To create a soulful hotel experience, Casa Malca beach hotel takes the essence of Tulum and blends a generous dash of luxury, plenty of style, a touch of playfulness and the ever-present modern art
Located in Tulum, Casa Malca offers an effortlessly stylish and coveted beachside retreat where guests are pampered with its beauty, luxury, attention, design, art and gastronomy. Engulfed in a natural wonderland of pristine beaches, aquamarine waters and lush rainforests, the luxury boutique hotel sits along one of the most private oceanfront stretches in Tulum, next to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a vast protected natural area. Set on one of the most breathtaking spots along the Yucatán Peninsula, Casa Malca enjoys a divine and unspoilt beach of 180 metres. Its proximity to the reserve, the isolation from the rest of the area’s tourist spots and the more than 20,000m² of space make Casa Malca an exclusive, peaceful and dreamlike place.
Casa Malca bach hotel in Tulum comes with a fascinating provenance: The mansion has been reported to be the former home of the Colombian drug lord and narco-terrorist, Pablo Escobar. It was left vacant following his death in 1993. Almost two decades later, the abandoned mansion was acquired by the prominent contemporary art dealer, collector and New York/Ibiza gallerist Lio Malca, who has been involved in launching retrospectives at New York’s Whitney Museum and other top venues.
The original home was totally refurbished and renovated to be Lio Malca’s own private, personal holiday home where he could welcome friends and family. But after word got out, more and more people wanted to visit and today, the original property has been expanded into a 71-room art-centric beachfront hotel.
With such a huge name in the art world driving the property’s design, it is no surprise that Casa Malca perfectly blends beachside beauty with contemporary aesthetics and valuable pieces of original artwork. Bringing pieces from his own vast private collection to Tulum, Lio Malca has curated both a true art gallery and a luxury hotel in this spectacular location. Loved by celebrities, models and the stylish set, the dream getaway Casa Malca is an irreplaceable expression of the most exquisite luxury in Tulum.
Designed with an effortless sense of style, immense artistic flair and a definitive beach house vibe
As part of the bold renovation of Casa Malca, the architects achieved the difficult task of creating a unique space that brought together two vastly different worlds – one that showcases fabulous art worthy of a museum whilst also emitting the relaxed, casual feel befitting a beach mansion property set between the ocean and the verdant jungle.
The boutique hotel is a testament to the exciting uniqueness that was driven by Lio Malca’s passion and compelling visionary design. The architectural remodelling project of the main house was carried out by Latinta – Alejandro Bahamón and Fernando Clamont.
The overall result is a mesmerising, dynamic and delightful structure that displays a huge affinity for its environs and has the ability to stimulate, to sooth and to delight. The design is characterised by broad proportions, high ceilings, wide white walls, polished concrete floors and enormous windows that let in lots of light and offer wonderful views.
The design is a veritable feast for the senses and is based on Lio Malca’s eclectic vision of art, beauty and luxury, whilst maintaining the Tulum vibe – relaxing, eco-friendly and connected to nature.
Making a stunning statement with true wow factor, Casa Malca’s dramatic entrance features an enormously oversized front door made from tree trunks. Tiered curtains made from hundreds of vintage wedding dresses frame each side of the entryway, and a wooden platform is strewn with large Persian rugs. To add to the fantasy, antique bookend chairs and a couch hang down, suspended by rafters, to create the fanciest swing set one has ever laid eyes on. Casa Malca’s doors, made from raw pieces of wood and always open, provide a direct view through the lobby to the ocean.
The interior aesthetic is where contemporary meets antique, with recycled, industrial and artisan craftsmanship of the Mayans. Lio Malca’s impeccable taste is apparent in every part of the project, mixing the inherent qualities of the space’s monumentality and sublimity with industrial art pieces, handmade Persian rugs, local arts and crafts, bright red theatre curtains, rustic and modern furniture as well as unique pieces such as the train traffic light at the entrance, oversized ants crawling on ceilings and walls, shoe lasts and antique dolls.
A breathtaking art gallery in a natural paradise
Without a doubt, the most important part of the project is Lio Malca’s curated, museum-quality collection of artwork, sculptures, paintings, photography and new media pieces. The walls, floors and outside area are turned into display spaces for contemporary art, all beautifully set against the hotel’s carefree beach scenes.
The hotel acts as a canvas, and Lio Malca is its curator. This wondrous space is an ode to contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, furniture and decorative items are on display inside and in the surrounding jungle.
Expertly curated and presented, he has filled the property with both contemporary art and antiques in a way that creates a uniquely sublime and magical environment.
Modern art enthusiasts will be thrilled to see works by some of the most revered contemporary artists and designers such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Rafael Gómez Barros, Kenny Scharf, Vik Muniz, Marion Peck, Kaws, George Condo, Jeff Koons, Holton Rower and Mark Ryden.
Works may range from a bar decorated with a Keith Haring-inspired print design and giant fibreglass ants by Rafael Gomez Barros, to a quirky Mickey Mouse-type sculpture by American artist Kaws and video art of clowns by Marion Peck.
In recognition of the returning guests, Lio Malca exhibits many of the pieces temporarily, changing them frequently, so that guests can enjoy a new exhibition every time they visit the resort.
Nearly everything on display was purchased by Lio Malca at auction, which he then brings to Mexico. There is a meaning behind each of the pieces he puts at Casa Malca, which makes it a very personal project, and one that evolves all the time.
Stylistic accommodation full of flamboyant flair and finesse
The 71 airy suites and beach rooms present an eclectic mix of expertly crafted colour combinations and unexpected textures, whilst tall windows open onto stunning views, either over the beautifully kept gardens or the shimmering Caribbean Sea.
