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You’d never guess by looking at chic, serene Casa Malca that it was once a former home of Pablo Escobar. But indeed, this incredible estate, which is located on the white sands and clear waters of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, once belonged to the famous Colombian drug lord who inspired the Netflix show Narcos.
Casa Malca was purchased in 2012 by art collector Lio Malca — it was largely abandoned after Escobar died in 1993. Now, it’s part of the Design Hotels group, and Malca, who’s curated exhibits at top art museums and venues around the world, has turned the estate into a 42-room luxury resort.
The five-star hotel spans almost 600 feet along an immaculate beach in Tulum. Nine of the 42 rooms are part of the original house, and the others are located around the property, allowing guests to either stay in Escobar’s old home or have a little extra privacy elsewhere on the estate. All the rooms come with private bathrooms, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Some have ocean or garden views, while others also come with outdoor terraces. All are rustic, peaceful and in harmony with nature.
The resort is dedicated to being eco-friendly, and the design emphasizes natural light, focusing on warm woods and bright colors to reflect the Mayan surroundings.
Expect to see the entire hotel covered with paintings, sculptures and furniture created by some of the most famous contemporary designers and artists in the world — Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marion Peck, Kaws and Keith Haring — as well as local antiques.
Taking advantage of Malca’s position in the art world, the works in the hotel rotate, so you may see different artwork on each visit, mostly from his personal collection.
Walls are covered with specially printed wallpaper while velvet curtains, throws and soft rugs decorate the rooms and suites. Outdoor areas, including the three pools, are lined with tiles and wood, and are equipped with locally made hammocks and wooden swings. Distinctive mood lighting adds extra atmospherics to the steam room. There’s also a rooftop bar and a restaurant serving local organic cuisine.
While the property is part of the Design Hotels group, you can’t yet earn or redeem SPG points at Casa Malca, though it could soon change. Rates start around $460 per night, and there may be a requirement to book a certain number of nights depending on when you stay. And don’t worry if you happen to come during the rainy season — you could always binge-watch Narcos from your room, an appropriate activity here given the history.
All photos by Casa Malca / Facebook.
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