The 7 Best Beachfront Tulum Hotels

Full ocean views and direct beach access make The Beach hotel our top pick

ocean border at Tulum

 

dasar / Getty Images 

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The Rundown

Close your eyes and think of Tulum: images of untouched beaches, boho-chic bungalows, eco-friendly hostels, and yoga retreats may come to mind. This is the Tulum of twenty-some years ago, when the sleepy town on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula offered travelers a chance to truly get off the grid in style. And while the region is no longer a well-kept secret, the fundamental appeals of Tulum can still be experienced at a handful of special hotels.

Travelers come to Tulum for its natural beauty, in the form of powder-sand beaches and turquoise waters alongside local culture (Yucatán was once the center of Mayan civilization and retains much of its exquisite heritage). The best hotels in Tulum are the ones that celebrate these elements by blending harmoniously with the surrounding nature and immersing guests in the mysticism of the region. Here, we narrow down the best hotels in Tulum based on their settings, beaches, and atmospheres, in addition to their luxurious amenities and creature comforts (like air conditioning). Read on for our expert-chosen list of the best beachfront hotels in Tulum.

01 of 07

Best Overall: The Beach

The Beach

The Beach

Why We Chose It

With its rooms located just steps from the sand, this breezy boutique hotel offers a taste of Tulum at its best.

Pros
  • All rooms have either direct beach access or full ocean views

  • On-site spa with thermal pool, sauna, and steam room

Cons
  • Ziggy’s can be noisy at night

  • Location requires a drive to most sites

The name says it all at The Beach, which occupies a lovely stretch of white sand on Tulum’s south end. In addition to its namesake asset, The Beach delivers the laid-back elements that Tulum is loved for (rustic-chic decor and barefoot dining) along with a number of luxuries (rooftop jacuzzis and an elegant spa). Guests can spend their days at the serene pool surrounded by lush greenery, taking yoga classes at the open-air pavilion, or trying their hand at a Mexican cooking class. Of the hotel’s notable restaurants, Ziggy’s Beach Club is not to be missed, known for its soul food and live music.

Notable amenities

  • Complimentary yoga classes
  • Snorkeling
  • Fishing and other water activities offered on-site
02 of 07

Best Boutique: Mi Amor

Mi Amor

Mi Amor

Why We Chose It

This adults-only property is a favorite for its stylish atmosphere, contemporary design, and noteworthy cuisine.

Pros
  • Foodie- and oenophile-centric

  • Luxurious spa with beds overlooking the ocean

Cons
  • Only one restaurant

  • Rocky beach (though there is a sandy beach within walking distance)

Mi Amor has perfected the Tulum boutique experience. With understated, ultra-contemporary design — think stone walls shaded by palm trees, fluid indoor-outdoor spaces, and wooden walkways suspended over infinity pools — the property allows its natural environment to shine, rather than competing with it. Twenty guest rooms feature either picture-picture ocean views, plunge pools, or outdoor bathtubs surrounded by tropical greenery, along with modern comforts like Bluetooth audio and Nespresso machines. Pergolas are perched on the rocky beach (which is more reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast than of the Caribbean), so many guests prefer to relax on over-water cabanas beside the infinity pool.

Notable amenities

  • Restaurant serving Chef Paul Bentley’s Mediterannean-Mexican cuisine
  • Spa with ‘mystic’ treatments on offer, such as a Yucatán sound bath
03 of 07

Best Luxury: Esencia

Esencia

Esencia

Why We Chose It

Travelers find a little bit of heaven at Esencia, a 50-acre hacienda estate originally built for an Italian duchess.

Pros
  • Separate pools for adults and children

  • Impeccable service

Cons
  • Quiet atmosphere is not ideal for young children

  • Location requires a drive to all attractions

Located 30 minutes north of Tulum, Esencia regards itself as a well-kept secret, where understated, discreet luxury abounds. Guests stay in airy, free-standing cottage suites with expansive terraces, where the white-on-white decor is complemented by colorful contemporary art and dark wood accents. Luxury amenities include European linens and Bluetooth speakers in each room, along with complimentary beach bags outfitted with Havaiana sandals. Throughout the property, manicured gardens and thatched-roof palapas lead to the traditional Mayan spa, which overlooks the estate’s cenote. Esencia boasts several excellent restaurants, including Mistura, with its sea-to-table fare and 180-degree ocean views.

Notable amenities

  • Sizeable gym
  • Complimentary amenities including afternoon tea, breakfast pastries, and yoga classes
04 of 07

Best for Romance: Encantada

Encantada

Encantada

Why We Chose It

Encantada's eight bungalows are just steps from the sand, offering a truly romantic (and truly Tulum) experience.

Pros
  • All rooms feature furnished wraparound balconies

  • Eco-friendly design

Cons
  • No televisions in rooms

  • No pool

Couples will be hard-pressed to find a more intimate hideaway in Tulum, where a laid-back atmosphere and pristine beach provide a perfect backdrop for romance. Rustic-chic bungalows are complete with four-poster canopy beds draped with mosquito netting, walk-in showers, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening to oceanfront balconies. The property pays homage to the local culture at every turn with handcrafted mezcal at the bar, spa treatments incorporating pre-Hispanic healing techniques, traditional Yucatán flavors at the open-air restaurants, and artisanal embroidery and artwork in the bungalows.

