Updated December 2016
The beauty of Tulum has historically been its authenticity — no massive, all-inclusive resorts or generic chain hotels. What you will find instead are lots of small, palapa-style eco-hotels nestled into the jungle just steps from a peaceful, turquoise shore. We prefer to stay on the southern end of the beach towards the Sian Ka'an reserve — it's a little less developed than the northern end and feels a bit more like the "undiscovered" Tulum we first came to know a love.
Though many of our longtime favorite hotels have closed due to recent land disputes (so long sweet Coqui Coqui, Villa las Estrellas, and Uno Astro Lodge), many wonderful ones remain — plus a host of new options. Below, some favorites.
For locations, check out this mostly accurate and very handy interactive map.
This newbie is located on the far south end of the beach on the remote stretch of land that formerly housed Hotel Mestizo. Now it's under the same management as nearby Be Tulum, and offers a somewhat more bohemian experience. The hotel's beachfront huts, luxury tents, and jungle villas have a beachy, world traveler vibe, while the hotel's main restaurant Maconda is vaguely Moroccan with communal seating, tasseled light fixtures, and layers of patterned rugs and floor pillows. Daily yoga, breakfast, use of the gratitude tent, and bikes are included in your stay.
Luv is classic Tulum, with twelve charming Mayan-style rooms. All the rooms have private bathrooms and electricity (which, believe it or not, is sometimes still a rarity on the beach) and many have awesome outdoor seating areas: either a little porch facing the ocean or a shaded terrace with garden views. Luv's restaurant is pretty sweet, too: The colorful, embroidered Mexican pillows that line the benches in the outdoor breakfast area are particularly cute. If you stay here, try to nab one of the suspended bed loungers under the giant palms on the beach. It's the perfect place for a cat nap.
Encantada is one of the prettiest and most grown up hotels on the beach. All eight rooms in this well-designed hotel are super gorgeous and tranquil. Think: bright-white linens, gauzy mosquito nets, embroidered pillows, and private balconies with views of the sea. Even if you don't stay at Encantada, its restaurant is well worth a visit. Painted hues of blue and decorated with traditional Mexican pottery and crafts, it's an especially peaceful spot to grab snack, or, on Sundays, build your own Bloody Maria. There's also a really gorgeous spa on the premises. This hotel is all about blissed-out vibes, so they have a strict no kids policy. It's on the pricier side (for Tulum) but well worth it.
Though the sleek white decor and minimalist aesthetic at this new hotel and spa is undeniably gorgeous, the vibe can feel a tad LA, so, if you're looking for a more "traditional" Tulum experience, you may want to book elsewhere. However, if you're looking for a robust wellness program and unique spa services (craniosacral therapy, crystal healing), Sanara is definitely the place to be. The yoga studio — an airy, glass-walled space with ocean views — is one of the most beautiful places to practice on the beach (short of, you know, just on the actual beach.)
This lovely, nine room mini hotel might be one of favorite places to stay anywhere. Though it opened in early 2016 it feels quintessentially Tulum.
Read all about it here.
For the ultimate old school Tulum experience (affordable, simple, wonderful), stay at Playa Mambo. The front restaurant and beach bar have recently been renovated.
Read more about why we love it here.
Got a question about a Tulum hotel not mentioned here? Leave a comment below. We've visited most of the properties on the beach and are happy to share what we know.