Mexico › Tulum › Best Hotels
Updated: February 8, 2023, 2022
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Tulum Hotels – Tips & Info
- Tulum is my favorite beach town in Mexico. Great beach, food, nightlife, local vibe, and wonderful nearby sights.
- There are two main areas to stay in Tulum: The pueblo (the town center with a local vibe, great restaurants, boutique and budget hotels; located about a 15-minute bike ride to the start of the beaches). And the beach (a long strip of luxury boutique beach hotels, trendy restaurants, and a relaxed touristy vibe).
- Booking.com – The best site (and best prices) for booking hotels in Tulum.
- Best Hotels on Tulum Beach: La Valise (pictured above) • Mezzanine • Jashita • Casa Malca – all of these are absolutely wonderful places to stay.
- Best Boutique Hotel in Tulum: pretty much all hotels in Tulum are boutiques (there aren’t any large resorts) but if I had to pick one as the best it would be Mezzanine.
- The best cheap hotel in the Tulum Beach area Las Palmas Maya, but it is located across the road from the water.
- Tulum has the best beaches along the Yucatan coast. Great sand and swimmable surf.
- December to April is the best time of the year to visit Tulum – but Tulum is a year-round destination and you can have a great visit any month of the year. September and October are the rainiest months but otherwise, I wouldn’t let the time of year dictate if you should come.
- Book very early for the best hotels on the Tulum beach. Six months in advance is good, nine months is better.
- High season is January, February, July, August, and late December, when it’s even more important to find hotels early.
- Tulum does not have any mega-resorts or all-inclusives. The places listed below are small to medium-sized boutique-style hotels with lots of character.
- My top tips for visiting Tulum are to eat some tacos al pastor, swim in a cenote, and rent a bike for geting around.
- The food in and around Tulum is amazing and one of the highlights of the town. These are my favorite restaurants in Tulum.
- Tulum is great for families. These are the best hotels for families in Tulum.
The 25 Best Hotels in Tulum
Most of these hotels are walking distance to several restaurants and biking distance to town.
1. Mezzanine – luxury
Superb, oceanfront, boutique hotel with refined, economical ‘non-view’ rooms, sea view rooms, and master suites, all with mini bars, yoga mats, and coffee/tea baskets (delivered daily). The 2 master suites add coffee makers, soaking tubs, bluetooth speakers, lounge areas and large private terraces overlooking the beach. Mezzanine has a pool, Thai restaurant, bar, lovely long beach (steps from the hotel), and is a short bike ride from the Tulum ruins.
Hotel phone: +52 1 984 131 1596
Review • Check prices for Mezzanine
2. Jashita – luxury
Family-friendly, luxury boutique hotel with 3 pools (kids’, adults’, and rooftop adults’ pools), beachfront service, daily yoga, and a spa with shaman ceremonies. Their wide range of rooms and suites all include king-sized beds, welcome wine and chocolates, and private terraces; honeymoon suites and the penthouse suite add private pools. Their all-day restaurant Pandano offers a delicious Mexican-Italian menu with especially great lobster and handmade pasta along with creative and classic cocktails. Located on an absolutely stunning, semi-private beach in Soliman Bay near Casa Cenote and about 10 km north of the Tulum ruins.
Hotel phone: +52 1 984 875 4158
Review • Check prices for Jashita
3. Casa Malca – luxury
Stylish, art-focused hotel with 3 outstanding restaurants, a creative bar, a beach club, 2 pools (1 is underground), complimentary bicycles, and free sunset yoga on the rooftop terrace. Each design-forward suite features an eclectic mix of antique and contemporary décor and original artwork from owner Lio Malca’s extensive private collection. The hotel is kid-friendly all year long, except for the weeks surrounding New Year’s Eve when it becomes an adults-only spot during Tulum’s EDM festivals. Located on a white, sandy beach within a 10-minute walk of Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve and several of Tulum’s best restaurants and bars.
Hotel phone: +52 1 984 167 7154
Review • Check prices for Casa Malca
4. La Valise – luxury
Luxurious, boutique hotel with spacious rooms and a suite, 24 hour air conditioning, 2 heated plunge pools, and a gorgeous stretch of beach. Service is impeccable and highly personalized. Their onsite restaurant serves breakfast and lunch indoors or on the beach, while their sister restaurant Nü serves creative Mexican fine dining under the stars. Located on the southern end of Tulum’s hotel zone in a quiet beach stretch within walking distance of several fantastic restaurants.
Hotel phone: +1 305 999 1540
Review • Check prices for La Valise
5. La Zebra – luxury
Beach-chic, luxury hotel on a wide stretch of white, sandy beach with a long rooftop pool, playground, and free, weekly salsa dancing lessons. All family-friendly, open-plan suites are designed for up to 4 with a king-sized bed and a double twin trundle bed, a dual shower, and dual vanities; many suites include private plunge pools. Amazing food and drinks, a small spa, and friendly, attentive service round out the experience here.
Hotel phone: +52 1 984 115 4726
Review • Check prices for La Zebra
6. Ahau – luxury
Wellness-focused, pet-friendly, beachfront hotel with outstanding food, eclectic rooms, and an extensive program of yoga, meditation, and healing rituals. Their onsite restaurants use fresh, organic, local ingredients in partnership with Mayan farmers and offer top-notch menus for vegans and meat-eaters alike. The beach here is amazing: sandy and swimmable, well-organized with beach beds and hammocks, well-served by the beach bar and grill, and with their own kite surfing school. Ahau is in the heart of Tulum’s beach zone, walking distance to amazing restaurants and nightlife.
Hotel phone: +52 984 147 5225
Review • Check prices for Ahau
7. Nômade – luxury
Family-friendly, wellness-centered hotel with a gorgeous pool, free daily yoga, and a well-kept beach about a 10-minute walk from Sian Ka’an biosphere. Luxury tents, suites, and villas fuse boho style with modern perks, including air conditioning in all units (even the tents), private pools, and outdoor showers. Dining is fantastic at their vegan/vegetarian restaurant Macondo and at their super fresh seafood restaurant La Popular. What sets this hotel apart, though, is its focus on incorporating Mayan culture into all aspects of the hotel, including the menus, healing rituals, ceremonies, and ever-changing events program.
Hotel phone: +52 984 803 2243
Review • Check prices for Nômade
8. Cabañas La Luna – luxury
Rustic boutique hotel with spacious, family-friendly suites and a fantastic Mexican-Mediterranean fusion restaurant on a wide stretch of white sand beach. Spacious rooms offer up to 2 bedrooms and sleep 4 to 6 guests, while the villa features 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a private pool.
Hotel phone: +52 1 984 146 7737
Review • Check prices for Cabañas La Luna
9. Una Vida – luxury
Family-friendly, luxury hotel in the Pueblo (downtown) offering studios and 1- to 3- bedroom suites sleeping up to 8, all with stocked kitchenettes and outdoor showers, some with outdoor bathtubs. Facilities and amenities include a gorgeous pool, in-room yoga and massage, free bicycles, and a cozy breakfast and lunch restaurant. Private dinners and tequila and mezcal tastings are available on request.
Hotel phone: +52 984 240 5231
Review • Check prices for Una Vida
10. Mi Amor – luxury
Adults-only, luxury boutique hotel with an infinity pool, upscale restaurant and bar, and a cozy 2-room spa. Rooms and suites are designed with couples in mind, all with king-sized beds, 24-hour air conditioning, and private terraces; ground floor rooms feature private plunge pools. Mi Amor is located in the Tulum Ruins national park at the north end of the hotel zone, walking distance to the ruins, a beach club, and a handful of restaurants. The beach here is rocky, but it’s just a 5 minute walk to sandy Playa Paraiso at their sister property Mezzanine.
Hotel phone: +52 1 984 188 4273
Review • Check prices for Mi Amor
11. Encantada – luxury
Romantic hotel with 8 spacious rooms, all with king-sized canopy beds and private terraces with hammocks. Dining is exceptional at their onsite restaurant and bar and at their sister restaurant Nü across the street (they share the restaurant with La Valise). Encantada is located on a wide stretch of white sandy beach at the quiet, south end of the hotel zone within walking distance of several amazing restaurants and bars.
Hotel phone: +1 650 212 6782
Review • Check prices for Encantada
12. Sueños – luxury
Chilled-out, beachfront, artsy eco-hotel with Mayan-themed, beautifully decorated suites featuring hand-painted tiles, outdoor sitting decks, hammocks, porthole windows, and solar powered electricity. The lone penthouse has sofa beds, a stone hydromassage jacuzzi, a terrace, and 360˚ views of the ocean, jungle and lagoon of the Sian Kaan Biosphere. Sueños Tulum also offers complimentary breakfast, a yoga studio, fire pit, pool, and restaurant.
Hotel phone: +52 984 119 3484
Review • Check prices for Sueños
13. Dune – luxury
Adults-only, boutique hotel with an amazing Mexican-Mediterranean fusion restaurant, beach club, a pampering spa, and daily yoga. Romantic rooms and suites include 24-hour air conditioning and private terraces, some with private plunge pools. The beach here is one of the best in Tulum: sandy, swimmable, and protected by a reef, which makes for gentle waves.
Hotel phone: +52 984 238 9529
Hotel website • Check prices for Dune
14. Be Tulum – luxury
Super-stylish, beachfront, spa resort with 2 pools having a lineup of fantastic designer suites with cowhide rugs, leather chairs, and private balconies. Depending on the type, suites may have private plunge pools, indoor copper tubs, roof top solariums/terraces with pools, private gardens/pools, and small kitchens. Be Tulum also boasts two restaurants, a raw food bar, beach bar, yoga studio, meditation classes, and a spa.
Hotel phone: +521 984 132 6215
Review • Check prices for Be Tulum
15. Coco Tulum – luxury
Cozy cabanas, rooms/tower rooms with ocean/garden views in a laid-back, beachfront, eco-hotel. Has budget cabanas with shared bathrooms, high-end tower rooms with splendid views with terraces, and a lone suite with jacuzzi. Has a beach bar, temazcal, yoga classes, Mexican-Italian restaurant and many good restaurants within walking distance.
Hotel phone: +52 984 688 8592
Review • Check prices for Coco Tulum
16. The Beach Tulum – moderate
Adults-only hotel with a river pool, jacuzzi, full-service spa, and 2 restaurants, including the well-loved Ziggy’s Restaurant and Beach Club. Rooms are minimalistic yet elegant, and all include a private jacuzzi or plunge pool. Perks include 24-hour air conditioning, free bikes, free yoga, live music nightly, and tequila, mezcal, and wine tastings throughout the week. The beach here boasts powdery, soft, white sand, and there is a little cenote onsite, too.
Hotel phone: +52 984 157 9645
Review • Check prices for The Beach Tulum
17. Cabañas Tulum – moderate
Beachfront hotel offering a pool and a holistic spa. Its spacious rooms and suites feature up to 3 bedrooms; many include private jacuzzis. The sister property of The Beach Tulum, Cabañas Tulum shares the same fantastic swimming beach and Ziggy’s Restaurant and Beach Club, along with its own restaurant and beach bar Frescoes. Minimum age for hotel guests is 14.
Hotel phone: +52 984 871 1132
Review • Check prices for Cabañas Tulum
18. Alaya – luxury
Beautiful, beachfront boutique hotel with airy, light-filled beach cabanas/apartments, villas and suites having wooden floors, floor-to-ceiling windows with bi-folding doors and terraces. Apartments add small kitchens. Has a Latin American restaurant, outdoor eco gym, yoga lessons, kitesurfing and paddle surfing. The beach is a hotspot for sea turtles/nesting sites (during the season).
Hotel phone: +52 984 159 1696
Review • Check prices for Alaya
19. Naay – luxury
Stylish boutique hotel in the brand new Aldea Zama neighborhood, halfway between the Pueblo and the beach. Family-friendly 1 and 2-bedroom suites sleep up to 6 guests. The main highlight is the hotel’s rooftop, which boasts an infinity pool, kids’ pool, infinity jacuzzi, and an outstanding bar and restaurant with sunset views over the jungle.
Hotel phone: +52 984 231 1241
Review • Check prices for Naay
20. O’ Tulum – luxury
Adults-only hideaway north of Tulum with only 12 rooms sharing 3 pools, rooftop yoga, and a wonderful restaurant overlooking the beach. All rooms include king-size beds, 24-hour air conditioning, private terraces, and swim outs or jetted plunge pools; half of the rooms add indoor soaking tubs. The beach here is rocky, but the hotel is just a 10-minute walk (or a 2-minute ride on one of their free bikes) to the gorgeous, sandy, swimmable beach at Soliman Bay and about a 20-minute walk (5-minute bike ride) to Casa Cenote, one of the best cenotes in the Tulum area.
Hotel phone: +52 984 231 1241
Review • Check prices for O’ Tulum
21. Coco Hacienda – luxury
Charming boutique hotel in the Pueblo with 2 pools, a jacuzzi, a small spa, and a wonderful all-day Mexican restaurant serving an especially great brunch. Rooms all include 24-hour air conditioning and king-sized beds; Casitas add jetted baths and private patios with hammocks. Guests here have access to free bikes and discounted entrance to the beach club at their sister property Coco Tulum.
Hotel phone: +52 884 688 8592
Review • Check prices for Coco Hacienda
22. Tago – luxury
Stunning, beachfront luxury hotel. Rooms are huge with large glass sliding doors opening to their own private plunge pools. The onsite restaurant offers a Mexican-Mediterranean fusion menu with indoor or outdoor, beachfront dining. The beach is well-maintained with an abundance of sun chairs and fantastic beach service.
Hotel phone: +52 1 984 871 1310
Hotel website • Check prices for Tago
23. Hotel Tiki Tiki – luxury
Trendy boutique hotel with a pool, bar, and in-room massage. Tiki Tiki is located in the Pueblo, walking distance to Tulum’s vibrant restaurant and bar scene. A design-forward hotel, the decor blends Art Deco, retro ’60s, and beach-chic styles in its 15 unique rooms. This hotel tends to attract a younger crowd, especially honeymooners, couples, and bachelorette parties.
Hotel phone: +52 884 688 5005
Review • Check prices for Hotel Tiki Tiki
24. El Pez – luxury
Family-friendly, luxury hotel with a pool, an excellent bar and restaurant, a shared kitchen area for guest use, and well-appointed rooms and suites on a small beach in a quiet bay. Most suites are 1-bedroom units that sleep up to 4 with a king-sized bed and a separate living area with a sofa bed and private pool. The beach itself is rocky, more popular for sunbathing and fishing than for swimming, but guests of El Pez have access to the beach at their sister property La Zebra.
Hotel phone: +52 1 984 116 3357
Review • Check prices for El Pez
25. Bardo – luxury
Elegant boutique hotel of contemporary luxury surrounded by lush greenery on the outskirts of the Tulum Pueblo. A large pool, excellent Milum restaurant and Kinky Room bar with lounge, temazcal and large yoga and meditation practice space. Villas are large and private, with semi-outdoor showers and splash pools.
Hotel phone: +52 984 807 1433
Review • Check prices for Bardo
Tulum Hotel Map
Hotels on Map: Jashita • O’ Tulum • Bardo • Una Vida • Coco Hacienda • Hotel Tiki Tiki • Naay • Mezzanine • Mi Amor • El Pez • Tago • Coco Tulum • Dune • Cabañas La Luna • The Beach Tulum • Cabañas Tulum • Ahau • La Zebra • Alaya • Sueños • Encantada • La Valise • Be Tulum • Nômade • Casa Malca
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362 replies on “Tulum Hotels”
Hi Dave, some great info here. May I ask few qtn’s please. We are travelling to Bahia Principe Akumal from 30 Sept-14 Oct this year. I have been looking at many cenotes to visit ourselves rather than through a scheduled tour. Which would you recomend for snorkling and swimming (no diving) which are close and easy to get to using colectivo/taxi from Bahia Principe?
Also, we are planning the famous Tulum beach bar crawl from Trip Advisor, would it be easy to walk into Tulum town from beach as I really fancy some street food rather than restaraunts (we will have enough of those on resort!)
Thank You very much in advance for any help you can offer.
Azul and Cristolino are two great ones and close to the highway making them easy to get to by collectivo. If you take a taxi then Dos Ojos is another good one.
I’m a walker but I would generally not say town is walking distance from the beach. Doable for sure, but it’s a long walk. Hotel Posada is right at the northern end of the beach (you’ll see it as you start the beach crawl). They have bike rentals. Grab one and you’re into town in 15 minutes.
We’ve booked to come to Tulum for 7 days as part of our honeymoon but have just found out that our hotel (the Encantada) has been double booked for some of our stay. We’ve been offered to move to The Beach or My Way for either part or all of the stay. I know you’ve recommended both of these hotels but does one have a slight edge for a honeymoon stay in November?
Love your blog by the way – the photos have been so helpful for us to imagine our holiday.
Both are wonderful places with great beaches and in a similar location – many good places to eat within walking distance. The Beach is perhaps slightly more luxurious and does have a pool. My Way a little more rustic and smaller – about a third the number of rooms. Can’t go wrong with either.
Hi Dave —
Love this article, very informative. Thank you. We are arriving in Tulum on the 15th of November for a week and I noticed that it is going to be cloudy and raining. Do you know how long the rain usually lasts and if it is going to effect relaxing on the beach, seeing the ruins, swimming in the cenotes? Thank you in advanced. – Anya
November often has good weather. That’s over a week away so the forecast could easily change. Rains are usually short lived and the sun pops out again in a few hours. The ruins are actually better on an overcast day (though rain makes them hard to enjoy). A cenote like the Gran Cenote is great in the rain as it’s largely covered and protected.
I love all your helpful responses and all the work and attention you put in to them. We will be staying in Tulum, but was wondering about Papaya Playa Project in Tulum? … I liked the vibe a lot but I know it has some mixed reviews so became a little concerned- it’s for a big birthday of mine so was hoping not to be disappointed. Also concerned about the overcast going in a few days and it seems to be very overcast and I love lounging by the beach so was a bit concerned … wish I found this site sooner!! 🙂
Papaya Playa is great if you’re looking for a party but I’d recommend staying somewhere farther south.
My wife and I are traveling to Tulum in two weeks! We are looking to book at the Azura Hotel. What do you think about that place? Or should we really look for a location along the beach? Also we will be renting a car from Cancun and driving to Tulum, do you see anything wrong with that?
Good location and nice hotel if you want to be in town. The main strip with restaurants and shops is a 3 minute walk away. The beach is a 10 minute taxi ride or 20/30 minute bike ride.
Glad I found your site. I am planning on traveling to Azulik in Tulum Dec 03-07 and just realized there are thundestorms the 5-7th. Can I still go in the cenotes? Would those be closed off, or is it dangerous? Is it dangerous to visit the ruins? Any information would help. We will also need to get to Cancun airport Monday morning. How easy is it to get on shuttle or taxi? I read above it is around $100 each way. Is that correct?
The open cenotes like Zacil Ha will probably close during a thunderstorm. The covered cave-like cenoteos like Dos Ojos will not close. The ruins will remain open but if there is lightning and rain I’m sure you’ll want to run for cover. Taxis are not hard to find at the airport though lately I recommend booking in advance. It will cost $120 from Cancun to Tulum with Paradise Transfers. I just used them again last week and they’re good.
I am coming in late February and considering staying at CoCo Tulum. What do you think of that hotel?
The big thing to know with CoCo Tulum is that most rooms have shared bathroom and showers – they’re clean but not a lot of privacy. The hotel has a very good pizzeria (Juanita Diavola) out on the main road and there are bikes for rent too. This is more towards the north of the beach road and thus easier to bike into Tulum Town for good local food.
Awesome site, very informative and fun! We’re lucky enough to plan a last minute trip to Tulum, able to book an ocean view room at Hotel Kin Ha Playa…and very relived to see it listed above! Favorite restaurants within walking distance? Have a pretty good idea about your favorites in town, will try several.
Kin Ha is right beside Posada Margherita which is one of the funnest funkiest places on the beach road. Great Italian food and good wine list. Very interesting decor. About a 5 minute walk along the road (towards town) is El Tabano – excellent mix of Mexican and seafood dishes. In the same area, but on the beach, Amansala Grande has a nice beach restaurant.
Thanks for the restaurant recommendations and the prompt reply! We’re VERY looking forward to this coming February, literally just booked the trip. First time we visited Tulum (from Akumal) we only stayed one night and just had to come back. Not a whole lot of choices that matched our preferences on short notice but Kin Ha Playa really seems almost perfect…we’re all about the beach and local flavor, do not need the all-inclusive ‘stuff’. Did we make a pretty good choice?
Yes, I think it’s a great choice and good location. Enjoy!
We didn’t realize how tough it is to find a hotel during the holidays…wish I discovered your site earlier! The options we have left are Kore Tulum Retreat & Spa Resort or Azulik. Any suggestions? They only have a few rooms left so trying to book.
Thank you in advance for any advice!
I would go with Azulik as I like the location better (though there has been construction in that area lately – it might be completed by the time you visit). Kore Tulum has a very nice pool but no beach (there is one a 5 minute walk towards the ruins). Both hotels are across from the bike path which makes it easy to get into town. Azulik has several restaurants (and live music) nearby. Kore Tulum very little. All that said, Azulik has a very rustic feel that does not appeal to all.
Thank you, Dave. As we went with your suggestion to stay at Azukil, you mentioned there are several restaurants nearby. Any in particular that you recommend? Thank you!
