You love the idea of a getaway, but you’re looking for a more stimulating experience than the average beachfront resort destination. You want cultural experiences that go deeper than listening to a reggae band and hotel decor that goes beyond pastel conch shells. You want a place like Tulum, Mexico.
Tulum hotels differ from all-inclusive resorts that populate many Mexico beach cities. The guests are younger, artsier and less prone to bring their kids along (if kids are even a part of the picture). Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, friends trip or artist’s sojourn, a boutique-style hotel in Tulum will leave your soul satisfied.
Nomade Hotel and Papaya Playa Project
Tulum’s Nomade Hotel emphasizes community, describing themselves as a “human-centered hotel.” The selling point may at first seem to be luxurious waterfront suites that you’ll never want to leave, but a variety of wellness options, live music and great food pull you from your comfort zone and encourage mingling. Just up the beach, the Papaya Playa Project offers a similar ethos—“a communal playground for the creative community”—and vibe, with group wellness options, guest DJs, a film festival and more. Both properties are equipped with a holistic spa for guests interested in massage, yoga and traditional healing practices.
You’ll probably notice a recurring theme with each hotel name—these Tulum hotels and resorts have style to spare, curated for maximum Instagrammability. Be Tulum is no exception when it comes to aesthetic delights, offering 64 luxurious suites complete with plunge pools, compact kitchens and bold decor. Here, it would be the copper bathtubs, rooftop solariums and artfully plated seafood dishes from Maresias, the raw food bar, that get the most Instagram likes. When you’re not catching rays on the beach, you may find yourself soaking in a flowery herb bath after your tree-top yoga class—when in Tulum, right?
Whether you choose to stay in one of this eco-hotel’s comfortable cabanas or tower rooms with an ocean view, CoCoTulum Hotel puts you in that beach state of mind. Its beach club transports you directly into the pages of a travel magazine, where you gaze at the ocean from a rustic white swing set, glass of wine in hand. For a romantic beach getaway, opt for either a luxurious tower room or book in advance for the hotel’s only suite, private hot tub included. Affordable options here are no less spectacular, and the cabanas with shared bathrooms are ideal for big groups. CocoTulum’s restaurant, Juanita Diavola, serves up colorful dishes and cocktails, including homemade pasta and beef carpaccio.
If you’re looking for something closer to a traditional beach hotel experience, La Zebra has you covered. Picture a beach lined with bending palm trees, thatched-roof cabanas and plush couches in the sand. No less luxurious, but certainly more simple from a design perspective, this hotel might be one of the better options for traveling foodies; there’s a chef’s table, a New York-based cocktail pop-up, cooking classes, and an on-site mixologist. La Zebra still caters to the hippy in everyone with yoga arrangements, bird watching at nearby Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and more.
This eco-resort is everything Tulum-chic has come to represent: an adults-only paradise where you can look out from your own rustic-couture, oceanfront villa, complete with its own plunge pool. Enjoy a view of the ocean from a bathtub at the hotel’s Maya spa, or let your cares drift away while you soak in the on-site cenote. Lovebirds can relax with a couples massage or even a traditional Mayan wedding. If all those perks aren’t enticing enough, eat at the treehouse restaurant, Kin-Toh, for one of the best views in Tulum! Try not to Instagram everything—even though it’s awfully tempting to do here—as Azulik is a great place to disconnect from it all.
Tulum is already known to be a bohemian artist’s paradise, but Casa Malca takes this concept one step further, allowing visitors to cohabitate with major works of contemporary art. A perimeter of white sand encloses what is practically a museum—with all the urban-chic trappings of a Tulum resort. Lio Malca, a New York-based art dealer, spearheaded this project and displays part of his collection on the premises. As if this accommodation option isn’t interesting enough, the building was once a mansion belonging to famed drug lord, Pablo Escobar—bulletproof walls and all.
Nestled between coconut trees and sand, Zamas Hotel puts you right on the beach at a fantastic value. Whether you are looking for a private yoga lesson, romantic picnic or traditional Mayan spa treatment, Zamas goes above and beyond, even bringing you breakfast in bed. Colorful tile walls, plush beds surrounded by mosquito nets, and oceanside hammocks decorate each accommodation option. Spend your evenings at the hotel restaurant, where locally sourced food and always-original live music by the Gabriel Platchi Trio await you. Be sure to check out the evocative mural by celebrated artist, Nicole Salgar, during your visit. Before you leave, grab something to remember your trip by from one of the three resident boutiques: Mixik, Hilo Rojo and Shalom. All of which sell locally made souvenirs ranging from affordable skeleton sculptures to $1000+ handcrafted jewelry.
NEST Tulum never lets you forget that you’re in Mexico, blending the country’s past and present in everything from the design to the authentic on-site dining options. Modernity joins nature in the decor as earth tones mix with straight lines and the elements become amenities. There are a number of rooms available, with tower and ocean-front choices, but the jungle and garden rooms are the real standouts here. Accommodations mingle with the surrounding flora seamlessly, keeping you close to the wilds of gorgeous Tulum. It’s easy to fall in love with NEST and celebrate it on the premises. Rent out the entire hotel for a minimum of three days and say “I do” on the NEST beach surrounded by loved ones, attentive staff and the ocean.