Oh, Tulum. A jungle beach dream that smells of burning copal, sounds like lapping waves, tastes like smoky mezcal, feels like a warm bath and looks like pure magic. We adore you.
Where: Tulum, Mexico
When: December 2014
Stayed: Be Tulum
We stayed at Be Tulum, and we loved everything about it. The location was wonderful (a short walk to most of the restaurants at night), the beach was beautiful (the staff swept away the seaweed each morning), and the food was delicious (as were the cocktails and coconuts)! There was live music by the beach bar during the day, and live music by the open air restaurant bar at night.
Our room was wonderful, with an outdoor shower, a plunge pool and of course, a hammock.
The scent of burning copal was always in the air, and we would wander down to the beach at night, listening to the waves and drinking in the stars. And then head right back at sunrise. [insert heart eye emoji].
Here are a few must do’s if you visit:
Spend 3 hours in the Coqui Coqui Spa with their Ritual treatment. Matty and I are big spa lovers when on holiday, and this was hands down one of the most incredible experiences we have had. After your treatment, be sure to pop by the perfumery (I purchased the “Tabaco” cologne!), and grab some ceviche by the beach.
Visit Posada Margherita for breakfast or lunch, so you can fully grasp how utterly perfect its design is in full daylight. Then go back for dinner, so you can fully grasp how utterly romantic italian food in Mexico can be.
Eat at a new restaurant each night. They are all so unique, both in food and aesthetic. There is thoughtful design in every detail, from the menus to the cocktails to the decor. When we rode our bikes through town, I snapped a few photos during the day from outside each space, but none of them come close to the real thing. In truth, I am grateful that we ate after sundown each night and I was unable to take photos, as it allowed me to truly be present and just enjoy it all.
Hartwood was everything it was cracked up to be. We waited in line with takeout margaritas, and were quickly seated when the doors opened. I ate one of the best pork dishes of my life, and we finished the meal with two scoops of ice cream: sweet corn and cheese. Yes, CHEESE. Yum.
Cenzontle was another favorite – not only did I just love the whole vibe of the place, but the food did not disappoint. They had some of the best service, and there was a coconut mezcal crushed ice concoction that is the stuff of dreams.
Casa Jaguar should be on your list as well. It was another wonderful evening, and I loved the earthenware they used throughout the meal.
Gitano was really fun for our first night there, when we were tired from traveling all day. A giant disco ball hung from the palm trees, and there was a DJ spinning right underneath it. The food was probably the least inventive of all, but hey, you can’t go wrong with tacos!
Casa Banana was a fun lunch spot. We mostly lazed about the beach and would munch on midday ceviche and guac at our own hotel, but this was one of the few jungle-side restaurants open during the day – so we tried it! Check out that bacon bloody. Mm.
Now that you have eaten your way through Tulum, ride your bike, too! It is a really fun way to explore during the day. Be Tulum had free bikes, which was the best. Definitely worth renting them if your hotel does not.
Skinny dip as the sun wakes up.
Enjoy a lazy breakfast, every single day.
Play in the waves.
Grab a souvenir! My favorite boutique was La Troupe Tienda, where I purchased two pillowcases and a sundress. I also smuggled home five bags of copal, but that is neither here nor there.
MEZCAL. Drink it.
Don’t go fishing with an illicit fishing company in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. But if you do, be sure to catch a fish!
Try to visit the coffee shop below! If you know me, you know that I love small coffee shops, and I scout them out before any trip. We tried to go here a few mornings, and a few afternoons, but it was always closed. Something for next time, I suppose.
Wake up for every sunrise.
Meet the friendly neighborhood donkey. Try not to let him eat your purse.
Get a cone from the ice cream truck. Sweetest man, sweetest helados!
Enjoy every, single, magical moment. Lo mejor.
Peace, love and hugs, L