The Chablé Resort & Spa on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula is set amidst green vegetation in a restored 19th century estate. Its three restaurants are presided over by Jorge Vallejo, the world’s 12th best chef, but Ixi'im, in particular, stands out; it's a gastronomic and architectural triumph.
Enormous metal beams, inserted into a ruined former textile factory's engine room, frame a modern dining experience. The new steel framework references the building's industrial past while also making a clear distinction between heritage and the intervention. The facility once flourished in the production of sisal textiles but today the factory complex encircles a tranquil courtyard.
It was vital, explain the four Mexican architectural studios involved in the renovation, to maintain the crumbling walls and use them as partitions for new spaces, including the kitchen, a bar and dining area. Glass walls supported by metal frames offer views onto the lush atrium, surrounded by stone walls.
Within these dramatic enclaves, guests can savour fresh ingredients harvested from the hotel's Mayan gardens, where the herbs and vegetables are grown in traditional raised beds. The menu captures nuances of customary southeast Mexican offerings and displays several ancestral techniques. Signature dishes include venison tartare and chargrilled pineapple. After an indulgent dinner at Ixi'im, the most fitting way to conclude the evening is surely with a tequila tasting in the bar, where a variety of aged local spirits await. Arriba!
Imagery courtesy of Central De Proyectos SCP | Photography by Calvo Santisbón