Motel Mexicola is Opening a Second Outpost in Canggu

Everyone’s favourite motel that isn’t a real hotel is having a bebé. Yup. Hard on the heels of its tenth birthday celebration, Seminyak’s legendary Motel Mexicola is doubling down on its rip-roaring success with the opening of Motel Mexicola Canggu on 6 August..

Mexican designer Carlos Cole (director of Mexico City firm Sensibilidad Aplicada) is the man behind the mythological fit-out, which leans into the beachy surroundings and nods to Mayan history in the same breath. Think palapas with alang alang roofs, technicolour tiles, terracotta floors, candlelit shrines, sculptures and ruin-style stonework – like if Indiana Jones took a trip to Chichén Itzá, had a few too many reposados and washed up on the sands of Southeast Asia. Famed Australian surfer/ceramicist Gerry Wedd is back again, as well, bringing the same artistic magic to the crockery that he brought to the Seminyak mothership a decade ago, alongside Tom Robinson Director of OMG Agencies (Mexicola Group’s long term creative agency) weaving the old with the new from branding to handmade glassware.

On the food front, Mexicola Group Executive Chef Steven Skelly has put together an expansive, flexible menu that celebrates the regional cuisines of Mexico’s southwest and the Yucatán Peninsula. While you can expect tried-and-true classics like guacamole, esquites, tostadas, ceviches and churros to finish, much of the action centres around the eight-metre pibil – a traditional fire pit used for roasting and flavouring proteins, vegetables and house-made salsas. Tacos are the star, of course, on house-pressed corn tortillas made with proper imported masa and wicked trimmings: braised beef cheek with BBQ bone marrow salsa; achiote-marinated pork shoulder; chorizo, pit-smoked potatoes and lardo, or roasted pumpkin and black beans…to name but a few.

When it comes to drinks, you know Group Beverage Director and agave whisperer Denny Bakiev and his team slay the greatest hits, from red-hot Micheladas to bang-on Margaritas. Here, they’re levelling up the good times and taking staples in unexpected directions. We’re talking Palomas amped up with tequila, mezcal, pomelo and lemongrass or charred pineapple Horchata spiked with spiced rum and capped with rice-milk foam. Fancy a twist on a Margarita with dragon fruit, lychees and a Tajín rim, or a coconutty Coca Loca that knocks you upside the head with a one-two punch of house coffee liqueur and house-made Mexicola? You can get those, too.