Wondering where to stay in Tulum, the gorgeous, unassuming beach town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula? I’ve got you covered.
When I first arrived in Tulum after a short flight from Mexico City (and a few bus rides), I had no idea how long I’d stay. I never could’ve guessed that my trip would stretch into nearly two full weeks and that by the end I would have to forcefully tear myself away.
Of course, I didn’t spend those entire two weeks in the same place–what fun would that be, anyway? No, I managed to move around a number of times, staying in a total of FOUR different accommodations. It was a fun experiment, anyway, and I left with a good idea of the various options available to travelers visiting this Caribbean gem.
Below, I’ve listed each of these places, along with a few tips to help you determine which one might be the right choice for you. There is something to suit just about every budget and certainly every need! If you’re not sure where to stay in Tulum, let this be your guide!
See more Tulum posts:
- 40 Photos of Tulum That’ll Make You Want to Visit ASAP
- Tulum Travel Guide: The Best Things to Do and See
Where to Stay in Tulum on Any Budget
Hotel Zazil Kin
Hotel Zazil Kin, a collection of cute, rustic cabañas, located just a few hundred feet from the beach, came recommended to me by my friends in Mexico City. I love checking out where the locals stay, so I was immediately intrigued.
The sandy complex includes an on-site restaurant, a bar, common areas perfect for meeting people, an open-air WiFi area, bike rentals, and the most friendly and helpful staff you’ll ever meet. And did I mention beach access?
The food in the restaurant is excellent, it’s within walking distance of the Tulum Ruins, and the beach is perfect for swimming, lounging, sipping cocktails, or getting a massage.
I enjoyed my time at Zazil Kin, but I will re-emphasize the rustic aspect. There is no electricity in the rooms between 7 am and 7 pm, nothing more than a fan to keep you cool at night (and a breeze through the tiny windows if you’re lucky) and communal toilets and showers. Beds come equipped with mosquito nets, and you’ll need them! It’s a bit like a camping experience, you could say.
DO stay at Zazil Kin if:
- You’re looking for no-frills accommodation
- You want beach access on a budget
- You don’t mind taking a taxi to and from Tulum Town
- You don’t need a reliable WiFi connection
DON’T stay at Zazil Kin if:
- Rustic is not really your thing
- You need a good WiFi connection and a place to work
- You can’t handle being hot when you sleep
- You want to prepare your own meals
Las Tres Palmas Hotel
Following my stay at Zazil Kin, I was in search of someplace where I could escape the heat, enjoy a consistent WiFi connection, and get work done without constantly fighting off biting sand flies. So, I took my bite-covered bum back to Tulum Town for a few nights at the centrally-located Las Tres Palmas Hotel.
This cute hotel is located just a few blocks from the center of Tulum Town. It provided me with the cool oasis I was looking for, included a free breakfast, and my room even came equipped with a mini kitchen! I loved feeling clean and sand-free for a few days, and the desk in my room was the perfect place to sit and bang out some work.
As you can imagine, the rooms in Tulum Town tend to be cheaper than their beachfront counterparts; however, bikes are readily available for rent around town (and at most hotels, including Las Tres Palmas) and a taxi ride to the beach costs just 60 pesos each way, so depending how much time you plan to spend on the beach, staying in town may be a more affordable option in the end.
DO stay at Las Tres Palmas if:
- You don’t plan to spend much time on the beach
- You want to be near the restaurants, bars, and shops of Tulum Town
- You want a clean, air-conditioned room on a budget
- You plan to cook your own meals
DON’T stay at Las Tres Palmas if:
- You want easy beach access
- You prefer the social atmosphere of a hostel
Diamante K, a gorgeous beachfront hotel located on the same end of Tulum Beach Road as Zazil Kin, was my birthday splurge. This beautiful property is made of a collection of cabañas as well, but there is nothing rustic about them!
The rooms at Diamante K are fit for royalty. The beds are enormous and draped not in mosquito nets, but in sheer white curtains. The design uses natural elements like wood, bamboo, and palm leaves, and the rain shower heads make you feel like you’re truly living luxuriously. There was no AC in my room, but it stayed cool throughout the day anyway, possibly due to the materials used in construction.
Similar to Zazil Kin, there’s no light in the rooms during the day (you have all the sunlight you need from the large windows), however, you can still use the outlets to charge your electronics at any time. The on-site bar and restaurant is where you’ll find exquisite (and almost comically large) cocktails, live dinner entertainment, and the strongest WiFi connection.
There are chairs for lounging just about everywhere and a small private beach that only Diamante K guests have access to; a public beach is only a short walk away.
DO stay at Diamante K if:
- You want beachfront luxury
- You’re not on a tight budget
- You want a private place to lounge by the sea
DON’T stay at Diamante K if:
- You hate gorgeous views
- You’re on a tight budget
- You want the convenience of being close to town
I found my final accommodation in Tulum by happy accident. While enjoying a coffee and work session one morning at a local cafe (DelCielo, my favorite in town!) I met some locals (well, Mexico City locals, more accurately) who happened to own some vacation properties in the heart of Tulum Town. We became fast friends, and they invited me to check out one of their new apartments for my last few nights. I readily agreed. The condos at Ku Tulum are something special.
Ku Tulum is a set of condos just steps away from the most happening street in town. The building is newly constructed, and as such, it’s in immaculate condition. It was easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve stayed yet! The outdoor kitchen made me feel like I was in a treehouse, and was perfect for whipping up a meal for myself and a few of my lovely readers while enjoying a bottle of wine.
Inside, the flat was spacious, clean, and air-conditioned. The bed was the most comfortable one I slept on during my two weeks in Tulum–yes, even more comfortable than the king bed with curtains! And it’s a steal of a price for such a modern place in such an amazing location.
You will share the complex with other guests, but you won’t have to worry–security is tight. The main gate locks automatically when coming and going and there are security cameras on the premises.
The only drawback is the excess noise every now and then; a relatively new bar next door hosts live music most nights of the week, and there are a few sites nearby that are under construction. If you have good earplugs, however, these will be non-issues!
DO stay at Ku Tulum if:
- You don’t need to be near the beach
- You want to experience the best of Tulum Town
- You plan to cook your own meals
- You appreciate beautiful, modern design
- You plan to work and need good WiFi
DON’T stay at Ku Tulum if:
- You are sensitive to noise
- You want easy access to the beach
Many thanks to the guys at Ku Tulum for hosting me at their beautiful vacation rental! All other accommodations were paid for by me. As always, opinions stated are expressly my own.