Bike rentals, lending library, and lots of parking
Off-site beach club and restaurant are two doors down
No TVs in rooms
Room locks can be tricky
Pool is small with little room for swimming
Located in the southern end of the Hotel Zone, Cabanas Tulum is an upper-middle-range property with tons of extras making it feel like a steal. The 16 spacious, hip rooms have air-conditioning, safes, attractive open-plan bathrooms, and furnished terraces, but no TVs. Extras include personal yoga mats, outdoor clothes lines, and beach bags. A quiet on-site beach with powdery white sand has loungers and a swing set. Guests can also make use of the small pool, yoga classes, and bike rentals. Or they can head to the off-site restaurant, bar, and beach club where a free breakfast is served. Travelers looking for design-conscious properties in the area could also consider the upscale Be Tulum Hotel, but the price tag there is significantly higher.
A small, attractive property with a "private beach getaway" vibe
From the road, Cabanas Tulum is barely marked by a simple, small wooden sign surrounded by ferns. And the large sandy parking lot at the entrance makes little to no impression. But reception truly sets the mood: The small open-air, palapa-roofed building has chalkboards, a weathered check-in desk, a watercooler, and seating in chic, string-backed beach chairs. Steps from reception, a staircase leads to the raised wooden pool deck. Hexagonal-tiled paths meander around the lush grounds dotted with flowers, ferns, and lacy hammocks, and they lead to the rooms in two-story white-washed structures with palapa roofs and spacious balconies. Since the hotel's restaurant and bar are located just slightly off-site, there's not much rowdiness around the rooms or even down at the beach -- and no overlying mood music playing. For the most part, Cabanas Tulum carries that ideal, simple beach vacation vibe where you're surrounded by nothing but the breeze, the constant beat of crashing ocean waves, and rustling leaves.
Down at Ziggy's, the neighboring beach club, the vibe is a bit more upbeat with conversations and cocktails being had on the beach, at the swing bar, and with nightly live music in the large palapa restaurant. Pretty much all social aspects of the hotel take place here, two doors down on the Ziggy's property. The extra walk may seem bothersome to some guests, but the tradeoff is a clear division between peaceful rooms and playful public spaces.
Centrally located in the Hotel Zone within walking distance to popular spots
Centrally located along the southern part of the Hotel Zone, Cabanas Tulum is within easy walking distance from many of the strips hot spots, like Hartwood restaurant, boutiques, and beach bars. To reach the Sian Ka'an Biosphere, travelers should bike or renting a cab, and a cab is certainly needed for the 20-minute drive into Tulum proper. Nearby day-trip activities include snorkeling and diving in
cenotes or swimming with turtles in Akumal, both about 30-minutes away by car. Or hitting the climbable ruins of
Coba, about an hour away. Adventure parks like Xplor
and Xcaret are located roughly 45-minutes north off the main highway, just
before the club-bumping, tourist-heavy beach city of Playa del Carmen. Cancun Airport is around 90 minutes by car.
Spacious, stylish rooms with furnished terraces and chic bathrooms but no TVs
The resort's 16 rooms are spacious and spotless, with hip, stylish decor. Poured-concrete floors, white walls, and white ceiling fans are offset by natural-wood headboards, electric pillar candles, and colorful embroidered cushions. Amenities include air-conditioning, safes, and bathrobes, but no TVs. (Hairdryers and irons are available upon request.) The open, airy bathrooms are particularly attractive with wood beams, vessel sinks, water jugs with drinking water, and a walk-in shower with a rainfall showerhead. Extra features include personal in-room yoga mats, beach-ready bags with towels, and outdoor clothing lines by the bathroom, the ideal spot to dry out swimsuits. Rooms also open onto furnished terraces with a pair of wood-slat beach chairs and a table.
Guests at Cabanas Tulum have the option of either Garden View or Beach Front Rooms. All rooms have either one king or two queen beds, and two rooms can usually be adjoined upon request. Travelers that really want to blow out the beach house vibe should upgrade to the three-bedroom Loft Vanilla. With the same simple, but stylish decor found in the regular rooms, the villa kicks it up a notch with two floors, two big terraces with furniture, a dining room table, coffeemaker, and refrigerator.
Surprisingly full of extras and resort-like features for a small property
Cabanas Tulum may be a small property, but it knows how to use its space and even give guests a few unexpected extras. The hotel partners with nearby Ziggy's for free beach club access and sun beds. But guests can also plop down on a lounger right on Cabanas Tulum's own lovely beach. This quiet stretch of soft sand is a relaxing spot to loll and listen to crashing waves. A little rope swing set sits to one side.
On the hotel grounds, the small rectangular pool on a raised wooden platform is lined with woven loungers and a single daybed. Its petite size doesn't offer much room for swimming, but it's good for a cooling dip. All rooms come with bags stuffed with beach towels that guests can use to bring their things to the beach or pool.
The hotel itself doesn't have any food or beverage services on-site, but Cabana guests are able to charge food and drink purchases from Ziggy's (just two doors down) to their room. While the beach club can be somewhat slow in service depending on the time of day, there is two-for-one happy hour, live music, and themed dinners daily. Ziggy's also serves free breakfast for the hotel's guests. The spread goes beyond the typical continental fare at most other properties and includes hot breakfast dishes.
The hotel also has a lending library, rental bikes, free yoga classes, free Wi-Fi, night security, and loads of parking.