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Credit: Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects

The newest in W Hotels’ portfolio of tropical retreats, this sprawling 180-room beachfront hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico, is expected to open in 2014. Located in a mangrove forest, the complex is designed with a protruding volume on the hotel’s north side that houses a conference center; paths lead to freestanding pavilions housing a spa and other amenities. The south façade faces the beach, and the requirement of outdoor space for each guest room led the team to maximize natural ventilation. “What we’re doing is trying to marry this incredible landscape with architecture that is striking,” Dukho Yeon, AIA, associate partner-in-charge, says.

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Credit: Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects