Tulum Travel Guide
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While shacking up at a beachfront resort in Tulum is a no-brainer, we're making an exception for Gardenias Inn Tulum. This downtown boutique (just one block from the main drag) will serve a plateful of culinary awesome in Riviera Maya's most bohemian-minded, yoga-centric, beach-bum paradise--a place not particularly known as a gastronomic destination. But you'll have to wait until mid-December to see for yourself.
The three-room hotel theoretically works as a fancy B&B (it's that "home-y") yet it still stands as a super intimate hotel. Foodies and non-foodies alike will surely fall for it, but make no mistake, Gardenias Inn is all about food. And good food, mind you. Owner Francois is a James Beard scholar, veteran of Philly's Chanterelle and has worked amongst chefs like George Perrier and Jean Marie Lacroix. She will feed well-heeled guests with eclectic global flavors (obviously with a French twist) like foie gras mousse with fresh fruit chutney. And if you hanker for local chow, the in can arrange gastronomic day trips to Merida to sample authentic Mayan regional cooking.
Pop-Up Hotels / Mexico Hotels / Starwood Hotels / Design Hotels Collection / Beach Hotels / Odd Hotels / → All Tags
After learning last week that Design Hotels had been partially taken over by Starwood, we worried that the originality and flair of the former might start to be undermined. Starwood's great and all—but running a multi-brand corporation is certainly different than running a small, design-oriented boutique collection like Design Hotels.
For now, our worries have been put to rest by some exciting news about a new pop-up hotel being launched by DH this month in Tulum, Mexico. According to MSNBC.com, Papaya Playa is a 99-cabana resort on the Mayan Riviera, and boasts a spa, private suites, and several restaurants.
Unlike other flashy resorts along the Caribbean, this spot has an expiration date of May 6. So if you like what you hear, you'd better not dally!
The new gay hotel in Miami, The Lords South Beach, just got outgayed!
News reports today say that a new "Gay Men Only" luxury hotel will be opening in Mexico's Riviera Maya next month. According to the general director of the Adonis Tulum Gay Men Resort & Spa:
"The hotel is uniquely for men. That is to say, only homosexual couples are accepted, it's not for women, although among our personnel we have heterosexual men and women and all have received specialized training to avoid having our guests feel uncomfortable or discriminated against," Patrick Lurenz said.
The hotel is also putting a restriction on men who enter the hotel with minors which we take to mean men showing up with other men/boys who are not quite legal. Although, we're guessing this hotel may not want any children of the couples to stay over either.
Imagine booking a much-needed vacation to Tulum at the CasaMagna eco-resort, a favorite retreat for celebs like Drew Barrymore, and arriving at the hotel only to find that the "Mexican Mafia" has seized the place with armed men and helicopters on the beach, prompting the staff and the owner to flee.
That's what did happen on May 1, according to the NY Post.
Exactly who pulled off the raid remains unclear. But one art collector received an e-mail recently from the hotel stating, "We have run into some unexpected problems with the Mexican government involving a land dispute that has affected Casa Magna's stability. The people we lease from are being sued and the opposing party has appeared out of the woodwork with papers giving them temporary occupation."
The art collector was advised to try Casa de Miel, a few miles away on the so-called Mayan Riviera.
Interestingly, Casa de Miel looks very similar to CasaMagna. they even have the same pictures as CasaMagna on the their website.
For now CasaMagna is foreclosed and the property is shut down. However, the owner Melissa Pearlman told Page Six that the hotel is just in the middle of a Mexican land deal and that the hotel will reopen again on December 1.
Yeah...we'll just stick to Cabo.
Down on Tulum Beach in Mexico the La Zebra Beach Cantina & Cabanas are adding to their already established repertoire of having retro jungle vibes (and sometimes free tequila) by ramping up their onsite adventure activity sideline.
Combining transport, a workout and a lot of fun, La Zebra is offering guests the use of its special sand-bikes. The sand-bikes are specially geared and have extra fat tires so you can hit the beach in front of La Zebra and ride for miles (or until you want to turn back for more tequila).
And for more extreme adventurers, La Zebra has hooked up with a local kiteboarding school to offer lessons and equipment hire--apparently the wind situation makes this beach an ideal spot for kiteboarding year round.
And at the end of the day there are still plenty of chances to sample some local tequila (including regular Friday night tequila tasting parties) or to eat up a storm with Sunday's salsa fiesta pit roast grill meal. Must be something for everyone with all that mix.
· Retro Jungle Vibes and Free Tequila at La Zebra [HotelChatter]
· Hotels in Tulum [HotelChatter]
Heading to the Mayan Riviera? Check out the newly renovated La Zebra Cantina & Cabanas in Tulum (about two hours south of Cancun), a nine-cabana property that promises an authentic Mexican beachfront experience.
La Zebra boasts a "retro-jungle" vibe and they describe their own decor as "jungle chic." Hmmm... we have no idea how chic or retro jungles can be, but the pictures on the website look pretty neat.
