This week saw the demolition of a Puerto Morelos landmark, which unofficially in town was known as “the Taj Mahal”. Located at the end of Rojo Gomez, the giant mansion was erected on four lots 16 years ago.
The real name of the house was, Casa Chichan Nah. It was owned by a couple from Pennsylvania. We won’t mention their names here, but he was an executive with the company in the US that popularized the use of zinc lozenges to lessen the effects of the common cold. For that reason, we always called it “the house that zinc lozenges built”.
We don’t have exact dates, but the house was built in 2003 and survived Hurricane Wilma in 2005 very well, though the pool area was destroyed.
At 517 square metres (over 5000 square feet), this was not a small house, it sat on four full lots and despite its enormity, it only had three bedrooms. Since
Let me paint the picture for you. This home was stunning. As you entered the front door, you would step into a breathtaking foyer with two sweeping staircases that lead to the bedrooms that overlook the tranquil blue waters of Puerto Morelos. On the main floor, an open-plan great room leads onto a veranda that has a beautiful pool and the Caribbean sea.
To your left is a large, well-equipped kitchen with island and seating area for four. In front is a formal dining area with seating for eight.
To your right is a living room with a comfortable family area with couches and a television.
Upstairs you find three bedrooms. The Master has a king size bed and a commanding view of the grounds and Caribbean. There are two more bedrooms, each on either side of the Master each with two, queen size beds.
All the bedrooms have their own, large, luxurious bathroom with a dressing area and storage for clothing and luggage. Each bedroom also has a balcony with unparalleled views and fresh ocean breezes.
The owners unfortunately rarely made it down to Puerto Morelos because of work up north, so the house sat empty a lot of the time, only occupied by a house manager who kept things in top shape.
In more recent years the house was actually available for rent on AirBnb.
Last year, the owner sold the house to a company for a record-high Puerto Morelos square foot price. As lovely as it was, the company’s plans did not include the Taj. (The photos get a little sadder after this point)
On March 4, 2019, the sight of such a prestigious house being reduced to rubble was quite a shock. Frequent PM visitor Flo Vergeer captured the destruction for posterity with some excellent photos.
The Taj Mahal was taken down quickly, room by room after the valuable windows and doors were removed.
The new reality was especially shocking for those of us that watched the house go up back in 2003. The building was the talk of the town then, as was the destruction this week.
After its rapid ruination, the proud Taj Mahal was sadly dumped into big, noisy trucks and hauled away one load at a time. The once distinguished domicile reduced to fill.
The company that bought the house and lots are planning to build a condo/hotel on the site called “The Fives Puerto Morelos”. They have an office on the square in Puerto Morelos and a completed project in Playa del Carmen.