It’s not every day that you get to stay in a hotel so unique that the entire place feels like a giant art gallery. This is how we felt like during our wonderful 2-night stay at the beautiful Casa Malca in Tulum, Mexico. Popularly known as Pablo Escobar’s former mansion, Casa Malca is a popular hotel nestled in the coastal jungles of Tulum.
As soon as you enter the hotel, we were greeted by the concierge who took our temperature, sanitized our luggage, and gave us the safety briefings. As we were only traveling locally (we stayed in Mexico during the pandemic), we know that the local hotels and restaurants here have gone above and beyond to try to adhere to the safety precautions which is something we appreciated.
Pablo Escobar’s Mansion in Tulum
One of my favorite things about the hotel was that every single nook and cranny had an interesting art piece, backed up with an even more interesting story and background. This was Casa Malca. A functional living space that had so many interesting art pieces.
New York Art collector, Lio Malca stumbled upon this abandoned gem in 2012 and found out it belonged to the famous Columbian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. It was abandoned in 1993 after Excobar passed away and after finalizing the purchase, Malca slowly started renovating it into a luxury getaway for art aficionados and the elite.
Want more info about Tulum? Check out our Where to Stay in Tulum Guide
We stayed in one of the beachfront junior suites which was worth every penny! As soon as you walk in, the room has in immediate wow factor as it had a floor to ceiling window overlooking the poolside and the ocean.
The room was cozy, luxurious and had so many interesting details, including a humongous couch overlooking the window. It was Tom’s birthday during our stay at Casa Malca and as soon as we entered, we saw that the staff had prepared a little surprise treat for him, donning the room with balloons and little sweets which was definitely a lovely touch.
The shower was hands down, the best shower we’ve every experienced in our 5 years of traveling. Outfitted with a 50×50 rain shower, it was probably one of the highlights of our trip. The best thing about the room were the small details like a Nespresso machine, L’Occitane toiletries, and plush bathrobes fit to our size.
The Food and Amenties
As Casa Malca is located in the vibrant town of Tulum, it is a spot that is frequented by many, with some opting to just use the beach facilities for the day. If you are in the area, even this is worth the cover charge as the food and drinks, as well as their general location within the Tulum beach area is great.
During our stay, we ate at two of their restaurants, Philosophy and their Asian restaurant, Ambrosia. All meals that we had there were absolutely delicious. The ceviche in Philosophy is one of the best we’ve tried- and that’s a pretty bold statement considering we’ve been living in Mexico for almost 6 months now.
The rooms come with breakfast which you can have indoors or right by the beach. With unlimited coffee, and a selection of healthy and hearty options, there is really nothing more you could want. The only thing I disliked was the excessive use of plastic wrap. I’m not sure if this was due to increased sanitation due to Covid but every item that left the kitchen was wrapped in plastic.
Food and drinks aside, one of the things that really made our stay extra memorable were the staff. They all went above and beyond during out stay to deliver fantastic service.
The space had two pools, one underground and one outdoor pool which was located right in front of the beach area. Although there was some Sargasso during our stay, the staff maintained the beach very well making sure it stayed clean during the day.
Casa Malca Art
As mentioned, what makes this hotel so unique is the immersive art installations. From the famous wedding dress gate which you can famously find all over Instagram to the quirky pieces from Keith Haring.
If you enjoy art, this place is a real treat as they have so many interesting pieces. They have a virtual art tour in their website which gives you a bit of background on the different pieces, who made them, plus the context behind each piece. I absolutely loved this.
Casa Malca Day Passes
If you want to visit Casa Malca for the day, you can also avail of their day pass which costs $160 (at time of writing), this covers your entry but $110 of that is food/drink credit. If you’re parking onsite, they also charge an additional $10.
The stretch of sand right by Casa Malca is absolutely gorgeous and the food was really good so if you’re looking for a place to spend the day, this is definitely worth it, especially if you want to walk around the premises and enjoy the art pieces.
Overall, we definitely recommend splurging and staying at Casa Malca-even for just a couple of days. The hotel itself is located in the quieter side of Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone) in Tulum, making it an ideal place to base yourself. During our stay, we strolled down the beach and got to enjoy dinners at other popular places like Hartwood and Kitchen Table Tulum.
The room we stayed at was gorgeous and was definitely a perfect way to celebrate Tom’s birthday. If you ever find yourself in Tulum, make sure you drop by this beautiful hotel- you won’t regret it.
For more information on Casa Malca, you can check out: