Category Archives: LATIN AMERICA

Ahau Hotel – Tulum, Mexico

 

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Ahau Tulum

(52) 1  984 802 5387
Carr. Tulum a Boca Paila Km. 7.5, Zona Costera – Quintana Roo. CP 77760 , Mexico
 www.ahautulum.com

A successful blend between hippy, eco-chic, and family friendly, Ahau Tulum is a comfortable hotel  with the friendliest staff.  Nothing is a problem here, the atmosphere is is like you have always been a part of the family.

The beach day beds are comfortable and spaced well apart.  Simple, ample food and tasty juices are on call from the open air restaurant.  For the area, Ahau’s menu has a good range between comfort and healthy food, and is moderately priced.  Above the restaurant there is a large mezzanine, bathed in beautiful filtered natural light, where the yoga classes are held.

The Hotel’s lobby, next to the restaurant is a social hub in Tulum, a mix of residents, expats, guests from other hotels – all charging their mobile devices, surfing the web and picking up conversation.

They also offer – and I took – kite surfing classes.  Difficult, but rewarding!  Mauricio is a great teacher and a real good guy.

We won’t delve into their penitent for towel sculpture – just enjoy!

 

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Hacienda Venecia – Caldas, Colombia

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Hacienda Venecia

(57) 320 636 5719
Vereda el Rosario (vía Chinchiná in the coffee motorway)
Manizales, Caldas, Colombia

www.haciendavenecia.com

Hacienda Venecia is a full operational coffee farm  in the picturesque Zona Cafetera in Colombia; Not far from Manizales, a 6 hour drive from Medellin.

While exploring this lush area, the Hacienda Venencia is a good place to stop and even spend the night, as the Hacienda offers two lodging  options.  A beautiful hundred year old  hacienda house, surrounded by gorgeous gardens, with  a pool and free roaming turkeys!  As well as a newer  house transformed into a hostel, with a shared kitchen, both shared and private bathrooms as well as a camping area with beautiful view over the coffee plantations.

We did not stay the night, but the other tourists we met briefly seemed very happy.  A few were part of a state-wide bird watching tour.

The Zona Cafetera in Colombia has the ideal altitude (3600 to  6000 feet) to grow the highly valued arabica strain.  At the hacienda, we took a day long coffee class, that starts with a walk through the plantations, viewing the different states of the grains.  Then you are guided through the entire process of fermenting, drying etc.  And the end of the afternoon,  we gathered in the Hostel house to compare the smells of the different coffee grains to a standardized library of aromas; all the while  drinking a lot of coffee !!

Funny enough, we found that many of the brands we knew from around the world sourced their beans direct from the Hacienda Valencia !!  There are many different farms to visit in this rolling green paradise; pick one and go !

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Hacienda-Venecia-001some of the brands Hacienda Venecia sells beans to
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Coqui Coqui Hotel – Tulum, Mexico

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Coqui Coqui Hotel

(52) 1 984 100 1400
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km 7.5  Tulum.
Quintana Roo. CP 77780, Mexico

 www.coquicoquiperfumes.com

Coqui Coqui Tulum is in our top five hotels.  So aesthetically beautiful and Bohemian on a perfect  white sand beach with crystalline Caribbean sea-front and an aroma of orange blossom.  It is just tough to top.

Many years ago Argentinian model Nico Millville found himself on the no-longer-a-secret Boca Paila Tulum road  – and fell in love with the area.  Here he planted roots and started the Coqui Coqui Hotels as a small enterprise and a place to promote his beautiful fragrance line (of the same name).  Rumor has it, the inspiration for the fragrance line came to Nico from a book dated to colonial times.  Within  Franciscan monks had documented the formulas of the perfumes, made from local flowers, that were sent back to the Queen of Spain.

Soon after Nico began, he was joined by Francesca Bonato, an Italian accessory designer, and the Coqui Coqui world bloomed.  Their combined design aesthetic found a wonderful place to grow in the hotels and and the chic products carried therein.

At check in, you are greeted with a gift bag containing the their  beautifully crafted amenities.  Including tobacco cologne, orange blossom bath oils, as well as our all-time favorite mosquito repellent  – that actually works and smells singularly wonderful.  (Hint: Even if you can’t make it to the hotel you can always buy via net-a-porter)

The hotel’s rooms, located in the back building, are larger and comfortable. Each with with partial ocean view and amazing interiors.  Large windows continually bringing in a refreshing Caribbean breeze.  Thankfully there is no AC, or need for any.

We stayed twice in the Jungle suite – once during a major storm.  Despite our desire for sun,  the storm, in that room, along with a few mescal margaritas created one of our most ambient and romantic afternoons.   On our last visit, we stayed at the new Mirador Suite,  located on the top floor, this used to be the Spa in our previous visits, and it also offered a lovely stay.

The local Mexican service is very good, especially Pepo and Mutsi (Hola!)  The reservation process can be a bit bumpy; but persevere – it is worth it!

Side note: We’re sure that by the time you read this the Belgian manager will have departed.  She is an adept and causing stress and does not seem cut out for the hotel business.  She was there for our 2nd and 3rd stays -but that was 2014;  if she is there, just avoid her.

Coqui Coqui is such a perfect blend of chic and  hippy and nature that you will just be thankful you are there!

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Coqui-Tulum-002lobby area
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Coqui-Tulum-069  Courtyard
Coqui-Tulum-084Mirador Suite
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Coqui-Tulum-095Mirador Suite