There are a lot of hotels on the Riviera Maya. Very few of them make it into the pages of Architectural Digest. Casa Malca, a new boutique hotel boldly imagined and brought to life by prominent New York gallerist Lio Malca, made the cut. It’s not hard to see why. The main house itself isn’t new: it’s a simple stucco structure, rustic, traditional. It sat empty on the sand for years before Malca snapped it up and redesigned it, knocking down walls to create open spaces, adding new buildings to house additional guest rooms, putting up Keith Haring prints like wallpaper, and furnishing the airy spaces with retro furniture and key pieces from his own art collection.
It’s a vibe that’s well-suited to Tulum. The village has always been a tourist attraction, thanks to its striking Mayan ruins, perched on a cliff over the sea. But in recent years, it’s also become the hipster getaway of choice along this particular stretch of Mexican coastline. This is the current hot spot for design-conscious millennials and yoga enthusiasts who hop on direct flights from New York to Cancún, looking to get away from it all — well, away from most of it. Wi-fi and juice bars are still obligatory.
Casa Malca is ready with all of that and more. The hotel sits on a quiet section of the white-sand beach; nearly all rooms and suites have ocean views. Nine rooms are located inside the original house, including the lavish Malca suite with a private rooftop terrace. 26 other rooms, located in the newer buildings, are scattered around the property. No two are quite alike: some have private patios set amid tropical gardens, while others open directly to the swimming pool or beach. What’s standard are the floor-to-ceiling windows, sustainable bamboo linens by Kassatex, and original artworks. Oh, and free wi-fi.
Casa Malca has two restaurants, both specializing on lighter takes on Mexican dishes — think gourmet grilled fish tacos — prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Sleep in, lounge by the pool, doze in a hammock, go for a walk on the beach, forget what time it is for awhile. When it comes to good food and culture, Casa Malca has you covered: it’s a stylish urbanite’s getaway. It’s a place that helps you relax, not disconnect entirely.