For the last five years, our family has ventured to Central America during our children's winter break. It's a time for us to soak up plenty of sunshine and warm weather, while seeking out unique facets of local design and culture. Nicaragua left a lasting impression on us and we found ourselves in awe of the radiance of the city of Granada.
After a stay at a remote beach resort, we made our way into the city. Outdoor cafes were bustling and the energy of this artistic community was thriving. We absorbed stretches of colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and brightly painted dwellings with lush internal courtyards. The ornate metalwork on doors and gates was a sight to behold.
We chose to hang our proverbial hat at the stunning Los Patios Hotel, owned and operated by a husband & wife team who came to Granada in 2007 with the intent to establish a hotel that spoke to the colorful local landscape and their native Scandinavian aesthetic.
The design of Los Patios hinges on the incorporation of bold black and white graphics, as shown in the cement floor tiles. From the patterned floors, simple yet richly colored walls rise up to meet timber-beamed roofs. Cool white stucco grounds these powerful design elements and open shelving keeps the storage elements accessible and light.
Custom architectural elements make the space look anything but ordinary, such as the positive/negative construction of the stairwell which was achieved by highlighting the simple interaction of stairs and walls with stucco and wool paneling. Cabinetry is given a modern, minimal approach through the use of concrete and weathered wood faces.
Lofty ceilings provide plenty of vertical space for adventurous, eye-catching pendants to dangle, such as this corner feature in our guest room. Like the rest of the hotel, our room brings together South American artistic traditions, like embroidered textiles made into pillows, and marries them with contemporary touches such as quilts made by hay from Denmark.
At the heart of Los Patios are eight sun-soaked patios that blur the boundary between indoors and out. You can chose to sway in a darling hammock or soak in the pool, get lost in a book on a lounge chair or cozy up for a nap on the shaded couch.
Every nook of Los Patios oozes with visual and textural intrigue and the sight of bright sun dancing on it's colorful walls is a memory I'll happily revisit on a chilly San Francisco day.