Tulum is one of the most instagrammed places of the year… bright teal water, margaritas, eco-chic resorts and fabulous food make it easy to see why. Last month, along with two of our best friends, we boarded a plane to Cancun and took a deep dive into this Mexican oasis.
Our home for the weekend was the Be Tulum. The Be is a beachfront boutique hotel at the far end of Tulum. In one word, the Be Tulum is cool. What it lacks in typical luxury amenities it makes up for in character. Rooms use dark hues and minimal furnishings, but are chic, comfortable and clean. Beds are incredibly soft and had me thinking I should find out who makes their soft linen sheets and where I could purchase a set of my own. Opt for a room with its own plunge pool and patio for a bit of extra luxury. There are no tvs, or mini bars, but I didn’t miss these distractions.
Photo curtesy of Mr & Mrs Smith
Breakfast is included and is likely one of the better hotel breakfasts you’ll ever have. Sit with your toes in the sand and choose from a huge array of fresh juices (tons of green ones for self-proclaimed health nuts like myself), acai bowls, homemade croissants and Mexican specialties like Huevos Rancheros. The later were to die for.
Ocean front sun beds are the place to spend the remainder of your day. Waiter service makes this very easy. A passion fruit margarita was my favorite drink of the trip. Fish tacos and shrimp tacos were recommended to me and my-oh-my were they excellent.
On Saturday and very emo looking DJ appeared and we proceeded to have a dance party in the sand. It was a perfect day.
Two small swimming pools surrounded the restaurant and are great for taking a dip after sun bathing. A short walk next door to the Nomadé offers another great option for lunch, although it was admittedly more annoying to book than I would have liked, particularly since we were guests at their sister hotel.
Tulum is definitely on the map largely due to its excellent food. Be sure to plan in advance and either reserve yourself or ask your hotel to help out.
Our first dinner was at Kitchen Table and unfortunately it was my least favorite. The vibe was fabulous and we were sat right in front of the action, and open kitchen. They only offer two seating’s. We reserved the second seating and arrived right on time, only to be told they were out of their most famous dish: the ribs. The most annoying part of this was, we saw one plate of ribs after another coming out of the kitchen. The food we did order was not remarkable.
Dinner the second night was at Arca, a restaurant that has an outpost in Mexico City. They do not take reservations, so if you’ve failed to plan ahead for your trip, come here around 8:30 or so and have a drink while you wait. The food was gorgeous. Quail and pork entrees were both remarkable. Cocktails were fantastic also.
We went for drinks on Saturday at Gitano. It is the place to be, with live music, good cocktails and a stunning back room that is fit for royalty. They also serve dinner. If you're looking to host a large dinner or event in Tulum, Gitano is your place.
Our third and last dinner was at Hartwood. Hartwood is on San Pelligrino’s list of 50 best restaurants in the world, and for good reason. This small open-air restaurant run entirely on solar panels and cooks all food by fire. The ribs and beef were so good we were fighting over it and the portions were huge. Veggies were also great and the ice cream at the end was a showstopper. Reservations required one month to the day in advance via email.
Shopping was plentiful and while it was more expensive than I was expecting, most stores were willing to negotiate a bit. They had gorgeous bathing suits, dresses, casual men's clothes like linen pants, great bags and jewelry.
Swimming in the sea was a bit challenging the first few days due to an enormous amount of seaweed that was being washed up on the shores. To be honest it was a bit of an eye sore, and then on the last day, it cleared out. Assuming the sea weed has to do with tidal movements and is rather unpredictable and out of any ones control.
Other tips: Many restaurants only take cash. They will accept USD. There is no need to rent a car but do expect to take taxis and or bicycles to and from dinner. There are a ton of mosquitos (at least there were when I was there in early May). Plan accordingly. No heels needed. Pack your bohemian looks with sandals. Also, leave your fancy jewelry at home.
Overall we had a fantastic three days. I could have stayed longer and will definitely be back!