It only takes 90-minutes by car to go from the controlled chaos of Cancun to the laid-back languor of Tulum, a sleepy Mexican beach town 80 miles south that has everything you need for the ultimate flip-flop friendly vacation. Spread out on endless stretches of bone-white sand; float your cares away in frothy turquoise waters; and pass the time with una cerveza sipped slowly under the shade of waving coconut palms. And when the sun sets and it’s time to turn in for the night, turn to one of these idyllic beachfront inns, which we consider to be the best Tulum hotels.
Mi Amor Grab your sweetie and run away to this intimate beachfront retreat at the south end of the Hotel Zone, where 17 rustic-chic rooms (some with private plunge pools) are clustered amid gardens and facing the coastline. Your to-do list: Check out the spa (couples massage, anyone?); relax on a poolside chaise; and dine a deux in the superb restaurant.
Ana Y Jose Charming Hotel & Spa This classic Tulum eco-resort wins raves not only for its warm welcome but also for perks you can’t take for granted in this off-the-grid oasis – free resort-wide WI-FI; 24-hour power; and air-conditioning in its 23 comfy air-conditioned suites and three villas among them. We particularly love the Reiki treatments at its Om Spa, and the palapa-roof, sand-floor restaurant is, indeed, charming.
Be Tulum With 40 exquisitely eco-chic suites (think contemporary style, muted tones and natural materials) this is one of Tulum’s most stylish adults-only roosts. Health-seeking hipsters flock to its spa and treetop yoga studio, while sun-seeking visitors find what they’re looking for around the infinity pool and at the beach club.
Nueva Vida De Ramiro The owner of this 33-room retreat once told us that this was the place to come and “just do nothing.” And while the serene vibe certainly encourages lie-ins and afternoon siestas, it’s worth rousing yourself to enjoy NVR’s prime stretch of beachfront (we love the hanging Bali beds) and the excellent cuisine in Casa Banana restaurant.
Mezzanine A hop, skip and a jump from Tulum’s famous Mayan ruins, this nine-room sophisticate was one of the first fashion-forward boutique hotels in town. Sleek air-conditioned suites come with mini-bars and beach bags; the scene at the oceanfront beach bar is one of the hippest in the area; and the stunning views from the elevated pool deck make you wonder what took you so long to get here.
Zamas This former coconut plantation is now a 20-room retreat characterized by its colorful décor and unpretentious, come-as-you-are vibe. Here, snorkeling off the (somewhat rocky) stretch is good; swinging lazily in a low-slung hammock is better; and the seafood quesadillas at Que Fresco! beachfront restaurant are the best among Tulum hotels.
La Zebra You won’t miss having a pool at this charmer, which sits smack in the middle of the main strip, because the view of the cerulean surf from its 15 suites draws you to its stretch of beach. Family-friendly and casual, this mid-range hotel is a great choice for vacationers who crave sun, sea and sand combines with delicious local fare from the popular beachfront restaurant that ties the whole experience together into one of the greatest Tulum hotels.