Design Hotels 2008

by Danielle Pergament


The scheme: Combining old and new

The scene: La Purificadora, Puebla, Mexico

What do you get when you cross a 124-year-old water purification plant with the modern aesthetic of Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta? The answer is a ceilingless lobby, a sweeping staircase minus banisters, an aquarium-style pool, and a whole lot of glass, stone, and wood with a few strategic splashes of purple. In other words, La Purificadora in Pueblo, Mexico. The hotel, comprised of 26 rooms named after the letters of the alphabet, is an amalgam of old and new, a trend that goes hand in hand with the industry's move toward historic preservation and "recycling." Where so many hotels have whittled their entire history down to a single depressing lobby portrait of the owner's grandfather, La Purificadora actually has a past. The building sits on a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the stone exterior dates from the 1800s. Inside, old materials (archeological stone from the original construction, recycled wood for the vaulted ceilings, indigenous onyx, and traditional floor tiles) are employed in a modern way. May we draw your attention to the see-through closets, glass-framed balconies, and central fire pit?

La Purificadora
Tel: 52 222 309 1920
Doubles from $175

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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