“If Aman hotels, Club Med, SoHo House and Burning Man had a baby, that would be the love child of what we’re trying to create,” says Oliver Ripley, cofounder along with Eduardo Castillo and Kfir Levy of the newly opened Habitas Tulum in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The hotel — Ripley describes the Habitas properties as “homes” — is situated between the jungle and a private beach on the Caribbean. However, the focus is not on staying inside; the team aims to create centers intended to increase human interaction and emotional connection.
Ripley, an entrepreneur who has experience creating companies in varying sectors — real estate, private aviation, agriculture — describes Habitas as “accidental” in many ways, a passion project born out of Burning Man, where Ripley has built a camp geared toward VIP attendees. Through the annual arts festival, he linked with event producers Eduardo Castillo and Kfir Levy who were already creating three-day retreat experiences under the Habitas name. When the trio was presented with an opportunity to create a Habitas experience in Tulum at a friend’s existing hotel, the initiative ended up being very successful, running for three months.
“In essence what we created was a pop-up hotel,” says Ripley