Next time, we will book far in advance!
There are 3 good restaurants as you walk away from Town. The best is Puro Corazon, which has live music on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Mateo’s is a bit more pub grub food but still good and live music Monday and Friday. Zamas is also good. The service staff is very friendly but almost totally incompetent.
Wonderful, thank you again for the recommendations!
Hey Dave, great information here. I’m booking last minute, it’s Sunday and I will be leaving Tuesday. My choices have come down to Palms Tulum in town or Cabanas Los Lirios to the south. Any ideas for me? Town is good because I could bike to most places, the beach is always good. Going solo…
Thank you, Rob.
Both are nice places. Palms has a central location that’s an easy walk to grocery store and lots of restaurants (many of them cheap and delicious). They also have a small pool, kitchenettes in all rooms, and free bikes that you can use to ride to the beach (20 to 30 minutes). Los Lirios has a great beach and small pool (which is rare for the beach hotels). As you say, it really comes down to beach vs town.
Hi Dave – Great site!
Help! We are completely last minute – a family with three kids, 21, 19, 15 – trying to find a place December 27 to January 2. Hotel PavoReal seems to have the only rooms, and they seem iffy – some reviews great, some terrible. Do you have any advice – do you know that hotel? Yes, it’s crazy that it’s so late, but we thought worth a try.
All best, Christina
It is a fine hotel (good but not great, nice pool, great beach) but it’s not on the main Tulum beach area or in town, so it’s fairly isolated and nothing much within walking distance. There is a good cenote nearby (Casa Cenote) which is great for swimming. To get into town you need to walk out to the main highway to get the bus or take a taxi which is about $20 one-way. The large family-rooms and the pool (rare for Tulum) do make it good for families.
So glad I found your site! I’m looking for a hotel for 2 adults and 1 kid (11) in March and Alma Tulum has shown up in a few searches. I see that they are just opening this month and photos look promising. Do you have a sense of the place? Is the area still under construction? Any other recommendations?
Alma Hotel opens on December 22. I think they’re still doing some final things but should be all done by March for sure. It’s pretty far south on the beach (between Hip Hotel and Suenos) but still walking distance to a few restaurants and an easy bike ride to the whole beach strip (and town).
Hi Dave, I just received some money from my school to travel and see the cenotes, but the time I can do it is between Christmas and New Years and there doesn’t seem to be any hostels available. Any suggestions?
Not really. Have a look at staying in Vallodilid – great town with lots of cenotes within a short bike ride – but it’s inland and no beach.
I’m looking to go to Tulum at the end of April and was considering Casa Violeta, Coqui Coqui (if it’s even available, they haven’t responded to me and i read bad reviews about service), and Amansala. It would be my husband and I with our 1 year old son. Ideally it would be great to be walking distance to restaurants, etc and town, but in a nice hotel that is quiet (doesn’t have to be too quiet, just not a party hotel) and a nice stretch of beach to play in. Any recommendations would be welcome!! Thank you!!
Of those, I would go with Amansala. Nice restaurant/deck on the beach that is idyllic. There are good restaurants right across the street and just down the road is Posada Margherita (the best Italian restaurant in Tulum and lots of fun). None of these hotels (or any beach hotels, really) are walking distance to town so for that you’ll need to taxi or bike.
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. After reading more reviews, I’m worried Amansala will be full of too many groups and people on yoga retreats. What do you think about Hotel Nomade vs. Ana y Jose? It is a pretty big price difference ($350 vs $550). Or do you have an alternate recommendation?
1. Is it worth being on the beach? or is it always full of seaweed?
2. We don’t want a party hotel, since we are a couple with a 1-yo.
3. Will probably do day trips to tulum ruins, cenotes and maybe chichen itza.
4. Would like to be walking dist (or short 5-10min taxi) to some good restaurants.
Thanks again!! I am overwhelmed with so many good options.
Ana y Jose is great. Good location with several restaurants within walking distance. Hotel Nomade is a new hotel down by Be Tulum and close to the biosphere (and has far less nearby) and farther from town and the hot spots along the beach. It’s great to be on the beach and the seaweed problem has improved a lot in the last few months (though there are still bad spots that can come and go).
I can tell anyone reading this that I have brought my baby and then young child to Ana Y Jose many times with great success. They have great service and luxury accommodations that are helpful with small children. A small pool for example – which is really helpful with a child, especially if the sea happens to be rough. Small mini fridges, excellent restaurant options, and AC should it get muggy when there. I’ve stayed in many different places as well – Maya Tulum, Amansala (which I do not advise with small children – it’s often full of traveling yoga groups who can’t get into kids … and would rather enjoy their breakfast in total silence … as a ‘thing’…which would be fine if they had the whole place to themselves but when it’s you and a small group of them – it can be annoying). I also recommend Maya Tulum if you have kids … any age really – but especially if they are responsible preteens – you can feel confident leaving them on the beach or in your room, or they can go to the restaurant and get themselves food or smoothies on your tab – while you get a massage or take a yoga class … it’s quite safe and well staffed.
Great insight Wendy. Thanks!
Thank you Wendy!
Thank you so much for this helpful information and website – it’s great.
My husband and I are planning a delayed honeymoon in Mid-May. We have been scoping out private, quiet, romantic hotels with sea views in the $300-350/night price range, and are really torn between The Beach – Tulum and Mezzanine. Do you have a preference for either? What we really enjoy about The Beach is the view of the ocean offered from all of their rooms, and its proximity (presumably walking distance) to other restaurant and activities in the hotel corridor. However, Mezzanine has a slightly more luxe feel and the privacy of the beach is appealing. Again, do you have any suggestions? We’re completely torn! Thank you in advance!
Mezzanine has more privacy but can feel secluded as there aren’t many restaurants in the area (though getting into town is nice bike ride). The Beach has much more within walking distance. That’s the biggest difference.
Please help…….wanted to stay at Be Tulum but full on the dates we wanted to stay.
The choice is between Nomade or Coral.
Which would you recommend?
We will have a car but would prefer to walk to restaurants etc.
Looking for great service, quiet location, and comfort!
Hotels book very early for Tulum – it gets more popular every year and you need to book as early as possible. Nomade is new (just opened) so can’t say much about it other than it looks nice and is located at the far southern end of the beach road without a whole lot nearby. Coral has much more within a short walk including Posada Margherita (the best Italian restaurant in Tulum).
Great site, thanks Dave. I’m leaning towards Rosa del Viento. Are taxis readily accessible around the area if I don’t feel like riding a bike?
They don’t always go down that far but there is often a line of them in front of Be Tulum which is a short walk from Rosa. You should be fine – just keep walking north until you see one.
Great site! My girlfriend and I have had our eye on Be Tulum for some time but now see that their sister hotel Nomade is open and much cheaper. Any thoughts? We’re going in late March.
Often new hotels have great rates and are good value for what you pay. So, I’d probably role the dice and try Nomade.
Hello Dave –
The site is great and appreciate all the helpful information. My wife and I just booked at the Hotel Posada Punta Piedra in mid March. How is the beach and your experience/knowledge with seaweed on the beach? Thanks again for all the information and we’re looking forward to the cenotes, Rivera Kitchen, ruins, and relaxing on the beach.
The beach there is in a little cove with a rocky outcrop at each end. The sand is great. I looked in there a few weeks ago and the seaweed was not a problem at all. That’s no guarantee for the future, of course, but the seaweed problem has been improving so I’d feel semi-confident about your hopes for March.
Thanks for your site! So helpful! We are a family of 5 with kids ages 12, 10, and 8. We want a swim able beach at our hotel and the ability to bike for food and activity. We’re looking at Alma, Villa Pescadores, Villa Alquimia, Om, Retiro Maya Tulum (they have a very large room but it’s in the jungle and we prefer beach front) and El Pez. What’s your top 3 from this list? We’re coming in March. Thanks! Lisa
Top choices would be Om, Retiro, and El Pez – though it’s far from clear cut. Villa Pescadores is nice but the location is not great for restaurants (though it is walking distance from the ruins). El Pez has a nice location in between the south beach restaurants (e.g Tacolum) and the north beach restaurants (e.g. Zamas).
What are your thoughts on the Viento De Mar as a place to stay for myself and husband? Seems that the northern end of the beach is convenient to town and maybe more things within walking/biking distance. Thanks for your input!
There is not a lot immediately around Viento De Mar, but yes, you’re right – the northern section of the beach road has more restaurants and there’s good stuff within a 5 minute bike ride north and south from Viento.
Love this blog! Thanks for all the great insight. I’m traveling to Tulum at the end of January with my boyfriend (we are in our late 20s) and I’m having trouble picking a hotel … I’m surprised that most still have availability but some only have their most expensive rooms available … Are some of the hotels worth it? How would you rank the ones below? Important for us is a pretty pretty beach, cool atmosphere and a bit of luxury (this will be our first vacation in a while!) … How much should I be considering the hotels proximity to town? We’re city people so we’re used to walking or riding bikes. And if not taxis are a good option? And lastly are there any other great hotels I should look into? Thanks so much!
Mezzanine Hotel – only their master suites are available
Ahau – only their most expensive rooms are available
Alaya – range of availability
Coqui Coqui – only their most expensive room is available
The Beach Tulum – waiting to hear back
La Zebra – range of availability
Jashita – range of availability but is this far out of town?
Of those I like Ahau and Alaya the best. I like the beach at Alaya a little better but it’s more suited to people with a yoga interest. Bike is the best way to get into town through the day. Taxis are better at night when it’s dark (the beach road is not well lit).
I am planning my first trip to Tulum and am looking at staying at the Cabanas Tulum. Any thoughts or input on that place?
Cabanas Tulum is very nice. Great beach. Easy walk or bike to several good restaurants. Free breakfast at Ziggy’s (which is right next door). There’s a small pool but you probably won’t use it much.
Hey Lara (or Dave if you have updated information),
We are going to Tulum in February with our 17 month old and 2.5 year old. We were hoping to find a bike trailer there. Did you have any luck? Our trailer at home doesn’t fold and would be really challenging to bring along.
Dave, planning a trip to Tulum and your site has been immensely helpful – now I need to beg for some specific, straight-forward advice! Our flights are booked (4 of us – me, wife, son, age 9, daughter, age 12). We are going March 20 – March 26. We may risk no AC (if hotter than usual, could be a nightmare for some of us), but may be better off with AC and more than purely rustic comfort. Looking for decent size room/villa (more spacious), with character, as close to ocean on beach as possible in “best section(s)” of beach (pristine sand, water, and waves/rough surf is welcome). Do not want to be totally isolated, meaning we would like to have at least some restaurants/bars/life in walking distance. We like physical adventures and biking. Assume that price is irrelevant. These are our finalists based on what may be available or what we have reserved on a refundable basis:
1. Punta Piedra Beach Posada (need to risk no AC) – Royal Double Room Oceanfront
2. La Zebra – Beach Front Ground Level Suite
3. Alma (just opened, it seems) – Suite Arena Beachfront
4. PavoReal – Interconnected Standard and Superior Rooms
5. Cabanas Los Lirios – Oceanview Suite
6. Villa Pescadores
Any guidance would be very appreciated.
All good choices but I would go with Punta Piedra or La Zebra. Punta Piedra is on a little cove of beach that is great (but you’re not taking walks along the beach from here as it’s not part of the long stretch of beach to the south). There are 4 or 5 good restaurants (though none of my absolute favorites) within a short walk of the hotel – 3 of these places have live music on rotating nights throughout the week. La Zebra is on the main stretch of beach and has several great restaurants nearby (though not just out the door like Punta Piedra) and these include some very good ones. The restaurant at La Zebra is also very good (especially the soups) and has a nice wide berth on the beach which is great for families that want to sit around and eat and drink all day. There’s a small play structure for kids at La Zebra. From Punta Piedra it’s a much shorter bike ride into Tulum Town (for some cheap outstanding food) and it’s bike path almost all the way, which is nice. It’s an additional 15 or 20 minute bike ride (along the beach road) into town from La Zebra.
We are a family of 4 looking to stay at Hip Hotel. I noticed its a sister property of Ana y Jose. We were also looking at Suenos. Any thoughts?
They are located almost directly beside each other at the farther end of the hotel strip – so it’s a little longer to ride into town – but there are still a few restaurants within walking distance. Suenos is slightly more upscale and has a pool. Hip Hotel is more rustic but I do like their restaurant layout a little better – the way it sits on the beach.
Hi Dave – do you have any recommendations for a reliable and decent airport taxi service? We are staying for 5 nights at El Pez and then would like our final 6 nights somewhere that has a nicer beach and one which is livelier for the final leg of our stay. Any suggestions would be good – don’t really want to spend more than £200 per night… Thanks!
When I book a taxi in advance I use Paradise Transfers – large vans with lots of room, good rates, and they meet you at the airport. El Pez has a pretty great location for checking out different areas of the Tulum beach. There are several places with good food and/or live music within a short walk (so not sure you’re going to get much better than that). But if I did move it would be somewhere south and close to Hartwood and Gitano. The beach is nicer here. Ahau Tulum is probably the best hotel in that area. My Tulum Cabanas is a less expensive option but it closes January 15th for an upgrade.
Hey Dave.. love the name.. and the site… Any thoughts on Maison Tulum? It looks very funky and fun. How is the location?
Friendly little place in downtown Tulum. A 5 minute walk from lots of great restaurants and tacos. Bus station is close too.
Hey dave! love the site, most helpful tulum spot on the whole internet.
We are doing a last minute trip for feb 14-15 weekend & quite a lot of things are booked up.
Both El Pez & Mi Amor have availability. The reviews are good, but wanted to get your take. What do you think?
Mi Amor is the nicer hotel. El Pez has a better location for restaurants, bars, and live music. Mi Amor is more hip and chic. El Pez more like a beach cabin (but still very nice). Mi Amor is a little closer to town but it’s not a big difference – it’s too far to walk but an easy bike ride from both. Neither have a great beach (actually, Mi Amor doesn’t have any beach) but there’s good sand nearby. From Mi Amor you walk 5 minutes to it’s sister hotel Mezzanine. From El Pez walk south and the beach opens up.
Great site Dave! I will be staying at Nomade mid April. It’s location is not listed on google maps so I was wondering it’s proximity to town? Is it close enough to bike? How would you suggest getting around to cenotes and other attractions? Thanks!
It’s at the far south end of the Tulum beach but it’s still a comfortable ride for most people (say, about 30 minutes). I would taxi to the cenotes.
Hi! I’d love some hotel advice. We are planning a trip to Tulum for next December. I’d love to find a place where we can stay in a little cabana right on the beach. We’re not looking for the most luxurious place, but also don’t want anything too rustic. Can you offer any suggestions? There are so many options it’s hard to pick without recommendations. Thank you!
Try Playa Mambo. Reasonably priced. Rustic but still nice decor and modern feel inside the rooms.
Hi Dave – we are thinking about traveling to tulum in March of this year. Do you prefer the Zebra hotel or El Pez? I noticed neither were on your top 12 hotel list. Why is that? We have a four year old, so want a place that is family friendly, with a good, clean beach, with good food and close to other restaurants. I prefer a luxury hotel, so the nicer the better. Also, I see you recommend Ana y Jose, but I keep reading bad reviews. Any ideas on that? So, not only would I love your preference on the zebra vs el pez, I’d also like to know your most recommended luxury hotels that are good for young kids. Thanks!
Both are very nice hotels but not quite luxury. Be prepared for some rough edges. The beach at La Zebra is better by typical standards. But the beach at El Pez (while not great for swimming) is fun to explore with kids – and good swimming is a short walk along the beach to the south. Both have many restaurants nearby, El Pez probably more within a short distance. Ana Y Jose will be more luxurious. I think service there has slipped a little over the years but the property is still beautiful.
Dave, Do you recommend renting a car? A friend recommended this to us while in Tulum.
I recommend against renting a car unless you have a very active itinerary with lots of driving and day trips. But for just getting around the Tulum area and maybe a few cenotes then taxis are cheap and easy to find. Biking is great too.
Love your site! Going to Tulum for the first time, and we’re looking at staying at a bungalow at Playa Selva — any thoughts? From your advice, I don’t think we’re going to rent a car, but my one concern is having easy access to all these great food spots (especially the tacos and other local foods)! Thanks so much — your site is a real help!
Playa Selva has a very good location on the beach road. Walking distance to Hartwood restaurant and other good places to eat. It’s easy to get a taxi from there to downtown for the best local food (the ride takes about 12 minutes). Playa Selva is on the rustic end of the scale of hotels but still definitely nice. The houses have their own kitchens, the bungalows have access to a shared kitchen.
Thank you so much for all of this information. It’s been so helpful! My boyfriend and I are planning a trip for March, and we’re a little late to booking our hotel. Where would you suggest we stay between Kira’s Beach House and Tunich Jungle Cabanas? We mostly just want to relax and eat the delicious food!
Tunich has a good restaurant attached to the hotel (Kira’s does not have a restaurant) but otherwise Kira’s is superior in every way. Tunich is not on the beach but across the road. Kira’s is on a great stretch of beach. Some of the rooms at Kira’s have kitchens which is nice.
Thanks for the information, Dave. We actually ended up moving our trip to the next week and just booked a room at Posada Punta Piedra!
This site is great, most useful site on Tulum. What’s your recommendation on the best luxury hotel, that’s quiet, with good beach? I’m looking for a relaxing getaway, to enjoy good food and drinks, so I don’t want there to be a DJ/party going on in my hotel where I can’t relax. But I still want to be able to bike to town and/or walk to nearby hotels for lunch/dinner and drinks.
Be Tulum – Wonderful beach and down at the end of the beach road where it’s almost secluded.
We are going to Tulum in the first week of march (very excited!!) and have already booked out flights but not a hotel. Our preference would be to stay in a cabana on the beach or across the street on the beach road (staying in the town would be our last option). We are both 22 and on a budget so we would like to spend less than $70/night for accommodation but it seems there is nothing in that price range on the beach for online bookings. I have heard that if you just walk around once you get there you can possibly get a cheaper deal for a room but I am not sure how busy it is during the first week of march. What is your opinion (keeping our budget in mind) on whether or not to book a hotel/cabana/room for 2 ahead of time or just walk along the beach road once we arrive?
Any other suggestions for non-luxury accommodation on the beach?
Also your site is great. Definitely going to check out a lot of those restaurants!
For anything on the beach you would want to book (far) ahead. But in town you could probably get away with showing up and walking from hotel to hotel. There aren’t a lot of hotels in town – which can be both good (not that many to check) and bad (if it’s busy, they’ll be full).
Diamante K is a great option for your budget. I stayed there last year and paid about $80 per night. It’s right on the beach.
Amazing site Dave!
My fiance and I are getting married in Cancun in June and want to spend a couple days after in Tulum (kinda our honeymoon but not really). Some friends from the wedding will join us but they want something moderately priced. We would like something nicer. Is there a combinations of a luxury hotel next door to a moderately priced one that you would recommend. Beach side for sure.
I’d look at Alaya (very nice) and Playa Mambo (the cabanas back from the beach are pretty cheap for Tulum). The two hotels are about 100 fee from each other. Great beach at both.
Great info! I read that you think Ana y Jose is the best hotel in Tulum. I am considering that hotel and also The Beach Tulum. I am curious as to why you prefer Ana y Jose. They are very similar price points with similar amenities, so I am having a hard time deciding. Both look great. The Beach Tulum has large private outdoor spaces, which does look appealing.
Are the beaches outside these hotels typically swimmable in late March?
Both are very nice and water will be swimmable in March. The beach space in front of each hotel is really similar as far as width – both have great sand.
We are longtime Tulum lovers. This year we’re staying at Casa Sol Y Luna near the Sian Ka’an boundary”the quiet end of the beach.” Have heard there is a new guest house next door that blasts music through outdoor speakers until 3am. Yikes! Say it ain’t so. Have you heard anything like this? Thanks so much for being the guy with his finger on Tulum’s pulse!!
I have not heard anything about this. There are some private/semi-private houses down at the end of the beach there so maybe it’s one of those. Can’t see it being one of the hotels as they’re all pretty low key.
I came across your blog while researching hotels in Tulum and I love it 🙂 My boyfriend and I are looking for a hotel by the beach that is almost like the more budget version of Be Tulum. That is when I came across Nomad Tulum and there are no reviews about the hotel. I read some comments in your blog but still I am not sure…
Would you recommend it now that is had been open for a while? Or is there a better option for us? Our budget is around 300 USD a night for the first week of May which should be a bit cheaper…
Would love to hear from you!
I love Playa Mambo. It has 3 beachfront cabanas which should meet your budget – and a few cheaper places back behind those. It has new owners (whom are great) and friendly staff.
Looking to possibly stay in Tulum for a bachelor party. Any recommendations on a hotel near or with night life? Also, aside from Gitano is there any other night life in Tulum?
Tulum is not the place for a bachelor party. For both your sake and the people who love Tulum, I recommend finding someplace else. Good luck.
What are your thoughts on Hemingway Romantic Eco Resort? And Hip Hotel? And Amansala? Out of the three which one would you go for?
Many thanks in advance !
All are about the same level of quality – with perhaps Amansala the nicest. Hemingway and Amansala are right beside each other and are more central than Hip (and much closer to town). Amansala is very focused on yoga and if you’re not in that scene it can be a bit of a turn off.
