Between the verdant jungle and a sublime stretch of beach awaits Casa Malca. My husband, along with our two boys, are frequent visitors to the Yucatán. We have stayed in many wonderful places throughout the region, but Tulum has a special place in our hearts. After showing my spouse dog-eared photos of the hotel from design and travel magazines (yes, I still read magazines), it was easy to convince my overworked husband to commit to a week of relaxation (and reconnecting) without our teenage boys in a sophisticated tropical oasis. The railroad signal marking the entrance was the first indication that we'd arrived at a truly unique destination.
Following a two hour flight and a two hour drive from the Cancun airport, the setting did not disappoint. As the gate closed behind us, the whitewashed villa appeared, seeming to rise straight from the sand. We grabbed our bags and followed the Moroccan rug-strewn path through the oversized wooden doors (framed by vintage Mexican wedding gowns repurposed as curtains) to reception - which feels less like check in, and more like being welcomed into the living room of an old friend's beach house. But not just any beach house ... contemporary art, by artists such as Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, Marco Brambilla, and KAWS (from the hotel owner/gallerist Leo Malca's private collection) are featured prominently in the hotel's common areas.
The welcome cocktail was a thoughtful (and much needed) gesture afer the car ride. The refreshing drink, along with views of azure waters and brilliant white sand, helped us quickly ease into vcation mode. We'd barely finished our drinks when we were seduced by the intoxicating natural beauty of the property. All of the 40 spacious rooms and suites feature smooth concrete floors, king sized beds, rain showers, and floor-to-ceiling windows, which frame lovely ocean or garden views. Antique and modern furnishings combined with wooden accents and subtle pops of color, add warmth and texture. The effect is rustic luxe. Several suites are located in the main house, while the rest are located in two-story buildings throughout the property.
It's easy to slip into a lazy rhythm of sleeping in, taking advantage of the hotel's complimentary breakfast (only steps away from the sea), followed by days spent beachside, lounging on Tulum's finest stretch of sand with a crisp rosé (or signature tequila cocktail ) and the freshest ceviche, delivered by attentive but unobtrusive staff members.
If you want a brief respite from the beach, grab a book and curl up in one of the many hammocks scattered about the property. Or if you feel the need to check in with the office or share photos of your glamorous views to social media, free wifi is available.
We often ended our afternoons with a dip in the pool before watching one of the spectacular sunsets from our balcony or the rooftop.
The hotel's main restaurant, Philosophy, features light and local fare in a charming space, decorated with a mix-match of antiques found in San Miguel De Allende. The meals were on par or better than any of the other highly notable restaurants we visited. If you decide to leave the supremely relaxing world of Casa Malca, you're just minutes away from all the natural wonder of the Yucatan: Mayan ruins, cenotes, shopping, and world-class dining are located just outside the property. The staff will happily suggest activities or arrange restaurant reservations, taxis and the like.
*If you're looking for endless marble counters, Pratesi bathrobes, and 24-hr room service, this is not the place for you. Casa Malca is a quirky beach house for travelers who appreciate privacy, art, nature, creativity, individuality, and a touch of the unusual.
*Pack light. You're in Tulum. Only the essential cosmetics, sunscreen, sandals, caftans, hat and bikinis. Besides, you'll need room for all your acquisitions from a day (or two) shopping in the many local boutiques.
*If you've got it like that: The Malca Suite, located in the main villa, features a balcony and rooftop terrace with sweeping views of the property, as well as art from the owner’s extensive collection.
Km 9.5 Carretera Tulum - Boca Paila
Tulum 77780, Mexico
+52 1 984 167 7154 | +52 1 984 688 5124