Pick Your Adventure: Tulum for Every Traveler

by  Gowri Chandra | Feb 24, 2016
Tulum / soulsphoto/iStock

Tulum, once a sleepy hippie outpost on the backpacker circuit, is now a celeb-studded town in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. While it's not unheard of to pay more than $200 for an oceanfront room without full electricity, diverse accommodations do exist for every type of adventurer. From fancy to frugal, here are four places to rest your head and experience the authentic Riviera Maya.

The Grown-Up Hostel
Who said you have to be a twenty-something backpacker to stay at a hostel? Tubo Tulum is located about two miles inland and along a tree-lined bike path. With rates from $44 per night, the rooms here are made from concrete tubes that have just enough space for a single or double bed -- but unless you come during the rainy season, this is no matter. Beyond the tube rooms, retreat to the large communal kitchen for free breakfast or kick back in a hammock overlooking the garden courtyard.

The Downtown Chic
Hotel Teetotum grants some of the most Instagram-able digs at about $150 cheaper than anything you could find beachside. Situated in a quiet area between downtown and Tulum’s seven-mile zona hotelera or hotel zone, it offers just four rooms that are simple, clean, and well decorated at rates from $95. The real highlight here is the communal spaces: the restaurant, patio, and succulent-surrounded pool are bathed in splashes of cobalt and vermillion to showcase the Yucatan aesthetic at its finest. The bar’s delicious cocktails are not to be missed, either.

The Beachfront Boho Beauty
Perhaps the best bang-for-your-buck hotel actually sitting on the beach, Villa Pescadores has 17 free-standing bungalows dotted along a stretch of nationally protected forest that’s near the Tulum Archeological Ruins. (Its secluded location means it’s far less congested than the southern end of Tulum’s hotel zone, too.) The airy wood-paneled bungalows feature private decks, colorful hammocks, and WiFi for rates from $225 during the off-season. Be sure to grab a cushy lounge chair at the ocean view bar and order chilaquiles alongside a lime and cucumber juice.

The Ultra Luxe
Sanará is among the most exclusive and eco-minded beachfront properties in Tulum; the kind of place that has an aromatherapist who bottles proprietary essential oils to realign chakras, on the off chance that there’s trouble in paradise. With partial ocean view rooms starting from $325 per night, the holistic health-centric hotel boasts a gluten- and dairy-free restaurant with our favorite coconut milk espresso smoothie. There are yoga classes ($20), an onsite nutritionist, and a host of spa treatments -- including a crystal healing massage and tuning fork sound therapy (both are $250 for 90 minutes each).

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