In the first part of my travel diary about Tulúm I shared some general information and advice about what to see and do in the area. As I promised, this second part will deal with hotels and restaurants. I will let you know where we stayed – four different hotels in total – and which ones among the many places to eat and drink you can find in Tulúm were our favourites.
As I have already said, even the most beautiful hotels in Tulúm will have their "rustic" sides, meaning mosquitos, little geckos in the bathroom, possibly sea water from the shower and maybe not 24 hours of electricity. But none of these things lessened how happy we felt on this beautiful stretch of the Caribbean coast.
Click on the images to see them larger.
Our beautiful ocean view Casita at Papaya Playa Project.
Papaya Playa Project spreading good vibes.
After-Yoga breakfast at Papaya Playa Project.
Dinner at Tulúm's most famous restaurant: Hartwood (in the photos: our appetizer, a crunchy salad, and dessert, lemon cheesecake).
Mezcal Cocktails (and later dinner) at Gitano. I am wearing a tunic by Caroline Blomst for Esprit, sandals by EMU and handmade clutch (made by my mother).
Relaxing at Hemingway.
Posada Margherita – equally gorgeous during the day as at night.
Bikini Bootcamp at Amansala Resort.
Mexican lunch at Tacolum.
Perfectly happy at beautiful Casa Violeta.
The jungle shower in our beach front cabana.
Breakfast at Casa Violeta: whole grain pancakes with cacao nibs and chia.
Amazing dresses and accessories at Casa Violeta's boutique.
Dresses in the above photos: borrowed from Casa Violeta's boutique.
Where we stayed:
- Papaya Playa Project: this hotel is one of the first on Tulúm's seemingly endless beach when you come to the beach road from Tulúm pueblo. It covers a huge area and consists of many different smaller or bigger cabanas and little houses, a beach bar and restaurant, a spa and yoga area. We spent our first night in a rustic beach front cabana and then switched to a "new casita". If you can, definitely go for the latter - they are divine! You'll have your own little rooftop terrace and front porch overlooking the beach. Which means (if, like us, you wake up really early in the morning) you can watch the sun rise over the ocean from your bed. Before you head to breakfast, make sure to join a yoga session at least once - a very special experience on the beach! PPP also has a very cool beach restaurant and bar, which is great for lunch, cocktails or dinner. They regularly have DJ guests and host beach parties.
- Hemingway: our second hotel, a little further up the beach. Hemingway has two different types of rooms: huts on the beach and huts a little further away from the beach in the "Hemingway Jungle Lodge". I loved the beach beds and hammocks here so much that I spent a lot of time just lying on the beach and reading my book. The restaurant at Hemingway is Italian and very good.
- Amansala: If you want to combine your holiday on a Caribbean beach with a little health and fitness boost, I recommend you join Amansala's "Bikini Bootcamp". I got the chance to try it out for two days and I enjoyed it a lot. You'll have a daily changing schedule of workouts, yoga, meditation and group excursions, and also the (healthy) meals will be scheduled. Of course it's up to you how strict you take the schedule and how many classes you join each day. If you're up for it, you can start your day with a "coconut workout" on the beach. Believe me, with a backdrop as dreamy as Tulúm's beach, it's a lot easier to work on your muscles before breakfast. I especially loved Kickboxing and Zumba with their trainer Kate – and, saying that, I am usually not a "Zumba person" at all.
- Casa Violeta: This beautiful little spot lies a bit further up the beach road, in the slightly more exclusive area of Tulúm. I must say, I loved this stretch of the beach the most. Here, the water looked even more turquoise and the sand even whiter – it made you want to run into the ocean and plash about in the water immediately. The hotel and its restaurant are gorgeous. There's a little enchanted-looking garden, a beautiful boutique and the cabanas are very tasteful, too. Even though all rooms are very close to the beach, I would still recommend to get one which is right on the beach, in order to make your experience perfect. Oh, by the way, you absolutely must try their iced coffee with milk and the chocolate truffles for dessert (you can have a very light lunch of humus and quinoa to balance it).
Where to eat and drink:
- Hartwood: If you're going to Tulúm, you will most probably have heard of this restaurant before you get there. Almost all travel features about Tulúm include it (the New York Times has written a good piece on it which is worth reading). And, what can I say, once you've been here for dinner, you will understand why. If you manage to get a table, that is. Before coming to Tulúm I had heard that Hartwood did not take reservations, but later we found out that this is no longer true. If you want a table in the evening, you have to line up in front of the restaurant to make a reservation between 2 or 3 in the afternoon. That's how it works. When we went, we were lucky and got a table at the bar (without a reservation). The food was delicious! Try the beetroot and corn ice cream. Also, everybody says the fish and pulpo are divine (but obviously, as a Vegetarian, I wouldn't know).
- Posada Margherita: After a few days of Nachos, Tacos and Salsa we started to crave Italian food (ironically, it feels the most like home). Posada Margherita is the place to go. The restaurant is stunningly designed (especially in the evening with a hundred candles burning in its garden) and the food and drinks were perfect! They also have a great juice bar - stop here when you're walking along the beach in the early afternoon.
- Gitano: This place feels like a real restaurant experience. You can see its pink neon logo glowing in the green of the jungle, and when you come in, you will see a huge disco ball dangling between the palm leaves. Gitano has great Caribbean food and tasty Mezcal cocktails.
- Mateos: If you want good Mexican food, Mateos is your place. I loved their vegetarian Burritos and home made Nachos, and they have great juices, smoothies, shakes and Mexican beers. Everything was so good! A must-try! In the evening, you can have a drink on their sunset lounge before dinner.
- Restaurare: A Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant in Tulúm. I am still surprised I was able to convince my boyfriend to go here for dinner one night. And, you know what, we both loved the food. Sweet potatoes, beetroot, quinoa, avocado, beans, veggie chips, ... it was food heaven!
- La Nave: This Italien restaurant is located in Tulúm pueblo. As I said in part one of my travel diary, you must have dinner in Tulúm town at least once to experience its atmosphere and crowd – and to see the difference in prices between beach and town firsthand. The food (homemade pasta, pizza, fish, ...) at La Nave is amazing and the sizes of the meals are huge.
Of course there are a lot more places to discover in Tulúm, this was just a little collection of my favorite places. I hope you've enjoyed it.
All photos taken by myself with the Sony RX100 III Cybershot (or my iPhone).