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In Conversation with Philip Bates of Drift Hotels

By Eimy Figueroa

Philip Bates is the CEO of Drift Hotel in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. From the start, their design approach was rooted in incorporating (and showcasing) the diverse elements in their surroundings. From their landscape to interior design to even their beverages, each element is thoughtfully incorporated as an ode to the rich environment that San Jose del Cabo is known for. Today, Philip walks us through Drift’s ethos, design choices (with a touch of MINNA!), and their “handcrafted with heart” approach.
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In Conversation with Philip Bates of Drift Hotels

What’s your name? Tell us about your work with Drift Hotels.

Philip Bates. I am the CEO and spend most of the time making sure our amazing team has everything they need to do what they do best which is create soulful hotels in some of the most charming places on earth.

Norma Rug - Indigo-overlay-image
Norma Rug Indigo

Made in Mexico


How did Drift get started? What inspired the design choices?

Drift started in San Jose del Cabo. We purchased a gorgeous Airbnb and converted it into a boutique hotel. As we were redesigning it we became enchanted with the many exquisite elements of Mexico’s creative culture. Those elements then informed our architecture, landscape, interior design, textiles and food and beverage - essentially every element of our hotel.

How would you describe Drift’s ethos and values? How do your values influence the spaces you create?

There are many values that we try to adhere to and live out on a daily basis and one of our key values that influences the spaces we create is respect. We place a great deal of emphasis on this and it influences every aspect of what we do including the sites we select, the designers we hire, the materials we build with, the food we prepare and the people we employ. We have found that when we approach our creative process by respecting the environment and those who help create it we are generally in harmony with all the key stakeholders that surround us.

Ilse Throw-overlay-image
Ilse Throw

Made in Mexico

What does rest mean to you and how does it relate to the offerings at Drift?

I think rest is an extremely important part of our lives and well being, and in many an environment in which to rest is at the heart of what we create a Drift. We all need rest physically and psychologically to be able to fulfill our potential and we hope that everyone who stays at Drift will experience that.

You talk about “handcrafted with heart” – can you tell us more about how you incorporate the handmade process?

We live in a world today where everything is about scale, time, money, mass production, etc. To slow down and handcraft a product with heart is a strong departure from the broader tide in hospitality right now. We believe that when a hotel and every detail within it are handcrafted in such a manner, there is an indiscernible and soulful quality that people notice. It grabs their attention and warms their heart because they may not know how that specific element was created, but they sense it was made with them in mind.

What does creating community mean to Drift Hotels?

Community is everything and is one of the most special elements of our job. We do our best to integrate and become one with the communities that our hotels inhabit and in so doing we always find we make a lot of friends along the way and do our best to contribute positively to the local community we find ourselves in.

Thanks for stopping by Philip! If you're interested in learning more about the Drift Hotels, checkout their website and their instagram.

CREDITS: Drift Hotels

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