Notable amenities

  • Complimentary yoga classes
  • Two restaurants
Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Best Hideaway: Mukan

Mukan

Mukan

Why We Chose It

Located in a UNESCO-protected biosphere a 45-minute private boat ride from shore, Mukan offers travelers a rare chance to go off the grid.

Pros
  • Impressive eco-friendly initiatives, including solar panels and recycling technology

  • Calm beach, ideal for paddle boarding and swimming

Cons
  • Limited dining options

  • Some kinks with the air conditioning and WiFi

Most would argue that the revered Old Tulum no longer exists, but Mukan, the secluded hotel on its own tropical islet, offers a glimpse of Tulum's days of yore. With a pristine location on 650 feet of palm-fringed beach, the resort is a nature lover's paradise, with cenote-diving, snorkeling, fly-fishing, and wildlife safaris on offer. Nine thatched-roof bungalows are designed with the white-on-white decor and hardwood flooring characteristic of Tulum, but with luxuries like soaking tubs, flat-screen televisions, and mosquito net-draped bedding. And while dining and spa services are limited, the ultimate privacy and idyllic setting make up for it.

Notable amenities

  • Locally sourced ingredients served at an authentic Mexican restaurant
  • Spa offering massages
06 of 07

Best Scene: Be Tulum

Be Tulum

Be Tulum

Why We Chose It

With its buzzy beach club and sexy, boho aesthetic, it’s no surprise that well-heeled New Yorkers and travel bloggers flock to this hideaway in the heart of Tulum.

Pros
  • Innovative spa with rooftop garden

  • Variety of room categories, including standalone villas with up to three bedrooms

Cons
  • Late-night DJs can be loud

  • Lacks family-friendly amenities, though children over age 13 are permitted

If you want to do Tulum in style, look no further than Be Tulum, which maintains a relaxed atmosphere despite being one of the most scene-y places in town. The property oozes chicness (and Instagram opportunities) at every turn, with glass, stone, and reclaimed wood surfaces; Persian and cowhide rugs; rattan furnishings; and local accents of macrame and embroidery. Guests stay in equally stylish suites, many of which offer plunge pools, hot tubs, and free-standing copper bathtubs. But the real appeal of Be Tulum is its restaurants, including a raw bar with oysters and a barbecue eatery incorporating local grilling techniques.

Notable amenities

  • Beach club
  • Infinity pool
  • Michelin-starred chef, Mauricio Giovanini, helms Ocumare restaurant
07 of 07

Best for Families: La Zebra

La Zebra

La Zebra

Why We Chose It

This boutique hotel provides a rare combination of laid-back tropical ease and family-friendly amenities.

Pros
  • All accommodations offer either plunge pools or balconies with ocean views

  • Central location makes a great home-base

Cons
  • No pool

  • Limited dining options

Contrary to popular belief, Tulum isn’t just for hedonists and romantics, and La Zebra is one of the only hotels in the area that provides an excellent experience for both children and adults. There are six different room categories (many of which offer single beds, rollaway cots, and cribs for little ones), all with common conveniences like mini-fridges and coffee makers. Children have plenty of places to explore, between the property’s manicured gardens, playground, and expansive beach. Adult-friendly draws include a pop-up mixology bar (from New York City’s Mulberry Project) and an eight-course chef’s table experience.

Notable amenities

  • Restaurant with crowd-pleasing Mexican dishes
  • Spa with massages and crystal therapy

Final Verdict

In deciding where to stay in Tulum, consider which Tulum you’re looking to experience. Yearning to get away from it all? Mukan is your best bet. Planning a romantic beach getaway? You can’t go wrong with either Esencia or Encantada. And for a taste of Tulum without the typical price tag, Las Palmas Maya is an excellent option. However, each of these beachfront hotels guarantees a taste of Tulum in all its glory, which (thanks to the area’s growing popularity) is all the more special these days.

Compare The Best Beachfront Tulum Hotels

Property  Resort Fee  Rates Rooms  Free WiFi
The Beach Tulum
Best Overall
None  $$$$  28 Yes
Mi Amor
Best Boutique
None  $$$  20 Yes
Esencia
Best Luxury
None $$$$ 45 Yes
Encantada
Best for Romance
None $$$$ 8 Yes
Mukan
Best Hideaway
None $$$ 9 Yes
Be Tulum
Best Scene
None $$$$ 64 Yes
La Zebra
Best for Families
None $$$$ 15 Yes

Methodology

We evaluated dozens of hotels in Tulum and its surrounding areas. In determining the best of the best for the chosen categories, we considered such factors as the hotel’s quality of the beach, proximity to major attractions, crowd-pleasing amenities (infinity pools, ocean views), and creature comforts (air conditioning, smart technology). We also considered the property’s dining venues and unique experiences (cultural tours, fitness classes) available to guests. In addition to customer reviews, we gave notes to each of the hotel’s sanitation and cleanliness measures.

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