Tulum, Riviera Maya / Mexico

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The lovely beach in Tulum

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With beach huts like nowhere else

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The bach at BE Tulum

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All hipsters from Berlin, Brooklyn and Buenos Aires have already discovered Tulum and they are still creating new bars and hotels like there`s no other beach. We had a good look at it and must say: Tulum is a very fine place!

The Tulum Story

Here’s a short history: the Mexican peninsula Yucatan didn’t play a role in worldwide tourism up to the 50s, because the Americans tended to holiday in Acapulco or Havanna/Cuba. When Fidel Castro closed his Cuban island, the gringos discovered Yucatan, the country of the Mayans. They built enormous, concrete hotel complexes in Cancun and when that became full, the big hotel chains wandered south to Playa del Carmen. Tulum, the next village to the south, didn’t appear to be very interesting, because  it is just a small village and the coast road is too near the water. Only hippies and yoga students came here and erected little tent-villages. Then, about five years ago, yoga had arrived in the hip gymnasiums in New York, Berlin and Amsterdam, the designers discovered the beautiful location and were happy to see organic & authentic landscapes in Tulum without hotel complexes.

New Yorker catering giants arrived and opened restaurants that weren’t particularly chic, but beautiful and authentic (e.g. The Hartwood). The perfumeur Coqui Coqui had an old stone house converted into a hotel and two young men from Argentina opened Be Tulum, a stylish beach resort, which must be highly recommended.

Claus Sendlinger, the boss of the marketing organisation Designhotels, fell so much in love with this place, that he completely lived here for a couple of years (but now moved to Ibiza). He had sent a gang of craftsmen from Berlin to a run-down beach hut resort and it was opened as the first Pop-Up-Hotel in cooperation with a Mexican hotelier.

So, should you go? 

Yes, definitely, because Tulum is the perfect place at the moment for a quiet fortnights beach holiday with good food, nice people at the next table (there really are no nasty package holiday tourists), a little bit of culture (the Mayan sites are even easily reachable by bicycle) and many possibilities for diving, snorkeling and kite-surfing (there are numerous schools, for example there is one in the Papaya Playa Hotel).

Also: Many “pretty” shops have been established on the main road, but none with elite brand items such as from Gucci, Louis Vuitton oder Hugo Boss. 

Budget per sunseeker

About 2000 euros, but for two weeks with lots of comfort it’s approximately 3000 euros (including flights).

The best hotels

BE Tulum, Coqui Coqui, Papaya Playa, Habitas.

The best restaurants

Casa Banana – www.casabananatulum.com (main dishes about 20 euros)
Hartwood – www.hartwoodtulum.com (about 25 euros)
Posada Margherita – www.posadamargherita.com (about 20 euros)

The best shops

Alfonsina del Mar – there is one shop in Prague and one in Tulum. Small but fine label of the owner from the Czech Republic. La Troupe – there is a shop in Tulum and one on Ibiza. Many lovely independent labels. Both have their own Facebook page.

Best time to travel

October/November, Christmas/New Year is normally full, then the whole of Spring up until May, after which it is the rainy season, that of course is not really recommended.