Casa Pani opened in February 2020, on the eve of global lockdowns. During those first six months, guests stayed for weeks at a time. Casa Pani very quickly took on the role of home base, studio space, and refuge. As more typical travel patterns have settled back into place, Casa Pani has retained this spirit of accommodating particular needs. The latest addition is an Art Concierge service, offering “bespoke itineraries and tours for discerning visitors.” When Hood, Cazalaa, and Jimenez first encountered Casa Pani, it was in disrepair. Other would-be suitors had plans to raze the structure and build something brand new, but Hood wanted to restore it. Ultimately, it was this desire to enshrine Casa Pani’s history, rather than obscure it, that won them the property. “One of the best parts of the process has been renovating and revealing the beauty that had laid dormant for years,” Hood recalled.
Throughout the restoration process, Hood—who worked with local architecture firm Estudio Atemporal—sought to celebrate many of Pani’s original stylistic choices, like his devotion to natural light and a flair for organic texture and form. That faithfulness leads to some of the property’s most photo-worthy moments: lava-rock walls and bigger-is-better terrazzo floors, the curvaceous dipping pool which Hood carved herself in homage to the sculptor Valentine Schlegel, the beautiful barrel-vaulted brick ceiling in the living room which was originally a garage. Here, floor-to-ceiling translucent security glass, meant to honor Pani’s love of glass block, was installed, bathing the room in a soft, dreamy light morning and night.
Kidding, but not completely, I asked Hood if “luxury hostel” might fit Casa Pani in its current iteration. She conceded it might. “We always began with the idea that this is a home away from home. This isn’t a private club, it’s not a crazy expensive place. It was very much that idea of wonderful communal space, where everybody also gets a nice room of their own with a nice bathroom, natural light, and good airflow.” The communal aspect just made sense for a place like Mexico City where buzz is fueled by excited retellings of local haunts and discoveries. It’s this balance of retreat and symbiosis, of tucking quietly away and then having to make your coffee among strangers that makes Casa Pani a truly unique lodging experience.
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