“I think someone has brought my Pinterest board to life.”
It was my immediate reaction when we arrived at Hotel La Semilla, a boutique B&B tucked away in one of the trendiest parts of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. And it was something I would reiterate to Dan each time I discovered some new fantastic detail, like the complimentary vintage bikes lined up outside, or the repurposed suitcase drawers that serve as a nightstand.
Hotel La Semilla is a new property; Alexis, the general manager, and his wife only opened it to the public in December of 2013.
Both Alexis and his wife have a history in the hotel industry, and they have always talked about owning their own establishment. It was nine years of dreaming and planning to craft what is now La Semilla, but the love, passion and creativity that went into the family project is evident.
Hotel La Semilla was inspired by the Rough Luxe movement. The design reflects a sense of Mexican history, heritage and style. As Alexis says,
“Rough Luxe embraces the imperfection created by the wear and tear of time. It’s authentic and unpretentious, reversing the past from the youthful perspective of the present.”
It’s this ‘Rough Luxe’ that I adore about the hotel. Most of the furniture and details were hand-selected from flea markets around Mexico, restored to create a unique and sophisticated experience. But the details are more than just tasteful décor; they tell a story about the tradition and heritage of Mexico.
Hotel La Semilla is a small hotel and guests are guaranteed a personal experience. There are a variety of rooms to stay in, ranging from Cuartitos—small rooms with big personalities—to the Suites Terraza, large rooms with outdoor terrace and bath and a panoramic view of Playa del Carmen. All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, A/C, organic bath products, and a safe.
It was difficult to tear ourselves away from the Cocina Loft in the mornings, even with ruins to explore and canals to drift. The open kitchen is where local, healthy breakfasts are served. (Alexis even delivers fresh bread every morning.) It’s also where we would nestle in the evenings to enjoy the complimentary espresso machine and catch up on a few emails. The restaurant is only open to guests of the hotel, and as such it retains a cozy, tranquil feel.
The Garden and Terrace
Not a single tree was cut down in the restoration of Hotel La Semilla, including the large Copal Tree in the center of the hotel’s garden. Copal Trees are inherent to Mayan culture, and their resin is used in sacred rituals and ceremonies. Around the Copal Tree, a lush and romantic garden has been created. It’s the ideal spot to sit with a book or listen to the trickle of the stream that runs through. If you head upstairs, you’ll find a private terrace. It offers lovely views of the surrounding area, sunbathing chairs, and even a shower.
While they are nice to enjoy at anytime of day, the garden and terrace are at their most romantic in the evening when the staff illuminates the area with candles.
A Personal Touch
We stay in a lot of hotels. That means we really notice it when one hotel goes above and beyond what is typically expected. Hotel La Semilla is one of those hotels. For example, there was a handwritten note waiting for us in our room upon arrival. Each night, a new treat awaited us with turndown service, such as a typical candy that is a fundamental part of every child’s life when growing up in Mexico. Alexis is even planning on putting in a ‘postcard center’ so that guests can write a note to someone back home. They’ll do all the mailing—you need only write a heartfelt message and sign your name.
Amigos de Sian Ka’an Organization
Just in case there wasn’t already enough to make you spoon over Hotel La Semilla, the hotel is also committed to giving back to the community. Hotel La Semilla collaborates with Amigos de Sian Ka’an Organization, a Mexican non-profit that is committed to the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of ecological processes. You can book activities with Sian Ka’an at Hotel La Semilla, as well as purchase seed bracelets handmade from local families.
If you understand a bit of Spanish, then you already know that ‘Hotel La Semilla’ translates into ‘The Seed’. The name was inspired by the yoga position of the same name. For a seed to grow and be successful, it needs roots—to stay grounded, humble and present. But a seed also needs light, love and water. This is how Hotel La Semilla wants to grow—with love, light, and strong roots.
At the end of each stay, guests are given a small bag of seeds to plant and nurture. It’s just the perfect finishing touch on a hotel experience that already goes above and beyond.
Hotel La Semilla easily makes our list of top 5 hotels we have stayed at. To make a reservation and check best available prices, visit the hotel booking website. You can also connect with Hotel La Semilla on facebook for plenty of design inspiration. A thank you to the Riviera Maya Tourism Board for hosting us during our stay in Playa del Carmen. As always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.