Stu Waddell
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A delightfully bare Baja hotel that is only bookable on Airbnb

One does not go to the Drift Hotel in Baja, California, to lay in bed and take bubble baths. Drift is a simple framework for the phenomenal landscape of the Baja peninsula – a jumping off point surfing, hiking and exploring. The hotel was established by Stu Waddell. As the former creative director for the planning and design of traditional resorts, Drift seems to be a direct reaction to the hand-and-foot service of such establishments. Minimal, pared-down rooms are designed for the “independent traveler” with a hands-off approach that lets guest take control of their own experience.

The rooms are inspired by traditional Baja ranch architecture and sparse industrial lofts. The rooms are completely open with cast concrete bathtubs, exposed pipes and rustic brass faucets that mimic the cattle troughs of the surrounding countryside. Handmade chairs, hammocks and vintage lamps also grace many of the rooms.

As a contrast to the hotel’s barebones interior, the set up was designed to encourage ongoing communication and interaction between the guests, creating a sort of human energy that fuels the environment. A communal kitchen lets guests cook their own meals and each room is equipped with large sliding glass doors that overlook the central courtyard so guests can easily chat.

Reservations can only be made via Airbnb, another particularity of the establishment that contributes to the community feel and speaks to a generation of travelers seeking new ways of satisfying their wanderlust.