Located on the Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, The St. Regis Canai Resort features unparalleled hotel design in an out-of-this-world location.

Listen below to the full 18-minute episode of the podcast, which features resort and editor Hamish Kilburn’s interview with Tatiana Sheveleva, co-founder of Chapi Chapo Design.

The Riviera Maya is a coastal paradise on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It’s home to tranquil mangroves, stunning beaches, and picturesque underground limestone lakes known as cenotes – but it’s also home to more than 4,000 years of Mayan heritage. Fascinated by the Maya’s historic mastery of astronomy and inspired by her first trip to the crystal-clear waters of the Yucatán cenotes, Tatiana Sheveleva designed The St. Regis Canai Resort as an indoor-outdoor experience that literally reflects and immerses itself in the stars. Travelers in the heavenly natural environments of the Riviera Maya.

Spa at St. Regis Cannae - outdoor pool

Image credit: Marriott International

From above, the resort, built by architect Michael Edmonds, is a collection of low-profile, circular white buildings. Edmund’s vision, which greatly inspired Sheveleva, was to reverse the stars of the Seven Sisters, honor the Maya lunar calendar, and acknowledge that this place in the Yucatan is called Cannae – which translates to “where the sky is born.” .

Perhaps more than anything else, the interior designer was inspired by the architect’s initial approach. “He came down to land and one quiet evening, he sat by the sea and just kind of meditated,” she told me on Travel By Design, a podcast produced by Travel By Design. Marriott Bonvoy Traveler.

Boardwalk at St. Regis Cannae

Image credit: Marriott International

To complement Edmond’s architectural aesthetic, Sheveleva also looked to the stars for inspiration – and, wherever possible, connecting design with architectural references. In the corridors, for example, the architect explored the value of natural light to blur boundaries in design, while creating a layer of drama for these ever-evolving spaces. He did this using natural shades and materials that blend confidently with the hotel’s location. “The metal structure has this zigzag shape, which also reflects Mayan textiles,” Sheveleva said. “It’s exactly the same pattern we designed on the headboard behind the bed in the guest rooms.”

In addition to drawing inspiration from the building’s structure, Sheveleva wanted to reference the transformative experience she had while researching the area. “I felt like I died and went to heaven,” she told me on the podcast when describing the local cenotes, which are almost underground caves, made of limestone, that often contain beautiful, clear pools of water. “It’s as if the earth moved,” she explained. “The earth moved and this beautiful underground lake was formed, and it’s crystal clear water.”

Inspired by the powerful and emotional experience, Shevelva decided to incorporate cenote references into the design of the bathrooms within the hotel. “I decided to create an architectural sculptural basin that would stand in the middle of the room,” she explained. It is a pure form of this lake, a cenote. The stone should capture all of these colors – brown, green and a touch of blue.

Travel By Design is a podcast, hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn and brought to you by Marriott Bonvoy Traveler. New episodes, featuring amazing design stories from around the world, are released every two months.

Main image source: Marriott International

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