Life’s a beach to designer David Graziano, a former-nightclub designer who fled the fast lane for a slower pace in Mexico.


Switching careers is always a bit of a tango, but for designer David Graziano hopping from New York City to Tulum, Mexico was a no-brainer. On this episode of EX-PATS—a Reserve Channel YouTube series to satisfy your wanderlust—we retrace David's steps from nightclub designer to tropical hotel owner.

From the time he was 28, David's designs spanned such NYC venues as Pink Elephant and Kiss & Fly. His club hopping continued for 13 years, until he realized some island inspiration was in order.

Moving to the sandy shores of Tulum gave David a "giant lift," and he began building Ahau Hotel from scratch as soon as he landed. From the location to the bedding, David made sure every aspect of his hotel was as much a paradise for his guests as Mexico was for him. Now a proud husband and father, David gets to raise his little girl on the palm tree-lined beaches of Tulum.

Sound like a dream? Watch the video for more on this designer's self-made paradise.

To learn more about Tulum, visit our destination guide.

By Travel + Leisure and Travel + Leisure Staff