I’m planning on Tulum toward end of May. I understand I may come across some rain and humidity. I’ll deal with it. I’m looking for a luxury wellness “hotel” and wanted you opinion on Sanara or if you have other suggestions. I’ve already booked Mezzanine for the “fun party” portion of the holiday so definitely looking forward to that ! Thanks in advance for your help and input!
Sanara is a beautiful hotel that has a great yoga studio right on the beach. Just be sure to book beach side rooms, not jungle side (which means across the main road from the beach) as they are not good value.
Wonderful and informative site, Dave – thank you!
You state you recommend booking hotel rooms on booking.com. Beyond that website and the actual site of the hotel do you have any other websites you recommend as reliable for booking our stay?
Also, My husband and I (early 30s) are deciding between The Beach and Nomade. We are excited to relax, enjoy great food and drinks for 4 nights and do one outing to see the cenotes. Any thoughts between the two hotels?
Booking.com is my favorite in many ways.
Both The Beach and Nomade are very nice. The Beach is more central and walking distance from more restaurants. Nomade is brand new. Has a boutique hippy feel. And the beach is wonderful.
Love all the great info and insight!
My husband and I will be staying at Mezzanine for 7 days. I have read that Mezzanine is not close to town. What are the best way to go to town? What is there to do and see close to the hotel?
Mezzanine is not walking distance from town but it is an easy bike ride. It’s actually closer to town than most of the Tulum beach hotels. It’s also a short bike ride from the Tulum Ruins which are worth a visit. A nice beach is a very short walk from the hotel.
Hi Dave – My wife and I are headed your way the 2nd weekend in April. Ana y Jose Hotel seems to be your top pick hotel and looks fine for us, but we would like to walk/bike to town, is that do-able from Ana y Jose Hotel? – Thanks, Brad & Ann
Ana y Jose is in the middle of the pack for distance from Tulum, so yes, it’s a comfortable bike ride from town. Say, 20 to 40 minutes depending on your pace.
Hi Dave. Do you have any insight about Ahua and Nomade? My wife and I are torn between the two? We do see that Nomade is pretty new.
Ahau is more luxurious and comfortable. Nomade is more trendy and boutique. Ahau has more restaurants nearby. Nomade is in a quieter section of beach (and is farther from town).
This page is a mine of information – thank you so much! My wife and I are heading to Tulum for 4 nights in early March – it’s our first trip to Mexico. I’m considering staying at Nomade but the only rooms I can find are listed as Habitas Tent Suite but I can’t see these online and I’m also a bit concerned about whether we’ll be staying at a building site. I’d also welcome any comments on it’s location in terms of the beach, proximity to restaurants and ease of getting around as we won’t have a hire car.
Any perspectives much appreciated.
The tent suites are on the jungle side of the road (not the beach side). The tents are on a raised platform, have 2 double beds or 1 king bed, and have access to hot showers just back from the tents.
Awesome site! Which one do you think is better:
Coco Tulum or Nomade? Me and my fiance are looking for lots of relaxation and some fun. Which is closer to Hartwood, Gitano etc?
Nomade is more chic, trendy, and new. They are almost exactly equal distance to the Hartwood/Gitano strip but in opposite directions. Coco has far more nearby it than Nomade which is a little isolated (or pleasantly secluded, depending on your outlook).
Your replies are great, thank you!
We are two friends going to Tulum interested in yoga, nutrition and exercising, eg early morning walks, bicycling. We are leaving the kids in London with their fathers. Have read that a beach front room is a must, eg the more expensive rooms as if you are on the jungle side there is noise from the road and mosquitos. Living in London, like NY and LA we are used to good food.
Our dates: 30 Mach to 7 April, school break which means that prices are inflated.
We were actually thinking of Nomade’s tent accommodation but after seeing the pic you posted and the info we don’t think these tents are great… Or? And if they are still building it might be noisy.
What do you think about Aqua Viva in Tulum village? It looks really nice but 8km from the beach. My friend in NY says we need to be on the beach. Aqua Viva has given us a good rate. Is my friend right? Should we not stay in the village and pay more to stay at the beach?
What do you think of Casa Violeta and Luv Tulum (think Luv Tulum is the most expensive out of these four)?
Sorry for bothering you, but we are a bit lost and really want our 8 nights in Tulum to be perfect. You seem to know Tulum very well!
Staying in town is fun, so yeah, I wouldn’t shy away from Aqua Viva. I’d recommend staying 3 nights in town and 5 nights at the beach – either Casa Violeta or Luv Tulum. They’re right beside each other and the beach is great here. Good restaurants are within a short walk. Luv Tulum is the nicer of the two but no huge difference.
Hi Dave, thanks for what you do to help people out! We are heading there tomorrow with our 4 year old (staying at Zebra and then on to Hard Rock) and my parents are worried about recent travel warnings to Mexico for Americans, but I looked up their info and Maya Riviera is low risk. I was just thinking maybe we need to stay close to the hotel while we are there and not venture out so much…thoughts?
In my years of traveling the world I’ve found that grandparents are the single worst source of travel safety information. If there’s a safer place than Tulum I don’t know what it is. (Like anywhere the biggest risk you’ll face is travel by car. Look for taxis that have working seat belts – which is not always a certainty.)
Hi Dave. Do you have any thoughts on Be Tulum v. Coral? I am 32 and going with my mom (in her 50s) at the end of February. We are from NYC and want as nice a place as possible. While it would be nice to have some restaurants / bars in walking distance, the accommodations themselves are more important. My mom is usually more of the luxury travel type, but is happy just to have a nice beach, a clean (and air-conditioned) room and nice people working at the hotel. Both hotels look really nice and are around the same cost, with the main difference that Be only has jungle rooms available, while Coral has both oceanview and oceanfront rooms free. Thanks!
Both are great hotels without a large difference in quality … but I would not recommend a jungle room (at any hotel). They get a lot more mosquitoes. The breeze from the beach is effective at keeping most of the mosquitoes away but when you’re on the jungle side of the road there is a lot less breeze. The beach at Be Tulum, however, is nicer than at Coral.
Thanks! I was under the impression that the jungle rooms at Be were really garden rooms and were still on the beach side of the road. Though I’m sure being on the beach is nicer in any event. In what way is the beach nicer? Bigger? Cleaner? Less crowds? In a significant way? Thanks!
You are right. I was mistaken. The Jungle rooms are on the beach side of the road just back a bit. The beach at Be is nicer, cleaner, and wider. The hotel does a good job of cleaning it when there’s seaweed around.
We loved Tulum (last visit two years ago). Want to come back in June with 2 kids (6 &2) and stay for a month. Besides looking at AirBnb, do you have any good suggestions to look at rentals locally?
Yes, try AirBnb and Flipkey. Most rentals are in town rather than at the beach. The best locations along the beach are pretty much all hotels. If you don’t find anything you could book a hotel for the first few days and then ask around in town about rentals (Ki’bok cafe has a bunch of young friendly staff that seem to know what’s going on in town). Some risk involved with this but it’s how you’ll find the best deals.
We Are a family of six (four kids) planning a trip to Yucatan and Belize (maybe Tikal). Of course we need to spend some days in lovely Tulum (me and my wife stayed there at a cool place called Cabanas Don Armando 20 years ago, I doubt it’s still there…). The problem is, we would like to stay in one room and not have to divide the family in two units. Do you have any recommendations on hotels/bungalows that would suit us without breaking the bank? Should we look for a place in Tulum Pueblo instead of the beach?
And by the way: do you have any experience with Belize?
Brilliant page you got:-)
Regards Torgeir Baadsvik
Yes, you will definitely get better value staying in Tulum town rather than at the beach. Las Tres Palmas in town has good inexpensive rooms for families. Nice location and a small kitchen. Separate bedroom for adults.
I have not been to Belize but it’s a popular co-destination for many going to Tulum.
Hello Dave. Thanks for all the info. Will be making first trip to Tulum this month and wondering if you can suggest simple hotel downtown with pool and kitchenette (we have a child in tow). Don’t mind biking to the beach and hanging out in the pool downtown and close to all the great eateries. Thanks, Pablo
These hotels have good central locations in Tulum Town: LiveTulum has a nice pool and most rooms have kitchens. Hotel Posada 06 is less expensive has a small pool and no kitchens. Hotel Casa Sofia is a budget hotel but nice – very small pool and no kitchen. Las Tres Palmas is also budget – it has some nice family rooms with separate sleeping areas, small kitchens, no pool.
We are planning a trip beginning of May, and the available hotels you suggest here are:
If you had to rank them based on location, best best and best overall how would you do this?
I love the look of Nomade and Sanara but it seems they are further from everything, if so, how long of bike ride and is it safe?
Thanks for help, your website is by far the most helpful out there.
Sanara, La Zebra, and Playa Mambo are all very close to each other. Of those, I’d do Playa Mambo if you got one of the beach front cabanas. Otherwise go with La Zebra. Nomade is a bit farther down the beach road (away from town). It’s an easy bike from there to restaurants. Also walkable but could be too far for some. At night the beach road is not well lit so the walk becomes more of a hassle and I would not bike on the beach road in the dark. Taxis are easy to grab though expenses do add up.
Thanks so much for the site! Very helpful as I am planning a mid- March trip to Tulum. Right now my girlfriend and I are staying 3 nights at Alaya but we do not have a hotel to stay in for the first two nights we arrive. We would prefer something similar to Alaya (on the beach, relaxing, but close enough to restaurants / bars). Do you have any recommendations? We are looking at Coco but after looking at its instagram account, it looks like they have a lot of parties during the day and night which would not be very relaxing. Is this true?
Since you’re already staying in the south beach area I would look in the northern section for your other 2 nights. The hotels La Posada del Sol, Piedra Escondida, and Punta Piedra are near bars and restaurants, closer to town, and have a nice quiet beach cove. I doubt if Coco has parties all the time. Probably just talking it up on their Instagram page to look cool.
We are currently planning a trip to Tulum this spring and have reservations at Coral Tulum. We still have time to change them and just wanted to know your opinion on a few things about this hotel. We noticed that there are very few picture of the the beach in front of the hotel, do you have any knowledge on what it looks like? Rocky, wide, narrow, clean, clear of seaweed? In your opinion what stretch of beach is the best in Tulum?
Also do you know how close Coral Tulum is to the beach road? Just wondering about traffic noise.
Thanks so much,
Beach is pretty wide (certainly not narrow). Sandy and not rocky. Seaweed can sometimes be a problem but has been better the last several months. The hotel has loungers and umbrellas on the beach for guests. Most suites have easy access to the beach and are not near the main road (I’d be surprised if road noise was an issue). There are several restaurants within a short walk (both on the beach and on the beach road). My favorite stretch of beach is in front of Be Tulum, with the beach in front of Playa Mambo, Alaya, and La Zebra also very good.
We were planning on booking at La Zebra for this July, but the fire has become an issue and I am not sure they can accommodate us. Do you also recommend El Pez? The photos I have seen online look like there is just SO much seaweed on that part of the beach. What do you think?
El Pez is a great place with a nice central location for walking to a variety of restaurants. The beach here is not great however. It gets nicer the farther you walk south. From La Zebra south to Be Tulum is my favorite stretch of beach.
Thanks for the very useful info. Are you familiar with Cabanas La Luna? Planning a trip with my wife for our 10 year anniversary for late April. We’re a little late on booking and many of the places you recommended are booked up. Definitely want the beach front for the views/breeze and access to bikes and water sports (kayaks, paddle boarding?) from/near our hotel would be great. Again, thanks for the useful site.
Very nice small rustic/boutique hotel with 9 units. Great location for walking to a wide range of restaurants along the beach road (a few on the beach too).
What a fantastic website! My husband and I are planning to come in August. I’m deciding between Ana y Jose and Mezzanine. My two biggest concerns are the seaweed and the proximity to town (ideally, I’d like to be able to walk to some restaurants, if possible). Does one of these hotels do a better job at keeping the beach as free (as possible) from the seaweed? How about the walking distance to town? With these two concerns, overall, is there a better pick?
Thanks so much for your insights!
There is much more within walking distance of Ana y Jose than Mezzanine. But the beach is wider and nicer at Mezzanine than at Ana y Jose. Neither are walking distance to town – Mezzanine is closer but not a huge difference.
Any advice on cash vs credit? Bring US? Where to convert dollars to pesos? Just general overall advice on how to handle money in Tulum.
Nicer places will take credit cards (e.g. La Zebra) but have plenty of cash. Most places will take US$ but you’ll pay less if you pay in pesos. Not all cash machines give money in pesos (many give US$) – the machines at Scotia Bank in town do give money in pesos.
I saw that mezzanine have parties every friday. Do they still exist as the videos that are up are from years back?
If not where would you recommend that is lively? I am interested in both live music and house/dance music.
They stopped the Friday night parties a few years ago. Now there is live music during happy hour on Saturday (1pm-4pm) and there’s house/techno/lounge music playing pretty much all the time from 9am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
My fiancee and I will be traveling to Tulum for our honeymoon the first week of June and are considering staying at either Coco Tulum or Nomade. We plan on biking quite a bit, so which of the two hotels is closer to town and the ruins? Also, they are about the same price so in your opinion, which is the better hotel overall and why?
Coco Tulum is definitely closer to town but the beach road is so flat and pleasant that I wouldn’t say it’s a big deal. Nomade is maybe 10 minutes farther from town.
Nomade is brand new and little trendier. Coco has more restaurants that are within a short walk. Both are nice so can’t go wrong.
Hi Dave- Awesome site! SO helpful. My husband and I are between Nomade and Coqui Coqui. I was wondering if you could provide pros/cons and tips on location. Nomade seems a bit far from town. True? Thank you!
Not a huge difference in distance from town (about 5 more minutes on bike to get to Nomade). Coqui Coqui has more restaurants nearby including Hartwood, one of the best in Tulum. But Nomade is the nicer newer hotel.
I need a recommendation for a family with two adults and two small kids coming to Tulum in December.
We would like to stay on the beach and have access to a pool.
So far, I think Cabanas Los Lirios and Punta Piedra Beach Posada are our favourites.
Which one would you go for? And do you recommend any other hotel?
Also, any recommendation on a good place to get married and have the dinner & party for a smaller group of people!?
Both are nice hotels with good beach locations. I’d probably lean towards Punta Piedra for it’s location (a handful of restaurants just out the door and closer to town). Swimming pools at both are small. Good for a dip but don’t be expecting the pool at a Hilton. Zamas is a good spot for a group dinner. Fun atmosphere, they have lots of room and will let you reserve a set of tables. Food is good (not outstanding but the really good places are hard to reserve and not as fitting for a little party).
My boyfriend unfortunately might have to do some work during our vacation. So I’m looking for a place that has decent enough wifi to get that done, while having beach access to give me something to do if he does get sucked into some amount of work.
We’re not AI type people. We can go more or less rustic, as long as he can get done what he needs and I have something to keep me occupied.
It would be nice if we could be a short walk or bike ride to restaurants / town. I love the beach or snorkeling opportunities while he’s busy.
Honestly, we feel like $450 per day is too much. So we’d love if we could find something good in the $150 – $300 / night range.
From your experience, is there a place you recommend in these circumstances?
Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
Be Tulum and Ana y Jose have the best wifi in Tulum. But be prepared for anything. The internet can go down for a day at a time for seemingly no reason at all. Even though it’s pretty good at Ana y Jose sometimes you need to go to the restaurant to get a strong signal. Ana y Jose is about a 20/30 minute bike ride to town (and closer than Be Tulum).
Thank you for putting this list together it has been very helpful! We are a young couple and we are trying to choose between Ana y Jose (garden suite) and Villa Las Estrella’s (Ocean view) and the prices are the same. Which do you recommend??? Thank You!!!
Ana y Jose has more of resort feel and service that is a little more polished and “professional”. Las Estrella is more rustic and laid back.
Thank you for your excellent work here, Dave. I will spend a week in Tulum and am debating between staying in town or on the beach. Regardless of where I stay, if I rent a bike, where could I leave/lock it? Are there places in town and on the beach to do so? Is there a place at the ruins to leave a bike?
Also, do you have a favourite hotel in town and on the beach (a beach hotel whose cost won’t break the bank)? What’s the best stretch of beach? That would help me to narrow my hotel search.
Locking a bike is no problem in town or at the ruins or beach. Bikes are everywhere and locked to anything and everything that won’t blow away. All rentals come with a lock. The best beach is north of Mezzanine hotel and south of La Zebra.
What is your favorite moderate Hotel Dave? We are looking to host our wedding in Tulum and have 40 people to bring. Any suggestions?
Playa Mambo – great location on the beach. The only caveat is that the ownership has adopted an extremely “relaxed” management style. If you don’t have a lot of patience for booking, checking in, getting your breakfast, this is probably not the place for you.
Hi Dave! I’m interested in taking my 18 year old daughter to Tulum as her high school graduation gift and was planning to stay about 2 weeks. Early July is the time frame I’m looking at. I have some questions and you seem to be the expert!
Weather – looks like it will be humid, but less rainfall than other months. So July is good?
Hotels – I’m looking into staying roughly 10 nights in a moderately priced hotel near the beach, and restaurants. I saw one called Diamante K online and found a beachfront room for 140 a night with private bathroom, 2 beds. What are your thoughts on that hotel? Do you have any other moderately priced beach front recommendations?
For another 4 nights we’d like to do a more luxurious stay – mezzanine is my number one choice. Do you have any other recommendations?
I’ve never been to Mexico, so any tips on safety, etc for two women traveling together?
This site is awesome – thanks so much!
Yes, weather in July should be fine as long as you’re prepared for some humidity and occasional rain. Diamante K is nice hotel and close to a very good beach. But it is in a quieter section of Tulum and not walking distance to very much. I wonder if you and your daughter might be happier in a more central location where there are a good range of restaurants (and a few bars) within a short walk. Places like Posada del Sol or Punta Piedra (though there are many good choices)>. Also, Diamante K is very close to Mezzanine so even when you switch hotels you’ll pretty much have the same sights and restaurants just out your door – when you do switch hotels I’d recommend moving to a new area of Tulum so you get some different experiences.
Thanks so much for the advice! Yes, we would like to be walking distance to good bars and food, so maybe we’ll do the majority of our stay in one of the hotels you list and then move over to Diamante K or Mezzanine for the remainder of the stay. Are Posada del Sol and Punta Piedra both close to good beach locations? I found good rooms at both for around 150 a night. Are those your top recommendations for moderate hotels? Thanks again, so helpful!
Posada del Sol and Punta Piedra are on a little beach cove with nice sand and a friendly vibe. Several restaurants are within a 3 minute walk. It’s the area for live music at Mateos and Puro Carazon (though it never gets crazy, so no need to worry there).
Hi Dave. Great site. We are traveling to Tulum with our two boys, 7 and 8 years old. When you’ve traveled with your family, which have you preferred?: Staying in town and visiting beaches by taxi, or staying on the beach?
Both are great. I just asked my son what he preferred and got a long answer about how much better it is staying at the beach. I might have a slight preference for staying in town. You come back from the beach in the afternoon and sort-of leave the beach and sand behind. Shower up, feel properly clean, and go for a nice dinner. After dinner wander around the town when it has a fun busy vibe. Staying in town you’ll almost certainly spend less money. Meals are much cheaper in town and you’ll end up eating the majority of your meals near your hotel regardless of your intentions. Small kitchens and/or a fridge are more common in town so you can save a little on breakfast at the very least. That said, the atmosphere at the beach is great too. If you have more than 6 nights I would consider splitting your time between town and beach.
Thanks so much for all the great insights and advice. A quick question regarding the Calaluna Tulum hotel, how is the beach water in front of this hotel? In comparsion to Mezzanine or La Zebra? You mentioned in the previous posts that beach in the South is very good. I checked the Calaluna hotel’s location on the map, and am not sure if it is in the same zone as Mezzanine and La Zebra. Wanted to check with you before I make final decision.
Appreciate your help.
Calaluna (formerly La Conchita) is located on a very nice beach cove. Nice sand but it’s not a long stretch of beach like at La Zebra and Mezzanine. It shares the cove with Posada del Sol and Punta Piedra. A half-dozen restaurants (Zamas and Mateos) are just out the door.
Thanks so much for your quick response. What do you think about Hip Hotel Tulum? Online reviews are great, with many thumbs up for the excellent beach location. Is it in the central location where you can bike / walk to outside restaurants / bars ? I checked Calaluna again based on your advice, I think I would prefer a nice stretch of beach instead of cove.
Hip Hotel is very nice but I wouldn’t call it central. Everything is an easy bike ride along the beach road – it’s flat and a shady relaxing ride. Walking (especially at night as there are no sidewalks along the beach road) is a little more of a hassle. There are several places to eat walking distance from Hip but the main areas (there are 2 little mini-hubs of activity along the beach road: around Hartwood and around Zamas) are not within an easy walk.
Alaya and Playa Mambo. Which one is better (closer to town, cleaner, better service)? Playa mambo has a beachfront cabana available for our dates and Alaya has a family suite which is further back than beachfront … Love this site btw and all your recommendations. Thank you, Marilyn
Alaya and Playa Mambo are almost directly beside each other (two narrow hotels with beach fronts separate them but you could easily throw a frisbee from Alaya to Playa Mambo). Alaya will have better service but being right on the beach front like the Playa Mambo cabana is nice.
Hi Dave. We’re going to Tulum April 14-24th. We are staying at Playa Mambo Eco Cabanas. By the time we booked we were only able to get a garden room. Are there garden rooms ok? What are some of the best restaurants close to here? Thanks for your great info!
