We recently caught up with Alex Mendiola from Imanta, our new hot spot on the Mexican Pacific Coast.
How do you sum up the main philosophy of Imanta?
Imanta is about location, architecture, organic elegance in its decor, fresh organic food and personalised service. We create unique experiences that exceed our guests’ expectations. We want to give people the capacity to be amazed that I think many of us have lost.
Juan Mario Sahagun was inspired by luxury hotels in South East Asia – why did he choose the Mexican Pacific Coast?
He wanted to bring to Mexico a concept that did not exist here previously – small hotels integrated with the environment, the use of sustainable, local materials, and of course architecture that reflects the culture (in this case pre-Hispanic cultures). He also wanted to provide people with organic elegance and a personalised service that is difficult to create in hotels with more than 50 rooms.
He travelled the whole pacific coast of Mexico from North to South, and when he saw Imanta from the ocean he fell in love with it. The property had an airport and all services only an hour away, beautiful villages to explore, amazing weather, lush jungle, a clean ocean and strong biodiversity. He found it magnetizing.
What stands out about the design? What were the designers trying to create?
They wanted authentic and unique décor so everything was designed using native woods and stone from the Imanta site. Our stone is our signature – it’s always been here, in tables, tubs, benches, containers, walls, columns and floors. We wanted to blend the hotel and the environment to create total balance.
How important is the local environment / sustainability to Imanta? How does Imanta work with local communities?
We know how important is to protect our planet and its resources, so we made sure Imanta was developed with this front of mind. The roads and buildings were created without cutting down any trees or affecting any wildlife. We use local organic and sustainable materials and the best sustainable technology available to us, while our restaurants use organic and fresh food that is locally sourced wherever possible. We make sure our cleaning products are all biodegradable and we reuse our water. Sustainability is in everything we do!
We’d be nothing without the local community either – 80% of our staff comes from Higuera Blanca, a little village that has made great progress since we opened. We have also introduced to the community recycling programs, English lessons and lots of cultural and medical programmes.
The Pacific Coast is home to migratory whales and turtles – how does Imanta work with marine experts to preserve their environment?
Whales are close to our shores from November until April, and we only use private companies that have special permits to approach them. Depending on our guests’ preferred vessel (yacht, panga boat, sailboat etc…), we always remain at a safe distance to avoid distressing the whales and their calves.
As for turtles, we actually release more than 1000 turtles a year and help protect them from numerous dangers, the first being humans. In some cultures turtle eggs are seen as food, but this is illegal and we try to prevent it happening, while also taking steps to protect them from rodents and birds. Unfortunately when they reach the water they’re on their own! More turtles are returning to lay their eggs each year so we must be doing something right.
What are the future plans for Imanta?
We’d like to replicate the Imanta concept and philosophy in different Mexican environments. These could include a desert experience in Baja, a Caribbean experience in Riviera Maya, and an inland mountain experience in Tapalpa. We want to start adapting to different places while making sure we develop in a responsible way – maybe one day outside Mexico as well.
Watch this space!
Take a closer look for a luxury holiday to imanta or send us an email to speak to an expert about planning a trip to Mexico.