Tulum is a good place to get in touch with your inner Mayan. It was an important walled city for the Mayans during pre-Columbia times. Unfortunately, the Mayans at Tulum only survived about 70 years after the Spanish conquest. These ancient Mayan ruins are a major reason you should visit Tulum. The fantastic beaches, with waves from the Caribbean Sea washing ashore, are another reason to visit this Mayan Riviera town in southeastern Mexico. The best places to stay in Tulum are eco-friendly, some bordering on the jungle, and casually chic yet luxurious at the same time.
Pretty darn amazing is how you’ll describe Hotel Azulik, a Mayan spa and eco-resort spread over a Mayan archaeological site at Tulum. Gorgeous ocan views. Awesome jungle walks. Thatched roofs that belie the luxury you’ll find inside your tent. Your own private villa — Hotel Azulik has 15 of them. A restful experience with no telephones to distract you – there’s no electricy either. At this adults-only resort, you can even experience Mayan detoxifying rituals at the spa.
You’d never catch Fred Flintstone, our favorite prehistoric man, working out on a treadmill. He might have, however, stayed at Alaya Tulum where the workout equipment is made of natural materials from Fred’s day. As an added inducement, the equipment sits on the beach facing the Caribbean Sea. This eco-friendly resort also offers yoga lessons (Fred: thumbs down), sunrise meditation and kite-surfing lessons (Fred: thumbs up). Guests rave about the soft sand on the private beach.
Since Tulum is a fishing village, it’s appropriate that a hotel on the beach be called Pescadores or fisherman’s beach. The eco-friendly Villa Pescadores Tulum has 18 bungalows decorated in a casually elegant style. Do note that eco-friendly means the air conditioning is only on at nights. But that’s OK, you’ll be spending most of your time outdoors, snoozing in a colorful swaying hammock among the palm trees, walking the white sand beach or paddling in the Caribbean. This is relaxation at its best.
In addition to providing a laid-back atmosphere, the Ahau Tulum brings a hint of Indonesia to the Caribbean with its Bali style rooms. This beachfront hotel offers 23 rooms with ocean or garden views. Some rooms share gardens and outdoor showers, while others have vaulted ceilings to add to the ambiance. A sister to the Alaya Tulum hotel, the Ahau Tulum specializes in beach weddings where the bride and groom say their vows sans shoes. A bit of trivia for you: the hotel is named after the Mayan sun god, Kin Ahau.
Most everyone has their own secret garden, a place they can retreat to. At Secret Garden Tulum Hotel, the garden isn’t so secret, but its lush vegetation surrounding comfortable outdoor furniture makes it a great place to unwind and relax after a day of sightseeing. The secret may be in its location on a quiet street in central Tulum, with beaches and Mayan ruins less than four miles away. The hotel boasts only eight simply decorated rooms, with an atmosphere guests describe as charming.
There’s an interesting backstory to La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel. Four sailors survived a horrific shipwreck off the coast. After they swam ashire, they saw a zebra swimming ashore and running into the jungle; they named the place La Zebra. The hotel is in a jungle setting, almost as if it was set down from thin air. On one side, there’s the ocean; on the other, jungle. The hotel describes itself as “beach chic,” which is hard to argue with. This 24-room hotel has a swimming pool on the beach.
Encantada Tulum lives up to its name in an enchanting jungle and beach atmosphere where romance still lives. The cabanas contain eight luxury rooms that almost seem overshadowed by the tall palm trees that surround the hotel. All rooms are decorated with local art, but only rooms on the first floors have air conditioning; gentle breezes keep the upper floors cool. This is a good place to stay in Tulum for couples, since kids under 12 are not allowed. Ask the hotel to arrange a romantic dinner on the beach for you.