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!
I wish I was at Uno Astro Lodge right now. This hippy paradise outpost, with the perfect beach and warm water lapping towards the palaces; with their organic beauty. We were escaping the horror of the Papaya Playa Project … and we just walked in and luckily for us there was a room available.
During our stay, there was an spiritual retreat at the hotel and part of their program was to build and play harps. This created a lovely soothing soundtrack as one walked the hotel grounds.
The astrolodge has no electricity, which what makes it great for a full disconnect. They are full on eco – with an organic vegetable garden, wind turbines to power the reception computer (only electrical area on the grounds). Also featured are composting toilets (much better that what it sounds like!) and – most importantly – hot water.
Aside from the majestic beach, comfortable rooms there is a viewing tower, which is a wonderful place to take in the rise and fall of sun or moon or stars. There is also a large gathering platform that is used for Yoga, meditation, dance, etc …
Uno Astrolodge harkens back to a time when Tulum was a real hide-a-away unknown to the New York masses; where one could go for a low-budget reconnect with the earth.
If going off the grid is the new luxury; then Uno Astrolodge is an easy 5 Stars!
On a quiet back street of downtown Tulum on February 2oth 2004 chef Claudia Perez Rivas, turn her house into a most delightful and charming restaurant, a destination
The complimentary tasting plate is alone a marvel, with Xicatic sauce, mini requeson and chile serrano quesadillas, pelliscadas, a miniature tostadatopped with beans and cheese, the best bread and queso fresco with betavel (beet) jam and a vegetarian tamale made with corn, butter and garlic – it is quite the experience.
Be sure to have a Topil soup and a Tamarind Margarita to round out the starters.
frozen tamarind margarita with chili tajin
The menu was authentic and varied to suit a variety of palates and is vegetarian friendly.
The Mexican zucchini, stuffed and baked with vegetables and chaya (wild spinach) over a bed of roasted tomatoe sauce and Stuffed poblano pepper with huithacoche (corn fungus) and red peanut mole are two standouts.
On our second visit a year later – same menu – we tried the same dishes plus the fish with huithacoche sauce. This combination was not as successful as the others; but overall it was a nice, if similar, experience.
Topil Soup like a Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Ixoxotic – fried tortilla, stuffed with cheese and covered with almond mole
Protected by 12 meter sea cliffs on the ocean side and a 784 meter wall complete with watch towers, one can quickly conclude that Tulum was very important to the Mayas. A major trade hub and the only Mayan city built on the coast, Tulum served as the seaport for the empire, trading mainly in turquoise, obsidian and jade.
With an estimated population of 1,000 to 1,600 inhabitants, Tulum was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans prior to the conquest – Surviving a full seventy years after the Spanish started their brutal occupation of the country
Nowadays Tulum is one of the only archaeological ruins that begs you to take off your clothes and jump into the same shining sea that it was built to protect against! So don’t forget to bring your bathing suit for the tiny beach behind el Castillo. The water is beautiful and incredibly refreshing after touring in the hot sun. The experience of swimming in the ocean and at the same time viewing the site is truly unique. Be sure to bring a water resistant bag, to put in your camera and personal belongings if you decide to go for a swim. Just place the bag on top of one of the tall rocks to keep it away from the splashing waves and to have an eye on it.
The best way to get there, is via catamaran (from Papaya Playa Project) or a rental car – that way you are on your own schedule. Like most of the Mayan ruins, the earlier the arrival time, the better. An ideal Itinerary is Tulum ruins early in the morning and from there to the Cenote Dos Ojosfor a dive.
Temple of the Frescoes
The ‘Temple of the Frescoes’ was used as an observatory, specifically for tracking movements of the sun
42° Raw closed in 2013 & Papaya Playa Project has lost ALL its cool.
Avoid staying at Papaya Playa – it is now overpriced, under-whelming, dirty and haughty.
Original Post from 6/30/2012
Next to the reception at the Papaya Playa Hotel, a member of Design Hotels™, is the super yummy 42°RAW. This is a branch of the raw food bar started in London and Copenhagen by Jesper Rydahl. What a great surprise it is to find modern raw cuisine right in Tulum!
The 42° Raw bar has a botanic selection of fresh juices, and staple mains such as the raw Thai noodles and raw lasagna. This is perfect beach dining, starting with the raw hummus appetizer, one of the big salads and ever-present aguas. As always, the beauty of raw food is the guilt-less dessert! Decadent, rich, full of flavor but instead of bloating that bikini bod you’ve been working on for months for your trip to the beach, they are the nutritional equivalent of a protien supplement!
Unfortunately, we were not able to get inside the Papaya Playa Hotel, but we did get a look at their events schedule. There are all sorts of activities perfect for vacation – from movie nights under the stars, to sunset bar-b-que on the beach, to packages at the well known Spa. The trip we really wish we had time for, was the visit to the Tulum Ruins via catamaran! You arrive by ocean in style, like the 14th century Spanish – except this trip comes complete with champagne! Next time!!