Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

July 23, 2024
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Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar’s mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

Casa Malca was one of the many properties that drug lord Pablo Escobar Gaviria had built in his heyday. It is located on the Yucatan Peninsula and has a history that, to this day, has many unknowns.

Pablo Escobar was the founder of the Medellin Cartel, an organization that for years had a monopoly on the cocaine business. He was in charge of production, consumption and commercialization, controlling more than 80% of the world’s cocaine production. According to Forbes magazine, in his best years, Escobar was among the richest men in the world and the most powerful face of the Colombian mafia.

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

Escobar was born into a peasant family and from an early age showed a special interest in business. At the end of the 1960s he began to develop a life of crime and a few years later became involved in the production and commercialization of drugs, especially marijuana and cocaine.

What were the origins of Casa Malca?

The story begins in 1992, when the rumor began to circulate that the Colombian, Pablo Escobar gave orders to build a property in Tulum. Although the area was still unknown at the time, it is now one of the main tourist destinations in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Construction began that same year, at km 9 of the road that runs from the town of Tulum to Punta Allen.

At the time, Escobar was linked to the famous Mexican drug lord, Amado Carillo, known as “El Señor de los Cielos” (Lord of the Skies). Carillo was the leader of the Juarez Cartel that moved cocaine from Colombia to the United States.

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

Although Escobar was never seen by locals, some theories suggest that the house under construction was indeed his.

Theories linking the place to Escobar

One of the theories is based on the fact that only one night, electricity was brought to the property, which suggested that someone important was going to live there.

At that time, Tulum had approximately 2,000 inhabitants and no one was sure who could be the owner of that large house that was under construction and revolutionized the place. The only thing they knew was that the person in charge was making history in the place with the installation of the electric wiring and the construction of what is now the Tulum-Punta Allen road.

The other theory is based on the sudden arrival of a small plane in the middle of the night, in which the narco was theoretically traveling to supervise the work. And the last theory is based on the fact that the house had high caliber windows and walls of a thickness necessary to withstand the impact of bullets. But what most caught the attention of the locals were the subway tunnels that no one knew where they led to.

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

It was never known exactly how Escobar was able to acquire the land and the permission to build there. One of the versions says that he would have sent someone to acquire the land. The other theory, which carries a little more weight, is that the land was a gift from a friend, Amado Carrillo.

Casa Malca after Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar died on December 2, 1993 and all of his assets were abandoned or seized, including Casa Malca. The place was abandoned until 2003, hidden among the lush vegetation of the place until it was discovered. However, it took 10 years before the house was renovated by Lio Malca, an important art dealer, who brought the place back to life, turning it into one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

A year after Pablo Escobar’s death, the property was linked to the family of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gotari, although the link could never really be verified. The next known event in the history of the site occurred in 1997, when the building was seized by the Attorney General’s Office and abandoned. In 2005 the property became part of the company Amansala, which enabled the place as what is now known as Casa Malca and Amansala Eco Chic Resort. The latter operated until 2008 because the business did not prosper.

Casa Malca today

Today, what was once the home of Pablo Escobar is a 5-star hotel. The place was renovated by the famous Colombian collector, Lio Malca, and is named Casa Malca in his honor. The complex has more than 20 thousand square meters of surface and today is one of the most exclusive resorts in Tulum.

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

The hotel is built in the main rooms of the house that belonged to Escobar and is an attraction for many tourists who travel there. The beach club and artwork are of interest, but, who takes the first place is its unique subway pool. In theory, the place would have been part of the tunnels used by the drug lord to escape and move drugs.

The hotel has an elegant and gothic style inspired by Pablo Escobar, which can be appreciated in every corner.

It contains in its interior multiple works of art distributed in an extensive gallery, 71 rooms, a luxury bar, two outdoor pools, a subway pool and a unique ocean view.

True to his style, Lio Malca built an art gallery with contemporary works. These include sculptures, paintings, furniture by designers and modern artists, such as Rafael Gómez Barros, Basquiat, Kaws, Kenny Scharf, among others. So that guests can enjoy a different collection each visit, the works are exhibited for a few days and then replaced by new ones.

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

The entire construction is made with materials worthy of being appreciated. For example, the ivory white walls, the furniture that looks like royalty, the polished concrete floors and the many works of art that decorate the place. When dreaming up Casa Malca, Lio took every detail into account and ensured that the 180-meter-long place has a special touch.

Hotel Suites

Casa Malca’s rooms stand out for their opulence, the special decor with long purple velvet curtains, Persian carpets, wide doors and wooden decks. All rooms have Egyptian cotton towels and Kessatex sheets made from bamboo.

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

The Master Suites are decorated with artwork specially chosen for each room and located in what would have been Pablo Escobar’s original home. The Junior Suites are a bit smaller but just as attractive. They have beautiful views of the garden and the beach, which make your stay a unique experience.

  • The JUNIOR SUITES BEACH FRONT have 60 square meters and more than 15 services. Among its eccentricities are electric curtains, 50×50 rain effect shower, including a telephone in the shower itself. Each room has direct access to the beach, pools and restaurant. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer priceless ocean and beach views. Each of the suites has a unique decor, blending classic and contemporary styles.
  • The JUNIOR SUITES GARDEN VIEW like the previous ones are 60 square meters and offer the same services. The main difference is that their windows overlook the tropical garden.
  • The MASTER SUITES OCEAN VIEW have between 80 and 100 square meters and are the largest of the place. They are located on the second floor of the original house and stand out for the beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea that you can see through their huge windows.
  • The MASTER SUITES BEACH FRONT are also between 80 and 100 square meters and have direct access to the beach, either from the first or second floor.
  • TOWNHOUSE LABYRINTH SUITE: in this case we are talking about suites of more than 120 square meters and 50 square meters of terrace. There are 4 suites on two levels, which are so named because they are surrounded by a labyrinth, offer exclusive access to the tropical garden and are decorated in a vintage style.
  • FAMILY VILLAGE SUITES: they are specially designed to accommodate a family. They have 70 square meters, a view of the tropical garden and two double bathrooms.

Hotel Beaches

Casa Malca’s beach is located on the “Sian Ka’An” Biosphere Reserve, a protected area declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. “Place where the sky is born” is the Mayan meaning of Sian Ka’An, which is why it is known as the “Gateway to Heaven”.

Casa Malca, Pablo Escobar's mansion in Tulum converted into a luxury hotel

Its beaches are ideal for resting and appreciating the beauty of the environment surrounding Casa Malca.

Undoubtedly, at the time of acquiring the property, Lio Malca wanted to create art from a place stained by the history of drug trafficking and he succeeded. Today Casa Malca offers tourists who have the luxury of staying there an experience of comfort and enjoyment that will make their stay unforgettable.

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