If you’re dreaming of a chic beach hotel with incredible design, then look no further than Tulum. Located in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Tulum is chock full of boutique hotels with stunning interiors. Most situated along the beach, there is a range of places to choose from for a luxe tropical getaway.
Known for nightlife, proximity to natural wonders like the Tulum Archeological Site, and stunning beaches, Tulum certainly has it all. You can choose your own adventure there — whether you want to be part of the party or retreat to a quieter hotel.
Tulum tends to get a range of opinions — people either rave about it or never return. I think it’s all in how you choose to experience it and knowing ahead of time. For me, it’s about the tranquil design, the elevated food, and the effortless atmosphere.
No matter what you choose to do, you’ll always find wonderful restaurants sprinkled throughout Tulum. The dining is wonderful and the town has several upscale and casual restaurants. You’ll even find that most hotels have two to three restaurants of their own — so don’t be shy to hotel hop for dining.
In Tulum, it’s chic boutiques, palm-lined roads, and of course, those white sand beaches. It’s very built up, so keep that in mind that this is a very “developed” part of Mexico in terms of accommodations and restaurants.
So here’s a look at the best design hotels in Tulum, from luxury beach bungalows to chic resorts.
The Best Design Hotels in Tulum
A Few Tulum Hotel Tips
Location: When picking a hotel, one of my top suggestions is to be close to Tulum Beach and on the main drag of the 15. The road is one way in and one way out, making the traffic often a bit insane. You can plan to spend 15-45 minutes getting all the way through to the last hotel like Be Tulum from where say Papaya Playa Project is. It’s worth considering that picking accommodation along this drag will be helpful if you plan to spend time in this area.
Picking a hotel along the ocean will give you the perks of already being down in the area for restaurants (where most are) and being able to walk to the boutique area. If you want to go to Tulum town, you can then take a taxi there. You’ll certainly pay a lot more per night, but the location is worth it in exchange.
The Public Beach Area vs. The Private Beach Area: One other thing to note is that the best part of the Tulum Beach area is private (this is where all of the white sand is). Plus, only accessible via hotels and resorts. So if you plan to spend your time on the beach, you’ll need to either stay at a hotel, pay a day fee to be at one of the hotel areas (some offer this), or access the public beach area.
Book In Advance: The hotels are limited in Tulum and do not have a lot of rooms. It’s also an incredibly popular destination which means most hotels sellout. I’d recommend booking several months in advance if you have your eye on a certain hotel.
Time Of Year: You can certainly visit Tulum year-round with its mild weather. However, Tulum is along the hurricane path and is in full swing from August to October. They don’t hit often, but they do occasionally.
If you’re looking for Airbnbs, check out this roundup on the best Airbnbs in Tulum.
Certainly one of the most luxurious hotels in Tulum, Be Hotel takes the cake for design and location. Tucked away behind a private entrance, you follow sandy pathways that wind through rooms and lead to their private beach. Featuring a few restaurants on site and an energetic beach cafe, you don’t have to leave the property.
We chose to stay here for part of our stay and splurged on one of the rooms with a private plunge pool. It was worth every penny to be here and room was beautiful. Truly one of the best designed hotels we’ve stayed at in a long time.
As one of the main beach hotels, in my opinion, it’s along the best part of the white sand beach. You could also easily walk to the restaurants nearby.
For those looking to party and be immersed in an energetic setting, look no further than Papaya Playa. It’s the life of the Tulum party and has a wonderful beach club that always had music streaming out.
They have a wide range of rooms here from ones with ocean view rooms to others with their own pool. It’s a few-minute taxi ride from Tulum town as well, so you don’t have to go all the way down the drag.
For those wanting a “quiet” experience, this is not the hotel for you so keep that in mind.
Located right next to Be Tulum, we debated back and forth on choosing to stay this beachfront hotel. It’s quite a bit larger of a property but none the less beautiful. The vibe here is very bohemian and relaxed.
You’ll find Moroccan decor at their restaurants (be sure to try Macondo) and charming spots to hideout. One great perk of this hotel is that its carbon neutral and love that it is focusing on sustainable tourism. Note that it is one of the furthest hotels along the Tulum Beach.
For the last part of our stay in Tulum, we hid out at Habitas. As an eco-resort, it’s one of the first hotels along the beach area next to Papaya Playa. It’s well-known for its safari-tent rooms and jungle-inspired escape.
It has a mix of both quiet and party. During the day it’s very relaxed around the pool area and at night they did have a few parties on the backside of the hotel. We loved our ocean front room that was tented and had air conditioning.
The beach area near Habitas is not near as nice as the strip near Be Tulum, so keep this in mind.
The unique rooms at La Valise make it one of the tougher reservations to secure in Tulum. The beachfront bungalows have incredible views and use natural decor to blend in with its surroundings.
You’ll find elevated cuisine here at its two restaurants and a focus on tranquility as part of your stay.
The more rustic and organic feeling to this hotel combines luxury and a laid-back atmosphere. It’s always in the top three hotels along the beachfront and a boutique hotel with just under 9 rooms.
The food here is constantly raved about, so for those not wanting to leave, this would be a safe choice.
You may have heard that you can stay at Pablo Escobar’s former beachfront estate and the rumors are true. Casa Malca is home now to a beachfront hotel that is a vibrant and modern escape.
You may drive by it and recognize some of the street art installations that are popular on Instagram. It’s certainly an energetic property and at the same time relaxing.
I had to include this hotel because it’s a standout amongst boutique hotels. This may be the priciest option in the area, not located in town, but in return, one stunning location.
On a private strip of beachfront property, the Esencia has a all white-inspired decor for its interior and embodies Caribbean relaxed decor. It’s one of the most popular hotels amongst celebtries and an epic choice for a honeymoon or anniversary.
Well known for its elevated food and intimacy, you can’t go wrong with Hotel Esencia.
Another popular choice in Tulum and most known for its “off the grid” experience, is Azulik. All made from natural materials, the concept is that the hotel is disconnected — aka, your room will have no electric lights.
One good thing to note is that the hotel does not have a beachfront, is adults only, and clothing optional. You’ll have stunning plunge pools, turquoise ocean views, and treehouses to escape to.
For modern and clean design, the 16 stunning suites at Hotel Panamera hit the wow-factor. I love that there are corners dedicated to private lounging areas, plus you’re footsteps right to the beach.
With a focus on wellness, Sanara is a great option for those looking for minimal, elevated accommodations. This is a serene property that has rooms, each with its own outdoor space to enjoy.
One of the adults-only hotels in Tulum is The Beach, which is a small, upscale boutique getaway. It’s right on the beach and each of the 28 hotel rooms embody luxury and eco-friendly amenities.
If you’re looking for a room with a hot tub, you’ll want to checkout their rooftop rooms which have one on the terrace with ocean views.
One of the few hotels inland that I think is worth consider is Jungle Keva. The whole concept is to be in connection with your five senses while being immersed in nature. The entire property has thoughtful design that integrates with its surroundings.
You’ll want to jump on reservations for this hotel as its known for its five lodges that are private and spacious. You can also take a look at its ongoing retreats that are offered right on property as well.
For an effortless hotel that is right near the beach, Jashita is one of the popular choices. The hotel is located closer to Playa del Carmen than it is to Tulum, but had to include it because the design of this boutique hotel is wonderful.