The Best Luxury Hotels in Tulum, Mexico

The 12 Best Luxury Hotels in Tulum, Mexico

Tall sea cliffs rise high above the Caribbean Sea, crumbling Maya ruins are silhouetted against the sun, and all around, the sound of the rainforest drifts on the breeze. Down on the white sands, fancy beach clubs serving sushi and mezcal cocktails sit next to rustic shacks offering quesadillas and cold cervezas

Welcome to Tulum, the hottest ticket on the Riviera Maya. With its boutique hotels, quirky cafes, Maya ruins, and tropical weather, a once sleepy, backwater town has evolved into a destination that now attracts influencers, celebrities, and the best chefs and hoteliers in the world. 

Half the fun of vacationing in Tulum is splurging on a nice hotel. Luckily, Tulum just happens to have a variety of amenity-packed beachfront resorts, eco-chic boutique retreats, and highly Instagrammable hotels. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. 

So we’ve created a list of the 12 best hotels in Tulum to help you plan your perfect getaway! If you’re planning a trip to the Riviera Maya, then keep reading as we explain exactly where to stay in Tulum.

  • Short on time and don’t want to read the whole article? Here are our top 3 picks!
  1. Casa Malca
  2. La Valise
  3. Mi Amor

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Where to Stay in Tulum

Where to Stay in Tulum, Mexico: Best Luxury Hotels

Tulum is home to the best boutique hotels on the Riviera Maya. This is a celebrity playground, and you can expect only the finest luxury at Tulum’s five-star resorts and hotels.

Tulum is located around a 2-hour drive south of Cancun and an hour’s drive to the south of Playa del Carmen. Distance from the Riviera Maya hasn’t stopped a once small town from massive expansion, and as it’s ballooned into a premier destination, it’s attracted the best hotels too. 

You won’t want to stay in Downtown Tulum if you’re on vacation. You’ll find some great properties in Aldea Zama, halfway between downtown and Tulum Ruinas, but the best hotels in Tulum are generally positioned on the beachfront. 

Stretching for several miles south of the tall sea cliffs on which the ruins are perched above, you’ll find quirky boutique hotels with swim-up terraces and rustic Maya-inspired villas with thatched roofs and private hot tubs. 

Tulum exudes barefoot luxury, and you can dine at pop-up restaurants run by Michelin-starred chefs on the beach before retiring to hammocks and palapas set around natural cenotes in the rainforest. To inspire your next luxury getaway, here are the best places to stay in Tulum! 

The 12 Best Luxury Hotels in Tulum, Mexico

1. Casa Malca

Where to Stay in Tulum, Mexico: Casa Malca
Photos: Casa Malca

One of the most unique hotels in Tulum is Casa Malca because this five-star hotel is located in the former holiday mansion of Pablo Escobar. The notorious Colombian drug lord bought the mansion at the height of his power, but it was never fully completed before he died in 1993. 

The property was purchased by New York art collector Lio Malca in 2012 and subsequently renovated into a boutique hotel that now has 71 luxury rooms in the most unusual setting in Tulum. 

Pablo Escobar, being a wanted man, needed a secretive place to vacation, so you can rest assured that Casa Malca is hidden away along the remote, southern stretches of Tulum Beach. There’s little left from Escobar’s day, apart from the history, and Lio Malca, being an art connoisseur, has instead turned the former drug lord’s mansion into a venue that’s as much an art gallery as it is a hotel.

Malca’s personal art collection is on display across the hotel, with each of the rooms hosting at least one unique piece of art. Each of the rooms is designed with individual character, too, and you’ll love the plush headboards, antique furnishings, and panoramic windows overlooking the beach or the jungle.

Take a stroll through the hotel’s lush grounds, and you’ll find larger art installations in the sand, among the trees, and around the swimming pool. Some double up as chic, Instagrammable backdrops (including the classic Bali-style swings), while others are simply outlandish. 

At Philosophy, you can dine on wood-fired pizzas and the fresh catch of the day while overlooking the Caribbean Sea, while at the hotel’s beach club, Head of a Mad Man, the wine and seafood flow freely throughout the day. Book a table at Ambrosia, the hotel’s prestigious Asian-fusion restaurant, and you can enjoy the culinary delights created by Head Chef Jonathan Carbajal in the company of Keith Haring’s artwork. 

2. Papaya Playa Project

Tulum Boutique Hotels: Papaya Playa Project
Photos: Papaya Playa Project

The thatched roofs of Maya-inspired casitas soar above the rainforest canopy, offering sweeping views of the Caribbean coastline from lofty balconies perched above the treeline. Welcome to Papaya Playa Project, a five-star hotel where creativity and sustainability go hand in hand. 

