ONE OF A KIND

Mexico 2019 | TOURISM | INTERVIEW

Azulik is a unique ecological resort that redefines the concept of luxury as an opportunity to enjoy pristine nature.

Sebastian Ávila
BIOGRAPHY
Sebastian Ávila holds a degree in management and marketing from King University, Bristol, Tennessee, and an MBA from East Tennessee State University. His marketing and management experiences have been developed in the public and private sector. Since 2014, he has been a part of the planning and execution process of Azulik’s expansion and the opening of the Azulik Uh May complex, 30km from Tulum.

What is your overall outlook on the tourism industry?

Mexico is one of the hottest tourist spots, and the tourism industry has grown notably over the years, especially in Oaxaca, Cancún, Tulum, and the entire Yucatán peninsula. Formerly, the majority of the visitors from the US, but we now see people from all over Europe, Asia, and South America. Particularly in Tulum, tourism has grown immensely, making it one of the most recognized places globally. The tourists who visit this part of Mexico comprise a market keen on diversified concepts. Azulik, for example, has a reconnection concept that is truly different from most other hotels.

What kind of opportunities motivated the founders to open a unique ecological resort?

Our visitors are particularly socially conscious, respecting nature and seeking it out. No trees were cut during the construction of Azulik; we opted instead to build around those that were already present. We don't have the common amenities that other hotels may offer such as artificial light, TVs, and air conditioners, and that absence represents a different value. It invites us to arouse our consciousness about how we affect the ecosystems that we depend on and redefine the concept of luxury as an opportunity to enjoy pristine nature.

What attracts high-profile guests to stay at Azulik?

Azulik Tulum offers a different experience compared to other hotels in the area. It is not only about immersing in nature through our unique architecture but also reconnecting with ourselves and the people and elements around us. At Azulik, it is the small things that we sometimes take for granted that make a difference here. On the other side, high-profile guests are looking for privacy, which is guaranteed through our unique approach to people and guests. Most of the time, celebrities come without announcing their arrival, booking rooms under a false name to maintain anonymity and reconnect with themselves in a relaxing space away from the paparazzi. We provide them exactly the space they need to disconnect and find peace.

What strategies does the hotel use to maintain the element of surprise?

People still don't fully understand what Azulik offers. They are surprised by the architecture of the place, and love being completely immersed in nature, with views of the ocean from our rooms and villas. A wind blows almost constantly. In fact, ik means “wind" in Mayan, and Azulik means the place of the blue wind. It is about being present in the moment, feeling the wind, seeing the waves crash beneath you, watching pelicans fishing, or turtles laying their eggs. Such unique experiences are what our guests value the most, along with all the services that we offer. We have four restaurants, a clothing boutique where we sell our own brand, a spa that focuses on many Mayan rituals, a beauty salon, an art gallery that is the first in the area, a sunglasses store, and our tours and experience packages.

What promoted your recent launch of an environmentally aware art gallery?

The art gallery opened in April 2018 to bring together emerging artists. Tulum is a culturally well-informed place that adapts to our guests. We not only wanted to offer a different experience to our guests, but also be the first to open an art gallery in Tulum. Many more art-related future projects are planned nearby.

What other projects is the group developing?

We have just launched a new haute cuisine restaurant at Azulik Uh May, a complex that will also include 15 eco-villas by the end of 2019. Soon to come at Azulik Tulum are jewelry and furniture store. A boutique and two restaurants in Valladolid as well as a project near Mexico City that will be announced later. In the short term, in one or two years, our focus will be on the Yucatán Peninsula and Mexico City; however, we have medium- and long-term plans to expand beyond Mexico.