During drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's long reign of terror he built many hideaway homes across the Americas. One of these, an estate on the coast of trendy Tulum, Mexico was long forgotten after his death in 1993. The property was rediscovered in 2003 and returned to its original owner. Then, in 2012 someone came along and saw some serious potential in the property. That someone is the New York City based art collector Lio Malca. He bought the mansion and transformed it into a gorgeous, art-filled, high end resort. Casa Malca opened to the public in 2015.
Lio Malca came to prominence in the New York art world in the 1990s. He is known for being an avid collector of the works of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. He was the go-to connoisseur for many of the hottest contemporary artists. Guests of Casa Malca will get to enjoy his collection as he displays many of his pieces at the hotel—turning it into an art gallery/hotel.
Casa Malca combines the world's best contemporary art with pure spa like relaxation. It sits on one of the hottest beaches in Mexico. The ambience of the property is low-key beach house. The hotel has 42 rooms, each of them just steps from the white sand beach. The rooms are decorated in a neutral palette with bright accents of colors. Floor to ceiling glass doors give every room a ton of natural light and the polished concrete floors make sand a breeze to sweep away.
The hotel has two restaurants serving Yucatan cuisine such as grilled fish with habaneros. The main restaurant, Philosophy, serves Mexican food with an international spin. The rooftop bar has panoramic views of the ocean, beach, and Yucatan jungle. The resort is a breath of fresh air in a region otherwise dominated by massive, generic, big name, all-inclusive resorts.
Casa Malca is just south of Tulum on the northern edge of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. To get there, fly into Cancun and catch a shuttle or rent a car to traverse the 80 miles south to Tulum.
Something tells me, Pablo Escobar would enjoy what Lio Malca has done with his former hideaway.