Tulum, the fashionable beach destination on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is getting a new luxury hotel with a colorful distinction: It once belonged to the cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar.
Thor Equities Group bought Casa Magna, part of a beachfront compound once owned by Escobar, for $17.5 million, according to a representative for the firm. It plans to spend as much as $100 million to develop 40 luxury hotel rooms, a spa and high-end shops.
Casa Magna, previously the site of a small hotel, is currently unoccupied. It sits just down the beach from another hotel with ties to the Colombian drug trafficker, who died in 1993. That one, Casa Malca, now features a collection of contemporary works procured by its art-dealer owner.
Not all travelers will see a link to a brutal gangster as a selling point, but the Escobar connection may be fitting in Tulum, an often-Instagrammed favorite among the New York party crowd. The area gained favor with travelers looking for a smaller-scale alternative to Cancun, enjoying enough popularity to provoke a backlash in certain quarters.