A Taste of Art
Azulik - an architecture jam in the middle of Riviera Maya
The art hotels aren't just a place to sleep and view art in the same space—they are true destinations, as Azulik, located in Tulum, Mexico.
Offering unique access to the best art and arqutecture, the art hotels allow travelers an opportunity to immerse themselves in a rich history and culture, and also provide educational resources to help foster a greater appreciation for the arts in whatever medium.

If museums and art galleries are at the top of your travel itinerary, here's an interesting way to get your culture fix - Azulik - an eco-conscious lodging with a deep reverence for nature.
When Azulik was originally built, the surrounding area was still a hidden piece of paradise and one of the country's best kept secrets. With its easy access to archeological sites and pristine, white sand beaches, Tulum has become one of Mexico's most popular destinations, each year raking in more visitors than the one before.

The resort was founded by former visual artist Eduardo "Roth" Neira—is situated on Tulum's popular hotel strip along the Yucatan Peninsula. While many things have changed in Tulum over the past two decades, Roth has been pushing his mission from the start.
Roth grew up in Argentina with two architect parents, and after moving to Tulum, teamed up with the indigenous Mayan communities who have been building on the jungle's dense landscape for centuries.

Roth and his team worked—and continue to work—with sketches that are then translated onto the natural landscape. Unlike traditional building, which requires tearing down the landscape and creating a stable, artificial surface from which to build upon, Azulik sits atop stilts, allowing for nature to remain alive beneath it.
Azulik was built without straight lines or flat surfaces. Polished concrete, twisted bejuco vines, and thatched roofs make up the majority of the hotel's architecture, with winding paths designed to relate to the curvature of the earth. While the original structures at Azulik were considered to be direct replicas of the Mayan palapa (the traditional style of roofing), the techniques have changed over time to allow for more creativity in its construction.

Now, by adapting to the landscape as they go, Roth and his team rely on trial-and-error to intuitively build every inch of the property.
The hotel's rooms are designed without lighting, showers, and instead encourage guests to take baths, cool off by sea breeze, and power down along with the sunset. Bedding from the suites is recycled and used for Roth's fashion line, which he sells on the property; food scraps from the hotel's three restaurants are used to dye various textiles; fallen trees are recycled as repurposed for new structures throughout the two properties.

Once guests leave their personal quarters, it can be easy to get lost, but with every wrong turn through the maze-like property, it is likely to stumble upon something worth stopping for. The spa, for instance, with its polished stepping stones, waterfalls, and cascading vines, leads to a spherical yoga dome where classes are regularly held.
Everything around the hotel is build with a deep reverence for nature: trees keep growing and the amorphous structure sits on stilts so that local wildlife can still pass below. Light permeates both the walls of vines reinforced by transparent fiberglass and the grand, misshapen portico doors—all of which normally spells disaster for showing art.
Crossing one of the rope bridges and you'll find 4 different restaurants serving an impressive array of delights.

Kin Toh presents itself as a Mayan-Mexican avant-garde cuisine in which the chef aims to offer the guest an experience that involves all five senses, mixing methods, and local ingredients from native cuisine with international elements. Tseen Ja's menu begins a culinary journey, inspired by Japanese heritage. Traditional techniques from the Far East are combined with Mexican ingredients to enhance and elevate flavors.
Jungle Cuisine and Cenote restaurants are where the food will lift your spirit o­ffering fresh concepts and fills with history and meaning each of its gastronomic proposals, from the menu's conception to the selection and integration of textures.

Other highlights include retail shops—Ik_Raum, Anikena, and most notably, Zak Ik—which currently serves as the Dior boutique for the fashion house's J'adior Tulum capsule collection.
SFER IK - Tulum

While the hotel itself offers guests a glimpse into the architectural mastery of Tulum's Mayan craftsman—Azulik is essential in funding SFER IK, the contemporary art museum built under the same leadership and is located on the hotel's property. Its comprised of visual art exhibitions, artisanal workshops, and artist residencies.
SFER IK - Uh May

Another architecture jam is located just 30 minutes from Azulik in the nearby jungle. It is called an "interdisciplinary creative sphere" - Sfer Ik Uh May. While its architectural style mimics that of the hotel, Uh May is also the grounds for a contemporary art museum, SFER IK, Roth's own home, and a space to hold artisan workshops for Mayans and visitors alike.

Spiraling paths and curvilinear walkways connect a series of cement domes, including the central structure that houses the museum's exhibitions.
At Sfer Ik, security checkpoints and ticket taking are exchanged for spiritual cleansing and the removal of your shoes, connecting visitors—quite literally—to the earth. The museum feels reminiscent of the Guggenheim and throughout the space artwork comes in many forms.

Unlike traditional institutions, which function as sterile white boxes upon which art is hung, the exhibitions at Sfer Ik are designed to interact with the dome's curved interior structure.
Trees protrude from the museum's floor, where holes have been carved above and below to provide a steady supply of light and rain, and locally abundant and organic materials make up much of the interior structure. Displaying art in this manner—and environment—makes everything feel alive.

Our senses are the most sophisticated tool, so to reinvolve them in the art is what's really special.

Anastasiya


SFER IK - Tulum

Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. daily
Entrance Fee: 10 USD per person (free for the guests of the hotel)
Carretera Tulum-Punta Allen KM 5,
Zona Hotelera, 77780 Tulum, Quintana Roo

SFER IK - Uh May

Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily
Entrance Fee: 20 USD per person (10 USD for the resents of Quintana Roo)
Grulla 23 Francisco Uh May,
77796 Francisco Uh May, Quintana Roo

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