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Drift, a venue for the Independent Traveler
Cortnie Fausner
by Cortnie Fausner
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Drift San Jose

San José del Cabo, Mexico

The Report

Calling all culture vultures! Raise your hand if you want to host a gathering at a venue where the mantra is "we keep costs down so travelers can spend their money on more adventurous or cultural pursuits". We do, we do!

Stu Waddell, the design genius behind said mantra and new hotspot Drift, has a resume chock full of experience in the travel and resort world. Early this year he realized his dream when he opened the rustic ranch doors of Drift.  Stu saw the magic in the traditional Colonial town of San Jose Del Cabo. He fell in love with the historic downtown art district, replete with charming galleries, live music and a delicious foodie scene. He decided he would open Drift, the first location in the Historic Art District, and the prototype for a series of hotels that fill a niche between boutique and youth hostel. The concept is to cater to the independent traveler and is inspired by the idea of “traveling without a destination”. Drift is designed to promote social interaction with a pared down, do-it-yourself atmosphere. The rooms are minimalistic with design accents inspired by industrial urban lofts and Baja ranch architecture.

We fell in love with how much Stu emphatically embraces the community culture of San Jose Del Cabo, the locals and the magic of gathering together. Something that can get lost in today's online world. When we chatted with this passionate and caring entrepreneur we immediately knew that his concept and gem of a property embodies the spirit of the ideal gathering destination. Not just because of it's beauty, but also for it's manifesto and what it stands for. 

HOW WILL MY GUESTS GET HERE?: Fly into San Jose Del Cabo's wilder sister - Los Cabos International Airport( SJD)

ACCOMMODATIONS: 8 rooms | 16 ppl
FOOD SERVICE: caterer of your choice
VIEWS: Sandy Desert
DECOR: Industrial Baja


This is the type of place that you gather at with your closest. It's intimacy calls for the most personal of get-togethers full of siestas, sombreros & sun. The rustic Baja ranch with chic industrial finishes of concrete steel and wood provide a stylish backdrop for a maracha shaking good time and beervana party of your dreams. This super sleek hostel is loft living at it's finest and can accommodate up to 16 guests within the walls of it's 8 rooms. How about hosting a group getaway where you and your crew take over the whole shebang and rent all 8 of the rooms? You can be the hostess with the mostess and have a pre-party, party and post party! So put those hard earned vacation days to immediate use, email the gang and plan that long-awaited reunion. 

We can envision old friends sitting at the communal tables in the courtyard, telling inside jokes, reminiscing about the 'good ol days' and playing throwback drinking games. You may not be able to remember those drinking game rules, but hey that's half the fun right?! We can imagine you sunkissed salt gypsies playing guitar by the flickering light of the bonfire, dining amongst candles on the weathered wooden tables and embarking on surfing adventures in between. What about hosting a creative workshop or retreat here? Your elopement or vow renewal perhaps?  This haven would be home to a funfest of any type. The style-centric surroundings, the grove of swaying palms.. You can see how one could truly drift away.

HISTORY LESSON: This building was transformed by Stu from an old 6 bedroom apartment building into the 8 room glorious community focused gem it is today. Minimalistic design abounds but with the addition of perfectly curated and thoughtful pieces placed throughout. Handmade copper pipes, plaid bed linens keep the minimalistic architecture from feeling stark or stale. You will discover charming touches like the Aculpulco chairs made at the hotel by the gardner Benito, farm style copper spigots in the showers, hammocks and gold-dipped punching bags. Vintage Lucha wrestling posters sourced from Mexico city provide the perfect cheeky and colorful touch to the rooms.

Perfect for:

  • birthday party
  • corporate event
  • dinner party
  • group getaway
  • social event
  • Reunion


Drift is the perfect jumping-off point for Baja adventures. Take your besties and fellow foodies on a journey to explore the thriving organic culinary scene in the colonial ranch towns of San Jose and Todos Santos. For those antsy action-seekers in your group, send them kayaking, snorkeling surfing or kite surfing along the stretches of empty East Cape and Pacific beaches. Go hiking in the the desert canyons and hot springs of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains. Embark on a diving adventure at world famous Cabo Pulmo, swim with whale sharks in La Paz.

Hear Ye' Hear Ye': This recent press is nothing to scoff at! “Renegade…think the Ace minus the mob scene and high prices.” - Remodelista  “It’s just the spot for independent, cool types who don't require a mini bar or the usual all-inclusive frills.” - VanMag    “…my new dream destination in San Jose del Cabo.” - Design Sponge.Emblematic of the boom in youthful, independent properties with hip, social spaces. Think SoHo loft meets Baja ranchero style.” - Travel + Leisure


Minimalism and baja touches call for the simplest of soirees. Anything more that would take away from this stunning setting.

1. Wooden Coaster Favors:  Huzzah! A word used to express approval and delight; a victory cheer. The perfect word to express how happy you are. These snazzy wood coasters will do all of the expressing for you. Use these as favors for your guests, table decor & a place for them to set their coffee cups on in the morning and to slam their beer steins on at night. Oh, you don't like coasters? That's fine, play over-sized pogs with these on a table riddled with water rings.  2. Mexican Tapestries: Use these Mexico made, Native American wool tapestries as table runners on the wood tables at Drift. We particularly love this piece from etsy seller Urban Housewife - or whilst down in San Jose Del Cabo, you can easily source your own and support the locals.  3. Kraft Paper Menus: These minimal eco-friendly Kraft paper menus can also double as place cards for guests via The Sweetest Occasion .


DRIFT was designed around the concept of connecting with like-minded travelers and gathering together. There are no giant and impeding walls separating you from your nearest and dearest. The social environment spills onto a central courtyard and shared kitchen so that you can interact with your guests throughout your stay. In addition to the communal concept, the curfew for events is midnight.. Hooray! That means you can party around that crackling bonfire past your bedtime. BYO is permitted. Yes, you can bring your own alcohol AND select the caterer of your choice. So stock up on those delicious Mexican beers and street tacos.


  • The mantra "we keep costs down so travelers can spend their money on more adventurous or cultural pursuits".
  • The design. Industrial minimalism meets Baja Ranch.
  • The first property of it's kind in the area
  • Budget friendly but not lacking in the design arena.
  • Gold dipped punching bags & Vintage Lucha wrestling posters are just some of the creative & thoughtful touches you will find here.
  • BYO. Yep, you can bring your own beers & food. Stock up on street tacos and Coronas of your choice.
  • Bonfire, communal kitchen, copper farm-style pipes.
  • The perfect jumping off point for the adventure of your choice. Surfing, hiking, snorkeling, etc.


Eat Local. Eat Organic. :

Eat a picnic lunch on the certified organic farm Huerta Los Tamarindos. Stroll the farm or eat amongst the organic garden. You can also take a cooking class here. Or maybe you want to shop and bring the goods back to Drift Hotel? You are in luck because they also have a market here!

The Blanket Factory:

Take a little drive to the stunning town of Todos Santos. Purchase hand loomed blankets can be custom ordered with your designs. These would make great decor or gifts for guests and will be ready for pickup just a few days after ordering! 

Art Walk:

The Art Walk in San jose is a popular weekly event. Every Thursday evening between the months of November and June, the galleries welcome guests to enjoy an evening strolling the neighborhood, viewing art, sipping wine and dining at the fabulous neighborhood restaurants. All who participate are open from 5pm-9pm  (Galeria Corsica pictured above.)

VENUE: Drift

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