THE LONG ROAD HOME
Carol Kolozs has lived in many countries and experienced life as everything from a soldier to a shoemaker. But perhaps most impressive is that he's created a hotel that expresses all that he's learned along the way.
Born to a Romanian mother and Czech father in Mexico City in 1946, Carol Kolozs has always been a free spirit. From the Mexican countryside to New York and back to his Jewish roots in Israel, Kolozs has pretty much seen it all. As a US Paratrooper during the war in Vietnam, the concept for developing an old hacienda in Mérida into what ...
“I feel privileged,” he says. “I feel like I’ve been exposed to so much. I’ve traveled so much and I’ve seen so much that I think, at the end, you carry all that with you.”
... became Rosas & Xocolate in 2008 was not yet born. However, the war experience combined with his various business ventures (Kolozs ran everything from a car business to the athletic footwear business in the United States) painted the canvas that would culminate in Rosas & Xocolate. In 1989, he established the Italian athletic brand Lotto in Mexico in a Chinese joint venture; in 1995 he received the Mexican Industrialist of the Year Award. When he sold his athletic shoe business after 24 years, the time had come for Kolozs to step into property development, and thus Rosas & Xocolate (named for his mother and the sweet delicacies once used by the Mayans as a currency) was born. Rosas & Xocolate is the physical representation of all that he’s experienced. “I feel privileged,” he says. “I feel like I’ve been exposed to so much. I’ve traveled so much and I’ve seen so much that I think, at the end, you carry all that with you.” Kolozs had chosen his spot wisely. Mérida is a city of Mayan roots and colonial foundations. During the city’s heyday, at the turn of the 20th century, incredible wealth flooded in, and it was said to be one of the five richest cities in the world. Mérida is also neighbored by Chichén Itzá, a massive archeological site of Mayan ruins that draws thousands of visitors each year and is considered one of the Wonders of the World. Renowned for its galleries, museums, shops and restaurants, Mérida is the cultural hub of the Yucatán. “I’m a lover of old architecture, and I guess this is my platform to demonstrate it. This is my canvas, where I was able to pour everything that I’ve done for the last fifty years," says Kolozs.