I ventured back to Tulum, Mexico in late January with some friends and stumbled upon this little hotel while walking on the beach. Back in the day it was Pablo Escobar's villa. Casa Magna is the prefect get-away hotel, fabulous to host a party with friends or even an intimate wedding. The new owners have done an amazing job sprucing up the place with their bohemian yet sophisticated decor. They do not have a website up yet, but check them out here. The photos don't do it justice. Note: Amasala's Melissa Perlman had originally renovated the villa so don't be fooled by the old website which is still up on Google.
While I was content to sit on the beach reading, my friends Sarah & Taylor were venturing about Tulum. Thanks to their curiosity, they showed me the best of Tulum.
- Pre-dinner drinks at Casa Jaguar- try their house mezcal served with an orange wedge, or their tamarind margaritas which have a perfect tangy sweetness.
- Dine at Hartwood, owned by former chef from Vinegar Hill in Brooklyn, who recently opened a new restaurant in the meatpacking, Heartwood.
- For a refreshing fresh pressed green juice served in a glass milk bottle head to Pousada Margarita. While their food is overpriced their antipasto of pickled cauliflower, olives, almonds and focaccia is a nice accompaniment.
- For great local cuisine, head into town to Loncheria el Aguacate a few blocks off the main drag in Tulum. If you have any dietary restrictions, the owner/chef will make you anything you want. He's friendly and boisterous and looks like he should be in one of Fernando Botero's paintings.
- For late night cheap, tacos at Antojitos La Chiapaneca.
- If you can't get to Tulum anytime soon, head to Narcissa for their awesome tequila cocktail appropriately named Fly Me To Tulum.
- Go to Coqui Coqui Perfumeria Boutique for their candles, hats, woven leather belts and lightweight loungewear.
- Work up a sweat Sunday nights at Le Zebra with salsa dancing on the beach.
- Rent bikes and head down the dirt road marred with potholes toward the biosphere. After a few miles there will be a parking lot on the right- follow the walking path which will lead you to the most tranquil thatched roof pergola overlooking the bayside of the biosphere (see below). A little heaven on earth. If you're hungry or thirsty there is a restaurant not far on the ocean side that has great tuna ceviche and hummus.
- If you want to venture off the Tulum peninsula, go snorkeling at one of the local cenotes. The dripping limestone formations make for a surreal & enchanting underworld. I would advise to avoid swallowing any water while in the bat cave...guano!!