5 Magical Days In Tulum

I had no idea how much I would fall in love with this charming, sleepy, hippie town along the Mexican Riviera.  Everything from the thatch roofs, to the insanely delicious food, to the utterly adorable hand painted signs that adorned each stop along the road.  Every design detail was perfectly thought out in the most natural “I woke up like this” way.  If there was ever a place that could be the perfect balance of decidedly chic and unapologetically rustic, this is it.  Carved into the perfect space between  the jungle and the white sand beaches, Tulum has recently attracted everyone from the coolest of celebrities to the most talented top chefs, all hoping to find a relaxing piece of paradise.
 We stayed at Ana Y Jose Charming Hotel and Spa which we couldn’t have loved more.  It was rustic, elegant, and charming.  Each bungalow had it’s own style and personality.  Our room with it’s thatch roof and stone floor was spacious yet romantic.  And nothing can beat a hammock on a private balcony as the perfect place to curl up and read.  The restaurant where we ate breakfast every day overlooked the sparkling turquoise water and had a white sand floor and delicious food.  Each suite had a dedicated beach bed that provided the perfect amount of sun, shade and relaxation.
Whenever we wanted to venture away from our little spot on the sand, we either walked or rode beach cruisers provided by our hotel.  All of our favorite restaurants and shops were steps or a short ride away.

One of our favorite experiences of the week was a visit to the Coqui Coqui Spa.  The Coqui Coqui is silly hip and pretty and swarming with equally hip and pretty people.  The Spa room hovers at the top of the gorgeous stone building and opens over the most breathtaking ocean view you’ve ever seen.  Nothing can beat a massage with the sound of the ocean and the earthy scent of their house made perfumes and massage oils.  We also stopped at their perfumery to purchase a candle to bring home to forever remind us of our new favorite place.

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We ate at a new restaurant each night, there were too many wonderful must-not-miss spots.  Our first night we walked (more like stumbled down the dark street) into Casa Jaguar which was the perfect first Tulum meal.  It was dark (lit only by candles and the occasional hanging lantern), warm, romantic, and the food and drinks were delicious.  The ceviche that we shared might have been our favorite dish of the entire trip.
The next night we faced the wait at the much hyped Hartwood.  This restaurant is on everyone’s must eat list and for good reason.  We went early and waited for about an hour before they opened.  Alex read with a beer in his hand and I wandered through the nearby shops.  Easy.  Right when it opened we were showed to our table and the menu that changes daily was described in detail by our charming, cool waitress.  The “kitchen” was right behind us so we could see how everything was prepared.  There was one small counter for all the fresh vegetables and fish, and everything else was either cooked over open flame or in the wood burning oven.  All lit by two swinging lanterns over head.  The food that was created in this modest spot was nothing short of spectacular.  Again, one of the best meals we’ve ever had.  I had a colorful, bright tomato salad, Alex had a spicy ceviche, and we split a mahi mahi made for two.  Then we topped it all off with homemade cheese ice cream.  It was an incredible night.
The next night we went to Posada Margherita which is a charming Italian hotel on the beach with the most amazingly romantic Italian restaurant.  We over ordered and ended up with two pastas and a fish, which seemed silly but everything was so yummy we were ok with it!  Everything in the hotel is made of driftwood, including the menu, and we sat at our table in the breezy ocean air all night.  It was a truly magical place.
We also loved our authentic Mexican lunch on the beach at Zamas.  It’s located in a gorgeous rocky cove and has a super fun vibe.  We didn’t have a chance to go at night, but I’m sure with their live music and classic margaritas it would be a great spot.
One day we walked down to the beach and discovered an adorable restaurant at Villa Las Estrellas.  If I could design my dream home, it would look exactly like this beach side restaurant.
We spent one afternoon at the Tulum ruins.  An easy breezy 25 minute bike ride from most hotels, the ruins provide an interesting history of the area and stunning views of the turquoise water against the old stone buildings.
Your suitcase for Tulum will be the lightest you’ve ever packed!  You need little more than a couple swim suits, cut off jean shorts, a flowy dress or two and a few of your favorite sandals.  No stilettos here!  Of course when you are in Tulum you must take time to shop in the elegant bohemian boutiques.  From flowy caftans to unique one of a kind hand beaded dresses, this is the kind of shopping stylish bohemian dreams are made of.  My favorite shops were La Troupe and the boutique at Posada Margherita.

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Even though we were 3 hours behind on West Coast time, we tried to wake up for the sunrise at least once.  And it was every bit as magical as we had hoped.

One comment

  1. ANne says:

    We LOVED Tulum! And after reading your post we have to go back! I love your recommendations, Emily! Do you have links for those cute sandals and swimsuits??!

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