrooms of Hotel Castillo Santa Cecilia, as have famous Mexican and foreign film stars including María Félix and Brigitte Bardot.

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