Garden rooms are nice (but not as nice as the beach front ones) – they’re still surrounded by beach sand but just back behind the beachfront cabanas. Perhaps a little darker inside, as well. Good nearby restaurants are Onda (pizza) and Casa Banana (steak, entrees, etc). On the beach, OM (to the south) and La Zebra (to the north) are both great.
PavoReal beach resort… what are your honest thoughts? I don’t want to spend a ton of money.
I’m escaping for a last minute vacation and want nice beach, safe area, not too far off beaten path.
A lot of your hotels recommended are not avail in next 2 weeks.
Nice place with great beach and pool. The caveat is that there is little within walking distance. There are buses and collectivos that run along the main highway but in reality most tourists end up taking lots of taxis or renting a car. The resort attracts lots of Italians (which is sort of fun) and the food has an Italian bent.
Thank you for all the suggestions.
You are mentioning Alma Tulum in your list. We made a reservation however I just read a bad review regarding the water which had a bad smell in the shower. Did you had some feedback about this hotel? What do you think? It is so hard to get an opinion without many reviews. We are also travelling with a baby. I usually spent a lot of time reading feedback of customers to have an idea. I am so worry to be disappointing. Plus they won’t accept any refund. Thank you so much in advance for your feedback. Best.
Alma is brand new, has large comfortable rooms, and a great beach. Good location close to many restaurants on the beach road. Like all Tulum hotels the water can smell a little off at times but it’s never a health issue. I can’t vouch for every hotel but most will switch to backup water when the main source is unpleasant.
My husband and 20 year old son want to fish while in Tulum. Do you have any recommendations? Also where would you recommend for snorkeling? Thank you!
Lisa and John
You want to go the beach in the north section of Tulum. South of the ruins and Zazil Kin Cabanas. There’ll be boats and fisherman there and some take tourists out for tours. There is also a kiosk on the beach (Servicios Turisticos) that arranges fishing and snorkeling tours.
Hi Dave: How is the seaweed situation in Tulum now? We will be staying there starting March 16th.
It’s improved from previous years but still be prepared for anything.
You seem so knowledgeable about the area, finally I have found knowledge. One quick question we are looking to rent bikes for a few days while in Tulum (staying at Tulum Bay) is there somewhere near we can rent?
Thank you so very much
Yes, there are a few places to rent bikes within steps of Tulum Bay. It shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Looks like it will be raining several days while we are in Tulum. Any recommendations for fun things to do in the rain?
Cenotes are great in the rain. Gran Cenote is nearby and partially covered. Dos Ojos is 20 minutes north of Tulum and even more covered. Or watch movies in a private mini-theater (you pick from a selection) and eat dinner at Zine (in Tulum Town).
This website is so helpful, thank you so much! I’m still a bit overwhelmed though!
We’re heading to Tulum for part of our honeymoon in June. We really want a more laid back beach front cabin type thing (rather than swish hotel) & are looking between Rosa del Viento & Punta Piedra (both have availability on the beach front) – please could you tell me which is in a better location for walking to restaurants/bars in the evening? (Or which is better overall in your opinion?). Also, do you think air conditioning is needed in late June?! (We’re from the UK but will have been in Belize for a couple of weeks before we get there so hopefully will have acclimatised…)
We liked the look of Playa Mambo but it’s a little more expensive for beach view than the others. If there are others with similar beach front cabins in this kind of price range that are close to bars/restaurants please let me know!
The rooms are a little nicer and larger at Rosa del Viento but the location (in terms of restaurants and bars) is far better at Punta Piedra. Rosa del Viento is one of the last hotels on the beach road and pretty isolated with not much within walking distance. Fine if you’re looking for quiet and seclusion. If you rent bikes then it’s an easy ride from Rosa to more choices but bikes aren’t a great option at night. The beach is nice at both hotels but very different. You’re on a long stretch of beach which is great for morning walks at Rosa del Viento. At Punta Piedra you’re at a small beach cove. I never feel A/C is necessary when in a beach cabana as there is usually a nice breeze off the ocean.
Thanks so much for your very rapid response & helpful information! Happy to be on a small Cove. Will get Punta Piedra booked now 🙂
First of all, a brilliant website. Has been very helpful in planning our trip to Tulum – only 1 week away!
1. How much is a taxi from south end of Tulum (Calle 6) to Tulum Beach? Just wondering if its worth the bike rental and 30 minute bike ride or just hop in a taxi?
2. Is it hard to find shade at the public beaches (from Canada so haven’t seen the sun in a few months.
3. Your advice on best, close cenote? Most websites seem to suggest Gran or Dos Ojos.
1. It depends what section of beach. About 60p to 70p to get to the beach south of the Tulum Ruins (near Mezzanine hotel). Up to 120p to get to La Zebra beach club in the south end of the beach strip.
2. Not hard to find shade if you get a spot at a restaurant or beach club (you’ll need to buy a drink or two). But if you’re just throwing down a towel then not usually a lot of shade.
3. Gran Cenote is wonderful. Go late afternoon to get the smallest crowds. If you only want to swim then Casa Cenote is great (also called Manatee Cenote). The Gran Cenote is easier to find on your own and closer to bike to from town.
Thanks so much for the amazing info. I have a friend visiting Tulum in April and they are looking the the best of the best as far as luxury but are also looking for a hip hotel, do you have any recommendations?
I’d go with Mezzanine Hotel.
Hi Dave – is there a good place to hear live music in Tulum?
Puro Carazon has live music 5 days a week. On the other 2 days (Monday and Friday) the music is next door at Mateo’s.
Hi Dave! Great site. What are your thoughts on Mi Amor Hotel? Is it super far from everything?
Very nice boutique hotel. Not right on the beach (the coast here is rocky) but a nice public beach is a 5 minute walk away (you can access it through Mi Amor’s sister hotel Mezzanine). It’s in a quiet location without a lot around it but town and the beach community can both be reached in a 15 minute bike ride or quick taxi ride (too far to walk though).
Hey Dave, any sense of the current seaweed situation in Tulum? I know the area got hit hard last year but I’ve had a hard time finding up-to-date seaweed reports.
It’s definitely been better the last 6 months or so. I think that’s probably why you’re not hearing up to date info: it only gets talked about when it’s bad.
First off, I want to thank you for answering ALL the requests for information from the many curious readers below. You are very gracious and generous with your time! So I will add to the hoard…
I am looking for a quiet, beachfront, intimate (absolute opposite of an all-inclusive) and authentically Mexican hotel. I deeply appreciate all of the yoga/spa/healthy lifestyle options. But that is not our motivation. We want to visit Mexico and be surrounded, dare I say swallowed by Mexico. We would prefer something that has onsite breakfast. We are foodies. I don’t need TV or wifi or hip-trendiness ( I would actually like to not be at a trendy place). But we do want excellent Mexican food onsite. And close to Hartwood. We speak spanish.
Thank you again for your input and time.
Aylish and Serge Fugère de Canada
The hotels along the beach road are trendy, boutiquish, and cater almost entirely to Americans, Canadians, and Europeans. So you’re not going to find a hotel where you feel “swallowed by Mexico”. That’s slightly more likely if you stay in Tulum Town. You’re best bet is to stay at a small family owned hotel (like Playa Mambo) where you can sit around and chat with the owners and workers. For breakfast, the best Mexican breakfast (tacos, tortas) is Taqueria Honorio in town (1 block east of the Scotia bank). Very few tourists here.
Can you recommend any of these in-town hotels over the other, or is there something comparable that you prefer for staying in town 3 or 4 nights in early May? We’re looking for something nice, quiet, but near restaurants and walking or biking distance to the beach.
Palms Tulum Luxury Hotel
Posada Luna del Sur
Palms is the nicest hotel of the three (and probably the most luxurious hotel in town). Palms and Live Tulum are very close to each other. Good restaurants are a short walk away and since it’s in the north part of town it makes getting to the beach just a little quicker and easier (when you’re on a bike). Posada Luna del Sur is in the south section of town and a little out of the way. It also means if you’re biking from the beach that you have to go all the way through town and thus makes the ride a little bit longer.
Hi, thanks for the amazing website! We’re coming for our honeymoon, so we’re willing to splurge somewhat on comfort and beautiful ocean views with private balcony (but can’t afford the top-end hotel rooms). Would you recommend a Master Suite at Suenos or a Junior Suite at Alma (has jacuzzi)? (Or an Ocean View room at Hip Hotel?)
All 3 are nice hotels. Suenos is the safest choice but Alma is brand new (with all new furnishings) which is appealing. They’re all very close to each other. The sand is great down here at the south end of the Tulum beach.
We’re here at Suenos now, and we LOVE it! Friendly, quiet, private, beautiful, and great location. Thanks. =)
It’s our first time to Tulum. We are looking into Memorial weekend. Two couples and our sons and daughters. Ages 22-26 yrs old.
We are looking for a beautiful beach and ambiance for the family to have a fun time. Air conditioning room, great beach, nice rooms are important. I tried Be Tulum and it’s sold out. Any suggestions for the long weekend that might have availability? How do you feel about Dreams? I know they have rooms but have read some negative comments. Not crazy about all inclusive food.
Ana y Jose is a great option for families. It is in the middle of the hotel zone and has a great beach and air conditioned, comfortable rooms. Their garden view suites back to a shared swimming pool and garden area that is great to have the kids splash around in and the adults relax when not at the beach. There are lounge chairs, grass and great lush plants and trees that make it feel like you are in your own private oasis. Since there are a couple of separate buildings, just be sure to ask for rooms in the same area when you make your reservation. BeTulum is adult only so don’t worry about them. Dreams is a little outside of town and will offer a very different Tulum experience. Unlike any other hotel in Tulum, they are all-inclusive which makes travel with a family much more convenient but a lot less authentic and interesting. The food is good but not amazing (like most all-inclusives) but the grounds and rooms are very well maintained. It is a nice hotel. The decision really comes down to the type of experience you are looking for while in Tulum. For a more luxurious, convenient stay, Dreams is a great option. For a more authentic, casual stay, I would suggest Ana y Jose.
Any thoughts on hostels in Tulum? I’ll have 5 days in Tulum and will be basing myself there. I just need a hammock to be happy!
The hotels you’ve recommended are amazing but want to go cheaper with hostels? Any recommendations? Lauren
Staying in a hostel in Tulum is a great way to experience the town from a different point of view and get to know people from all around the world. There are some nice hostels in town, I’d recommend Hostel Sheck, Mama’s House, or Tubo Tulum.
Hostel Sheck – the accommodations are basic but well maintained and the price is great. There is only one bathroom so you have to be a little patient from time to time. It is close to the main street in town and a good option if you plan to enjoy the nightlife in town. Mama’s House is right in town too and a little more charming and vibrantly decorated. The manager Jose takes great care of his guests and there are fun nightly activities. For a really unique experience though, check out Tubo Tulum. Each bed/room is it’s own private cement tube. This option is pricier but might be worth it for the unusual accommodations and experience.
My husband and I are looking for a hotel where there is some action and fun. Not an all inclusive, but something centrally located where we can get to the ruins, a fun bar in town, go biking. I’m looking at the Mezzanine or La Zebra. Seems as though Zebra is far from things. What do you think is best? We are going in the end of August.
Thanks for any of your help!
You can’t go wrong with either but La Zebra wins for convenience. While it is a little further from town, La Zebra is located right in the middle of a number of other hotels and great restaurants and bars. Both La Zebra & Mezannine have dancing on the weekends. Mezannine is more nightclub-ish and La Zebra is known for it’s Sunday night Salsa Lessons and dancing.
Great! Thank you so much for your response! And both hotels have great beach areas/are located right on the beach?
Both are right on the water however Mezzanine is perched on a rock formation and the beach is a short walk away. (Down some stairs and off to the side of the hotel.) La Zebra is level with the beach which allows you to step right out your door to the sand. It is also along one of the longer stretches of beach which allows you to take nice walks on the beach, explore other hotels along the way, etc.
Thanks again Dave! How is El Pez in comparison to La Zebra and Mezzanine ? Which would you recommend? Good beach, close to restaurants, fun time?
El Pez is a beautiful hotel, owned by the same group as La Zebra, Mezzanine, & Mi Amor. Great service and a frequent gathering spot for the local ex-pats. The beach area is nice however, similar to Mezzanine, it is rocky and if you want to spend time in the water you will need to take a little walk down the beach zone. Unlike Mezzanine, it is close to other hotels so it won’t be as challenging to spend time on the beach with the amenities that come with the other hotels. You can walk up and down the beach with no problem and if you want to stop, relax and use the lounge chars/facilities from another hotel you can certainly do that. Just be willing to buy some food or a cocktail from the bar. Otherwise they may charge you a small fee to use their facilities. (Either way you go it is still worth it.) I would recommend La Zebra or El Pez for their proximity to other restaurants and of those, La Zebra offers the best beach.
We are a couple in our early 30s. We have been to Playa and Cancun many times but want to stay in the Tulum beach area. We are trying to choose between Alaya, Suenos, Coral Tulum, or do you have another recommendation for a hotel between 200-400 per night? Mezzanine and Ana y Jose are sold out on dates we want to go.
For a luxurious stay – go with Coral Tulum. For the cabana, low key experience, go with Alaya. Suenos is a little gimmicky.
I am planning on going to Tulum in June, travelling solo. I am looking to relax on the beach, would like yoga and spa, and be close by to things. I have been looking at Nomade, or Papaya Playa Project, which would you recommend? I’m 45, so I don’t need a scene, or do have other recommendations?
I would recommend Nomade if you are looking for a calming vacation and not concerned about “a scene”. Both have great beaches and offer yoga and spa services but Papaya Playa has a lot of nighttime parties. Nomade uses the Yaan Wellness Energy Spa across the street and it is amazing. Great treatments and a beautiful yoga shala in the trees. It is a little farther from town but still close to restaurants on the beach zone and a quick taxi ride into town.
Thanks so much for all the information. I am going solo to Tulum and staying at Villas las Estrellas and Posada Punta Piedra, I can’t wait! I see you recommend a lot of food places in town. I’m concerned on how vegetables and such are cleaned and if while in town I should stay away from cocktails with ice. I haven’t seen any comments regarding these issues. I’ve read that most of the places on the beach use filtered water but I really wanted to check out tacos, etc… in town. I also was thinking of booking a bike ahead of time but it may be too hot. (Going the middle-end of June) and also if you feel there’s any safety issues I should concentrate on. (First solo vakay out of the country.)
Purified water is standard for life in Tulum so you shouldn’t have a problem. All of the restaurants in town serve bottled water and also use it to make ice, so ice in cocktails is okay. Some of the smaller restaurants may use tap water to wash their vegetables so keep it in mind as you are making decisions on where or what to eat (personally I eat everywhere and never think twice). There are lots of places around town to rent bikes so if you are worried about the heat, wait to decide until you are in Tulum. You don’t need to make the reservations ahead of time if you are not sure. Tulum is very safe, however, as with everywhere you may travel, you have to be smart and use your common sense. Be aware of your surroundings and discerning on where you go after dark. (Again, just like anywhere else.) Scams do happen from time to time so just pay attention to the little things. Most common is to be given incorrect change or getting overcharged for an item. Be smart about traveling alone and you will have a great vacation.
We are coming to Tulum the end of May for a family wedding that is going to be at Ana-Jose Resort, but we are staying at the Grand Oasis Tulum. Can you tell me 1) What you know about the Grand Oasis Tulum? 2) The resort offers smart cars for rental but we don’t want to drive the 30 minutes because there WILL be drinking, so what can you tell me about taxi services. Are they readily available and how much do they cost on average? 3) Is it a good idea to convert some US dollars to Peso’s or can we pay for taxi, food, gifts etc in US currency? Any help in these matters would be greatly appreciated.
1) When the Grand Oasis Tulum is full it can feel a little crowded but in May that shouldn’t be a problem for you. The rooms are a little basic but, fit just about right for the price you’ll pay. They are known for having a relaxing atmosphere, especially compared to the other more party-centric hotels you will pass on your way to the Grand Oasis. So this is the perfect place to enjoy some rest & relaxation but if you are the type that needs to stay more active – they also give you lots of entertainment options as well.
2) The Grand Oasis Tulum is about a 30 minute ride from Tulum. Taxis are abundant in the area and both of the hotels can call one for you. Anytime you use a taxi in Mexico ask them for the price before beginning the trip. I’d estimate that the trip will be somewhere around $20 – $25USD each way. Later in the night on the beach zone in Tulum where Ana y Jose is located, it can take a little longer to get a taxi so have a little patience when you are getting ready to leave the wedding.
3) You can pay for most things in USD however you’ll get a better price if you pay in pesos. Convert some money to make things a little simpler and get the most for your money. Larger restaurants, hotel bars, etc will take credit cards (just remember to call your credit card company to let them know you will be traveling internationally) and use pesos whenever you need to pay in cash. (Taxis, smaller restaurants, and boutique shops, etc.)
I’ve red a lot, thank you so much for your kindness!
I also have questions though.
I hesitate between Coco Tulum and Rosa del Viento, do you know anything that could help in my decision?
What’s the best beach or place to do snorkeling?
Also, as I travel alone, I would like to go to the hotel from the airport with ADO, but it seems like when I try to select “Cancun airport” it doesn’t work, how is that? Do I have to make a reservation or are the buses usually pretty full? Once I get in Tulum at 11PM, will there be a taxi to take me to the hotel or is it too late? Thanks for your help.
Hotels: Both have a nice beach. Rosa del Viento is more low key and peaceful while Coco Tulum is busier and has more of a “scene”.
Snorkeling: The beaches of Tulum are beautiful and you can snorkel anywhere along the coastline. But, for truly unique snorkeling experiences, go to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere (if you have the time) or one of the local cenotes to snorkel while you are in Tulum. Sian Ka’an is home to the MesoAmerican Reef (second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef) with over 500 species of fish, marine turtles, dolphins, etc. If you are looking for something closer to town, go to Gran Cenote. It is a short drive or bike ride from town on the way to the Coba Ruins and if you only make it to one cenote, this is the one to see.
Buses: Take the ADO bus from the Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen. From PDC you will transfer to another bus to Tulum. There is usually room on the buses and even though it will be late, you shouldn’t have a problem with a taxi in Tulum. There are always taxis waiting in front of the bus terminal.
Thank you for your website- very helpful! I am making a last minute trip alone to Tulum next week and am looking at what is still available. I am thinking of splitting my time between two parts of the beach. Do you know anything about Blue Sky hotel? At the eco resorts in the hotel strip it seems all that’s left are “garden view” at Amansala, Playa Mambo, and Coco Tulum. What would you recommend? Would garden view be too uncomfortable/mosquito-y this time of year? Coco Tulum looks like the nicest but I wonder about the shared bathrooms and the location of the room is right by reception and butts up against the road.
Thank you for you help, I appreciate it!
Blue Sky Hotel is nice. It is very close to Casa Cenote – a beautiful open air cenote with mangroves and deep aqua blue water. It is a little removed from the town but the location so close to Casa Cenote might be worth it if you plan on doing any snorkeling. Between Amansala, Playa Mambo, & Coco Tulum, go with Coco Tulum if the bathroom situation won’t bother you. Their garden rooms are the nicest of the three and although the bathrooms are shared, they are nice. Coco Tulum also has a great atmosphere and beach vibe and the community feel (including the shared bathroom space) is part of the experience. (Great for a solo traveler.) Without an ocean breeze, it will be very warm in a garden room this time of year but most hotels provide fans and mosquito netting for the beds. The location by reception isn’t a bother and while you may hear some road noise, there isn’t much traffic activity on the beach zone at night.
My husband and I are considering Tulum for an anniversary trip. In the past we’ve only stayed at all-inclusive resorts in MX. We are in our 30’s and really just like to lay on the beach all day so having food right by is a must. We also do not like to have children around. We are open to not going to an all-inclusive, but would need a hotel where we could stay on property the whole time if we wanted. Do you have any recommendations?
While many of the hotels in Tulum have limited restaurants and on site-amenities which would make staying on the property the entire time challenging, there are a few full service hotels that are also adult only. There is always Dreams Tulum, the nearest all inclusive to Tulum and they have an adults only section. If you are looking for something different or want to be right in Tulum (which I recommend), there are a few adults-only hotels along the beach zone.
Mezzanine is a hip place to be and has a Thai restaurant on site. They also have frequent parties in the bar/pool area. No beach right there but it’s a short walk away. Azulik is a unique, adults only hotel but has limited on-site amenities. They are however, just a short walk from other hotels and restaurants along the beach zone. Be Tulum sounds the closest to what you have described. They are adults only, have a great restaurant and bar on-site, a nice beachside pool and the beach is beautiful and well maintained. On the weekends they often have live music at the bar and the service is top notch. The Ocean room is really extraordinary with the private rooftop patio and pool but you can’t go wrong with the Arena or Jungle rooms too. Even the rooms closest to the road are quiet (as there is very little traffic this far south on the beach road) and, besides being a little farther from the beach, these rooms are the same as the others. The BeTulum spa is amazing – I highly recommend splurging on a couple’s massage to celebrate your anniversary.
My girlfriend and I will be traveling to Tulum next month and are looking for a laid back vacation away from New York. We’d like something very relaxing (and gay friendly). We were looking at Villa Pescadores. Any thoughts? Also, besides for Restaurare would you have any recommendations for vegetarian food? Thanks!
