Casa Tiny
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

August 2017

Turning off of the highway about 30 minutes north of Puerto Escondido, the road leading to Casa Tiny is a taxi’s nightmare: unpaved, with only enough room for one car at a time and an infinitesimally small chance of finding a paying passenger for the drive back to town. Guests arriving in said taxi might be struck with a similar sense of skepticism; the vast cattle fields and chain of potholes promise little in the way of luxury. But hold on because at its end stands a little concrete oasis, aptly named and perfectly tucked away among the wild Oaxacan bush.

Armed with heavy bags of produce from Puerto’s Mercado Benito Juárez, a bottle of mezcal and half a dozen or so Mexican beers, we were ready for three nights of well-designed rustic living to celebrate our first year of marriage. (As it turns out, the booze ran out two days in, but Hotel Escondido lies just close enough that the parched traveler can stop by for a drink.) The caretaker, Alejandro, who lives close by but totally out of sight and sound, greeted us at our taxi and showed us to the property. After that, he stopped by just once during our stay to take our trash and tighten a loose lightbulb; his sweet dog stopped by several times to nap on the cool concrete.

The house itself is true minimal beauty, with a kitchen that extends seamlessly into a patio and a loft bedroom accessed by a steep and irregular concrete staircase. Casa Tiny, with its straight, clean lines and hard materials, could, under other circumstances, clash with the uncontrolled landscape that surrounds it, but its open design blurs the border between indoors and out, a peaceful cohabitation of built and natural.

Access to the ocean is an easy five-minute walk down a sandy path past Alejandro’s house. The beach extends southward out of view, void of any other visitors, save for the occasional local fishermen perched on the rocky cliffs to the north. On the other side of the cliffs lies a large and secluded cove, apparently accessible by trail, but it’s not exactly well-worn. In addition to veering off path, we experienced the unfortunate luck of rain midway there. Between the steep, slippery slope and trying to protect the wine we’d brought along, there were a few close calls. But in what might be considered a metaphor for marriage, we made it to the beach, having overcome a few obstacles but all the more appreciative and with a bottle of merlot.

If your time allows, plan a visit to Casa Wabi, an architecturally divine artist residency further down the beach that offers several weekly tours (I believe on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, but check first). Our stay not coordinating with tour days, we dropped by unannounced in hopes that we could still look around, but we were told that tour hours are strictly enforced. We left strategically by beach to get a quick peek at the breathtaking common area and pools. If you go by road, you’ll also pass through a delightful plant nursery.

Casa Tiny is a singular experience, offering all of the admirable qualities of camping - you know, leaving wifi zones to connect with each other and nature, day drinking - without the hassle of schlepping tents, foraging for firewood and squatting outside. Plus the perks of being in Dezeen-worthy digs and having a luxury hotel within walking distance if all the nature and day drinking start to wear you out. The mosquitos, alas, are non-negotiable. ⁍

Casa Tiny | Airbnb


Barrio Chino, Ciudad de México

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