The Tatler Guide to Tulum, Mexico
June 5, 2017 | BY Karen Tee
The buzziest places to hit up by travellers in-the-know.
Located on Mexico’s stunning Yucatan Peninsula where the jungle meets the azure Caribbean sea, the stylish resort town of Tulum has long been a favourite of clued-in insiders. With lushly designed resorts, inspired farm-to-table cuisine and luxury wellness centres to escape to, it is no wonder this secret upscale beach retreat ranks high in many A-lister’s little black books.
This year, Tulum’s idyllic vibe gets a dose of international stardust with the seven week pop-up restaurant Noma Tulum by acclaimed chef Rene Redzepi and designers like Christian Louboutin drawing inspiration from Mayan art for his latest social enterprise tote bag - the Mexicaba.
To get your finger firmly on the pulse of Tulum, add these hip hotspots to your bucket list.
(Related: The Tatler Guide To Glamping)
Dine on elevated local cuisine
When it comes to dining out, there are few places that garner unanimous approval like Hartwood, the farm-to-table restaurant that is said to have kickstarted Tulum’s reputation as a culinary destination.The restaurant’s delicious wood-fired seasonal meat, seafood and produce gathered from the land and sea which you will feast on in an alluring alfresco jungle setting makes it well worth the effort of queueing up for a table as their email reservation system doesn’t always yield results. Or simply get your hotel concierge to arrange for a runner to queue on your behalf - it’s common practice there. If you can’t get enough of fresh local cuisine, another atmospheric jungle restaurant to check out is Kitchen Table.
Stay right by the beach
Stay at the award winning eco luxury boutique hotel Sanara Tulum, which is strategically located right on the beach. Its Tamarind Suites on the ground floor come with private gardens and front decks for lounging about in style. With thoughtful design details such as woven dreamcatchers and raw wooden furniture against a backdrop of minimalist white walls, this is how the discerning do a summer vacation. Also, you can’t go wrong with the Colibri Boutique Hotel group’s range of oceanfront properties, all of which are listed with Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Attend new age yoga classes
True to its bohemian roots, Tulum is where the body beautiful will find a surfeit of yoga studios to keep mind and body in balance. The Tuesday morning Afro Flow class at Yoga Dicha, which is accompanied by live African drum music, is a one-of-a-kind experience. Or head to Sanara Tulum’s studio which overlooks the beach for some zen with a view. There’s also a weekly Friday evening sound healing session where the instructor uses crystal bowls, gongs and other instruments to create a symphony of soothing sounds to lull you into a state of deep relaxation.
Do shop local too
Update your resort wardrobe effortlessly with a quick shopping spree in Tulum, which naturally has plenty of charming boutiques filled with lovingly curated clothing, accessories and crafts sourced locally or from the region. Caravana’s collection of draped and fringed dresses and kaftans will inspire the warrior princess in you while Bendito’s beaded and sequinned numbers will go well with handcrafted bijoux from local label Mr Blackbird.
Enjoy Mayan-style pampering
When in Tulum, the style set heads to the exclusive Yaan Wellness for a session - or more - of Mayan-inspired spa sessions. Treatments start with a dip in a therapy pool filled with purified therapeutic water from cenotes, or natural sinkholes. The sessions conducted by traditional Mayan healers combine Mexican massage using local herbs and ingredients with options for local energy healing techniques, if you are inclined, to truly relax aching muscles and overworked minds.
If you’re looking for inspiration
From artists to writers and designers, the creatives of Tulum converge at Tulum Art Club for a killer cup of organic cold-brew coffee and delicious avocado toast. The cafe also houses a gallery space featuring a roster of Mexican and international artists where you might just discover the next big thing. Tulum Art Club also regularly hosts events such as film screenings and workshops.
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