Cancun is more water than land. The Hotel Camino Real site was originally 70 percent water. It had been filled during the urbanization process.
Ricardo Legorreta wanted to return the site to its original status, so he designed to build the guest room block on solid rock and the public areas on piles, and then excavated what was originally the lagoon. The difference in tide levels provides the necessary water circulation to keep the new lagoon clean.
Public areas stretch from the entrance past the lobby bar and pool bar, restaurants, lagoon-side terraces, and finally across a causeway to the pavilion of private rooms. The blocks of rooms - one vertical, the other inclined overlook either the sea beyond or the placid lagoon area. All rooms are approached through a lushly planted sheltered space created by the juxtaposed blocks of rooms.