Cangrejo y Toro is a quiet vacation villa retreat on seven acres of oceanfront land located in Troncones on the Mexican Riviera.
How would you describe the bungalow in a nutshell?
The Bungalow is a Brutalist hideaway tucked away on a dirt road. It’s modern, chic and unexpected; cheerful, chill and luxurious. It boasts dramatic views of the Sierra Madre, accompanied by the breezy sound of the Pacific Ocean.
It is a peaceful place located off the beaten path and set within a lush garden of plumeria, jasmine, almond, coconut and orchid trees. During the day, it is well-shaded and at night, the stars come out in a way that is hard to describe.
What is the story behind it, what was your inspiration to create it?
We were recently empty-nested in New York and looking to leave the United States. Our family has been coming to Troncones for several years and we built a dream house compound at Cangrejo y Toro in Majahua. So this area seemed like a natural place to relocate, to be near family and to be part of a community we felt a connection to.
We bought a California-style hacienda that had fallen into disrepair, adjacent to a thriving hotel. It consisted of a double lot with an abandoned main house and a barely built guest house with some unfinished horse stalls.
While living there, we designed and renovated the main house over six months, going room by room and creating friendships with several local craftsmen. After enjoying how that project came together, we embarked on the Bungalow renovation. This was despite our discovery that the existing structure had few usable walls and all we had to work with was a ghost of a footprint.
We envisioned a small pool just steps from the bedroom and kitchen, with a pergola and open views of the mountains. We wanted to create a space that was easy to be in — calm, uncluttered and secluded from the main house by a shady garden. From there, the rest fell into place.
How would you describe the atmosphere and the interior design of the bungalow?
The Bungalow is laid back, organic and cheerful. It’s open, like living outdoors, while being sheltered and sophisticated. It has a cosy, homey, hammock vibe.
The structure itself features rustic, raw concrete, combined with refined details such as locally sourced oak cabinetry and custom, handmade Mexican tilework. Throughout the Bungalow, there are Mexican textiles and artisan rugs, as well as built-in cement furniture. These include the bedframes and the pergola sofa, as well as the kitchen shelves and counters.
Each of these pieces makes use of a frosted-cement treatment, referred to locally as “pasta”. It gives the cement a soft, polished look and a dramatic profile while creating far less maintenance compared to traditional furniture. It’s both heavy and soft — almost invisible.
What do you particularly like about this part of Mexico?
This part of Guerrero is off the beaten track. It’s undeveloped, rustic and wild — a throwback to another era. Paved roads and water services are “new” here, with other infrastructure and utilities, such as electricity and internet, being continually improved as demand increases.
I like that the area is home to a hard-working community that’s not fancy or concerned with any sort of prestige. Kindness is the currency of exchange, whether it’s in the water, at a restaurant or on the local roads, which are shared by cars, trucks, motorcycles, quads/ATVs, bicycles, horses, cows, goats, chickens and people. It’s a colorful and interesting place to be.