La Tropical is a contemporary lush retreat hidden behind one of the many colonial facades of historic Merida.
What is the story behind Villa Capullo, what was your inspiration to create it?
We had friends living in Tulum and would go on vacation there twice a year. At the time, we were living in Africa, working in the oil and gas industry. But we wanted to change our life and do something more in line with our values. We have travelled a lot throughout our lives and opening a bed and breakfast was always part of our future plans.
In 2015, it felt like time to make the move. So we sold everything and moved to Tulum, just as it was starting to develop as a tourist destination. We bought a plot of land, began designing the house and started the build. But it wasn’t easy, as we had to settle into a new country and learn Spanish.
Initially, we were going to have individual rooms that could be rented out and we were going to live in a house onsite. But we quickly realised that that was going to be complicated in terms of managing family life.
So we decided that we would only rent it out as an entire property and we would move offsite. This involved building more rooms and making some transformations. It’s something that we are continually doing, adding new features — we like for the project to always be evolving.
How would you describe the atmosphere & the interior design of the villa?
While I am a designer by trade, the process of designing the interiors was a collaborative effort. I always draw the plans but Alex and I exchange ideas and the final result is something we achieve together.
We are French and most of our clients are from Europe or the United States, trying to escape the cold back home. So we wanted to offer a tropical experience, which is why all of the living rooms are open to the outdoors. For me, this is the highlight of staying in tropical countries.
The design is very minimalistic but it doesn’t feel cold — there is a lot of life and warmth. While the common spaces are designed for big groups and socialising, all of the bedrooms are quite independent and feel like staying in a boutique hotel.
Many of our guests have plans to do a lot of activities in Tulum, then when they arrive at the house, they don’t want to go anywhere! With the jungle, the pool and people cooking for you, it’s so relaxing just staying at the house.
To you personally, what is so special about the villa?
It’s our baby and it has amazing energy. When you enter the space, you feel like you are in a cocoon. The minimalist architecture is very relaxing and there are beautiful spaces to socialise in, as well as your own room to retire to. I think the fact that you’re taken care of by the staff and pampered is also special, as it allows you to just relax and enjoy your vacation.