Generally speaking, the area is gay friendly and welcoming. Villa Pescadores has a very low-key, relaxing atmosphere. It is closer to the ruins and on a great stretch of beach. A couple other options to consider are: Azulik, a very unique hotel, adults only, specifically advertises as gay friendly and is private. (Particularly compared to some of the other hotels with cabanas on the beach.) BeTulum is also adult only & gay friendly but more modern and fancy than Villa Pescadores.
There are a number of great vegetarian restaurants in Tulum. Some of the best are Shiva (awesome Indian food) and Raw Love along the beach zone and El Vegetariano in town.
Thanks for the great tips! My husband and I will be traveling to Tulum this Christmas with our 9mo old daughter. We are looking for a charming room on the ocean with a great on-site restaurant and ideally other non-“resort” food options to eat within walking distance (since we have a baby we won’t be able to bike into town for better meals which is what we would do otherwise). We found rooms at both Villa Las Estrellas and Posada Puntra Piedra and we are torn as to what would be the better experience (prices are comparable at around $400/night but we really don’t mind spending extra, up to $600/night). Do you have advice between those two options or an opinion as to whether either would be a bad option with an infant? Thanks so much!
Posada Punta Piedra will provide the most restaurant options within a short walking distance. And, the great news is none of the restaurants in Tulum are very “resort”-y so no matter where you go, you’ll have great, fresh, unique options. Both Puro Corazon & Mateo’s Mexican Grill are on the jungle side of the beach road, a short walk South from the hotel. Puro Corazon has a great jungle setting and really tasty, upscale take on Mexican food. Mateo’s Mexican Grill – Their fish tacos are awesome! They are also a good option if you need a little break from Mexican food as their menu includes some American “bar food” (burgers, fries, kabobs, etc). Papaya Playa Project is a little further away (still not far) and it has great food and an fantastic setting. The tables are all set into a small hill on the beach and booth style to give everyone at the table great views of the beach. It has a very nice beach and you can also use their beach chairs and order from the restaurant and bar throughout the day if you’d like a change of beach scenery throughout your trip. The temperatures are great in December, it’s a great time of year to visit if you are traveling with the baby.
I’m arriving with a friend next week and wanted to spend a day visiting Chichen Itza but having a hard time finding tours or info on round trip transportation there from Tulum. We will be staying at Mezzanine. Any advice? Thanks in advance and awesome site with so much info! I have to print out all of the food recommendations !! Just in case something happens to my phone!
It is tricky to find transportation from Tulum town itself because the concentration of tourists is so much smaller than in the Cancun/Playa Del Carmen Resorts. What I have found works best is to pick up a tour group at Dreams Tulum. It is about a 20 minute ride away from your hotel so you will have to take a taxi to and from the pick up at Dreams. Amstar is the tour group that picks up at Dreams around 8:30/9:00.
Hi Dave, first off… you are such an awesome guy to be writing everyone back and helping. Thank you in advance.
I’m looking to come to Tulum with my friends, and don’t know when is the best time. Will October still be warm and beautiful (which is when I’m thinking we can all make it out there). And what hotel has the most beautiful beach?
Also, I am planning to come again with my husband and 3 year old. Where would you recommend us to stay?
Thank you again and I’m terribly sorry if you are repeating some of this information again.
October is one of my favorite times in Tulum. The weather will definitely be warm and beautiful. It is right after hurricane season ends in September so you might still catch a few rain showers but overall it should be really pleasant. It is also low season so you’ll avoid a lot of the crowds and you can get a good deal on your hotel.
Most of the hotels are along the same stretch of beach. The biggest differentiator is the beach service/amenities (lounge chairs, bar service, etc.). There area few hotels that are perched up on a more rocky section of the beach but still have access to the sand but I won’t suggest any of those. If you are looking for rooms with air-conditioning (might be better option when traveling with the 3 year old), Coral Tulum has a great beach and amenities. Ana y Jose is also a great option when traveling with kids as they have rooms with AC and a nice pool and beach area as well. (They are sister properties.) For a great beach but with cabanas without air conditioning, Ahau Tulum and Papaya Playa Project are great options.
Dave, do you know anything about Hip Hotel?
Hip Hotel has a small intimate feel, friendly staff and great restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. They have garden rooms and beach front rooms but the property is small. Even with a garden room you can hear the ocean while relaxing in your room. The rooms are clean and roomy. Some have great views of the beach while others have a small deck allowing you to enjoy a morning cup of coffee as you enjoy the views. As with many of the eco-friendly hotels on the beach, this hotel does not have A/C. However, the orientation of the rooms, and mosquito netting are ideal to sleep with the windows open, allowing the cool breeze and sound of the ocean.
If you are looking for a quiet oasis, Hip Hotel is the perfect place. Imagine stepping outside your bungalow in the morning to the beautiful turquoise beach just yards away form your room. While the rooms are great, the best part of this hotel is the friendly staff.
Having a hard time finding rooms with AC. Recs for best options for AC hotels for a group of 4 of us (not above $300)? We would like to be on the beach.
There aren’t a lot of hotels in Tulum with AC and prices vary greatly by the season. Visiting during the low season will help find a much better deal. Mezzanine is a hip, nice hotel with AC and very good on site restaurant. Coral Tulum is a little pricier but very nice and has AC. Both of those have a more modern style. Ana y Jose is nice and a little more of the rustic Tulum vibe… but with AC. It isn’t quite as expensive as Mezzanine or Coral Tulum. All three of those are on the beach and, under $300 depending on the dates.
I am a single gal in my 30s traveling to Tulum. My travel companion had to cancel and now I’m nervously solo. Can you recommend town vs beach to stay and perhaps a couple of your reasonably priced favorites? I am so torn between the amazing beach Eco lodging vs the more authentic feel of the town. Also, is driving from the airport to Tulum and around a safe endeavor? Thanks in advance for any help to calm my nerves.
Both the beach and town have their charms but most people prefer staying on the beach. You can still have an authentic feel along the beach zone and it’s so great being right on the water yet town is a 5 minute taxi ride away. La Posada del Sol is very low key, the staff is really great and gives a very nice authentic feel. The rooms are basic (saltwater showers, no AC, etc) but very clean and well maintained. A home cooked breakfast is offered in their small community dining area every morning and it is the type of place where you will get to know your fellow guests.
Renting a car will give you a lot of freedom and most people find the process safe and simple. Many of the rental companies are the same ones that you will be familiar with from the states (Hertz, Enterprise, etc). Renting a car is cheap but, be sure to do your homework on the mandatory insurance coverages before you get to the counter as it can get overwhelming going through things right then. Some coverage will be required through them while others are often provided by your credit card but make sure you have verified all of those things ahead of time. It is a straight shot driving on the freeway from the airport to Tulum. The speed limit changes frequently and people drive very fast but… just stay in the right lane, stick to the speed limit and you’ll be fine. In town, people (especially all of the taxis) drive erratically and fast but with a little defensive driving, you won’t have a problem. Having a car is nice because it gives you the freedom to split your time between the beach and town. Spending your downtime on the beach but going into town for some meals is a great way to experience Tulum and having a car makes it easier. That said, my preferred way of getting around Tulum is by bike.
I am not sure if you answered this yet or not, but what airline and airport is best to travel through to get to Tulum? Is Cancun real far away? Because my husband and I like to fly with Southwest, and the closest airport they fly to is the one in Cancun.
Yes, Cancun is the easiest for Tulum.
I traveled to Akumal with my husband and 10-yr-old daughter in February and stayed at Hotel Akumal Caribe (but didn’t make it down to Tulum). It was perfect for a mellow family stay. Now, My sister and I are planning a trip for the end of November. I liked the relaxed feel of Akumal, but she’s a New Yorker and needs a bit more to do… so we’re Tulum bound! We’re looking to relax, shop, swim, eat/drink, catch some music, and retire early. Unfortunately, many of the hotels you’ve mentioned are either booked already or don’t have rooms with 2 beds.
We’re looking for a hotel on the beach with good swimming (not much coral or rock underfoot). Also, My sister likes to run on the beach, so ideally would like a good solid stretch. We loved the look of Zamas, but some recent reviews mentioned needing to wear water shoes because of coral.
Any insights into whether that’s an accurate assessment at Zamas? What are some other places you’d recommend?
Zamas is great but you’re right, the location does make it less than ideal for beach swimming.
Ahau is great and their beach will definitely allow for good swimming. There is a kitesurfing school right there and they have plenty of depth for them to do their thing which would mean you won’t run into the coral like Zamas or some other locations along the beach.
Nomade is also in a good spot to spend time in the water and is very unique.
Both Ahau and Nomade are along a long strip of beach for your sister to run.
Even if you stay at a hotel without the coral problem, it is still worthwhile to bring water shoes on your trip to Tulum as you will need them if you decide to swim in a cenote (which I highly recommend you do).
Hi dave! We love Tulum … We stayed there last year at Las Ranitas but now they are closed for construction. We loved the location and decided to book Be Tulum but a week prior they told us they will be having some loud noises during our stay 🙁 We want something luxurious, hip, trendy, sophisticated with ac if we decide to forego our Be Tulum stay. What place do you suggest looking into that will mirror Be Tulum? Money is no object. thanks!
Go with Mi Amor. It is on par with Be Tulum, maybe even a little more modern and sophisticated. It is beautiful. There are two elements that some people dislike while others don’t mind. One – it is on a rocky portion of the coast so you won’t be laying out on the sandy but rather cabanas on the coastline (beautiful views). It is very close to Playa Paraiso so one of the best beaches is walking distance but… it’s not right out your door. Two – it is further away from the other hotels and restaurants along the beach. For most, those aren’t deal breakers but, something to know ahead of time. Coral Tulum is a very close second and if you wanted something right on the beach and more central, that’s the way to go.
Awesome post, Dave!
My fiance and I are planning a 5 day honeymoon to Riviera Maya. We’re currently torn between Hotel Esencia and Blue Diamond. Do you have any suggestions/thoughts on which resort will be better? We’re looking to be pampered and have an overall relaxing trip with great food and drinks. We’re also looking to plan one or two half-day excursions outside the resort. Blue Diamond is definitely more budget-friendly for us but my fiance can’t get over how beautiful Esencia is. Thanks! David
Both Hotel Esencia & Blue Diamond are beautiful, you have narrowed it down to two great hotels to honeymoon in. The biggest difference is just in the style of the hotel with Blue Diamond being more modern, otherwise quality wise, they are similar. Overall, I suggest Blue Diamond – it is very beautiful, the food is fantastic, service is great and you will definitely feel pampered on your special vacation. I recommend doing a little planning for your off-site excursions before you go. The concierge is notorious for up-selling timeshares before being as helpful as you would like them to be (the biggest downfall to this hotel). Cenotes and ruins are a must-see while you are in the Riviera Maya but also plan for plenty of down time at the resort to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the area. Dos Ojos cenote is a great one nearby with nice amenities and the pools themselves are very neat. T
We are planning a trip to Tulum next weekend. At this point deciding between an ocean front room at Coco, Hip Hotel, Papaya or Alma (although its a bit too pricey) Much prefer Hip, but I’m afraid lack of AC in July might be a problem. We are looking forward to a very relaxed place with the best beach, nice breakfast and not too far from restaurants.
What would you recommend?
It is going to be toasty next week so if you don’t have a room with AC, definitely upgrade to an ocean front room to capitalize on the ocean breeze to help cool you off at night. Hip is nice, pretty central for restaurants, other hotel bars, etc. There are a couple of rooms at Coco that have AC if you’re okay with splurging. I’d say those two are the most laid back, both have great beaches and are centrally located along the hotel zone so you can’t go wrong with either. Papaya Playa Project has big parties every weekend – fun to go check out if you are staying at another hotel but not great to be staying there if you are trying to have a quiet vacation and get away from that stuff.
Hi Dave, I’m a woman traveling solo to Tulum in early August and was planning to stay at Azulik. They looked beautiful and unique, and I was able to get a Sky Villa, looking out over the ocean. Do you think I will be okay there by myself? Is it close enough to get to town, for the most part? Also, it doesn’t have AC. I’m pretty used to humidity and think the ocean breezes will feel great, but wondered if staying there might be challenging. Thanks for your thoughts, and recommendations on other places I should try. I am looking for rest, relaxation but also a few nights out in town just enjoying the atmosphere. Also, I’ve been following the hotel evictions in Tulum and a little worried about that, as well. Appreciate your insights. Be careful
Tulum is a very safe place and, as an extension, so is Azulik. Azulik is also incredibly unique and offers a great getaway experience. Being used to the humidity is half the battle with the heat in Tulum so you should be just fine. Sky Villas at Azulik offer great ocean breezes and that combined with your current tolerance for humidity, you should be just fine with the heat. If you are into yoga, Azulik has just built an incredible, huge yoga studio structure that is not to be missed.
Generally speaking, if you are staying on the hotel zone along the beach but interested in going into town, you will want to either have a bike (though not great at night), rented a car, or get a taxi. Taxis are cheap and pretty easy to find along both the beach and town. There are lots of other hotels along the beach that are great but, a Sky Villa at Azulik is going to offer some of the best breezes and, the hotel is awesome. If you have booked that, I would stick with it. The hotel evictions is a very complicated situation that as outsiders, I think it is almost impossible for us to totally understand. Unfortunately, the hotel owners along the beach zone are aware of the risk that they run operating businesses on that land. It has been sensationalized in the media and a number of incorrect reports are now out there. While the affected hotels are dealing with it, life in Tulum is back to normal for everyone else.
My boyfriend and I are stopping in Tulum for three days at the end of August after spending two weeks in Cuba. It will be my boyfriend’s first time and my second time in Tulum, although I only spent one night there last time. We are looking to spend about no more than $600 for the three days, all taxes and fees included. That is the very high end of our price range.
We ended up getting what I consider a good deal at Azulik for $593.76 for an upper level oceanfront Aztec Villa. I love the looks of the room/resort, but I’m not sure it’s in the most desirable location or if it’s the type of resort we will enjoy the most. We’re basically looking to relax and unwind after our longer trip to Cuba where we can stumble out of a cabana to the beach, watch the sunrise, and enjoy each other, the beauty of our surroundings, explore the outdoors, snorkel, eat all the good food, drinks, do some yoga, etc. for the few days that we are there. We will most likely also go see some music, electronic and/or live, and are OK with hotels that are “hip” though a hotel where we can get to know the staff, locals, practice our Spanish, and be around good people is more important to us.
Based on the above, what places can you recommend us to stay? I am over the moon for Ahau and they actually have a great deal on pricing while we’re there because there will be renovations going on. I’m not sure I want to wake up to construction every day though…
Thank you in advance for your advice!
Ahau is great and their beach is very nice. It is centrally located so if you want to walk up and down the beach to check out different hotel restaurants or bars you don’t even have to leave the beach. They offer yoga every morning and have a very laid back atmosphere. It’s too bad that they will be doing renovations while you will be in town but… there is a lot of construction happening in Tulum these days so hearing construction noise no matter what hotel you are staying at is fairly common. Azulik just finished construction on a large yoga studio and are fairly isolated from the neighbors so you should be safe on the construction noise. They will offer a nice refuge to relax but the beach isn’t great. It is a little rocky and not connected to the other hotels like Ahau. (You have reserved one of the best rooms at Azulik though.) Hip Hotel is another one with a great beach, low key and good location. If you are there over a weekend, Papaya Playa Project always has great parties/DJs on the weekends as does Mezzanine. If you luck out and happen to be there on a full moon, Papaya Playa really does it up for their full moon parties. Both of those are along the beach zone. Batey’s is an awesome mojito bar in town that has live music every night of the week but is more laid back.
Hello David, me and my bofriend will go in Tulum for 1 week in August. We are looking for a place on the beach with sea vew and a/c and we are considering both Viento de Mar and Alma Hotel. Which has the best playa and sea? Which one would you recommend?
Thank you so much,
Viento de Mar is on a great section of the beach and the beach service/cabanas are totally luxurious. It is along a long stretch of beach that gives you the opportunity to take great, long walks. (If you’re morning people, the sunrises are awesome.) The staff there make you feel like royalty and take incredible care of you to have a great time and totally relax while you are there. For really great playa and sea – spend some time at the beach at the ruins down the road. You’ll want to take a short taxi or bike ride but then not only are the ruins spectacular, the beach is totally unique with such a great backdrop. Just get there early because it gets hot.
Two of my best friends and I are planning a trip to Tulum the third week of June this year to celebrate our 40th birthdays. We’re looking for accommodations directly on the beach – I want to open my door and walk right into the sand then water. Would love a cabana. A quiet place, no scene, no parties or late nights, not tons of kids. Looking for about $200/night or less (I’m hoping this is realistic, but I know we’d like more luxury than the budget allows). I really liked the look of Zama’s, but read in the comments above that the beach is rocky which isn’t ideal. Thanks for any direction you can provide!
Zamas is great but it’s true, the beach isn’t ideal. It sounds like Villa Pescadores would be great for you. It is set right on the beach with the cabana/palapa rooms right on the water and one of the best sections of beach Tulum has to offer. It is pretty quiet with most of the focus on relaxing by the beach, eating good, fresh food and disconnecting. It is a great, low-key place to celebrate your milestone birthdays. June is the low season so rates should be around your $200/night budget. It is a great time to go if you want to avoid crowds, parties and late nights. There are significantly less people in town, restaurants, the beach, etc and hotel rates are much better than the rest of the year. If you’re willing to stretch the budget a little, Ahau takes cabanas to a whole other level and again, off season rates are much better.
I will be traveling to Tulum with my boyfriend after 5 days in Cuba, and 3 nights at an all inclusive resort south of Cancun for his brothers wedding. We will be ending our trip with 3 nights in Tulum. I have gotten so many recommendations from friends that I am even more confused then when I started looking. We currently have a refundable room booked at Ana Y Jose as a backup plan but there seem to be so many great options. We definitely want AC, something luxurious but also with that Tulum vibe. We originally were looking at Nomade but not sure if we are completely sold, they also don’t have a pool and I hear the seaweed can be a problem on the beach. Our ultimate dream would be to stay at the BE or Casa Malca but prices don’t seem to be dropping below $500 night and Im more comfortable paying $300 or less. We love to have fun, drink, eat everything, explore and also may do some yoga if we aren’t too hungover. I thought about El Pez, Ana Y Jose, Nomade, My Way, Ahau, etc etc etc (there are just so many). I am an avid researcher when traveling so you can imagine how hard this decision is for me seeing there are never ending options in Tulum. Thought you may be able to help me make the best decision so we can end our trip with an unforgettable bang.
Rates will vary a lot based on the time of year you will be traveling but BeTulum and Casa Malca are definitely on the expensive side of things in Tulum. You have come up with a list of great hotels but with how you are describing you want your trip to be – go with Papaya Playa Project. They are a great blend of luxury and the low-key Tulum vibe. Rooms have AC, are nicely done and on a great stretch of beach. They are also great for how you want to spend your time. Their food is delicious, they have a great bar with a cool, intimate tables set up nestled into the beach. They also have very popular parties quite often which bring all of that together – great beach, great drinks, great music. They also offer different excursions and partnerships with activity based companies in town if you want to do some yoga, stand up paddle boarding, etc.
My advice would be stay put at BE Tulum. I’m currently in Tulum and the sea weed problem is worse at the PPP end. The problem of the sea weed does vary day to day, yesterday for example was perfect, little or no sea weed. Just from experience from being here for 8 weeks it’s better from Ahau heading south!
Still beautiful even with some seaweed.
A great local beach spot for beers and tacos (cheaper than the hotels and jungle side restaurants) is la Eufemia, it’s a small little day beach club/restaurant, it’s got cool vibes!!
I’m trying to start early planning for a February trip to Tulum. I will be traveling with two teens and an 8 year old and a grandparent – I prefer beach swimming (love the Manual Antonio beach in CR for comparison) but because I’ll have a younger kid, a decent pool is important. So many on this list look great but is there one or more you think best fits what I’m looking for?
Ana y Jose is a great one if you are traveling with family. The beach is great, along a nice stretch and well maintained by the hotel. The beach is even more beautiful than Manuel Antonio – the white sand and long stretches of beach make it much better. If you love Manual Antonio, you will be in heaven in Tulum. Along with the great beach for you, Ana y Jose is one of a small number of hotels along the beach zone that have more than small plunge pools for each room. (Still not huge, the pools are much more kid friendly and allow for plenty of play time in the water.) The pool is next to the restaurant which makes it very convenient and easy for you to trade off with the grandparent spending time at the pool vs. taking a break and spending time at the restaurant enjoying a cocktail or two. The back garden rooms are actually very nice for families as they back into a smaller, private pool. It is not as large as the other pool but also larger than a plunge pool. It is also a little cooler as it is protected a bit from the sun by building (only two stories though) and lush vegetation. The rooms are also set up almost like a condo (while not attached, they share the back pool and open into the same area which is nice when traveling with a larger party.
Dave – your blog is amazing, thank you so much for sharing all your expert travel advice. I have a question… I’m planning my sister’s bachelorette weekend with about 4 to 6 girls (in our early 30s) and was wondering if you have a place you’d recommend we stay. The cabanas and casistas look to be a fun option for us. Obviously we are coming to Tulum for more of an authentic, relaxing experience (not Cancun), but looking to be at a fun, cool, hip places as well. Do you recommend any particular hotels? Our budget can’t be too luxurious but would enjoy a good bang for the buck. This would be eveyone’s first trip to Tulum.
Thanks for your help!