The hotel’s founder, Emilio Heredia, is turning the traditional, outdated resort model found elsewhere on the Riviera Maya inside out. The gorgeous luxury casitas are built using local materials, and their basic, minimalist design promotes the concept of “Barefoot Luxury,” beloved by Heredia. Hammocks swing between timber palapas, but private rooftop plunge pools and plush king-size beds make for an unbeatable stay. 

Located on a secluded plot of land right by the beach, Papaya Playa Project lets the jungle grow wild. Ninety-three percent of the land is undisturbed, and vines grow alongside walkways while the foliage engulfs the beachfront villas. At night, there’s little light pollution, while the hotel contributes to turtle conservation projects and community outreach programs. 

During the day, you can take part in yoga and meditation sessions, swim in the pool, or hang out at the Papaya Playa Project Beach Club. The hotel’s restaurant serves up ever-changing culinary experiences throughout the week. 

Sundays are always devoted to the Brunch Buffet, where you can gorge on fresh quesadillas and perfectly composed tacos, with many of the herbs and vegetables being grown on-site. On Wednesdays, there’s a “Surprise Menu” at La Cava, while you can arrange romantic, personalized, private dinners on the beachfront every evening. 

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3. Kimpton Aluna Resort Tulum

Best Hotels in Tulum, Mexico: Kimpton Aluna Resort Tulum
Photos: Kimpton Aluna Resort Tulum

One of the best hotels in Tulum is the Kimpton Aluna Resort. This five-star hotel offers all the luxury of an urban boutique hotel in a jungle-clad setting, and it’s the perfect place to stay if you love your home comforts. 

But while traditional Kimpton hotels are known for their size and extravagance, the Kimpton Aluna keeps proceedings on a small and personal scale, allowing it to blend seamlessly into the Tulum consciousness while also offering inescapable luxury. The exterior of this hotel is rustic in look, with palm fronds shading balconies and dining areas set in jungle-strewn courtyards. 

Rooms are sleek and modern on the inside, however, with wooden furnishings (all are handmade), iHome players for entertainment, Frette linens for comfort, and Atelier Bloem toiletries as standard. The whitewashed walls are punctuated by modern works of art and colorful cushions, while house plants and flora deck the walls and terraces. 

The Kimpton Aluna Resort is located on the edge of Aldea Zama, close to Downtown Tulum. You’re not far from the beach, but you might never leave the serenity of the timber-lined swimming pool, where you can relax in the shade of a palapa before swimming up to the bar for a handcrafted cocktail. 

There’s an adults-only pool on the rooftop, too, and in the mornings, you can enjoy yoga sessions before taking a plunge to cool off. The Bhanu Sky Kitchen serves up a unique blend of Asian and Mexican cuisine on the rooftop, where craft cocktails and small plates are always the order of the day. 

4. The Yellow Nest

Cool Tulum Hotels: The Yellow Nest
Photos: The Yellow Nest

The Yellow Nest was made for Tulum’s influencer crowds. Woven hammocks lie low over the swimming pool, while crafted wicker loungers are perfect for sunbathing. The tropical rainforest forms the backdrop to your next photoshoot, while you can start every day with The Yellow Nest’s famous floating breakfast. 

As one of the coolest boutique hotels in Tulum, The Yellow Nest combines rustic local designs with the luxurious amenities you’d expect from a five-star property. You’ll be staying in a private villa, or a smaller, private casita, all of which are modeled on the traditional Maya homes you’ll still find in many rural villages today. 

Whitewashed walls are sheltered by conical, thatched roofs, but inside, you’ll find private spa pools and spacious king-size beds. True to its Maya roots, The Yellow Nest is also home to a Temazcal spa, where you can spend hours soaking in the steamy minerals. 

There’s a yoga area, too, of course, but best of all is the hotel’s unique location. The Yellow Nest is located inland, not just in the jungle, but next to Dos Ojos Cenotes, where budding Instagrammers can organize yet another private photoshoot experience.

5. The Beach Tulum

Where to Stay in Tulum, Mexico: The Beach Tulum
Photos: The Beach Tulum

Another one of the coolest hotels in Tulum is The Beach. This five-star favorite is located, as the name of the hotel suggests, right on Tulum’s sandy, sunny beach, where you’ll be staying next door to famous beach clubs like Ziggy’s and Taboo. 

The Beach is perfectly located for those early morning Caribbean Sea swims and those sunset cocktails. Spend your days lounging on white sands, ordering up shrimp tacos to the shade of your personal palapa before taking a much-needed dip in one of the hotel’s outdoor swimming pools after lunch. 

Each of the 28 luxury rooms is beach-facing, and you won’t have to worry about fighting for space because you’ll have a private beach area allocated to you for the duration of your stay. Book a ground-floor room, and you’ll have a private plunge pool to enjoy, while the upper-floor rooms have private rooftop sun decks, complete with a personal hot tub. 

