Pablo Escobar’s Tulum Spread Gets New Life as $100 Million Hotel

(Bloomberg) -- 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.

Pablo Escobar’s Tulum Spread Gets New Life as $100 Million Hotel

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.

Thor, long known as a retail landlord, has been branching into other types of commercial real estate, including warehouses and life sciences space. The firm owns a portfolio of luxury hotels in Mexico, including the Montage Los Cabos, the Thompson Playa del Carmen and the Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City, which is slated to open next year.

The new property puts the firm in an important market for the region, Thor Chairman Joe Sitt said in a statement.

“Tulum is the most stylish and now destination in all of Latin America,” he said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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