The beachfront property once owned by drug lord Escobar. The beachfront property once owned by drug lord Escobar.

Tulum property owned by Colombian drug lord to become luxury hotel

Pablo Escobar's reputation expected to appeal to young hipsters attracted to Tulum

A house in Tulum once owned by Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar will soon be turned into a luxury hotel.

New York real estate investment firm Thor Equities Group expects the former cocaine kingpin’s notorious reputation to appeal to the young, hip crowd that has taken over tourism in Tulum in the last decade, a phenomenon that led New York Magazine to call it the “Williamsburg of Mexico” after the young and fashionable community in Brooklyn, New York.

The firm bought the house for $17.5 million and plans to invest around $100 million developing it into a 40-room luxury hotel with a spa and upscale shops.

Previously the site of an “eco-chic” yoga retreat resort, Casa Magna is currently unoccupied. Another property once owned by the notoriously murderous drug trafficker on the same beach, Casa Malca, has been turned into an art gallery.

Tulum’s rise to fame among the jet-setting party crowd from New York may be reaching a saturation point, but Thor expects the property and its history to succeed in a luxury tourism environment where hotels can charge as much as $2,000 a night.

“Tulum is the most stylish and now destination in all of Latin America,” said Thor chairman Joe Sitt.

The company’s luxury hotel portfolio in Mexico includes the Thompson Playa del Carmen, the Montage Los Cabos and the Ritz-Carlton in Mexico City, scheduled to open in 2020.

Source: Bloomberg (en)

CORRECTION: The previous version of this story identified Williamsburg, with which Tulum is compared, as a tourist destination in Virginia that probably has nothing in common with the Quintana Roo beach destination. A full reading of the New York Magazine story reveals that Williamsburg in this case is a community in Brooklyn. Mexico News Daily regrets the error.

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