This is an adults-only hotel, so expect the ultimate in both privacy and service throughout your vacation at The Beach. You can work out in the hotel’s gym, join daily yoga classes, or hang out all day at the beach clubs, which you’ll have complimentary access to as a guest of The Beach.

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6. La Valise Tulum

Unique Tulum Hotels: La Valise Tulum
Photos: La Valise Tulum

Select your environment of choice before checking into La Valise. This luxury boutique hotel has two options for you, and you’ll need to decide if you’re a jungle lover, or if you prefer a classic beachfront stay. 

A member of the prestigious “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” group, La Valise has 11 luxury rooms, suites, and villas offering direct beachfront access on the southern shores of Tulum. There are also 11 “Jungle Rooms,” where you’ll be immersed in the tropical rainforests of Quintana Roo. 

The beautiful rooms are designed using natural materials, featuring elevated palapas, terraces, and sun decks that poke through the tall trees. You can laze on hammocks, soak up the sun while floating in the hotel’s infinity pool, and relax under straw canopies on the beach. 

Depending on the room type you choose, you could have your own private plunge pool, a king-size bed that rolls out onto the balcony (perfect for sunrise!), and unique artwork handcrafted by local artisans in Maya styles. Regardless of your room type, you’ll have luxury linens, toiletries, and gorgeous views of the surroundings from La Valise’s secluded location. 

Head down to La Valise Beachfront and you can enjoy fine dining all day on the hotel’s private strip of white sand. The culinary highlight, though, is awaiting you at Nu, where freshly sourced ingredients, including the fresh catch of the day, are fused into eclectic, award-winning dishes.

7. Zamas Hotel

Boutique Hotels in Tulum, Mexico: Zamas Hotel
Photos: Zamas Hotel

Zamas Hotel is keeping the rustic spirit of Tulum alive with its colorful rooms and natural setting. This back-to-basics beachfront hotel has just 18 boutique rooms featuring thatched roofs and clay interiors that the Maya of old would be proud to call home.

This isn’t the height of luxury in Tulum (some rooms have yet to even be upgraded with air-con), but you can expect to enjoy a sustainable stay away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. You’ll have two acres of largely undeveloped beach and jungle to explore, where you can swing from hammocks or dip your toes in the Caribbean Sea.

The beachfront restaurant and bar spill out onto the sands, while the name “Zamas,” which means the dawn or sunrise in local Maya dialects, evokes the serene setting you’ll enjoy every morning from your private veranda. Hotel Zamas also features a shaded public pool, where you can cool off when the sun has reached its zenith in the afternoon.

8. Le Zebra

Unique Tulum Hotels: Le Zebra
Photos: Le Zebra

One of our favorite Tulum boutique hotels is Le Zebra. Overlooking a popular stretch of Tulum Beach, south of the ruins, jump straight into the swimming pool when you’ve checked in, and you can start your stay in style with a “Welcome Cocktail” from the swim-up bar. 

Make it to your luxury room, and you’ll also find you’ve been treated to a welcome bottle of locally made, artisanal liquor (usually tequila or mezcal, as you’re in Mexico!). Pour yourself a glass and sink back into your plush, king-size bed, or take a stroll onto your private balcony or terrace and enjoy the views of the jungle or the Caribbean Sea.

The beach is just a short stroll away from Le Zebra, while the hotel’s spa offers therapeutic massages and traditional Temazcal ceremonies. At the restaurant, Head Chef Eleazar Bonilla cooks up a storm of authentic Mexican flavors for guests, where you’re welcome to chow down barefoot on tacos and drink cervezas every day. 

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9. Mi Amor

Boutique Hotels in Tulum, Mexico: Mi Amor
Photos: Mi Amor

Perched on the rocky cliffs by Tulum Ruins, you’ll have supreme views of the Caribbean Sea from your private terrace or balcony when you stay at Mi Amor, one of the very best hotels in Tulum. Bali-style beds extend over the cliffs, while rock-hewn steps lead down into the spraying surf below this beautiful adults-only hotel. 

Mi Amor is made for the romantics, which is why we believe this small hotel is one of the coolest boutique hotels in Tulum you could book for your Mexican getaway. The design is inspired by the retro look of Acapulco, when Mexico’s most infamous resort town was in its heyday – except, of course, you’ve got all the modern luxury of a Tulum hotel to enjoy instead.

Atop the rocks of Tulum’s sea cliffs, you’ll have acres of rainforest to enjoy, too. An infinity pool offers supreme panoramas of the coastline while swaying hammocks ripple in the sea breeze. Rooms are designed in a colorful art deco style (again, a tribute to the Acapulco resorts of old), and you’ll love the king-size beds and private plunge pools that exude a sense of modern luxury. 

