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Where to Stay in Tulum: Best Areas & Hotels

Written by Gregory B. Gallagher and Carri Wilbanks
Nov 19, 2019

Tulum is a compact resort village and UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site in the Yucatan province along the Riviera Maya. When it comes to accommodation, two options prevail: stay on, or near, the beach and inherit a perfect formula for fun, with idyllic sun-drenched Caribbean beaches; spellbinding Mayan ruins; distinctive boutique shopping; and the half million acres of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve containing reefs, rainforest, dunes, and caves.

The sole archeological beach site in Mexico, Tulum is the most photogenic destination here and is forging a global name with foodies for tantalizing and original cuisine. Hotels and resorts combine these natural assets with extra service savvy to assist families, couples, and groups create memorable holidays in a destination universally accepted as magical.

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Where to Stay in Tulum for Luxury

Beautiful beach in Tulum

Beautiful beach in Tulum

Book Encantada Tulum for your own version of paradise directly on the beach. This top-tier hotel serves guests a spectacular package of superbly crafted elements for those looking for the cut above, including delicious gourmet cuisine. Located on the southern part of Tulum beach, away from louder neighbors, Encantada welcomes guests to eight distinctive high-ceilinged rooms, richly decorated with white linens and colorful marine designs, hand-polished hardwoods, carefully selected artisan pieces, and teak furnishings.

A tranquil Zen-like atmosphere prevails at Mi Amor Colibri Boutique Hotel, with sensational views over the Caribbean waters hitting the rocks, private plunge pools, outstanding service, delectable meals, and on-site spa services. The open-plan designer accommodations feature king beds, full daily breakfast, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, Bose speakers, beach robes and towels, water, and espresso machines.

Alaya Tulum sits steps away from the white-sand beach, welcoming legions of repeat guests to a dreamlike setting of five-star, thatch-covered bliss. Free daily yoga classes head an exhaustive list of features, extending from memorable service personnel and impeccable linens to global cuisine and professional spa treatments. You can also watch turtles nest nearby at this 19-room eco-friendly delight.

Where to Stay in Tulum for the Best Value

Lounge chairs on the beach in Tulum
Palms along the shore in Tulum

In the south village, on a quiet side street, Posada Luna del Sur is a super value hotel providing those extra little pleasures too many other hotels forget. Units have a fridge; fresh coffee and coffeemaker; water filters; and English maps notated with suggestions for eateries, sights, and logistics. A short walk from more expensive beach resorts, the hotel lacks a pool and hot tub, but repeat visitors appreciate easy access to management, who make every effort to please guests.

At Papaya Playa Project, wake up to incredible seascape sounds and the mesmerizing sight of the Caribbean. Eighty-five suites boast private porches and plunge pools, sustainably designed in the Mayan tradition, and the staff's unwavering service allows families, couples, or single guests to totally unwind. Meals are consistently delicious at "PPP," the beach club atmosphere is fun, and there is yoga every morning.

Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum is a jungle hideaway attracting travelers searching for privacy and added value. Main street is ten minutes by bike; the beach is 30 minutes away. But what the hotel lacks in a beachfront location, it makes up for in add-ons, polished service, food quality, and relaxation. Sun beds and hammocks surround the gorgeous pool area.

Where to Stay in Tulum on a Budget

Chairs on a beach in Tulum
An idyllic Tulum beach

Book one of the 32 bungalows at Nueva Vida de Ramiro to take advantage of many upscale features without the price tag or attitude sometimes found at resorts of this calibre. The service staff makes everyone feel at home, and selecting a beachfront casita will assure cooling ocean breezes. Room service is available from Casa Banana across the street, delivering delicious grilled steaks, seafood, and homemade treats, even when beachside.

Searching for the heart of Tulum? Reserve your digs at Palms Tulum Luxury Hotel, where the character of this tiny pueblo provides some local color, and guests can walk to sights or ride one of the free bikes a few minutes to the beach. Full kitchens grace nine comfortable one-bedroom suites, all with a pool view, complimentary Wi-Fi, laundry service, and free parking. The concierge arranges airport pickups, tours to the jungle or Mayan ruins, and suggestions for dining.

Attached to the famous restaurant of the same name, Ginger Hotel is a boutique lodging in the center of Tulum. This is a super choice for families, couples, or singles, as the staff is helpful and welcoming, making suggestions to suit travelers. Clean, spacious, air-conditioned rooms include free high-speed Wi-Fi, fridges, laundry service, and breakfast. Don't miss dinner at the hotel's famous eatery.

Where to Stay in Tulum for Romance

Umbrella and chairs in Tulum
A shady spot for couples in Tulum

El Pez Colibri Boutique Hotel is more villa than hotel, as discretion and comfort head the efforts of a dazzling staff. The Turtle Cove location allows viewing of turtles nesting. Generous breakfast is included, while complimentary coffee and tea are delivered morning and evening. A culinary extravaganza is served at lunch and dinner, where delectables are considered to be the best in Tulum. A freshwater swimming pool, sun beds, lounge chairs, Wi-Fi, and an ATM make it possible to hibernate if so desired, but main street is never far away, with original jewelry outlets, fashion boutiques, and a legion of eateries.

Be Tulum Hotel calls all romantics who love tropical luxury to book one of their 64 uniquely crafted suites. Unwind and savor the white sands of the Caribbean or the magical greenery of the jungle. This hip location offers top tier service to all guests, whether it's a wellness spa treatment, gourmet meal in your suite or at the beach, or free bikes.

Azulik is an adults-only treat for anyone who loves architecture, eco-conscious sustainability, a candlelit ambience, and a world-class Mayan spa. For a true eco-relaxing retreat, the thirty-nine handcrafted treehouse suites have no electricity, TV, or phones. An on-site organic eatery seals the deal serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Where to Stay in Tulum for Families

The Mayan ruins of Tulum

La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel is right on the beach and in the middle of Tulum's Hotel Zone. It's a very family-friendly boutique property with a small playground on-site. There are just 15 suites in a variety of styles - our favorites come with private plunge pools; but all feature awesome views of the Caribbean. Also note that rooms do not have TVs, although many families will find this to be a pro rather than a con. There is free Wi-Fi in the rooms and restaurant, however, so you can still stream entertainment for the kids on your own device.

For an eco-friendly family hotel that attracts lots of celebrities, check out Ahau Tulum, which is right on the beach. The hotel offers a range of lodging choices for various budgets. This includes the super basic Bali Huts, which have shared bathrooms and no air-con-not a great choice for families, unless you want to rent one for teenagers to learn about roughing it! The hotel is known for its retro chic Beach Cabanas, which feature lovely four-poster beds swathed in mosquito nets, and decks with direct ocean views. The outdoor showers are an awesome amenity.

Other on-site amenities at Ahau Tulum include a restaurant serving Mexican-Caribbean fusion fare, including an all-day breakfast. They also have a fun outdoor "Jungle Gym," which has been constructed on the beach and features monkey bars, parallel bars, free weights, and a rope climb.

Another family-friendly, back-to-nature hotel is Posada Yum Kin. This eco-friendly property offers accommodation in beautiful suites that are done up in Mexican hacienda style, with curved doors and windows, high ceilings, and bathrooms featuring colorful Mexican tile accents. There are also full kitchens in the rooms, which is a plus for families. Breakfast is included in the rate, and there is also a pool. If you want to peddle around, bikes can be hired here.

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