Travel: Rustic Landscape Design and Green Walls at Nizuc Resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya

August 2, 2013 by



Just twenty minutes from Cancun, away from the parties and chaos, a new resort called Nizuc is quietly doing its part to preserve the lush local landscape.

Photo: Sarah Amandolare, Urban Gardens.

Set on the grounds of what was once the private retreat for Mexico’s president, Nizuc Resort & Spa maintains a secluded vibe despite being a quick drive from downtown Cancun–thanks in part to its careful approach to landscape design.


The resort rests beside the MesoAmerican Reef, the second largest reef system in the world–reason enough for Nizuc’s designers to pursue a sustainable aesthetic. Tangled Mangrove trees grow throughout the property are cultivated in the resort’s onsite greenhouse along with other local plants.

Photo: Sarah Amandolare, Urban Gardens. 

During the resort’s building phase, sand dunes were relocated to preserve dune grasses then restored when the bulldozers departed.



Architect Alejandro Escodero, who also worked on the landscape and interior design for Nizuc, says 99 percent of plants growing on the grounds came from the property–only a few larger palm trees were brought in from outside.


Vegetation and wood figure prominently in Escodero’s design. A Ziricote tree is visible from the resort’s lounge, Bar A Kan.

Photo: Sarah Amandolare, Urban Gardens.

Wood from unsalvageable Mangrove trees frames a mirror inside the resort’s Mediterranean restaurant, Terra Nostra.

Photo: Sarah Amandolare, Urban Gardens.


The landscape at Nizuc feels untrammeled and rustic, despite a painstaking design effort. Living walls, bursting with succulents, ferns and palms, decorate Café de la Playa. Escodero, who previously designed interiors for high-end homes, helped design and plant the walls.

Photo: Sarah Amandolare, Urban Gardens.



He says his greatest challenge was adapting his artistic sensibility to the organization and standardization required of a hotel project. So while Nizuc’s living walls are patterned to show off different leaves and shades of green, the overall effect is wild, natural and organic.


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Photos by Sarah Amandolare  and others from Nizuc.


  1. Linda said:

    Fabulous design!

    — August 3, 2013 @ 12:43

  2. John said:

    Beautiful! Some amazing designs!


    Landscaping Liverpool

    — August 27, 2013 @ 10:35

  3. Robin Horton said:

    Glad you enjoyed John. We will be posting more travel features, so stay tuned!

    — August 27, 2013 @ 10:38

  4. Robin Horton said:

    Thank you Linda, there is much to see and experience in the world and we like to share it.

    — August 27, 2013 @ 10:39

  5. Robin Horton said:

    Thank you John, share your designs too with us sometime.

    — September 21, 2013 @ 10:04

  6. Robin Horton said:

    Glad you like Linda!

    — September 21, 2013 @ 10:15

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