Jaime Navarro

Hostel La Buena Vida in Mexico by Arco Contemporary Architecture

Hostel La Buena Vida is the first boutique hostel in Mexico city. The hostel which was designed by ARCO Contemporary Architecture features 8 designers ensuite rooms (catering to a total of 48 beds), a computer lounge and a TV room, as well as a restaurant, a coffee shop/café and a rooftop terrace.

The building’s most notable feature would be the conspicuous facade which features boldly coloured, faceted, geometric cladding contrastingly paired with rectilinear wooden strips that form a solar screen.

La Condesa is a residential development that began on the early years of the XX century in Mexico City. Nowadays it is back on sight of locals and visitors because for its privileged location and the recent economic growth of the area. Taking these into account investors decided to place Hostal La Buena Vida (The Good Life Hostel) in this area and the perfect location was found on Mazatlán Street.

This neighborhood has an homogeneous architectural style and the objective was to stand out, ARCO Arquitectura Contemporanea´s team proposed the use of a double skin on the facade —to reduce the street noise and control the inside temperature— full with color and texture that makes the hostel an eye catcher from any point in the street, always respecting rules and regulations as well as the proportions of the adjacent buildings. Attractive geometric shapes on the façade in an intrepid combination of different shades of magenta —also known as Mexican Pink—move in an architectonic allegory that evokes the Mexican style candy wrappers, and is complemented with the serenity and warmth of the Ipe wood lattice.

The hostel is an attractive alternative for the contemporary urban traveler and inviting the visitor to enter a space aware that it will definitely not be like the rest. At the lobby the reception is located and it is also the only access to the upper levels to all the services: laundry room, communal kitchenette-dining room, lounge area with Internet point, the terrace, sundeck and the rooms.

The 8 shared rooms give a total of 48 beds bunk style. The capacity of the bedrooms is from 4 to 10 beds. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and each bed has a locker for the guest’s privacy and safety during their stay.

Color is a very important element in the whole project and for the interiors a 5 different color palette was selected. Color accents, both in walls and furniture, were combined with grand murals with patterns and skull shapes in simultaneous style with the whole concept that maintains Mexican traditions as one of the most representative elements. Hostal La Buena Vida surprises the visitor with a complete experience combining a unique atmosphere with one of a kind proposal located in a context of the trendiest Mexico City.


  • Architects: ARCO Arquitectura Contemporánea
  • Location: México D.F., Mexico
  • Design Team: José Lew Kirsch, Bernardo Lew Kirsch
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Jaime Navarro
  • Project Area: 360 sqm
  • Collaborators: Oscar Sarabia, Jonathan Herrejón, Miguel Ocampo, Yuritza Gonzalez, Adrian de Lucio, Nahela Hinojosa, Gabriela Pineda, Federico Teista, Jorge Tapia, Beatriz Canuto
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