Papaya Playa Project is the way to go. They have a number of options for room styles and prices, including cabanas along the beach. But… they are also a very hip, fun hotel with a great atmosphere of mixed, Tulum beach bum vibes and nicer bar, restaurants, beach club. They have incredible parties every weekend with great music, dancing, etc. – perfect for a bachelorette weekend. You can organize different excursions through the hotel or spend your days relaxing at the beach. They have a very large, very well maintained stretch of white sandy beach and a great beach club with seating tucked into a small hillside of sand.
My boyfriend and I are going to Tulum in the middle of August for 6 nights. We are looking for luxury and romance and are thinking of splitting our time between 2 hotels. How do you feel about the Coral and Ayala? Will we be disappointed with one in comparison? Should we consider the Ahua instead of Ayala? Any suggestions? Thank you.
Alaya is very nice. But Ahau is nicer. Splitting your time between two hotels will give you the chance to see different perspectives and elements of Tulum. Especially if you chose one hotel that is the more organic style such as Ahau or Alaya and another that is more luxurious. Ahau is still very much a luxurious hotel, it is simply the palapa / cabana style while Coral is more of a familiar styled hotel, with many of the amenities you would be used to (but set on the beautiful Tulum beach). Ahau is incredibly romantic with stunning cabanas set along the beach and incredible service. Likewise, the rooms at Coral are very well done and will give you niceties such as AC. In August, although the ocean breeze can help quite a bit, AC will be very nice. Start at Ahua first and then move to Coral to begin the stay with the ocean breeze and end it with AC. Six days split between Ahau and Coral is a great combination.
Thanks for your extraordinary website!
My husband and I are preparing for a trip to Tulum over Christmas this year. In- and outbound will be through Cancun. We have 7 nights already booked in a small hotel in Tulum. That leaves us 1 night before and 2 nights after for free planning. 2 questions:
1. We were thinking about spending the first night in PDC, then 7 nights in Tulum and the final two days in Valladolid. Any thoughts on that plan and would you say we are missing the real thing in this area?
2. Would you recommend to use bus / cab for traveling between these locations? Or would you advise to rent a car and enjoy day trips around Tulum?
We appreciate any input or tip!
Very best wishes,
First night in PDC is a great choice. Closer to the airport than Tulum and makes for an easy first night if you stay somewhere right downtown (lots of good restaurant will be just out your door which isn’t always the case in Tulum). And Valladolid is perfect for seeing the “real Mexico”. Good local food and many great cenotes within a bike ride of downtown. I prefer using a combination of bus and taxi but some people do prefer the convenience of a rental car (I’m more inclined to think it’s a hassle).
Hi Dave! I’m planning a rather large destination wedding (expecting 150 guests). I’m realizing all the boutique hotels are quite small. Do you have any recommendations on the best resorts in Tulum that can hold large groups, but still feels natural and representative of the culture (meaning not too cookie cutter)? Thanks in advance for any advice! Meagan
Papaya Playa Project combines the best of both worlds and has a new, large palapa perfect for weddings. The hotel is one of the largest along the beach with rooms for just about everyone (new, fancy guesthouse with AC to palapa roof cabanas along the beach without AC). They have a long stretch of very well maintained beach and a great beach club (bar, restaurant, bar service to the beach chairs, etc) so your guests will be able to enjoy some of the nicest stretch of beach Tulum has to offer, right outside their doorstep. The newest guesthouse, the Casa Palapa (aptly named after the huge palapa that serves as a great wedding venue) is beautifully done and offers multiple guest suites for the wedding party or family. When considering a venue in Tulum, most of the beach ceremonies are done right in the middle of the beach with beach go-ers walking by as your ceremony proceeds. Casa Palapa offers a beautiful and natural yet private location to share your vows.
Thanks for all the advice etc.
We’re taking our 3 kids (7,4,3) to Tulum and working out where to stay. We’re vegetarians and looked at Sanara, but the prices seem prohibitive. If we stayed at Nomade would it be easy to walk along the beach at night to eat at The Real Coconut restaurant?
As a bit of a side topic, what would you say combines the most luxurious and rustic feel. Basically we want to be able to walk directly out on to the beach with a hammock, lazy chairs and not feel like we’re in a regular hotel, but at same time need aircon good food etc.
Thanks so much!
Coral Tulum or it’s sister property Ana y Jose both provide a nice combination of rustic and luxurious and you can further make that distinction based on the type of room that you book at either hotel. Many of the luxury hotels in Tulum have an age minimum of 12 to 14 years but this is not the case with these hotels which is great. Both offer AC and nice restaurants and are walking distance to other great hotels and restaurants along the beach to try out during your stay in Tulum. Even though they both have AC, the atmosphere/style of Coral is a little more luxurious and modern while Ana y Jose provides more of the casual atmosphere Tulum is so well known for.
Walking between Nomade and Sanara is short and easy.
Hi Dave! I hope you are still answering questions- because this site has been the most helpful I have found!
My husband and I will be celebrating our anniversary. We are a young couple, so we do like some night life/bar/good food options. We also want to stay in the best of the best and are willing to splurge on the room. Of course, traveling to Tulum, we would like beach access even if a short walk. My husband is set on having some type of pool on the grounds just in case seaweed is an issue. We also like to relax; we do like our own space we don’t want to have to struggle to get a lounge chair on the beach. Help!
We are thinking of splitting our time between 2 hotels: either Mi Amor or Mezzanine
And then either : Le Zebra, BE Tulum, Cabanas, Jose y Ana, Vieto de Mar, or Alma
If you are looking to splurge for total luxury Tulum style – Mi Amor and BeTulum are about as good as it gets. They are both totally luxurious and you will feel very very pampered. Mi Amor is on a rockier stretch of beach but soft sand is a short walk away and their pool is situated up near the rooms (and right next to the bar). Be Tulum’s beach is beautiful and their pool is right there along the sand. Be Tulum cleans their beach so seaweed shouldn’t be an issue there. (The seaweed is also significantly better this year than it has been in the past. It is still there but much more manageable even on the un-manicured beaches.) There’s plenty of beach chairs and having plenty of space along the beach shouldn’t be a problem at all. Be Tulum is so meticulously well maintained, they continually rake the sand along the walk along the rooms to/from the beach. They are on different ends of the beach so you will get to experience so much more that way. To really relax, BeTulum’s spa is across the street and the most decadent of any in Tulum. Mi Amor’s bar is perfect for a night cap after dinner in town and close to Mezzanine with a more lively bar/nightlife.
Hi there, your site is incredible with tons of info!
I’m headed to Tulum in January with a few girlfriends (all late 20’s/early 30’s). We are debating between Papaya Playa Project (Oceanfront Cabana) and Hotel El Pez (Luxury Cabana).
Having a swimming pool is pretty key for us (which El Paz has over PPP) but other than that, is there a large gap in quality/luxury between these two hotels? Which is more conveniently located to restaurants/bars?
Thanks so much!
While there is no pool, Papaya Playa offers so much more as far as beach service, activities, proximity to town, and other restaurants. El Pez is nice, however it is small and the beach is quite rocky. The pool is tucked in behind the buildings and not somewhere you will likely want to spend a lot of time. Nice for an occasional dip but not to lounge and relax for very long. The beach at Papaya Playa is beautiful and their food and beach service is very luxurious. Papaya Playa is closer to town but a little further from other beach restaurants/bars. Tulum is small enough that regardless, taxis are cheap should you want to get around to other areas – or better yet, rent a bike.
Hi Dave…..just found your website…amazing..thanks! My hubby & i are looking at going to Tulum in February to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary (we got married in Puerto Vallarta!) & are wanting to stay in one of the quieter beach hotels for 2 weeks…starting to worry a little as the availability seems to be diminishing fast! When we travel I often have a problem with Mosquito & other insect bites and have noticed a lot of the hotel rooms have Mosquito nets round the beds. Does this mean that Mozzies are a problem for this area?…if so, probably wouldn’t prevent us staying there but ‘pre-warned is prepared’ and all that!
With the beach and jungle so close to one another, there are mosquitos in Tulum. The city does take measures to cut down on the problem so it may actually be better than other tropical settings. My wife is very attractive to mosquitoes (she’ll get bites when I don’t even notice there are mosquitoes about) and she finds Tulum tolerable and far from the worst of places we regularly visit. Many of the hotels do not have air-conditioning and as such, use the ocean breeze to cool the rooms at night. That open air does make the mosquito netting necessary since you’re in an open space right on the beachfront. The number of hotels with air-conditioning is rapidly growing and if you have had problems with insect bites in the past, definitely go with one of those luxury hotels with a/c. With the air-conditioned rooms the bug problem will go way down. Also, when evening comes and the mosquitos come out, many of the hotels along the beach also use natural incense that do a reasonably effective job at repelling the insects. It emits a smoke that the mosquitos do not like but actually smells nice to people.
Thanks so much for all of your helpful tips and detailed responses. This is definitely the most insightful blog I’ve seen yet for Tulum recommendations!
My fiance and I are planning a trip to Tulum for 5 nights in January. We are debating on whether to rent an Airbnb outside of Tulum in La Valeta (about a 5 minute drive to town and 10 minute drive to the beach) or a hotel on the beach. I know there are pros and cons to each. Are most of the hotels on the beach walkable to downtown Tulum or would we need to take a cab? (I’ve heard they are really easy to catch in Tulum.) I assume this is where the majority of restaurants, bars and shopping is?
While doing our research, we came across an article about 20 hotels in Tulum (including Couqi Couqi) being shut down due to legal matters. We are concerned about staying anywhere on the beach strip in fear that more of this could happen OR maybe the experience isn’t as fabulous any more with a bunch of places closed down. Do you have any opinions/advice on this matter?
There seems to be a TON of boutique hotels in Tulum making our decision that much harder. And almost all of them have great reviews too! We are looking to spend a max of $300-$350/night. What would be your top 3 recommendations? And how do you feel about eco-resorts like Azulik. We’ve never stayed in one before and are worried it will be really hot and uncomfortable (my finance tends to get eaten alive by mosquitoes!).
It seems like Ahau, Ana y Jose, El Zebra, Azulik and Mezzaine might be close to that range (probably a bit over – $400 to $450/night). But maybe there are others that are cheaper and possibly just as nice.
Any feedback you could provide would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! THANK YOU!
La Valeta is really part of downtown Tulum and a short walk from shops and restaurants so (unless you’re not truly in La Valeta) you wouldn’t have to drive to Tulum. None of the hotels on the beach are walking distance to town. Bike yes, but walk no. Though there are many good restaurants out at the beach. The 4 hotels you mention are all great. I wouldn’t worry about the shutdowns that have occurred. You never know, but I think that has passed.
Hi Dave! My husband and I are coming to Tulum from December 30 to January 2. It seems we are already very behind the curve on booking a room. Plus, we (unfortunately) can’t stay long enough to meet some minimum stay requirements. Maya Tulum has a room. I’d be interested on your thoughts on Maya Tulum. Thank you!
Maya Tulum is great for a relaxing, holistic getaway. The grounds are beautiful and the rooms make you feel like you have been whisked away to your own private sanctuary. If you are into a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating or yoga, it’s perfect. If you are not, it is still a beautiful sanctuary and close to many other hotels and restaurants. Tulum gets busy through that time of year so yeah, sometimes you have to take whatever you can find, but with Maya I would not consider it a huge compromise.
Your blog is fantastic! I will be traveling with husband, and 27 yr old son and girlfriend to spend 3 days in Tulum in november. I am confused over which hotel to go for … We want AC, definitely, if possible working well, nice beach, wifi, and comfortable rooms. My son wants to be close to hotels that have the parties on Saturday and Sunday, so he can walk on the beach from our hotel and see some action! I would like to be able to walk to nearby hotels for dinner also. I am an architect and interior designer, so I really appreciate nicely done hotels with details. I have looked at Be Hotel, but it will be full on our dates. Now I would like your opinion on the following hotels: Coral, Alma, or Sanara. I have also looked at Ana y Jose and Viento de Mar. The Beach seems nice as well. If you have any other suggestion, please say so! Completely confused … which one would you recommend? Also, we want to go to a really nice cenote. We will be renting a car, so distance won’t be a problem. Which one? Thank you for your help!
It is not on your list but La Zebra has gone through some recent remodels and is beautiful. They have AC and their location is top notch. They are within walking distance to the best restaurants and hot spots for the parties. They are on one of the best stretches of beach as well. Nearby restaurants to try: Hartwood (very famous and delicious – all about locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and cooking techniques), Shiva (family recipes from North India). Parties – Thursday night is Casa Jaguar, Friday night is Gitano’s, and Saturday Night is Papaya Playa Project. All have great DJs, cool jungle/club vibes and good drinks. La Zebra also has salsa lessons and dancing on Sunday nights but that’s a little less of the party scene your son is probably looking for. Casa Jaguar and Gitanos are very close but Papaya Playa is further away. Still, not a problem as taxis are abundant and it is a quick 10 minute ride. As for cenotes – LabnaHa is really great. It is very close to Dos Ojos too if you want do visit more than one. For a different cenote experience – Casa Cenote is an open-air cenote and also very beautiful.
I think we’ve narrowed down our options to La Zebra, Alaya, and Ahau for the fact that they are all beautiful and very centrally located to other hotels on the beach and some really good restaurants. La Zebra looks a little more modern and has AC while Alaya and Ahau look/sound very similar, but there has to be a differentiating factor here. We are looking at a Ocean Front Beach Level room at both of these hotels and can’t decide which one to go with if we go the non-AC route.
We are planning on visiting Tulum in January and the weather doesn’t seem to look that hot and humid that time of year so we may be okay without AC during some hours of the day.
Help us make this decision easier please. THANK YOU!
If you are in an ocean front room at any of these hotels in January, the breeze off of the ocean will be enough to keep you cool at night. And, being right on the water with the ocean cooling you off is part of what makes Tulum so special and so different from other beachfront locations. La Zebra is great and parts of it have been recently renovated (with the past 6 months) due to a fire in the kitchen. It’s beautiful. Ahau and Alaya are actually owned by the same people and have many similarities. That said, go with Ahau. The cabanas there are breathtaking and truly a memorable experience. The high ceilings, morning coffee service, well maintained grounds – it all combines for a great vacation in paradise. You are right, all three are very centrally located and within walking distance to a number of great restaurants but Ahau’s restaurant is also very good. They are located on a fantastic stretch of the beach and have beach service from the bar/restaurant so that you can relax beachside and have your drinks and snacks delivered.
Hi Dave! Thank you so much for this site – we used it to book our honeymoon in Greece, and EW thrilled to see you have a bunch of great info we can use to book our first anniversary trip to Tulum too.
We are going in early November and have it narrowed down to three hotels (ocean-facing room): Coral Tulum, Ahau, Alaya. We want a great beach, relatively convenient for visiting fun beach clubs and restaurants, not a ton of kids, AC at night to avoid too many bugs and “luxury” that still feels like we’re on the beach in Mexico. We’re leaning towards one of the Coral rooms with a plunge pool, as Ahau and Alaya seem like they might be more rustic and possibly less comfortable? I’m open to other suggestions, though unfortunately Be Tulum and Mi Amor are sold out the weekend we want to go.
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Coral is beautiful and the rooms with plunge pools are totally luxurious. You are right on the beach so even though you will have AC and a few more of the amenities than some of the other hotels, you still get the beach experience that is so amazing in Tulum. (You’ll just be more comfortable at night with that AC which is not a bad thing.) It is on a beautiful stretch of beach that will connect you to hotel after hotel so that you can try other restaurants, take nice long walks, etc. If you decide you can live without the AC – Ahua is actually very luxurious and the grand palapas are breathtaking. Their sister property Alaya is nice but not quite as over the top as Ahau. There are typically not a lot of kids traveling to Tulum and these hotels definitely cater to a more adult-only crowd so kids shouldn’t be a problem. Although it can be tough peeling yourself out of bed early, if you are staying on the beach – wake up early enough to watch the sunrise over the ocean at least one morning. It is a beautiful experience and you will definitely take in the beauty that is staying on a quiet beach in Mexico.
Hi Dave! Your blog is amazing! I’m planning a surprise trip for my boyfriend in his birthday in October and I’ve narrowed my options down to either María del Mar, El Pez and Mezzanine (Ahau was my first option but it was completely sold out).
Can you please let me know which one do you consider to be the best one out of these three options? I want a nice room with a nice view and a romantic eco chic setting.
I dont mind the location because we both love to walk and ride bikes.
Thank you so much in advance!
Of the three, Maria del Mar is the most luxurious by far. It is brand new, the rooms are beautiful and the restaurant is fantastic. It is a little less eco-chic however as it feels modern (for Tulum), doesn’t have palapas and most of the rooms face into a smaller cove rather than the expansive ocean. If you want more of the eco-chic cabanas on the beach type of feeling, go with El Pez. They have nice palapas, a small private beach area and their restaurant is also fantastic. Ahau also has a sister property Alaya that is very nice and the eco-chic type of property. If you are looking for more authentic, quiet Tulum, cabanas on the beach, go with El Pez or Alaya.
Hi Dave! We are planning on going to Tulum for our honeymoon next year and wanted to see if you had any recommendations for a hotel that’s walkable/bike-able to good restaurants, located on the beach, and feels really luxurious. We really want a plunge pool and were considering booking the Beachfront Balcony Penthouse at La Zebra — are there any other places we should consider, too? Thank you!
The Beachfront Balcony Penthouse at La Zebra is gorgeous and very luxurious, a great choice for your honeymoon. La Zebra is also located right between a number of other hotels and restaurants and along one of the best stretches of beach in Tulum. Coral Tulum is also very beautiful and every room has it’s own plunge pool and is in a great location as well. One other option that is really beautiful is BeTulum. Their oceanfront rooms have rooftop plunge pools with large decks and outdoor showers. It is really beautiful. The only problem with BeTulum is that it is not centrally located but with the bikes that they lend guests that shouldn’t deter you. Even if you stay somewhere else – their spa (Yaan Wellness) is incredible and worth the splurge for a special trip like a honeymoon.
Great website! This is extremely helpful and you really know your stuff. I’m planning a trip with my boyfriend to visit Tulum for the first time in February. Right now we’re torn between a few hotels and I would love to get your advice. We’d love something that’s luxurious with a good restaurant and bar (but we’re not looking for an all inclusive resort). My dream vacation is laying on the beach with a cocktail in hand, so ideally a hotel that had great beach access or bar service right on the sand? Some of my top choices are Jashita, Papaya Playa Project, Coral Tulum, and Mezzanine. Also AC is important to us as well! We’re in our late 20s and visiting from New York City. Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.
Papaya Playa Project is the way to go if you are young, looking for great beach access, and bar service. They have a long stretch of well maintained beach that is beautiful. There are lounge cushions right on the sand with your choice of shade or sun. The bar staff frequently checks in on everyone along the beach so you don’t even have to get up to have a great cocktail or a snack oceanside. There is often afternoon music along the beachside restaurant and on the weekends they throw the best parties in Tulum. The whole hotel has a great vibe. Coral is very nice but doesn’t have the same fun atmosphere of Papaya Playa. Mezzanine also has great energy but they don’t have the same kind of beach access as Papaya Playa.
Thanks for the great website! I’m planning to have my wedding in Tulum in April and me and my 20 guests will be staying at a beach cabana hotel. What are your thoughts on Viento de Mar and Rosa del Viento? I want a nice beach, good food and AC would be ideal. My budget is around $300. Any recommendations? Is the heat bearable in late April without AC? I’ve also considered Casa Violeta but I didn’t find many reviews.
Thank you in advance.
Viento de Mar is a much more upscale hotel and a great option for such a special occasion. The rooms give you that bungalow feel but are very nice and have lots of luxuries that many hotels in Tulum are missing. (AC, beautiful pool, etc.) The beach is nice and well maintained and it is centrally located along the beach zone. The heat won’t be bad in April but with the humidity, the AC is nice at night no matter what time of year. April is a great time to visit as the weather is still quite nice and the peak season crowds have died down.
Hi Dave! I love your site and it was my bible for my recent trip to Santorini.
My brother and I are visiting Tulum for three nights in November – we are booked into LiveTulum (hopefully has your seal of approval!?) in town and after reading your reviews wish we’d booked something on the beach! But that being said, how easy is it to travel between town and the beach with taxis. If we go for dinner (at Hartwood of course) and partying afterwards (Gitano, Casa Jaguar, etc) how easy will it be to get back to town after a night out? TIA!
LiveTulum is a nice hotel with a great location for checking out the restaurant scene in Tulum town. Taxis are everywhere and easy to get even at night.
