In 2017, it is no longer enough for a hotel to be a gateway into a destination; it must be a destination in itself. Nobody understands this better than Nicholas Malleville of cult-hospitality brand Coqui Coqui.
An Argentinian landscape architect, perfumer and model, Malleville launched Coqui Coqui in 2003 with his partner Francesca Bonato. Famous among the jet-set crowd, this is the man credited with bringing the style tribe (think Jade Jagger et al.) to Tulum. For a while, Coqui Coqui was the staple of this exclusive hideaway, where chic, natural interiors - all concrete floors and handwoven crafts - captured the aesthetic of this high-end beach getaway.
But Coqui Coqui Tulum was forced to close due to government scandal, and original Tulum-goers lamented the loss of the hotel, just as they did the destination's exclusive nature. Malleville didn't waste any time, and began scattering his boutique accommodations across the Yucatan Peninsula (with Bora Bora coming soon), setting up a range of signature scents and products available on Net-a-porter.com.
Malleville was born and raised in the Argentinian countryside, with what he describes as a "wild childhood in the middle of the pampas". His parents' home, which was filled with pieces of art collected on their travels, informed his appreciation for interiors and inspired his passion for exploration. His keen eye for design and signature style was what got his properties splashed across every fashion and interior magazine under the sun.
Every piece of the furniture found in the Coqui Coqui residencias has history of its own - "an emotional connection with my roots, family and friends" - or is rooted in the local handicrafts and traditions of the Yucatan. Each destination has its own scent, which is inspired by the aromas of its surroundings (flowers, herbs, woods) and is spritzed in every corner.
In Coba, Coqui Coqui's five-bedroom hideaway sits within Mayan ruins, quite literally putting you (and your bed) back in time. In Merida, the vibrant capital of the Yucatan, their one-bedroom suite sits inside an old French townhouse above an old-fashioned perfumery. With a four-poster bronze bed, two standalone baths and sweeping gold curtains, guests are immersed into the town's colonial history from the moment they wake. Soon, Malleville will open his first property in Bora Bora (the first time the brand has left its native Mexico) in a botanical garden on top of Matira beach. Malleville describes it as "an Eden which has remained unchanged".
With every corner, surface and scent designed to enhance the guest's experience and every location putting you at the heart of the destination, a stay at Coqui Coqui is one of those truly magical travel experiences which leaves you wondering if you'll ever find better.