Tulum really is a magical place, one full of paradisiacal beaches with white powdery sand and turquoise water as well as amazing food and interesting places to visit. It also has some of the most dreamy accommodation options in Mexico and whether you’re looking for just a tent on the beach or a luxury villa you’ll find it here. There are so many options, however, it can get confusing. This guide will help you first, figure out where to stay in Tulum and then show you some of the best hotels in Tulum in 2021 so you can pick the best one for you.
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BEST AREAS TO STAY IN TULUM? TOWN OR BEACH STRIP?
Tulum isn’t a big place but it does have a few areas to stay in, each with its own pros and cons. The best area for you will ultimately depend on factors such as your budget, what you look for in accommodation and how close you’d like to be to the beach.
The first thing to know is that surprisingly, Tulum town isn’t exactly close to the beach. In fact, it can take around 45 minutes to cycle from some areas in Tulum town to the beach, so if this isn’t something you’d like to do, consider staying closer to the beach. Taking a taxi is an option but they are expensive and the traffic is infamous on the hotel strip- taking a bicycle or scooter is the best way.
Another huge factor is your budget. Tulum isn’t cheap, especially when compared to other places in Mexico. Most budget accommodation and restaurants are in Tulum town and it’s there that you’ll get the best deals. If you’ve got a larger budget, you’ll be able to fork out a bit more on fancier, more luxurious beachside accommodation.
Tulum is made up of five main areas where most travellers stay. In Tulum town, they are La Veleta, Aldea Zama and Tulum Centro and by the beach, there’s the Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone or Tulum Beach Strip) and the area by Playa Paraiso.
Briefly put, if you’re on a budget and don’t mind a cycle to the beach every day but you want to be close to great restaurants and bars then go for Tulum town. Aldea Zama is a little closer to the beach than La Veleta but lacking the cafe and restaurant infrastructure of Tulum town itself. If being on the beach is the primary focus of your trip and you have a larger budget then you’ll probably want to stay on the beach strip.
Wherever you decide to stay in Tulum there certainly isn’t any shortage of beautiful, unique, boho-chic hotels that will quickly make you forget you ever came here for a beach.
WHERE TO STAY IN TULUM: THE BEST HOTELS
Tulum is growing at such a fast rate that at times it’s difficult to stay on top of all the new accommodation options available. Before deciding on where to stay in Tulum its a good idea to think about your budget and the types of services you’d like during a vacation stay. Delicious on-site restaurant? Easy access to the beach and to the Sian Ka Reserve? Air-Conditioning? Private beach area? Ocean view? An outdoor swimming pool? or maybe just an all-round great place to stay in terms of aesthetic or service.
Tulum really has everything you might be looking for and more, so you’ll have to choose wisely. This is the ultimate list of my top picks for Tulum. Hotels that I’ve stayed at personally and loved the experience or options which I’ve seen and experienced first hand.
Hotel Holistika Tulum
If yoga and wellness really is your vibe then Holistika is your mecca. Holistika occupies a large space right on the edge of the jungle in Tulum and on their property you’ll find a spa and wellness centre that includes a yoga studio with multiple daily classes, fantastic private accommodation, two divine pools and one of the best plant-based restaurants in Tulum. Staying at Holistika might mean that you’ll never need to leave the hotel premises and having everything you need immediately around you makes your stay so delightfully easy.
One of the coolest hotels in Tulum Centro, Hotel Bardo redefines boutique-chic. This is the boho-chic style Tulum is known for, think polished concrete walls, minimalist decor with clean lines yet with a touch of modern boho. Rent your own little studio villa with a king-size bed, low sofas and your own personal plunge pool and you’ll soon forget about exploring anything else Tulum has to offer. They also have plenty of healthy, plant-based options on offer at their restaurant and for breakfast. Hotel Bardo is a real gem and is one of my personal favourites if you’re looking for where to stay in Tulum.
Zenses Wellness and Yoga Resort
For another wellness and yoga focused option, Zenses Wellness and Yoga Resort is an adults-only, 4-star hotel option on a quiet street of Tulum Centro. This beautiful property has a swimming pool, free bikes and free parking for guests who decide to rent a car during their stay- super useful. Their restaurant offers plenty of healthy options but if you prefer to eat out there are many local options nearby. Each room is bright, airy and beautifully decorated with a lot of frilly cushions, handwoven rugs, plants and natural materials. There’s also an on-site yoga studio where you’ll be able to attend classes free of charge every day at 8 am before you start your day exploring Tulum. After a full day at the beach or walking around the Tulum Ruins relax at the beautiful spa and get a massage to end your day.
Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum
A beautiful boutique hotel that will transport you back to Puerto Rico in the 50s, Hotel Tiki Tiki is a design hotel with charm and colour. Rooms are light and offer large beds and a hammock for relaxing in, a private, spacious bathroom and beautiful decor. There’s a large pool for relaxing in during the day and an on-site bar for a few pre-dinner drinks. Located in a very quiet yet safe area and a great choice for somewhere to stay in Tulum.
Era Hotel & Spa Tulum
With a similar vibe to Hotel Bardo but more affordable, Era Hotel is located in the heart of La Veleta, close to many cafes and restaurants. This small boutique hotel is built around a beautiful large pool that beautifully intertwines with the garden vegetation. Rooms are spacious with open showers (best for couples) and a large, comfortable bed, desk and minibar. The decor is simply gorgeous; everything is made of natural materials and in dark earth tones. On the roof, you’ll find their on-site spa, Rituals where you can relax and get a heavenly massage or facial. The service here is also top-notch and they loan bikes to get you to the beach and back. One of my personal favourites in Tulum.
If you’re looking for a self-catering option, Trece Lunas offer beautiful and affordable suites on the edge of the jungle in Tulum town. Each studio is modern, has its own fully-equipped kitchen for cooking light meals and a beautiful pool perfect for taking a cooling dip in. If you’re in Tulum for a longer period, consider this stylish yet budget-friendly option.
Meteora Stay & Coffeehouse Tulum
For one of the most luxurious looking hostels you’ll find, make sure to check out Meteora Stay for a budget-friendly option in Tulum town. It’s made out of eight shipping containers with a speciality coffeehouse and pool in the centre courtyard, making it one of the most distinctive stays in Tulum town. With private rooms and dorms available and cafe which also provides a workspace, this is a true gem!
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One of the best hotel options in Aldea Zama, Copal is a brand new property that looks like it’s been built into the jungle. With an airy, outdoor reception, two pools, courtyard jungle spa with hot tub and rooms with private pools, Copal really allows you to customize and make the most of your stay. It’s one of the best value stays in Tulum in my opinion. It’s location in Aldea Zama also means you’re that much closer to the beach, compared with Tulum Centro or La Veleta.
Check out Best Areas to Stay in Tulum for more.
Casa Agape Boutique Hotel
For one of the best options in the heart of the centre of Tulum, look no further than Casa Agape. With spacious rooms with large bed and sofa, these beautifully designed rooms also come with a balcony or front garden to relax in after a long day at the beach. On the rooftop, you’ll find a lovely shaded communal seating area, perfect for if you need to check in with work for a few hours. There’s also a lovely rooftop pool to watch the sunset from. As it’s located very close to the crossroads of the main highway and the beach road, this is a great option if you’d like to be near the Mayan ruins at Tulum.
TULUM BEACH (Zona Hotelera)
Papaya Playa Project
The first hotel you see when arriving onto the beach main road, Papaya Playa Project is the Tulum aesthetic’s dream. Placed strategically on a stretch of super gorgeous white sand that’s fringed with palm trees, this has got to be one of the most famous hotels on the Riviera Maya. With cabins right on the beach with private plunge pools, simplistic and stylish outdoor showers, and their Instagram famous rooftop circle pools, this is no doubt a great spot for anyone who wants to relax and enjoy their very own slice of paradise beach.
Papaya Playa Project is also a popular destination for party-goers as they host infamous club nights throughout the week. Check their website here to learn more.
A lovely spot, popular with wellness and yoga lovers, this beachside property has a much more chilled vibe if you’re in Tulum to really relax and disconnect. With light and bright decor, the focus here is definitely sustainability while providing all the comfort and luxury you’ll need. Take a yoga class in their rooftop jungle studio and enjoy the sea breeze in the afternoon and just take things slow.
Rosa Del Viento
One of the most budget hotels on the beach strip, Rosa del Viento has some lovely cabins and rooms right on the beach. It’s the perfect place to come to unwind while surrounding yourself with the beauty of the jungle and turquoise Caribbean sea. Simple rooms at a good price located on the quiet southern end of the beach strip, just a short drive from the Sian Kan Reserve.
Tip: After seeing most of the Tulum beach strip, Rosa del Viento and Casa Malca next door definitely have the best part of the beach- here, it’s simply stunning, with very little seaweed, clear water and floury white sand. If you don’t manage to stay here, definitely come to spend the afternoon at the beach club.
A rustic, eco-friendly hotel right in a great location right on the beach, Alaya is the perfect place to stay to get away from it all. It’s very chilled and family-friendly with a beautiful yoga studio and wellness center located in the jungle treetops. You’ll have access to the beautiful white sand beaches just steps away from your bungalow. Rooms here are spacious and with a sea or jungle view, some of them have beautiful lofts with a variety of functional spaces to take advantage of. If you prefer to self-cater, they even have a suite with a kitchen. Its the perfect place to stay if relaxing is at the top of your Tulum list.
