recepción detrás karly!

Hidey Ho everyone and welcome back to me!!  Thanks so much to Erin, Chromie, AB, and Pillow Mint for holding down the fort while I was gone.  You guys rock my soul!  It has been a lovely 2 week blog vacay, part of which I spent on actual vacay:  The hubby (and Jeff and Diana) and I cruised down to Mexico for 5 days at a big, Disney-fied all-inclusive resort just south of Playa Del Carmen.  Our hotel was lovely.  And Big.  And filled with yummy food, but it wasn't really exciting enough design-wise to share with you.   We did manage to pry ourselves away from the beach and free cocktails long enough to pop our heads into town to check out the 2 dreamy hotels we did not stay at.  (Some of you may remember that I was waxing and waning on all inclusive vs. boutique hotel)  Here are some shots of the pads we declined.

The entry to the Hotel Basico.  Just off of the tourist trap that is 5th street, the Basico is a sight for sore eyes after declining offers to have my hair braided for $10.  I've drooled over the Basico website several times and was anxious to see the hotel in person.  

The pictures from Basico site promise a shmorgusboard of fresh fruit and make-your-own cocktails.

The roof-top space has since culled the wheat from the chaff and simplified the offerings to the bare essentials:  booze.  The addition of a mirror delights me, as does the adorable bartender and his yummy, yummy, expensive cucumber martinis.

What the website has not shown me is this lovely lounge area, fitted with hand-made wood and rope seats and mirrored pots. Sorry for the craptastic photos, I was filled with sugary booze and veggies and high on:

the handmade seat you can see in the left side of this picture.  Welded steal frame powder coated white and topped with wooden slats and a cushion.  It was handmade without being crafty.  Matt and I made mental blue prints and hope to duplicate the beauty for our back porch.  That is, once we finally do the back porch.   

I'm glad we didn't stay in this hotel.  Why?  See those 2 tubs at the top of the picture?  That's the only pool offered at the Basico.  Here's the shot the pros offer:

When I saw this online, lovely as it was, it was a deal-breaker.  I need to swim around like a fish, and then swim to a swim-up bar.  As you can see, that is not happening here.  (The pools at our hotel rivaled the ocean in size, btw)

The best part about the Basico (aside from the cucumber martini) was the way the designers repurposed used materials.  This rocker was wrapped in, what used to be, intertube rubber.  Awesome, yes?

But look closesly, the bestest bestest thing was the floor.  Oh, I curse myself for not getting a better picture!  The entryway flooring was made from used tire tread.  The tires were cut and laid side-by-side just as you would hardwood.  The result (not really shown here at all) was spectacular.  All 4 of us swooned.

After a couple of drinks at the Basico, we walked 2 blocks over to the Deseo, the other hotel on my radar.  The website promised me this:

And here's what I saw:

Ok, actually, it looked a lot like the first photo, I just didn't get one from that angle.  Or one that wasn't blurry.  That's the back of Diana's head in the red.  Hi Diana!  Drinks here were good, but not as good as the Basico, btw.

The pool at the Deseo is much bigger than the Basico, but there is no ocean view when sitting poolside, instead you are left to consider "away from you" over and over and over again.

My traveling buddies all preferred this space, while I strongly disagreed:  Basico was better, hands down.  Of course, they may have been swayed by this:

Vintage Mexian Wrestling Vampire movies projected on the hotel after dark.  It certainly does help to tip the scales.

So, there you go, my tour of Playa del Carmen.  Sorry the pictures were junk, but, well, you see, for a few short days I didn't obsess about design, instead, I did this: