Inspired by Greek architecture, minimalism and Scandinavian design.
Costa Rican architects Studio Saxe have taken their established ‘tropical’ style and applied it to the Mint Santa Theresa hotel, which steps down a steep coastal hillside and is made up of a series of terraces that can be completely opened up to the elements.
A large central space has been designed to encourage social interactions between guests and everything is surrounded by the verdant landscape, which invades the hotel in all directions.
Inspired by Greek architecture, minimalism and Scandinavian design, the hotel’s Swedish owners commissioned Studio Saxe for the project based on their previous tropical builds and renovations.
Hotel residents occupy individual pavilion-like structures where they can retreat into a private zone and yet still interact with the nature around them. The guest rooms can be opened up completely to a personal terrace with an ocean view to the front and a garden with tropical plants in the rear. The bathrooms also have an open layout, giving the guests the opportunity to shower while listening to the sound of the crashing waves.
Each room is a afforded its own rooftop terrace, complete with plants, a sail for shade and furnished with rattan furniture made in Sarchí, a Costa Rican town famous for its inhabitants’ craftsmanship.
Studio Saxe used locally-sourced materials throughout the project, such as in ceilings that are made of “caña brava” (a type of grass) installed in an intricate fishbone pattern. Local craftsmen have also created custom furniture made of local wood and using traditional techniques.
The heart of Mint Santa Teresa is the communal lounge area with its an infinity pool and sunset bar. It is open on all sides save for a single wall of plants by the entrance, providing the guests with some privacy while maintaining the natural setting. The lounge serves as a meeting spot for guests, owners and locals of the area.
Benjamin Garcia Saxe said: “Hotels traditionally became vast objects in the landscape that bear no relation to their surroundings and are devoid of genuine human interaction. At Mint, we endeavored to create a contextual design that adapts to its landscape and offers a new type of experience for a breed of traveler seeking authenticity. We worked hard on creating spaces that combine an appreciation of natural beauty with a rich array of possibilities for social and cultural interaction. The result is a completely unique way of thinking about hospitality and wellness.”