Famous for the beautiful ‘Ven a la Luz’ sculpture at its entrance, Ahau is a lovely place to stay in Tulum or even spend the day. With a lively beach club and Raw Love- one of the best plant-based cafes in Tulum, this hotel will easily keep you busy for your entire stay.
The hotel occupies a beautiful stretch of white-sand beach and uses natural materials like wood and palapa for most of the accommodation, it’s eco-friendly design and shape take advantage of the sea breeze meaning that there is no need for air conditioning. Boasting beautiful rooms with plenty of space, hammock-filled balconies and a beautiful yoga studio that offers daily classes, this is one of the best all-round options in Tulum. It’s also within walking distance from some other great cafes, eateries and boutiques along the Carretera Tulum-Boca paila highway if you do feel like exploring beyond the property.
Once owned by Narco boss Pablo Escobar, Casa Malca is now a luxury getaway destination full of contemporary artwork and design. Each room is unique in layout, vibe and decor. Don’t miss the beautiful outdoor pool and beach club- it’s one of the best in Tulum.
You’ll probably have already seen Azulik all over Instragam but this amazing hotel really does deserve all the hype when it comes to where to stay in Tulum. Built from entirely local, natural materials each room at Azulik feels like you might have just walked into Tarzan’s luxury abode. There’s no TV here- instead make the most of your stay to truly unplug by spending some time at their gorgeous beach club, flowing in their unique yoga studio or taking a walk around Uh May and Sferik, their otherworldly on-site museums.
With the perfect combination of Tulum meets Morocco, Nômade is the beachside property for a combination of wellness, Tulum vibes and relaxation. If you’re wondering where to stay in Tulum, opt for one of their brand new treehouses and sleep in the jungle canopy or cosy cabins that ooze comfort and style. Nômade is also home to Macondo, one of my favourite middle-eastern plant-based options in Tulum and it has one of the most stylish beach clubs on the strip. A stay here certainly won’t disappoint.
Read The Complete Guide To The Best Vegan Restaurants In Tulum in 2021 for the best vegan options
Hotel Ma’xanab Tulum
Located in quiet South Tulum Beach, Ma’xanab scores perfectly on everything, rooms, service and food. With modern, natural rooms with private pools, a gym, bar and restaurant this wonderful hotel has everything you need for the perfect stay in Tulum.
Known as one of the best Tulum beach hotels, Habitas is Tulum beach boho meets luxury desert camp. Choose from luxury, modern, oceanside cabins or a unique, luxury jungle tent, or even their pool room and prepare to be connected with the beach, jungle and natural environment around you. Most of the walls at this property are canvas and the roofs, palapa allowing you to feel and listen to the sounds of the ocean and jungle. They all have beautiful natural outdoor showers to boot. Moro is the restaurant at Habitas and it serves some of the best food you’ll find in Tulum.
The Beach, Tulum
If you’re looking for something beautiful, yet low-key and relaxed this is the property you want to stay in. Located right on the beach, this property has so many beautiful areas to relax in as well as spacious, clean rooms with their own private pool. There’s also a beautiful yoga studio and gym to boot meaning you can start the day in the best way possible. The staff here are so kind and helpful making the experience here one like no other.
If you love the vibe at Azulik but can’t quite fork out hundreds of dollars on a room per night, Kanan is another great option. Constructed in a similar style to Azulik with all-natural materials, palapa roofs and with a focus on nature and sustainability, this beachside property has large airy rooms in the jungle and by the ocean and their beach club is so unique and fun. A truly unique place on the Tulum beach strip.
For one of the most unique stays in Tulum, try staying in a luxury teepee on the beach. Cinco’s accommodation defines glamping and their boho-style, large teepee tents come with a comfortable double bed and hammock to relax in outside. During the day relax at the beach club with cocktails and guacamole and eat your breakfast with your toes in the sand the next morning.
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Mezzanine a Colibri
Probably one of the best hotels in Playa Paraiso in my opinion, Mezzanine is a gem of a hotel. Located right on the beach with multiple terraces to relax on during the day, one of the best and most popular restaurants in Tulum and modern, bright and large suites you simply can’t go wrong with this choice. If you do prefer to be on the other side of the hotel zone then make sure to have a look at their sister property La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel.
Another great, more budget option on the beach when it comes to where to stay in Tulum, Diamante K offers super affordable garden villas with shared bathrooms to beautiful luxury, ocean-view suites. With a focus on local, natural materials and Maya artwork and decor this really feels local. During the day relax in the garden and of course on the beach.
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