Design Hotels launches Papaya Playa Project, a “pop up hotel” in Tulum, Mexico

papaya playa projectTaking glamping and the idea of pop ups to a new level is the innovative hotel group Design Hotels with the launch yesterday of the Papaya Playa Project, a temporary “pop up” camp with 99 rustic cabanas on a 900-meter stretch of Caribbean coastline in Tulum, Mexico.

Starting at just $25 a night for what amounts to a cot on the beach to $675 a night for one of the more luxe accommodations, the rooms will be a mix of private cabanas and casitas and shared, dormitory-style accommodations featuring shared baths and bunk beds.

Lest you wonder about whether or not building such a project wreaked havoc on the area’s natural surroundings – it isn’t. It’s “a spiffed-up campus of cabanas once belonging to three now-shuttered resorts,” according to The New York Times, but it’s the first such large-scale hotel pop up we’ve seen. The only other that exists? Hotels offering limited term “glamping” excursions and a British company called “The Pop Up Hotel” which really specializes in crafting limited-term spaces for events and retreats.

Barring some traveler’s unwillingness to visit Mexico due to continued violence in the country, Papaya Playa seems an easy fit for those looking for alternative travel experiences – a true “glamping” trip that integrates local materials and nature with luxe elements like high thread count sheets and private cabanas, plus amenities like food from KaterHolzig of Berlin’s Bar 25 fame and a spa incorporating Mayan shamanism.

Design Hotels founder and now Tulum resident Claus Sendlinger plans to bring in famous DJs and musicians to perform on the beach’s “natural ampitheater” as well as perks for the luxe seeker including local and sustainable foods plus organic “nutrient-rich food-on-the-go,” plus an on-site boutique with local and international designers.

The only thing we can’t figure out? What Design Hotels plans to do with the space when it closes in May of 2012.