• Diane Caplan

The Perfect Vacation Just Three Hours Away

In December we traveled to Mexico for a week long escape from reality. Leaving out of the new international terminal at Hobby Airport via Southwest Airlines, in just an hour and 45 minutes we landed in Cancun, where we hopped in a private bus and less than two hours arrive in one of my favorites places on earth - Tulum.

Who Will Enjoy Tulum?

Anyone that loves a very laid back atmosphere, where inner peace is the rule of the day. There is no pretension in Tulum, it is very bohemiam, with lots of yoga, vegan fans. The hotels are very eco-chic and some may not even have air conditioning. This is NOTHING like Cancun or even Playa de Carmen.

How to Dress?

Do not bother bringing heels, as most floors are sand, so flat sandals and flips are all you need. Tulum is not dressy, so you are good in shorts, tanks and casual sundresses. Because the beach road is very narrow, there best mode of transportation during the day is hoping on some bikes usually available at your hotel, so I was in shorts 90% of the time when outside of my hotel.

Where to Stay

There are only two places I would stay, the first and my favorite is the Nest. Owned by American James Chippendale, Nest is just a year old and is a very tiny resort with only 9 rooms. It is extremely private with a very attentive group managing the property. Rooms do have a/c units that you can turn on from 9pm to 9am, but are off during the day.

The Nest and beTulum (the other hotel next store) are towards the very end of the beach road. The minimalist decor in the rooms and around the property are amazing, this look and feel pretty much run through the entire stretch of hotels, shops and restaurants. Everywhere you turn there is a nook of amazing furniture or design. Stroll down the sandy paths and outside of each room is small buckets of water with fresh flowers in them for you to dip your feet into before entering your room.

There truly isn't one thing I would change at Nest, but here are my favorite highlights.

Breakfast each morning, you stroll out of bed and walk to the common area where you sit where ever you like. First they start you off with two little shots, one to cleanse your intestines, then a probiotic shot. From there, the kitchen pretty much will cook you whatever you like, but first homemade yogurt and fresh fruit are always brought out, oh and the coffee, always hot and ready for you before you even sit down.

Other highlights are the happy hours on the patio each day starting at 5pm, where you will get a chance to meet the few other people that may be sharing the Nest with you. (remember there are only 9 rooms).

Then there is the beach - very private with just enough beds to camp out for the day, where you can order lunch if you like or stroll down the beach a few yards and head to beTulum's full service restaurant.

Where to Shop!

For all you shoppers, you will be in heaven in Tulum. This is not the place to buy touristy items, this is where you shop for stylish boho chic clothing and designs, from jewelry and shoes to skincare and more.

La Placita shopping center (which is not a center) it is more like a sandy walkway where there are a few stores behind the restaurant Mur Mur.

My favorite store in this little strip is Hoki Poki Kana. I picked up some great bathing suits and bags from there. Also in the same center walk into WanderLust boutique.

Next on the list is Josa Tulum where I picked up these amazing handmade sandals from By James.

Other places to stop are Poison Art and next store KM33. Poison Art is a non-profit that assist in rehabilitation of prisoners by teaching them how to create bags, wallets. KM33 has amazing jewelry. Then you have La Troupe which is housed partly in a old shipping crate, plus Caravana Monaecristo.

Where to Eat

Hartwood and Posada Margarita were my two favorites for a romantic dinner.

And then there is the ice cream stops you can stop at on the way home from dinner along the jungle side of the beach road.

Bolas de Postre Icecream is popular spot to pull over is amazing.

This is just the highlights....where to stay, eat and shop as everything else that matters is waiting for you at the beach back at the Nest. Until next time...