A chic and arty retreat in one of Pablo Escobar's former villas

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A chic and arty retreat in one of Pablo Escobar's former villas

In Tulum, a little paradise, a former mansion belonging to the cartel ringleader is home to a hotel filled with contemporary art. A haven of sophistication on the Riviera Maya.

A chic and arty retreat in one of Pablo Escobar's former villas

From bling to eco-friendly sophistication

Are you a fan of the US drama series Narcos? Did Javier Bardem's performance in Loving Pablo, Fernando León de Aranoa's latest film, leave you wanting more? Then the idea of staying in a mansion that used to belong to Pablo Escobar, the mythical drug trafficker, may very well appeal to you. Tulum to the south of Cancun, on a remote beach at the edge of the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve is where you will find one of his villas, now converted into a sophisticated boutique hotel. As you wander around, discovering the luxurious Casa Malca, it is hard to imagine the infamous drug lord relaxing in these chic yet bohemian surroundings. We doubt that the Colombian magnate, known for his love of bling, would have approved of the style selected by the estate's new owner. And that owner is New York art dealer Lio Malca who bought the abandoned mansion, breathing new life into it as a thoroughly charming stay.

Described as “a home for thinkers and dreamers”, Casa Malca has created superlative taste in an eco-friendly fashion. Behind its tree-bark-clad facade, you will love the eclectic mix of bold genres: Persian rugs are juxtaposed with designer accessories, traditional Mexican wooden furniture sits harmoniously alongside velvet curtains… But the best is yet to come.

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A chic and arty retreat in one of Pablo Escobar's former villas

A haven of contemporary art

The art-gallery owner has taken original works by pop-art big names, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol, and pioneer of the underground movement, Jean-Michel Basquiat, from his own personal collection to share them with his guests. In every corner of Casa Malca, you will come across a painting, a sculpture or another item created by a present-day design maestro. Choose your own private room from one of the 24 suites, just a few steps from the Caribbean Sea. You will not find a more idyllic place to sit back and enjoy the sunshine.

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A chic and arty retreat in one of Pablo Escobar's former villas

The dolce vita on Mexican shores

Casa Malca is an experience for all the senses. Feeling peckish? Then try the traditional cuisine of the Yucatan. The chef cooks up regional produce sourced from local farms. In this haven of tranquillity, your days move to the rhythm of your pleasure-fuelled retreat, whether rocking gently in a hammock, dipping in the pool for a leisurely swim or enjoying evening cocktails up on the rooftop bar overlooking the tropical forest. Stroll up and down the hotel's very own private beach, mesmerised by the blue waters of the Caribbean. As you feel the soft powder-like sand beneath your feet, your thoughts turn ironically to Pablo Escobar. Was this why Pablo Escobar set his sights on this little corner of paradise? Next stop, hop in a motor boat and head for Tulum's ruins. All of a sudden, appearing above the crystal-clear waters is the only Mayan fortified city built by the sea in the Cancun region. It seems the Mayans knew a thing or two about good taste as well.

Casa Malca
Km 9.5 Carretera Tulum
Boca Paila
Tulum 77780
+52 1 984 167 7154
www.casamalca.com