At Mi Amor’s decadent restaurant, you can dine on the freshest seafood prepared daily by Head Chef Jose Luis Hinostroza’s expert local team. You’ll be given a complimentary bottle of local mezcal on arrival, and you’ll find the best cocktails are handcrafted at the hotel’s excellent Besame Mucho Bar.

10. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

Best Tulum Hotels: Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Photos: Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

If you’re looking for that classic Riviera Maya resort, then book an all-inclusive stay at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa. This is one of the few large resorts south of Playa del Carmen, and if you want great dining and excellent amenities, then this is the hotel for you.

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa is a five-star hotel that’s surrounded by lush rainforest and jungle. Compared to similar resorts to the north, in Cancun, for example, this hotel is fantastically secluded. You’re just a short drive north of Downtown Tulum, and with direct access to a beautiful beachfront, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. 

There are acres of space to enjoy at Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, including miles of soft sand interspersed with palapas and sunbeds, and long walkways through the jungle. You’ll have either a beach view or a garden view, with private balconies and swim-up pools complemented by swinging hammocks. 

There are multiple freshwater swimming pools, including adults-only areas where you can enjoy the luxury of a swim-up pool bar. For the little ones, there’s a classic kids club and a mini water park, and don’t forget that the resort is just a short drive from iconic Riviera Maya theme parks like Xel-Ha Park and Xcaret Park. 

You might not have time to leave the resort, though, given there’s a Dreams Spa by Pevonia, which features a traditional Temazcal sauna experience. You’ll have access to Dreams’ signature “Unlimited-Luxury” package, too, which means gourmet food, international wines, and branded spirits on tap for the duration of your stay! 

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11. Una Vida

Unique Hotels in Tulum, Mexico: Una Vida
Photos: Una Vida

Una Vida (One Life, in English) is a rare beauty of a hotel to be located in Downtown Tulum. You’ll be a 20-minute drive from the beaches, of course, but it’s the perfect place for anyone looking to experience the real Tulum, away from the bubble of the beach clubs.

Despite its urban location, you’ll love the verdant greenery that sweeps through the hotel’s courtyard, overshadows the outdoor swimming pool, and shades the sun loungers. Thatched roofs and whitewashed villas are a throwback to the Maya style of old, while inside the luxury suites, you’ll find a lovely collection of locally sourced furnishing, handcrafted textiles, and traditional handicrafts that add endless color and character to the interiors. 

You’ll have a jungle or pool view, including access to a private terrace or balcony where you can absorb yourself in the jungle-clad surroundings. Upgrade, and you can relax in a luxurious suite that comes complete with a private plunge pool.

12. Wakax Hacienda

Unique Tulum Hotels: Wakax Hacienda
Photos: Wakax Hacienda

One of the most unique hotels in Tulum is Wakax Hacienda, a stunning luxury property that’s located within the red and yellow colonial-style walls of a “hacienda.” Okay, so this hacienda isn’t an original but rather a modern interpretation of the grand 19th-century houses that were built across the Yucatan Peninsula. 

As you saunter through tall archways and admire the high, vaulted ceilings, you’ll feel as if you’re stepping into another era. Step into your luxury room, though, and you’ll be brought straight back to the present by the sumptuous linens and high-speed Wi-Fi. Rooms, suites, and private villas are all inspired by traditional Maya designs, and you’ll love the whitewashed stone walls and handcrafted motifs that decorate the interiors. 

True to its hacienda inspirations, you’ll have no less than 160 acres of estate to explore during your stay. This is no normal estate either because Wakax Hacienda is set around several private cenotes that lead into underground rivers that extend along the coast, just north of Downtown Tulum. 

Take a swim in Cenote Nohoch, paddleboard through the lagoon, or relax around the outdoor pool before enjoying the culinary delights of the Yucatan Peninsula (try the cochinita pibil) at El Cocal Restaurant.

That completes our list of the 12 best Tulum hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Tulum? Comment below so we can add them to the list!

Planning a trip to Mexico? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!


About the Author:

  • Richard Collett

    Richard is an award-winning travel writer based in Southwest England who’s addicted to traveling off the beaten track. He’s traveled to 75 countries and counting in search of intriguing stories, unusual destinations, and cultural curiosities.

    Richard loves traveling the long way round over land and sea, and you’ll find him visiting quirky micronations and breakaway territories as often as he’s found lounging on a beach (which is a lot).

    When he’s not writing for BBC Travel, National Geographic, or Lonely Planet, you can find Richard writing for the Wandering Wheatleys or updating his off-beat travel blog, Travel Tramp.

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