Tulum, Back to Brilliance


The pearl of the Yucutan peninsula – blessed by calm, turquoise seas, balmy breezes, fine, sandy beaches and framed by craggy volcanic outcrops and dense, emerald-green jungle – Tulum is an emerging luxury hub like no other, which has thankfully overcome the sargussus issue of 2015, with its waters back to clear and pristine condition, save for a few scarce and scattered patches.

Skip the main tumbleweed town of Tulum, and head straight to the jungle-fringed beach road of Boca Paila, which runs parallel to the coastline between the famed Mayan ruins and the national park of Sian Ka'an – it is here this burgeoning boho-chic destination blooms to life.

Dotted with kitsch coffee shops (Tunich – en route to the archaeological site is one of the best for fresh pressed juices, smoothies and rich Oaxacan coffee), charming designer boutiques, posh hotels, zen spas, and romantic, jungle-set restaurants draped in fairy lights – this strip is an oasis which strikes the perfect balance between sophisticated luxury and beach-chic, feels like a fantasy island getaway and plays host to an eclectic mix of hip, young locals, sophisticated travellers of all ages (mostly from New York and L.A) and wealthy families on holiday. 

For fashion and eco-chic at its best – Caravana Montaecristo, Mr. Blackbird, La Troupe (for gorgeous embroidery) and Josa Tulum – offer an array of exquisitely fluid resort-wear and delicate accessories, which are curated to a tee with the cool, castaway look in mind.  

Those on the hunt for artisanal treasures, fine food and local, hand-made designer items need look no further than the limestone chateau of Coqui Coqui – a niche perfumeria turned spa, café and boutique residence with just six rooms overlooking the ocean – here you’ll find rare spices, flavoured honey made from a specific type of bee found only in the region, and a selection of teas concocted from the finest ingredients, as well signature fragrances and an eponymous capsule collection of clothing (men’s and women’s) which offers a contemporary twist on 1920s-30s safari style. 


Further down the road, surrounded by landscaped gardens, peppered by coconut trees and lit by bamboo torches in the evening, is the heavenly Yaan Wellness Energy Healing Spa which emanates a sense of calm and spirituality and boasts some of the best spa treatments in the region. 

Directly opposite is the hip, young and happening scene of Be Tulum Hotel, where an attractive and sophisticated set meet poolside by day to sip on tropical cocktails and lounge by beach on plush beanbags and deck chairs amidst ambient compilations.

After sunset, stylish crowds divide and scatter to dine at the myriad candle-lit restaurants sprinkled along the main beach road, the most reputed of which is the renown Hartwood for its haute-cuisine and sustainable sourcing, along with Casa Banana, Arca, and Posada Margherita – and Casa Jaguar and Gitano for livelier atmospheres, late night dancing and drinks. 

This article was originally commissioned by luxury travel advisors Nota Bene Global.


Words / Daniela Aroche
Photos / Rhodri Jones

Rhodri Jones