Tulum, Mexico, is a very popular vacation destination for many reasons. From the flavorful local food to the stunning white sand beaches, it can make for a great escape from the everyday grind.
However, if you look a little bit closer, you may find something truly unexpected here. Of course, it’s always possible to find something unique even in the most highly-trafficked vacation destinations, but this just might take the cake.
One prominent art dealer had that in mind when he bought a villa that once belonged to the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar himself. And what he did with the house will leave you speechless…
This house in Tulum, Mexico, has recently undergone an amazing transformation into a five-star hotel filled with some stunning works of contemporary art. But that’s not the only intriguing thing about it! Would you believe that it was also once owned by the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar?
This sprawling beachside estate was renovated and turned into a hotel by New York-based Lio Malca. Malca is a famous art dealer who has handled work by greats like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kaws.
During his lifetime, Escobar was the wealthiest drug dealer in the entire world, and he even topped the list of the world’s wealthiest people. After his death in 1993, his mansion was put back on the market. It’s enough to make anyone wonder what kind of secrets are hidden in there…
In 2003, the stunning villa was sold back to the person who had owned it prior to Escobar’s purchase. Then, in 2013, they sold it to Malca. Naturally, the art dealer saw a wealth of potential just waiting within its historic walls.
Renovating and redecorating the estate was only the first step in a much bigger plan. Malca didn’t just stop at the mansion, either; he aimed to transform the properties surrounding Escobar’s villa into five-star hotels themselves.
The villa hotel first opened in 2015. It boasts just nine bedrooms, but Malca is constantly working to add to the site. Because it sits right on the white sand beaches, this architectural wonder makes for an ideal retreat.
Even before they enter the building, guests are treated to luxury. The “forecourt” outside of the villa is lined in Persian rugs. If you’re a neat freak, outdoor rugs might make you cringe, but here they are a sumptuous pleasure.
Inside the “lobby” of the villa are displays of paintings, sculptures, and furniture by some of the most beloved contemporary artists. For an art lover, this vacation destination is truly like no other on Earth.
Malca’s renovations included incorporating many natural materials, like local lumber, to the villa. They give the impressive mansion a more subdued and relaxed feeling, which has helped to soften its harsher qualities a bit.
The natural lumber also helps to ease the transition from indoor luxury to the outdoor beach living that consistently draws tourists to Tulum. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and seeing this?
The villa undoubtedly held many of Escobar’s secrets in its heyday. Now, the biggest thing it hides is an underground secret steam room that leads into a beautiful indoor pool with a stunning waterfall fixture.
Nestled in the forest and the beaches of Tulum, this retreat was once the perfect hideout for Pablo Escobar. Now, you can enjoy your very own hideout! Just don’t be tempted to use it for any shady dealings!
Who knew a place that once gave refuge to one of the world’s most notorious criminals could be transformed into such a palatial escape! It’s hard not to wonder what Pablo would think.
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