Rooms are both sparse and abundant. Beautiful rustic-looking materials give Casa Malca beach hotel in Tulum, Riviera Maya, its sustainable status whilst letting the art take centre stage.
Each room is beautifully decorated with unique furniture and works of art, again personally chosen by Lio Malca. No two rooms are alike; some have private outdoor areas set amidst tropical gardens, while others open directly to the swimming pool or the beach. What is standard are the impressive floor-to-ceiling windows, original artworks, roomy bathrooms, L’Occitane amenities and sustainable bamboo linens by Kassatex.
The rooms are very spacious, ranging from 60m² to 100m². There are four categories: master suite beachfront, master suite ocean view, junior suite beachfront and junior suite garden view.
15 rooms are located inside the original mansion house, whilst the other rooms, located in the newer buildings, are scattered throughout the property.
Stunning and locally influenced international cuisine
Like the entire hotel, the cuisine is a work of art. Guests may dine at one of two exquisite restaurants: Philosophy and Ambrosia.
For fine dining, Philosophy features a warm, elegant atmosphere with the most beautiful views over the blue sea during the day and silvered by the moon at night. Here diners will find super tasty Mexican food with a contemporary European twist. The modern flair does not take away from its authenticity: The cuisine is modern, although based on the use of local ingredients as well as culinary traditions handed down from generation to generation in Mexico, combined with contemporary European cooking techniques and organic produce when possible.
Ambrosia offers a fine selection of delectable Asian dishes that are passionately prepared with the best and freshest ingredients. The sushis, tiraditos and ceviches are the stars of the menu and the perfect fit with a day at the beach. Panelled entirely in wood that was saved from the renovation of Casa Malca, the restaurant is decorated with works of art by Keith Haring.
Exceptional pastries and artisan bread are made daily at the M Pastry. Taste freshly baked breads made with sourdough for breakfast or his signature desserts in the various restaurants, which make for an unforgettable sensory experience. With an authentic example of artistry, talent and creativity, the style is avant-garde and is distinguished by generating intricate fusions between the flavours of Mexico – such as cocoa, tequila and corn – to produce quality international pastries.
Even the lounge bar is an art-filled space, where its walls and ceilings are cocooned in wallpaper imprinted with Keith Haring’s iconic black and white figures, contrasted with stunning chandeliers and plush velvet draperies. Here guests may enjoy a mezcal, tequila or Mexican liquors.
Amenities that deliver premium experiential luxury
Searching for that perfect laid-back, barefoot vibe? This beachfront playground promises long uninhibited days spent with sand between the toes. Casa Malca beach hotel in Tulum is an idyllic place where the only rule is to kiss the water once a day. The rest is to enjoy and relax.
Bask on the white sands by the sea on one of the hotel’s gorgeous beach beds. Cool off with a swim in the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea or in the large outdoor pool that is lined with iridescent blue tiles and boasts incredible ocean views. Discover the wellness centre with its underground swimming pool, which also functions as a steam bath. It has a James Turrell-inspired light installation that illuminates with stunning alternating colours.
There are colourful Colombian-style hammocks slung between palms, wooden cabanas and quirky swings throughout the property where one can sit back, relax and just enjoy the moment.
To best showcase the natural splendour, there is a rooftop terrace that affords 360-degree views over the lush jungle canopy and the endless ocean. It also boasts a bar and the best spot in Tulum to take in the magical colours of the sunset.
Soothing massages may be arranged, whilst yoga is offered.
Concierge services are available, where staff members provide guests with all the assistance they require for an enjoyable and carefree stay in Casa Malca.
An idyllic setting with a 180-metre pristine beach frontage, powdery white sand, azure water and frothy white waves lapping the shore, all backdropped by the stunning jungle
Sheltered by the wildest nature and bathed by the crystalline waters of the Mexican Caribbean. Surrounded by Mayan ruins and wrapped in an atmosphere of peace and exclusivity. Here is that special corner of Tulum, where one will become lost in paradise.
Enviably surrounded by the ocean and the dense jungle, Casa Malca is nestled at the furthest corner of the Yucatan peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico. Graced by white sand beaches and only moments from the Caribbean waters of the Riviera Maya, it sits at the edge of the protected Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. This natural reserve consists of tropical forests, mangroves and marshes that give Casa Malca its remote, dreamlike sense. It offers an intimate and peaceful beachside escape, away from the crowds of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Casa Malca is a 25-minute drive from downtown Tulum, though guests are likely to spend more time along the beachfront that comes with a multitude of boutique shops, restaurants and bars, all within cycling or walking distance or just a 1-minute drive away from the hotel.
The gorgeous Mayan ruins of Tulum are about 10 kilometres from the property, whilst Cancun International Airport is 125 kilometres away.
Tulum: a place of myth, mystery and magic, backdropped by Mayan temples and incredible natural beauty
Framed by the Caribbean’s azure waters, the Yucatan’s tropical jungle and impressive and imposing Mayan ruins, the fashionable beach town of Tulum has long been a coveted destination for global travellers.
Tulum is close to several historic and archaeological sites and the natural splendour is never far removed. Guests may visit the pyramid of El Castillo, see the Coba temple, venture into the jungle, or snorkel in its natural cenotes. The hotel is also close to excellent snorkelling and diving on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef that is rich in fish species and corals.
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere is a massive natural reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The area has been home to a Mayan community since 600 BC. It is absolutely stunning.
Luxury and art come together in a single natural paradise
Surrounded by a dreamy scene of lush vegetation, white sand and sparkling ocean, Casa Malca beach hotel in Tulum is utterly unique with a sense of style like nowhere else. As one of the best boutique hotels on the Riviera Maya, it is just as much a design destination as it is a 5-star getaway – a place where peace and luxury reign.