Free daily breakfast basket delivered to room doors
Free margarita welcome drink
Free Wi-Fi, parking, and use of snorkeling equipment
No children under age 16 allowed (a con for some)
Pool is more for looks than swimming
No telephones or TVs in rooms (typical of the area; pro for some)
This nine-room, upper-middle-range boutique property with a rocky beach and elevated cliff views exudes a contemporary style and chic vibe. No children under 16 are allowed. It has a popular margarita happy hour and its restaurant serves a celebrity chef-curated Thai menu. Rooms are air-conditioned (not that common in Tulum's beach Hotel Zone), outfitted in East Asian or bohemian-chic decor, and have mini-fridges or minibars, stocked beach bags, and yoga mats. Master Suites have large porches, luxe Bulgari products, lounge space, and deep (and we mean deep) tubs. This 16-year-old property, which is a three-minute drive north of Tulum's Maya ruins, draws couples seeking a hip spot to sip mixologist cocktails, dip in a rocky lagoon pool, and lounge on the sundeck.
Designed as a hip home and relaxing getaway (with great cocktails), drawing primarily young couples and groups
One of the first boutique hotels in the area, the Mezzanine Hotel sits within mangrove-laced grounds on the northern end of Tulum's beachfront Hotel Zone -- about a three-minute drive north of Tulum's Maya ruins. It benefits from being north of the constant traffic crawl often encountered on the southern end of the strip. That’s not to say it’s a dead zone, though. The narrow dirt road still guides cars and tanned beach cruiser riders to wherever they may be headed, but the vibe (for now) is decidedly less congested. With Tulum growing steadily in popularity since the Mezzanine opened in 2004, the hotel has grown to include four stylish sister properties along the strip, but Mezzanine remains the understatedly hip and cool property, drawing young couples and groups to its elevated dining deck to sip its mixologist crafted specialty cocktails.
On the northern stretch of Tulum's beach strip, within a three-minute drive of the famous Maya ruins
Mezzanine Hotel sits on the northern end of Tulum's Hotel Zone, between a rocky beachfront with turquoise water and the leafy, dense jungle. While there are a few neighbors, this part of the beach strip is (for now) much less crowded, with fewer hotels and pedestrians. Tulum's famous Maya ruins are within a three- to five-minute drive, or a 25-minute walk on the road or the beach. Bikes, cabs, or cars are needed to explore the southern beach strip and the Sian Ka'an nature preserve, which is about a 15-minute drive from the Mezzanine. Other nearby day trip activities include snorkeling or diving in cenotes, swimming with turtles in Akumal, or hitting the climbable ruins of Coba, about two hours away. Adventure parks like Xplor and Xcaret are located roughly 45 minutes north off the main highway, right before the club-bumping, tourist-heavy beach city of Playa del Carmen. Cancun International Airport is about a 90-minute drive.
All of Mezzanine's nine rooms have a chic, contemporary casita style, with polished concrete or tile floors, varnished or lacquered wood, mosaic tiling, and bohemian beach-chic or Thai accents. (Think wicker basket chairs, driftwood end tables, coconut incense, a vase of budding branches, or a Kama Sutra book in the closet). All rooms have mini-fridges and towel-filled beach totes.
Buddha Rooms, outfitted in an Asian style with dark wood, red hues, and temple-shaped headboards, are the standard rooms, and face the parking lot and street. Upgrading to Sea View Rooms adds a wooden spiral staircase that leads to a small daybed loft area with thick, stucco and wood-beam ceilings, lots of light, and views toward the jungle or the beach. These rooms also include wooden ladders -- for no logical reason -- in the (slightly cramped) bathrooms' tiled walk-in showers.
Master Suites are the standout here. They're large rooms with slightly raised beds facing sliding glass doors for great views of the ocean. Guests will also find built-in couches, pillow menus, and seating areas with Bose iPod docks. The open-plan bathrooms have luxe knee-deep, circular tubs and rainfall shower combos, Bulgari bath products, dual-vanity sinks, and stocked (but not free) minibars hiding in the closets. They also have private decks with wide wicker loungers and views overlooking the restaurant and bar deck, and the blue Caribbean water beyond. Beach bags in these units have a few extras.
As hotels along the beach Hotel Zone have to provide their own electricity, there are no TVs or phones (and cell service is lacking). In 2014, all rooms at the Mezzanine got air-conditioning -- ceiling fans were already in place.
Mezzanine’s beach is rocky with few spots to throw down a towel, but the view is spectacular. The hotel itself is built high above the beach line, atop plump, bright green mangroves, allowing not only for both stunning, uninterrupted vista points from the Mezzanine decks but also a private vibe on the beach. Even though Tulum’s beaches are public, the lack of sandy lounge space behind this boutique means day-trippers give it a pass – leaving it to feel like a wild and private (if rocky) white-sand, turquoise water haven.
Restaurant serves authentic Thai dishes with a few beach bar staples, and offers great views
The hotel's restaurant serves surprisingly authentic Thai dishes that go way beyond pad thai. Using the traditional recipes of Thai celebrity chef Dim Geefay and fresh-grown herbs from its own garden, the Mezzanine restaurant pulls off an assortment of curries, larb gai salad, and banana-leaf fish filets. Many of the traditional Thai dishes are also given a seamless Mexican twist, with the infusion of jicama, chilies, fresh fruits, and chaya. The restaurant also serves a good number of non-Thai dishes, from nachos to burgers to fish and chips. But portions are small, and prices can run high. Diners can eat indoors, overlooking the patio and ocean, on the open-air deck directly above the beach, on more private bean bag areas, or under a gazebo.
Aside from lunch and dinner, the hotels also provides hand-delivered (and free) breakfast baskets containing fresh-baked pastries, breads, and fixings for coffee or tea to guest rooms each morning.
Small martini bar shakes and stirs smashing cocktails by the beach.
Mezzanine's hip factor wouldn't be complete without its casual beachside cocktail bar. Known along the beach for its two-for-one margarita happy hour, this bar can serve anything from a Mexican cerveza to one-of-a-kind mixologist crafted Mexi-Asian themed cocktail with ingredients like habanero peppers, lemongrass, lime, and mezcal. The bar is located next to the large open-air, ocean-facing deck, so the crafty cocktails come with a splash of sea views.
A pool, restaurant, sundecks, and bar make for a self-sustaining boutique.
Aside from the restaurant and bar (which take up about a third of the hotel space), Mezzanine has a small lagoon-style rock pool (with no loungers but a small waterfall that trickles from one end), two covered sundecks overlooking the ocean, and semi-private sunbeds among mangroves. Beach cruisers are available for rent from reception, and there are magazines -- no promise on their issue dates -- and a small lending library on-site. Guests also get free breakfast baskets, a margarita welcome drink, and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. And there are a few parking spots right out front.
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