Hey Dave. Frequent traveler and thus I’m excited to have found your site! Doing a last minute 3 night trip this coming weekend to Tulum. A girl (28) and I (34) have been seeing each other occasionally for a few months so not looking for something overly romantic, we basically just want to put our feet in the sand and have a little fun. She loves yoga. While we’re both professionals we also like a good party and don’t want too quiet of a hotel. Trying to figure out what is the right mix of high-end (boutique/amenities) with a fun scene. Be Tulum is booked or we would probably have done that, Playa sounds just about right, but wondering if its party scene being on site makes the hotel less upscale? Other option is go next door to Ahau or at higher end Alaya and just leave the hotel to find music and a night scene. Thank you! Adam
Papaya Playa is a great hotel and has lots of options from basic palapas to nicer suites. They also have a very nice beach club, restaurant and bar. This weekend is the Residents Do It Better party with a DJ and dancing right on the beach. It is a great event and attended by lots of visitors but (obviously) lots of local residents (mostly ex-pats) too. If you are looking for high-end amenities with a fun scene, this is a great spot. There is lots of yoga along the beach and Papaya Playa has bikes to make getting around town a little easier for you. (You can explore everything on a bike.) CoCo Tulum along the beach zone has great yoga classes if she wants to practice right along the water but Tribal Yoga is along the way to town and a cool spot with mostly locals. Alaya is more serene and quiet but Ahua has a good blend. Ahau is right in the middle of the beach zone and a very nice, upscale hotel that isn’t over the top and still gives you the calm atmosphere, palapa experience, etc. They are located near Gitano’s & Casa Jaguar which both have a great atmosphere and parties (one on Thursday nights, the other on Friday nights). Gitano’s & Casa Jaguar are on the jungle side of the beach road. It’s a cool atmosphere with a fun scene tucked into the jungle – unlike anything most of us have experienced.
Thanks for all the info…I was wondering about celebrating New Years Eve in Tulum. We are in our 40’s turning 50 (birthday) but still like to dance and have a cocktail. Any suggestions?
La Zebra has a fun atmosphere without being over the top party focused. They have great cocktails, a very nice beach club with good service and the hotel and grounds are beautiful. The restaurant/bar area was remodeled over the summer after a small kitchen fire and everything looks great. The place to be in Tulum on Sunday nights when they offer free salsa lessons followed by salsa dancing. Great fun.
Booked a room beginning of March for one week at Hip Hotel Tulum. Curious about the following questions:
1. Is the ocean fun and safe to play in? Is there a riptide, strong currents, rocky bottom, undertow? We just love to play in the water, body surf gentle waves, feel nice soft sand under our feet.
2. Are there frequent taxis from that hotel into Tulum town during day and night? How long is the ride generally?
3. Are there mosquitoes beginning of March?
4. Good weather beginning of March?
Thank you! Carol Fagan
1. There is surf and it’s generally fun to play in. Of course, it can get rough at times. The beach in front of Hip Hotel has few if any rocks.
2. Taxis are easy to find at all hours in town and along the beach. It takes about 10 minutes to get from one to the other.
3. There are always some mosquitoes but there worse in the wet season months of September and October.
4. The weather in March is ideal.
Super helpful site! My fiance and I are traveling to Tulum at the end of January. We are looking to keep our budget at $100 a night max for 5 days. Any recommendations. Not a hostel and doesn’t have to be right on the water. Thank you
January is the peak high season in Tulum so prices are higher then than the rest of the year. Corazon de Jade is a new hotel in town that is very nice, more affordable than the options on the beach, and has a great location close to restaurants and shops of town. They are right across the street from the best tacos in Tulum – Antiojos de Chiapaneca (don’t miss out on the tacos pastor) and the best gelato in town – Campanella Cremerie. Tunich Jungle Cabanas is an up-and-coming hotel along the beach road but on the jungle side of the road which makes it more affordable than hotels just across the street. Beaches in Tulum are public so it’s just a quick walk across the street to have the sand in your toes. They have great breakfast and still maintain the rustic charm Tulum is so well known for.
Finally a great website with helpful tips on Tulum. A few of us in our late 30s are thinking of booking a last minute trip for New Years to Tulum. My recollection is it of a sleepy yoga-type town so worried there will not be any fun parties for New Years Eve. Would you know of any fun beach or other parties on New Years Eve this year? (obviously not expecting nor wanting Cancun style)
Google just comes up with past New Years festivals in Tulum but nothing is showing for this year.
Tulum has changed a lot in the past 5 years and while there is still plenty of yoga and relaxation, nightlife and parties have become a big part of the town’s offerings as well. One thing to keep in mind is that things in Tulum operate on “Tulum Time” and while it seems very strange, often events are not shared or publicized until a week or so prior to the event itself. New Years in Tulum is now known for being very active and alive – especially along the beach. Most (if not all) of the hotels, bars and restaurants along the beach will be hosting parties. A few that are sure to have a great event are: First and foremost Papaya Playa Project – they already host great parties every Saturday night so you can count on them to have an awesome event for New Year’s Eve. They have a cool vibe along the beach with great DJs, it’s a very fun spot for a party right along the beach – a fun way to ring in the new year. Gitano – a cool jungle-chic bar that also has great DJs. They’re sure to have a lively party. Casa Jaguar – similar to Gitano with a cool jungley vibe. Again, stay tuned as it gets closer to the actual date but you definitely don’t have to worry about finding parties in Tulum on New Years Eve.
My husband and I are traveling to Tulum in March this year. We are going to spend 3 days in PDC and 4 days in Tulum. Coming from PDC we are looking for a quiet, restful and relaxing time in Tulum. We don’t really need a pool, because we live in the desert and can’t wait to swim in the ocean? I am looking at two hotels, Rosa Del Viento and Alma Tulum. You don’t really mention these two hotels in your blog. Can you let me know your thoughts on these two places, is one nicer than the other? How is the beach in these two areas? Which one would you recommend?
Thanks so much
Go with Alma Tulum. It is a much nicer hotel and it is not as far down the beach road as Rosa Del Viento. The beach itself at both hotels is very nice so you will have a great beach to swim in the ocean. They are along long stretches of uninterrupted white sandy beaches. It is beautiful. There is only one road into the beach zone in Tulum and Rosa Del Viento is at the very end so it can take quite a while to get to and from the hotel if you want to go into town or visit a cenote. The rooms at Alma are also very well designed and romantic.
Your site is awesome! I am coming to Tulum in February and staying at numerous properties because I am writing about them. We will be at El Pez, Papaya Playa, Azulik, and Neste. I read what you said about El Pez and Papya, but curious what you think of Neste? Contemplating one more night there… Thank you so much. Melissa Curtin
You have picked quite the list of hotels, they are some of the very best in Tulum. We’ll start from the beginning. The best part of El Pez is the restaurant and bar with beautiful views of the ocean and waves crashing in. They have just brought in a famous chef from Mexico City and the food is great. The hotel is located on a rockier section of the beach so plan to spend more time on the sand/water when you are at Papaya Playa or Nest. Papaya Playa is a fantastic spot. Their rooms are very nice and their beach is one of the best in Tulum. They are on a very long stretch of property so there’s lots of room to keep it from ever feeling crowded. They are known for their parties every Saturday night so if you’re there over the weekend, plan to spend a late night out dancing on the beach. Azulik is a grown up tree house that you have to see to believe. They have been doing extensive renovations and additions to the property for quite some time now and the end product is breathtaking. You will feel totally pampered during your time at Nest. You will be blown away with how beautiful the hotel and beach are. Then, the more time spent there with those views and with such great service, you’ll be blown away. You’ve chosen four hotels that will have you leaving Tulum feeling totally spoiled.
My friend and I are traveling to Tulum in February for my birthday and for a much needed vacation! We are both in our thirties and want to relax but still want to drink, listen to good music, and dance at night! We are thinking of staying at Maria del Mar and from what I read on your site, I think you like it? Most of the other ones are sold out for the time we are going. Do you recommend this area of the beach? I also heard that you are allowed to use the beach at Azulik next door. Do you know if this is true? We are there for 5 nights and I was wondering if you could list your top 5 places to eat and go out at night around the beach? And maybe the one you’d recommend most for a great birthday dinner? Thank you! Noelle
Maria del Mar is very nice, you will love it. The hotel is brand new and they have built beautiful luxury rooms with nice little details, perfect for young, savvy travelers. The hotel itself, restaurant (MINA) and pool are all fantastic. The one thing that is lacking with Maria del Mar is the beach. They are in a rocky section which creates some beautiful views but, less than ideal conditions to relax in the ocean. Yes, you are able to use the beach next door. It is a smaller, quieter section of beach than most of what Tulum has to offer. It’s very beautiful. If you want long stretches of the white sandy beach and soft turquoise water, you’ll have to go to a different beach club/hotel for that. But, that isn’t a big deal at all. Most hotels just require that you buy a few drinks if you are going to be using their amenities which is fair. There are lots of great restaurants in Tulum, both along the beach and in town. Some of the best along the beach zone are: MINA (very conveniently located), Hartwood, ARCA, Cenzotle, and Mur Mur. If you skip out on eating in the town, you’ll definitely be missing out. There are lots of great local restaurants with lots of charm and character in the location and in the food. If you want a nice restaurant for your birthday, go to ARCA.
Hi Dave – My wife and I have been going to Be Tulum for 6 years now. We always stay in room 20. We know that construction is still ongoing on each side of the hotel and that the main hotel is making upgrades. We also know that there are some new hotels opening, like Chiringuito. Some of the new rooms at Be are open and very expensive, even with our discount. We want to stay there but are thinking of waiting until all of the construction is complete and going next year. So, for this year, if we go to Tulum, we need to stay at a nice place that has a private rooftop with a pool so that we can watch the sunset. Yes, you can tell we have been spoiled by staying at Be each year. Do you know the Tulum hotels that have private rooftops with pools? Any information would be much appreciated – thanks!
Be Tulum is gorgeous, especially those rooms with rooftop pools. But, yes lots of construction happening along that area and there are so many other great hotels in Tulum. However, finding a rooftop pool is more challenging than you might expect. Chiringuito has small rooftop pools as do the casitas at Papaya Playa Project. If you don’t mind leaving the Tulum hotel zone, Jashita in Solemon Bay has an incredible rooftop pool with glass sides, similar to Be Tulum. Chiringuito and Jashita are similar to Be Tulum in that they are very upscale hotels. Papaya Playa Project is one of the most popular hotels in town however it has more of a party vibe and they host parties every weekend which can often be heard from the rooms. If you want a little something different in terms of style and experience, try Papaya Playa. If you want to maintain the luxury of Be Tulum but try out another great hotel, go with Chiringuito or Jashita.
I am wanting to find a beachfront place in or near Tulum with a kitchen. Do they exist? I haven’t been able to find one yet. Need more than a coffee maker and microwave. Need fridge and cooking too.
Thanks so much, this is awesome info you give out here, thank you.
There aren’t any hotels along Tulum’s beach that have kitchens. The hotels along the beach in Tulum don’t have full electricity (they aren’t hooked to “the grid” – it’s all run off of generators, solar or wind power) so keeping a bunch of fridges or kitchen appliances running would be quite a challenge. In fact, many only offer electricity for certain hours of the day. There are however many great airbnb condos near the beach zone (a couple miles away) that are brand new and equipped with full kitchens. A friend of mine has a nice rental – it’s the closest building to the beach so it might be perfect or you. Here is the Airbnb link.
Just found your site. So helpful! My fiance and I have been going back and forth on hotels for our honeymoon in Tulum the last week of May (then finishing our trip in Mexico City!) I’m trying to be somewhat budget minded so I had been looking at the Bali huts at Ahau. But have been thinking the bathroom situation with those might be a little rough. I’m having a hard time finding anything else that seems affordable but also unique for a honeymoon. I just stumbled upon Teetotum and feel like it could be a great fit (able to spend more on restaurants-fiance is a chef so we travel for food!- massages, etc.) but understand it’s closer to town and not beach front. Do you know anything about this place? What are cool places in town to see and how accessible is the beach from this location? After seeing this place I’m thinking a more laid back vibe might be more enjoyable. Would love to know your thoughts! Or any other affordable but still romantic places. Also, do you know anything about Tita Tulum? Thanks for your help in advance!
Ahau is a very unique hotel with lots of character. It is along a great section of the beach with lots of great restaurants and bars closeby. But, everything along the beach is “expensive”. By expensive I mean U.S. prices. Tulum town has great character and some great restaurants /bars. It is also much more affordable. Teetotum is a fun, vibrant hotel. It is still only 2 miles to the beach and right along the bike path so it is quick and easy to get there. There is a really nice bar at the hotel itself and it’s close to the grocery store where you can pick up some snacks or beverages too.
Hey Dave, thanks so much for all your great info. I finally pulled the trigger on a long weekend to Tulum for my Wife’s 40th b-day and after much debate I went with a private bath beach front cabana at CoCo. I think she will like the rustic elegance of the place. 2 questions: What is your preferred method to get to Tulum from the airport? and is there any service you would avoid? Also, is there a bike rental place close to CoCo that you would recommend? ~ Thanks, Todd
CoCo is a great hotel, you will be very happy with it. It has a lot of the “rustic” cabana style charm but they have done a great job making the rooms, and entire property feel very luxurious at the same time. The best part of those beach front cabanas is stepping right out onto the beautiful white sand. Coco has also just recently expanded their beach bar and it is a great place to relax and enjoy some cocktails beachside. They have lots of wooden swings looking out into the ocean, it is great fun. The quickest and easiest way to Tulum from the airport is one of the airport transfer companies. You’ll find a number of them just by googling – Paradise Transfers, Happy Shuttle, and USA Transfers are ones that I would recommend. Super Shuttle has been known to lump groups together and take quite a while to actually make it to Tulum so avoid them. There are also taxis that will take you to Tulum but waits can be over 30 minutes. CoCo has bikes that you can rent by the day so you won’t even need to leave the property.
Thanks for the awesome info! I’m planning my honeymoon right now and Tulum has become one of the the top choices. If you have any thoughts on the following it would be great:
1. First two weeks in September – good idea/bad idea?
2. We are 30 and not huge partiers…has it become more of a party destination in the past few years?
3. What hotels would you recommend in the sub 300 a night region (ideally 200 if that’s possible) for: swim/beach access, proximity to a good bar and restaurant, peace and quiet, good spa.
4. To give you a sense of where our heads are at, we were originally planning on Hawaii/Tahiti but are looking at Tulum as a budget option with hopefully a more walkable, affordable town. Are we on the right track with that?
Thanks for any advice!
Tulum has grown a lot over the past few years but you can definitely still enjoy a quiet, relaxing vacation.
1- September is the low season so that’s the best time to find a quiet, relaxing town. In fact, for that reason, September is a great time of year to visit. The beaches are practically empty and you’ll have no problem getting into the restaurants. The weather is hot in September but bearable because of all of the water with the beach and cenotes and such.
2- There are still places that are more party central and other places that are very low key and relaxing. Most of town will be low key in September.
3- CoCo Tulum is great. It is on one of the best stretches of beach in Tulum and they do a wonderful job maintaining it. The cabanas are the rustic, charming style but still very comfortable. There’s a hammock outside on your deck with a little table and chair so you can relax quietly. They also just expanded their beach bar and it is the quintessential laid-back beach atmosphere. They have little swing chairs overlooking the beach and great cocktails. Their restaurant is nice but it is close to a number of other great options within a quick and easy walk. They also have bikes to rent to make it easier to explore more of town.
4- Yes, Tulum is a great alternative to Hawaii/Tahiti. The atmosphere is super chill and low key, there is great food, amazing beaches and it it certainly much more affordable than many other beach destinations.
My wife and I are planning a romantic trip to Tulum in early June and I’ve narrowed things down to two places. Jashita and Ahau. both look very nice and I understand Jashita is 6 or 7 miles out of Tulum but the bay looks amazing and wondering if there is less issues with seaweed there due to being a bay (My wife hate seaweed so I want a place that keeps things as clean as possible.)We also love to snorkel and kayak due to the reef that seems like a good spot. We are looking for a chilled quiet relaxing stay but do want to be able to go into Tulum to shop and eat one or two nights of our 5 night stay. Ahau looks as nice as far as the rooms but closer in town but may not be as private. Can we get a cab into town when needed from Jashita or do you think Ahau will give us everything Jashita seems to have but closer. Is the bay nice to stay on or not? Thank you for the help I’ve been racking my brain on all of this for the last 30-days and need to pull the trigger. Your blog has been a great help to get me this far. Casey Jensen
Jashita and Ahau are two of the nicest hotels in the Tulum region, without a doubt. They provide different experiences however. Jashita is a little more secluded, of course as it is outside of town while Ahau is right in the middle of the beach in Tulum and surrounded by some amazing restaurants. As for the seaweed – it hasn’t been bad this year but there has been a little happening over the past month or so. It is hard to say what it will be like in the area in June but it isn’t like the horror stories from two years ago. All of the nice hotels (certainly Jashita and Ahau) clean their beachfront and remove the seaweed along the beach. Unfortunately Jashita isn’t immune to the seaweed but, the snorkeling and kayaking is better near there. The best place to snorkel however is in the cenotes and they are all over the region. Each one is unique and it is quite an experience to explore those. Cabs are really never an issue in the region and the hotel staff at either hotel can help you arrange for that. If you want to explore and experience Tulum but still have a beautiful personal sanctuary in your room, Ahau is a better bet. But, if you want a romantic, secluded trip all to yourselves, go with Jashita.
I am looking for a nice and quiet hotel with a private beach access for my stay in Tulum. I am travelling alone therefore I am on a budget and do not want to spend more than $150 to $200 a night. Which hotel would you please recommend me?
Many thanks in advance for your help to make my trip memorable!
Even though it is gaining popularity, there are still lots of budget-friendly beach hotels in Tulum. Many hotels offer various levels of rooms, with the rooms nearest the water of course being the most expensive but prices varying significantly from there. Hemmingways is on a beautiful stretch of beach and offers the more rustic, earthy cabanas Tulum has been known for. They also have a variety of room styles and rates. CoCo Tulum has a great, more lively, active atmosphere and they offer a number of different room types for various budgets. They have a beautiful stretch of beach, maintain it impeccably and are right in the middle of many others if you want to walk along the beach and check out other restaurants/beach clubs.
What is the difference between Xplor, Xcaret, and Xel-Ha water parks? Which one would you recommend for a family of 4 (kids aged 8 and 16)?
Xplor, Xcaret, Xel-Ha & Xenses are all owned by the same company and run very similarly. They are very well run and maintained amusement parks in the Riviera Maya. Safety and family-friendliness are top priorities.
Xenses (think “senses”) is a series of activities meant to stimulate all of your senses – from sight, smell, touch, etc and is full of unique adventures to throw your perceptions off.
Xplor (think “explore”) is a high-adventure park. They have ziplines, ATVs, rafts for the cenotes, etc. They also have nightime activities that are lit by torches and fire. If your kids are adventurous, this is the one to go to.
Xcaret is right next to Xplor and has a focus on the history and culture of Mexico and the Riviera Maya. If you find the ruins and ancient culture of the area interesting, this is the right park. They have a huge performance every night that is fantastic. It highlights the regional cultures of Mexico and also portrays life in Ancient Mayan Civilization. The performers actually play the game that the Mayans played with a ball that is lit on fire.
Xel-ha is essentially a huge natural waterpark set in a lagoon and smaller cenotes. They provide snorkels and life vests for the day. There are ziplines into the water, intertubes to float through a natural lazy river, dolphins, sting rays, etc. It is also all-inclusive and includes all the food and drinks you would like. It is good fun for all ages and a great family activity.
If you only have time to go to one park – go to Xel-Ha.
Have you heard any more about Chiringuito since its opening? Also can you recommend best cenotes and ocean snorkeling around Tulum?
Chiringuito Hotel is a refreshing new addition to the beach in Tulum. Their rooms are simple but well designed and comfortable. Definitely spring for top floor room to get a beautiful private rooftop pool – the views are gorgeous and you can spend evenings relaxing up there overlooking the jungle. It is a totally unique experience.
Go to Casa Cenote and Gran Cenote. Casa Cenote is open-air and like swimming in a crystal clear natural swimming hole. It’s also right across the street from the ocean so you can walk over and enjoy a snack at the restaurant right across the street with an awesome ocean view. Gran Cenote is totally different – it is very large and a series of underwater caves. Ocean snorkeling around Tulum is good but not great (you need to take a boat out to the reef 500m offshore but there’s little beach snorkeling) – cenotes are the way to go when you want the underwater sights.
Have you heard of the new hotel, TATA that is opening this month? We are trying to decide between that hotel and Maria Del Mar. Our must haves, are a beach hotel with AC at all hours and plenty of restaurants/bars in walking distance.
Let me know if you know anything about TATA!
Go with Maria del Mar.
TATA (adults only) seems very grand and the buildings are very cool looking but in actuality it is squeezed into a pretty tight piece of land. They are still working on filling in the landscaping, getting everything finished. It may still take a little time for the hotel to really get up and running for you to have the luxury experience you want. Maria del Mar on the other hand is still brand new (they’ve been open for about a year now), but they’ve ironed out any kinks and have a really nicely operated hotel and restaurant. The rooms are beautiful too. Their restaurant, MINA is absolutely delicious. Across the street is Tunich, they have the best breakfast in Tulum. A young Canadian couple owns it and they have poured a lot of heart and soul into the place and you can tell. They are there most mornings chatting with guests.
Dave, love your recommendations! We are 6-8 ladies in their early 40s who like well designed hotels with fun vibes/drinks/good music – coming in January. Looking at the villas at Nomade, Ahua, Coco and Tata. Which one plays the best music during the day and happy hour? Not looking for zen music….maybe DJ music?
Coco Tulum and Papaya Playa Project have the best music during the day. In January they will have DJs from around the world. Coco is a big hotel by Tulum standards but still has a great vibe. They just expanded their beach bar and it is the perfect place to spend your afternoons. They have swings overlooking the ocean and are right on the sand. Coco is centrally located along one the best stretch of beach in Tulum – it goes forever and has lots of cool boutique hotels you can pop into for a cocktail. It’s also very close to lots of good restaurants. Papaya Playa Project is the biggest hotel in Tulum but has found a way not to feel huge. You’ll have the most options for types of rooms there. Their beach club is the best in Tulum. Their property is so large and with their location, you can’t get to any other hotels walking along their beach but they take very nice care of it so it is very comfortable. They have a ton of sunchairs to lay out in and beach service along all of the beach. They also host huge parties every Saturday night. They are very popular with tourists and locals alike and have great music and drinks. It is great if you want to go to the party, but not great if you want a quiet night and are staying in the hotel.