A few week's back Hotel Maven Tim Leffel wrote a hotel story about Mezzanine, a hotel in Tulum Mexico. Today hotel management at the Mezzanine has responded defending their Lovers Package. Bravo Mezzanine! Among other things, the hotel says:
If [you] can find a supplier in Mexico that can supply me Kama Sutra products for $35 USD please let me know and I will gladly drop the price of our Lovers Package.
Hmm. We wonder if our friends at Booty Parlor can help 'em out here? Maybe they know someone.
Anyway, point is, there is never a right answer when it comes to hotel deals and hotel reviews. That is why we are here folks. To be the voice of hotel review reason, moderating the hotel debate, presenting all sides, with a dash of Pomeranc, of course.
Give us your tired hotel reviews, your poor hotel hate mail, your huddled masses of hotel photos yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming hotel stays. Send these, hotel managers, guests, mavens, and employees, tempest-tossed, to us.
Full email response from Mezzanine, unedited and uninterrupted, after the jump.
[Ed. Note: This is the Bad Rate in our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature. The screenshot above was taken on June 6, 2006 and rates are subject to change. Enjoy.]
At first glance, this sexy deal from the trendy boutique hotel Mezzanine in Tulum, Mexico seems like it has a lot to offer for relationship rejuvenation, but don't get too anxious.
Billed as the "Lover's Package Deluxe," the offering includes three nights accommodation with breakfast (nice), dinner for two (nice), and two massages (nice).
After that, close inspection reveals that they are touting a bottle of Concha y Torro Sauvignon Blanc with dinner (usually on sale for less than 10 bucks at any wine store), a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne in your room (a bit better), and a box of KamaSutra sex enhancers (retail $35) like this Lover's Paint Box, shown above. Total value--$840. Package deal price--$973. The room alone is just $170 per night, or $510 total for three nights. Even if you wanted all the enhancement, you would do better off getting it a la carte.
And did we mention that they don't take credit cards, but require a non-refundable 50 percent deposit to secure your reservation and that the disco music pumps until at least 2:00 a.m.?
· Mezzanine reviews [TripAdvisor]
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which is better worth your hard-earned benjamins. The screenshot here was taken on June 5, 2006 and rates are subject to change.]
Instead of a lover's package deal that doesn't add up, how about shedding the clothes and creating your own Kama Sutra magic?
Right down the beach from Mezzanine is EcoTulum's Azulik. This time of year, it's $156 per night at this clothing-optional getaway, which includes a private steam bath, flowers in the room, and a bottle of chilled wine on arrival.
We don't know if this bottle of wine is also from the clearance rack, but this is below the regular rate just for the room, so you can't lose. The well-regarded Mayan spa has plenty of massages and treatments to pick from, so you can choose what you want for optimum relaxation.
If stunning views, sensuous meals, massages, and basking in the sun can't stoke the fires of love, you may be able to borrow some chocolate sauce or whipped cream from the kitchen to improvise your own tantric marathon.
· Azulik reviews [TripAdvisor]
The 15 villas on 65 meters of beach front that make up Azulik was designed with couples in mind. Translation: clothing optional and adults only. And even though the resort embraces all Earth's creatures, they say no to pets.
Cabanas Copal is the original hotel of EcoTulum, and is also the largest. The 47 cabanas on 200 meters of beach-front have a rustic jungle feel. Popular with adventure lovers and families. This place also has the Maya Spa for some unwinding.
If too much nature stresses you out, relax at the smallest property and least rustic, Zahra. The hotel has boutique-style feel along with a more social atmosphere. Room choices include cabanas on the beach or rooms with garden views.
So while this might be a tree-huggers paradise, those who love nature but don't love heat, humitidy, bugs and rooms without air conditioning might want to pass.
· Every day is Earth Day at EcoTulum's rustic boutique hotels [24/7 Press Release]
· Azulik reviews [TripAdvisor]
Aman means state of tranquility, sala means water, and Amansala means bikini haven in Mexico?
Cindy Crawford frequents Amansala as does Jude Law, and Sienna Miller--though probably not any longer, after that whole doin' the nanny/nude photo thing.
Eh, who cares about Jude Law and his shriveled threesomes, the Amansala has something much more interesting to offer--Bikini-Boot camp.
Details After The Click
Perhaps realizing that people come in all different shapes and sizes, the Freedom Paradise Hotel in Riviera Maya, has declared itself nondiscriminatory and friendly to everyone, including people who are overweight.
From the hotel web site:
"Respect is the key word in this hotel: respect for nature and for fellow guests."
It's not that much different from your average beachfront hotel but there are some distinctions.
The hotel has broad doorways, reinforced furniture and extra large chairs.
The hotel features sturdy comfortable chairs throughout the hotel and hammocks on the patio and beach that will hold a 400+ pound person. Also there's a secluded beach for those who may feel uncomfortable sun-bathing in public.
More Plus-Size Hotel Info Post Break