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Hotel Spotlight: Casa Malca


VIBE: eccentric jungle oasis

USP: giant immersive art gallery

Welcome to Casa Malca! Boutique, bohemian and eccentric, step foot inside and it’s like an immersive art experience…this is a totally one-of-a-kind hotel, choc-a-block with artwork curated from the owner’s own personal collection, amongst a plethora of other talented names in the industry. Let’s take a look…


The Concept

Located in the quieter side of Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone) 10-minute walk of Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve and uber close to several of Tulum’s best restaurants and bars, Casa Malca is a hidden art-lover’s haven in the heart of Tulum’s jungle. Reported to be drug baron Pablo Escobar’s former hideaway, it is now a headily luxurious, beachfront boutique hotel with an eclectic mix of artworks from Colombian owner and New York art dealer Lio Malca’s personal collection.

Having been left uninhabited since 1993 after Escobar’s death, Malca stumbled upon this abandoned gem in 2012 and slowly began to renovate it into a luxury getaway with art aficionados at the forefront of his mind.

If you’re an art lover, this place is for you. Artworks from Kaws, Vik Muniz, and Kenny Scharf adorn every hallway, nook and cranny. You might have seen the Instagram worthy Hanging Couch shrouded by the wedding dress gate…

Wedding photography at Casa Malca Tulum

Oooh, and don’t miss the Keith Haring bar with graphic black and white walls (painted in this artist’s signature style), and the Moroccan-inspired Chandelier Room. 

The artwork is extensive, totally eclectic and eccentric. Lio created an entirely innovate gallery concept: with some of his personal collection of contemporary art distributed throughout the various spaces, guests can live amongst works of art during their stay…you’ll have works of art worthy of any museum that will be casually hanging on your bathroom wall. Pretty crazy, right?!

Fancy a beach day? Does this all sound like an epic, must-see day out? A Casa Malca day pass costs about $150USD; $50 of which is your entry fee, and $100 as food and beverage credit where you can sample anything from Casa Malca’s three stunning restaurants: Philosophy, Head of a Mad Man and Ambrosia. More on these gems later…

The Suites

Casa Malca is a property that originially opened in 2014 with only 8 rooms. Boutiqe hotel vibes on steroids. 4 years later, in 2018, it was renovated. Now, Casa Malca is comprised of an eclectic mix of 71 suites and rooms that sprawl onto the beach and are dotted around the ‘garden’ jungle. 15ft ceiling rooms, Nespresso machines, L’Occitane toiletries, and plush bathrobes fit to size; each suite is truly unique in decoration, a fusion of classic and contempoary through it’s swathes of polished concrete, Persian rugs, regal, puddling velvet curtains and exclusive vintage pieces and artwork that is the hallmark of Casa Malca.

If you’re an art loverwe recommend booking one of the Master Suites. These are the original 8 rooms in the main house which still feature the original works of art from the owner, Lio Malca’s, own personal collection. Take a look at one of these beauties below!

Master Suite beach front at Casa Malca TulumPhoto by Casa Malca - Master Suite Beachfront

The Experience

Outdoor or underground pool today? You take your pick! Most of the time, when you think spa, you’re taken downstairs, where the lights are dimmer, it’s cooler, it’s more of a secluded, sacred space. But obviously Casa Malca, in all its eccentric glory, does things a little differently; CALM spa is located on it’s rooftop, with magnificent 360 degree views of the Caribbean Sea. Fancy some sunset yoga on the rooftop terrace? It’s a pretty zen location.

Up for a 2-wheel adventure? Casa Malca have a selection of bikes that are free for you check out through the front desk. You can also arrange an e-bike or ATV tour in the surrounding area…just ask the wonderful concierge for more information!

Let’s talk food. 3 restaurants with totally different menus and vibes. Philosophy is a beachside paradise, just a stone’s throw from the shoreline, dine breakfast, lunch or dinner while listening to the waves gently rolling onto the beach.

Philosophy Restaurant at Casa Malca TulumPhoto by Casa Malca - Philosophy restaurant

The term, of Greek origin, is made up of two words: Philos (love) and Sophia (thought, wisdom, knowledge), so quite literally ‘love for knowledge’. It transitions day to night, homemade breads and breakfasts in the AM to pizza in their own wood-fired oven and the fresh catch of the day when the sun goes down.

Breakfast at Philosophy restaurant at Casa Malca TulumPhoto by Casa Malca - breakfast at Philosophy

Ambrosia is Casa Malca’s Asian speciality restaurant; with decor by Keith Haring, the vibe is up-cycled chic, built using recycled wood during the hotel’s remodeling in 2018. Last but not least, Head of a mad man is the new beach club with a simple concept: diners are invited to enjoy a sublime grill and the best seafood accompanied by a glass of cold rosé wine. Light, fresh and beachy.

We’re booking our table now…

 Olivia & Bryan engagement at Casa Malca Tulum

So, there you have it! Another spectacular hotel spotlight. Casa Malca is undeniably one of the most Instagrammable of our hotel partners; with a backdrop of some of the most wacky, beautiful artwork, it would be a shame to miss the immense photo opportunities this eccentric location has to offer.

After all…it’s not every day you can say you have vacation photos in Pablo Escobar’s former hideaway mansion. So, if you’re staying at Casa Malca, contact us for a dreamy, Instagrammable photoshoot like no other!