Playa Mambo Eco Cabanas, Tulum

Before Tulum was the "Williamsburg of Mexico" it was just a little hippie beach with a handful of palapa huts you could stay in for next-to-nothing per night. With all the fancy new boutqiue hotels going up at break neck speed, it may feel like that Tulum is long gone. But it's not.

Playa Mambo is old school Tulum at its best. We had our wedding ceremony on the beach here, so it goes without saying that the sweet little hotel is very close to our hearts. And though it may not be fancy, it's definitely charming. Its located towards the southern end of the hotel strip, and has one of the most private feeling stretches of shorefront around. Its eight thatched-roof cabanas are breezy and simple with rustic wood furniture and mosquito-net covered beds. Many of the cabanas — even the ones that aren't directly facing the beach — have ocean views. With its lush garden and plush sand pathways, it feels a little bit like a magical Smurf village. We've stayed in most of the cabanaas, and they're all unique and lovely in their own way, though the two-story "penthouse" facing the ocean is a particular favorite. Best of all, the rate to stay at Playa Mamno is old school Tulum at its best: around $100 a night, breakfast included. You can stay for awhile and also eat at Hartwood a bunch of times.