Fantastic site, long time listener, first time caller. But honestly, great site it’s been a source of help many times! My wife and I will be in Tulum from June 8th – June 15th and I currently have a reservation at Viento de Mar in the Ocean Front Suite (the big one), however we’re also considering La Zebra at the Sea View Plunge pool or Balcony, as well as possibly the Maria del Mar (I just found out it existed). As you can tell my wife wants the Tulum experience but in some sort of luxury with a pool and a beach if possible. Viento looks amazing especially the room, but pretty quiet or away from everyone based on pictures (is that true?) while La Zebra sounds like it’s sort of the heart of Tulum and everyone shows up there at some point each day. We’d like to experience the fun / adventure side of Tulum, meet some cool people, and still relax after a long day of excursions, while at a hotel with luxury, an A/C, an ocean view room, a nice pool, and be able to ride our bike and walk around as much as possible. We want our cake and to eat it too. 🙂
Out of those three and our preferences do you have a recommendation? Thanks ahead of time!
All three are beautiful luxury hotels in Tulum so you can’t go wrong.
Viento de Mar is a little far from restaurants and other hotels (about a quarter mile) but your reservation is for a gorgeous room so you’ll be getting the top of the top luxury with the hotel itself.
The rooms in Maria del Mar are very nice (and the hotel is brand new) but their stretch of beach is not the best. It is pretty rocky and small but there is a nice pool for the guests.
If you want more social interaction and people coming and going, meeting new people – go with La Zebra. There is always something going on there, the food and drinks are amazing and they’re close to other spots along the beach road. They are on a great stretch of beach and while there is a little bit of seaweed back again right now, they upscale hotels really do a good job manicuring the beach to keep them as nice as possible for their guests. They have Salsa Dancing on Sunday nights and it is really fun to experience. (It starts with a free class and then continues on with open dancing.) Many of the restaurants near La Zebra are the fancier options in Tulum. If you want to get to know new people, interact, socialize, etc – La Zebra is the perfect spot for you.
My wife and I are going to Tulum the week before Christmas, we are looking for a place on the beach with a pool. It appears most hotels are booked but we found ArenaBlue has some rooms available. What are you thoughts on that hotel? It looks like it’s pretty new. Joey
You’re right, ArenaBlue is a new, beautiful beachside hotel. They took particular care of every little detail to make your experience super luxurious. The restaurant is delicious with lots of amazing local seafood and focus on fresh flavors. ArenaBlue is also along one of the best stretches of beach in Tulum. The nearby hotels also have wonderful restaurants and beachside bars, there is a very long stretch where you can walk for well over a mile totally uninterrupted.
Are some hotels in Tulum more gay friendly than others?
In the past there was one specifically gay friendly hotel however it has converted to just a standard hotel like the rest of them. But now, Tulum is an open, accepting place. There really aren’t any hotels that are more or less gay-friendly than others.
Hi Dave, a friend stayed at Casa Malca and recommended it – is it a good hotel with a nice beach and close to restaurants (Arca, Gitano, Casa Jaguar)? How far from the Mayan Ruins and Cenotes?
We’re looking to go first week of Sept – is that thick of hurricane season and worst time ever?
Great place with a wonderful beach. The best restaurants are a good walk away so most people would probably taxi – bust still pretty close. The Mayan Ruins are a relaxing 30 minute bike ride . The best cenotes are a 20 minute taxi ride and farther. September can be wet and rainy – or fine. Be prepared for anything.
I’ve been looking for a review of Maria Del Mar on Tulum Beach. I know it’s new so not at a lot of information on Tripadvisor. What do you know about Maria Del Mar?
Notes on Maria Del Mar Hotel in Tulum
• Located along the beach side of the hotel zone.
• The hotel is on the first section of hotels along the beach (as you’re driving from town) and as such, getting between town and the hotel is very convenient.
• 18 Rooms including 3 master suites. The master suites are really nothing more than upper level rooms a little larger than the others. While they are nice, they are probably not worth the upsell in price.
• 24/7 electricity
• Rooms have air-conditioning
• Wi-fi available throughout hotel
• The restaurant is fantastic and another addition to the fancy and pricy restaurants along the beach zone. It is owned by the same people that run Casa Banana (a well know, nice Argentinian restaurant) further down the beach road. Mina, like Casa Banana specializes in meats and prices are comparable to the U.S. Their open air kitchen sits along the road but that isn’t necessarily a negative thing, it is set up and back enough that it isn’t a problem. They are best known for wood oven cooked pork and other meats.
• Rooms are stocked with upscale amenities very unusual for Tulum – Bose speakers, Beach bags loaded with towels and other beach necessities.
They do not offer bikes for rent but you can easily rent some in a shop just down the street. There is a nice bike path from near the hotel into town and since taxis can drive very fast along this area, the bike path is definitely nice to have.
• The rooms are built in a half-oval shape facing into the pool so there isn’t a lot of privacy. (Second floor rooms are definitely more private as you have to look almost straight up from the pool to see into them and the small decks prevent being able to see all the way into the rooms themselves.)
• There are a number of lounge beds for different experiences while getting some sun. There are chairs out on the sand by the beach, some in the shade by the pool, others in the sun by the pool and even more on a deck that has been built on a large rock next to the ocean – that provides incredible views of the blue waters but little shade.
• The sun deck is a beautiful place to experience the sunrise.
• The beach is very small and rocky. It is shared with two other hotels and Maria del Mar is on the far side so the beach views and experience are not great (especially considering you are in Tulum). If beach experience, long walks on the beach are a priority, then this is the wrong hotel.
• No yoga onsite but a number of surrounding hotels offer classes daily.
• The lobby is a grand, open air entrance looking into the beautifully manicured pool area with the large, open restaurant and open-air kitchen to the side welcoming you from the street.
• With the addition of this hotel, the area has seen more expensive/high-end boutique shops pop up. A few are even attached to the hotel.
• This is far and away the nicest hotel along this section of the beach and as such, feels a little out of place. It is surrounded by eco-chic boutique hotels and local artisan shops but this is the opposite – fancy, new, and expensive.
• They will do weddings, however there isn’t a very good place to host a crowd or hold a nice ceremony so not ideal for that. Must book out 80% of the hotel for weddings.
• Just across from Puro Corazon and Mateo’s Restaurants. Puro Corazon offers a nice middle ground from the quick, casual restaurants in town and the more common, expensive beach restaurants. Their fish dishes are all very tasty. Mateo’s is a very popular restaurant/bar. They have a rooftop that offers the best sunset views in town. It is a very large restaurant, has a section with a pool table, darts, etc and multiple levels of seating. All open air. It is one of the more popular restaurant/bars along the beach zone because of its casual (and more American) atmosphere.
• Papaya Playa Project is about .25 miles down the road and offers it all. Their beach club allows people not staying at their hotel to enjoy their beach access, good music, lounge chairs, bar service, etc. Their restaurant serves great fresh ceviches and they throw the most well known parties in Tulum every Saturday night.
• There is a dive shop down the street that offers a number of different tours in the area. Snorkeling, kitesurfing, SUP’ing, Diving.
Hi Dave. Love your website. We traveled to Greece this summer and your advice was beyond valuable. My family would like to visit Tulum in December. My kids are 16 and 13. We are looking for a luxurious hotel with great service & amenities, a beautiful beach good for swimming, a great location close to all the restaurants, AC, and a pool. What would be your favorite suggestions?
There are a few hotels in Tulum that fit the bill, though two that stand out are La Zebra and Coral Tulum. La Zebra’s rooms are all designed for families of four, so you can choose from any of their room types and fit comfortably; all rooms include one king-sized bed and a single bed and trundle. All rooms include AC, free wifi, dual vanities, and dual showers, and a terrace or deck, while ground floor and penthouse rooms all include private, heated, plunge pools. Onsite amenities include a rooftop pool with a swim up bar, a small spa, bike rentals, and complimentary beach gear, such as snorkel masks. La Zebra also hosts a popular weekly salsa dancing night on Sundays, with free lessons for one hour, followed by a few hours of dancing with a live band. Their beach is one of the best in Tulum, sandy and swimmable for its full length, plus the hotel is within ten minutes’ walk of the best restaurants and bars in Tulum, including Hartwood, Arca, and Casa Jaguar.
Coral Tulum is a more traditional, luxury style hotel with an all-suite layout. Each suite includes a king-sized bed and sofa bed, AC, wifi, a huge shower, TV (this is the only hotel in the Tulum beach zone with TVs), and a private plunge pool, rather than a shared pool area for all guests. The beach is stellar, with soft sand and gentle surf, with exceptional bar and dining service and plenty of Bali beds and lounge chairs. They also offer a small spa and excellent restaurant onsite. Coral is located near several excellent restaurants, including two amazing Italian restaurants, Posada Margherita and Hemingway’s, and is within a ten minute walk of Ukami (Tulum’s best sushi) and several other restaurants. There are fewer bars in this area than there are near La Zebra, so nights are a little bit quieter.
I’m getting married in February at Akiin Beach Club. My fiance and I plan on staying for a week. We would like to stay on the beach within walking distance of Akiin Beach Club. Do you have any recommendations of where we should stay?
Also any suggestions for our guests who also want to stay close to the venue. Guests would be staying 3-5 days.
And any suggestions for guests that want to save some money and maybe stay closer to town but less than 30 minutes drive to Akiin Beach?
You have chosen an excellent location for the ceremony. Many of Tulum’s best hotels, restaurants, bars, and boutiques are within a 5 to 10 minute walk of Akiin Beach Club. There are even a few budget options nearby, so all of your guests can stay within easy walking distance.
Ahau Tulum is the closest hotel, only 2 minutes away, and is among the best in Tulum; this is an upscale, wellness-centric spot with great food (vegan and meat), a variety of yoga-based classes daily, and an eclectic, Boho vibe right on the beach. Another favorite is Cabañas La Luna, just 10 minutes north. This hotel is less hippie-dippy than Ahau, with a rustic, Robinson Crusoe vibe and a great middle-eastern restaurant onsite. For a “barefoot luxury” style stay, check out Luv Tulum, a beachfront hotel with romantic rooms, locally-sourced foods, eco-practices, and experience packages specifically designed for honeymooners.
These hotels are all great options for most of your guests, too. But for guests with children or for those who prefer a more traditional hotel/resort stay, I’d recommend La Zebra. This is a fantastic, family-friendly beachfront hotel with more on-site amenities, such as a pool, spa, great dining and drinks, and their well-loved Sunday salsa nights (open to the public and kid-friendly).
For your budget conscious guests, Ahau actually offers a couple of affordable rooms (around $100 a night), but they book up fast. For even more affordable rates, I highly recommend Las Palmas Maya. This great, little, budget hotel is only 10 minutes walking from Akiin. It is in the beach zone, directly across the road from the beach. No A/C here, though, but they have two fans per room, and can add more on request. The hotel is built in the jungle under the canopy, so even on the hottest days, the rooms stay remarkably cool. In town there are of course, many more amazing budget hotels that are all walking distance to great dining and drinks. Some great choices in town are Don Diego de la Selva (beautiful gardens, small pool, breakfast included, and an apiary with Mayan bees that don’t have stingers), Teetotum (retro-‘60s vibe, plunge pool, live music, great bar), and Villas Geminis (full apartments, pool, and day trips to their temazcal/yoga retreat in the jungle). These are all about 20 to 25 minutes’ drive or 15 minutes by bicycle from Akiin.
Your site is fantastic. Thank you for taking the time to do what you do. I’m planning a trip for April. Coral, Coco, and Ana y Jose caught my eye. I’m open to other suggestions as I know you always have great ones. Important things: AC, nice beaches, good restaurants, and access to a gym, yoga, or other fitness options. I want something on the luxurious side but not too over the top, and something that still has an authentic (not corporate/business/chain) feel. Thanks in advance.
All of the hotels you mentioned are excellent in their own ways, but Ana y Jose and Coral definitely have a more corporate vibe than most other Tulum hotels. They do meet all of your other requests, though. Coco Tulum definitely has a more authentic feel but it is not a true luxury hotel. Many of their rooms have shared bathrooms, and the air conditioning is only available between 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. (this is a common practice in Tulum). Reserve a cabana with a private bathroom if you choose Coco; these are their best room options.
For a great mix of luxury and authenticity, check out Mezzanine, La Zebra, or Be Tulum. All of these hotels offer great beaches, stellar food, locally-inspired rooms and suites, and air conditioning all day. Be Tulum partners with Yaan Wellness right across the street, which offers several yoga classes daily in different styles plus an exceptional spa. La Zebra is next to Sanara, which offers beachfront yoga daily (Sanara is another fantastic hotel, but like Coco, the A/C is only on at night). Mezzanine offers yoga mats in each room but no classes onsite.
Trying to plan a last minute trip this February in Tulum. Not much left open for hotel choice. Which of these 3 would you recommend? Ocean front at Hip Hotel, Garden view at Coral, or ocean front suite at Nueva Vida de Ramiro?
Go with Coral or Nueva Vida. Both of these hotels are fantastic, albeit very different from each other. Coral offers a more luxurious experience; each well-appointed room offers its own private plunge pool, a generous bathroom, and air conditioning all day. The property is small, so the garden view rooms are just steps from the beach. Nueva Vida is an eco-chic property designed in the rustic style that made Tulum famous. Its ocean front suites offer stellar views, breezy spaces, and hammocks on the terraces, though there is no air conditioning and no TV in any of the accommodations. (Actually, I consider no TV a perk.)
My husband and I are looking to go to Tulum in June for our anniversary. We are interested in laying out at the beach, swimming in a pool, and enjoying good restaurants and drinks. We were thinking of staying at Habitas, but I haven’t seen one mention of it here. What are your thoughts on Habitas? We also liked Azulik and Ahua.
Habitas is a beautiful space with a great pool (selfie central), excellent food, lovely but pricey cocktails, onsite yoga, and gorgeous shared spaces. The usable beach area is fairly small with sand in the middle and rocks on each side. Ultimately, Habitas feels more like a glamping experience than a hotel experience. All rooms are tents, and though they are far from rustic (all come with air conditioning and luxury amenities, some even have private pools), you can still hear your neighbors through the fabric walls and the A/C is working on overtime since there is no insulation.
Ahau is one of the best hotels in Tulum, with gorgeous beach cabanas with palapa roofs for a jungle vibe but with walls so there is less noise; air conditioning is available in the evenings. The beach here is second to none, a long, wide, well-maintained stretch of white sand. Food and drinks are outstanding, the yoga and wellness programs are extensive, and the staff is caring. However, there is no pool.
Azulik is a fashion-forward hotel with an avant-garde restaurant and an experimental design concept. There is no shared pool, but most suites (called villas) have a private jacuzzi or plunge pool. Though all of the hotels in this list are considered eco-hotels, Azulik is the only one that limits electricity use, meaning no air conditioning and no lights. All rooms and the grounds are lit by candles, and there are no showers in the rooms, just bathtubs. Walls are built out of sticks with open slats between them and the beachfront rooms have a solid glass wall in front, so it is not a hotel for the shy. The clothing-optional beach is a beautiful and well-maintained, albeit small.
My boyfriend and I are trying to plan a last minute vacation to either Cancun, Tulum, or really, anything in between! I love to travel, and am usually fairly good at planning travel, but I’ve never planned anything international, and there are so many options, I am not sure I can make a decision in a timely manner. My boyfriend doesn’t drink, but we still debated an all-inclusive for the included food aspect. However, I’m afraid we’ll be bored and wish we spent more money on activities/things to do than a resort. That being said, I’m worried about safety and transportation from smaller, lesser known places. Have any recommendations on more popular, safe, yet reasonably priced places to stay? Should we stay closer to Cancun, or venture out towards Tulum if we want to be more independent from our hotel or resort? Lastly, is local transportation generally a safe option? Or, should this be something done online and planned in advance?
Your site is amazing, and I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you!
The Riviera Maya, which includes Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen are all safe areas for travelers, with Tulum having the lowest crime rates of the 3 areas. All 3 are easy and safe to reach via the ADO buses from the Cancun airport. You can book your bus tickets in advance or just buy them at the airport. Cancun is the best connected area for bussing, with local buses running every 1 to 2 minutes throughout the Hotel Zone connecting all hotels with the restaurants, clubs, and attractions. Playa del Carmen is very walkable, and it’s easy to catch taxis around for anywhere you can’t walk or bus to. Tulum is walkable in the beach zone and the Pueblo (downtown); most people use bicycles for longer distances in the day time or take taxis at night, since the beach zone doesn’t have street lights.
Staying at an all-inclusive does make planning simpler, and the area from Cancun to south of Playa del Carmen has the most all-inclusive options. If you are worried about getting bored, choose an all-inclusive that has activities onsite. Some of the best are the Hard Rock Cancun and Hard Rock Riviera Maya, which include plenty of music-themed activities, and Hotel Xcaret, which includes passes to all the their adventure parks, including Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplore, and more. This is the easiest way to plan a quick trip to Mexico.
With just a little more effort, though, you can have an amazing and still very safe vacation in Tulum or Playa del Carmen, by booking a non-inclusive hotel and planning a more personalized trip. Playa is more cosmopolitan, with plenty of shopping, dining, and nightlife, plus snorkeling Del Cielo, day trips to Cozumel, or sunset tastings with the Tequila Academy. Tulum is more geared toward nature and wellness; some of the best things to do in Tulum include visiting the Sian Ka’an and Punta Laguna nature reserves, swimming the cenotes, and visiting the Mayan ruins. Booking online is easy for most excursions, but if it seems daunting to plan it all, any hotel concierge can arrange the excursions for you. If you choose Playa, check out Mahekal (on the beach) and Live Aqua (in downtown) hotels, which are both easily walkable to restaurants, bars, and the Quinta Avenida shops; for Tulum look into Mezzanine in the beach zone or Una Vida in the Pueblo.
You do such an amazing job at breaking this down for potential travelers. I know I really appreciate the extra help when trying to make the difficult decision on where to stay. My fiancé and I are planning to honeymoon in Tulum, this will be our first time. We are trying to find a place that is beachfront (we love the sand), would love to have our own private pool, if possible. We also want to be able to relax but also enjoy different amenities and activities. We are both foodies so we would love the option to try as many restaurants too.
We really like Hotel Esencia, Mi Amor, La Valise and Hotel Casa Malca.
Is there one that would be a better option considering what we are looking for or is there another hotel we might now even be considering that would be better suited?
Your help and advice are greatly appreciated, thanks!
These are all amazing hotels in different ways, definitely among the very best in the Riviera Maya and Tulum, but none of these meet all of the criteria you describe. Casa Malca and La Valise are the closest of the four; both are beachfront properties in a relaxing stretch of the Tulum beach zone but within walking distance of amazing restaurants and lively clubs, and within a short bike ride or drive to area attractions and the Pueblo (downtown Tulum) for more authentic dining and bar experiences. The only mark they miss is that they do not have private pools in any of their room categories; they do have common pools onsite. Hotel Esencia is one of the best hotels in the Riviera Maya, a beautiful beachfront property surrounded by jungle, with private jacuzzis/plunge pools, great dining onsite, and near some of the area’s best cenotes, but it’s about 35 minutes’ drive away from Tulum and not walking distance to very many great restaurants. Mi Amor is at the north end of Tulum, near the ruins and wonderful restaurants, but they do not have private pools or a sandy beach. There is a gorgeous sandy beach about 5 minutes away at their sister property Mezzanine, though that hotel does not have private pools either.
Instead, check out La Zebra, Nômade, or Dune Boutique Hotels. All of these are beachfront properties with rooms and suites with private pools, great dining onsite, walking distance of several amazing restaurants and bars, and within a short bike or drive of attractions, including the Tulum Ruins, Sian Ka’an, and cenotes. La Zebra is the most luxurious of the 3 with the most fun activities going on. Nomade is the epitome of Tulum’s famous boho style with yoga and wellness activities daily. Dune is a more quaint, romantic property, the smallest of the 3 and with more personalized service.
Hey man awesome compilation! We are at the Viceroy in Playa del Carmen. I really love everything about it, especially the privacy that the arrangement of the villas offers. We are looking to visit Tulum next year and would love a similar high-end hotel with a similar secluded feel of the villas. Anything stand out in your mind? Looks like you recommend Mezzanine as a high-end option but as far as I can tell these are not free-standing rooms and villas.
Mezzanine does not have free-standing villas, but it is one of the most luxurious hotels in Tulum. However, “luxury” in Tulum is measured on a different scale. There are no large, all-inclusive resorts; most hotels in Tulum are small, boutique properties with 20 to 30 rooms. The beach zone is not hooked up to the town’s electricity grid, so most hotels on the beach rely on generators and have limited or no air conditioning.
That said, there are a few high-end beachfront hotels with private villas in Tulum, though none of these have private pools. Check out Alaya’s Ocean Front Suites (a/c from 7 to 9 p.m.), Nomade’s Treehouses (24-hour a/c), and Villa Pescadores King-sized Bed Suite or King-sized Bed Cabanas (24-hour a/c).