A retreat, whether it’s a hotel, a private residence or any other structure for that matter, needs a great location if it’s to be great and to draw people to it. In addition to that, it also helps a lot to have an interesting history. This recent addition to Design Hotels has it all. It’s located on the beautiful beaches of Tulum, Casa Malca and, before it became a hotel, it was a property owned by the famous Pablo Escobar.
The estate was abandoned after Pablo Escobar’s death in 1993. It was later returned to its original owner in 2003 and then, in 2012, it was discovered by its current owner who is a prominent art dealer. A plan was created that was meant to transform the estate into a luxury hotel. In 2015 the initial part of the transformation was complete and the five-star hotel opened. At that moment it only offered nine bedrooms.
In time, the hotel grew. A series of two-storey structures were built along the beach, raising the total number of suites to 35, with plans to add even more. These structures have only one guest suite per floor.
The main entrance into the primary building is pretty impressive. It features two very large doors that, when closed, look like a wall covered in tree bark. Inside, the decor is interesting in the sense that the walls are white and the floor is covered in polished concrete and the neutral decor is decorated with contemporary paintings, sculptures and designer furniture. The artwork is frequently rotated across the hotel to offer guests the opportunity to enjoy new pieces.
Inside the main building on the ground floor there’s a bar. This area has walls covered with graphical black and white wallpaper which stands out on its own without the need for artwork or decorations. The bar counter, the stools and everything else is kept simple.
The proximity of the property to the beach and the ocean allowed the creation of a series of beautiful lounge spaces, some with pergola roofs, others nestled under the trees. Hammocks and swings let the guests relax and enjoy the views and the tranquil ambiance. A swimming pool is also present and a hidden underground steam room is directly connected to it.