Avenida Revolución, Tijuana’s main tourist street, garners a lot of eye-rolls from people who haven’t visited lately and only think of it in terms of cheap cervezas and zonkeys. For those in the know (that’s you, if you check out my other post), there are lots of indie businesses blooming, especially restaurants and breweries. One Bunk in the renovated Hotel Lafayette building is promising to be one of the crown jewels in the street’s renaissance.
One Bunk is a designer boutique hotel that opened up this summer. It is more than a hotel though—think of it as a cultural hub. Climb the stairs outside of of highly rated restaurant La Justina, and enter the hotel. On the main level find, in lieu of a lobby, a chill space, kind of like of your coolest friend’s living room, dialed up a notch.
My picture doesn’t do it justice since my photography skillset can’t capture the custom neon sign, “que sea un gran dia,” or “make it a great day;” not to mention the fact that a photograph can’t translate the rich sound of vinyl records on vintage speakers. There are several rooms on this level, in addition to a coffee bar and Barberia La Especial, an appointment-only barber shop. Upstairs is a second living room and a shop filled with handcrafted objects.
Let me point out that everything in the hotel is either vintage or custom (aside from the crisp linens and Casper mattresses of course). I love the mid-century furnishings with the polished concrete floors and other minimalist, modern-industrial design features.
Since I’d been stalking One Bunk on Instagram long before they opened, I knew I wanted to go all-out and book the suite (room 4). In addition to its bedroom, the suite has a sitting area with a couch, chaise, and desk. Our friends who traveled with us booked an end room (room 6). They had more beautiful light, we had more space and cool vintage furniture.
I love that they incorporated so much of the old Hotel Lafayette’s signage into the decoration.
I haven’t mentioned the most exciting part of all: Actual bunk rooms! Picture the hostel you stayed in when you backpacked through Europe at age 18, except this is all grown up, with custom artwork, and filled with your BFFs (they don’t book you with strangers; the room is all yours).
Awkward tip: Note that the rooms are designed in a modern, space-maximizing manner, meaning the bathrooms and showers could be considered quite small. Might be worth thinking about if you are a larger-bodied person. I’m a bit above average and I did OK in Room 6. Room 4 had a much larger shower.
Bunk staff and other amenities
When we arrived, we were greeted by the host who was a Tijuana native with tons of insider info including dining and activity recommendations. In addition our the actual, human concierge, One Bunk has a guide to the area in each room and a digital concierge in the form of Instagram hashtags such as #BunkCoffee, #BunkAdventure, and #BunkDrinks. Each room had two water bottles provided.
Although I never feel unsafe down in TJ, security is still a concern for many people, so rest assured that a doorman constantly monitors the entrance.
Rooms are about $75 on weeknights and $125 on weekends (more on holidays). All bookings go through airbnb (link below). The whole place was very clean, filled with Instagrammable eye candy, the AC was a great respite from hot summer days, and the staff provided excellent service. There is no better place to stay on your getaway to TJ.
I was not compensated for this review. Bookings are made through airbnb and if you sign up for the first time using my link, you will get a discount (currently $40) and I’ll get a credit. Yay! Thanks for supporting the endeavors that let me bring you free content.
All photos by Staci and Doug Jackson for The Voyageer.