On-site dive shop offers certifications and equipment, plus day trips
Yoga classes, personal training and in-room massages available
Turndown service at night provides candles, matches, and mosquito nets (additional fee)
Coolers and ice available for rooms
Resort will arrange personalized tours
Helpful owners live on-site
Free Wi-Fi in common areas
Only one air-conditioned room (but more are being added)
Road separates sections of resort; can be annoying to get between areas
Generator won't support hairdryers; hotel can increase voltage with advance notice
Combination of limited electricity and small windows can make rooms dimly lit
Zamas is a largely unplugged three-pearl hotel with generator-operated power, set on the beach on the northern edge of Tulum's hotel zone. It has an on-site dive shop and a garden pool, plus offers fast access to shopping, dining, and local culture. Eighteen simple, but clean, rooms have thatch roofs and balconies with hammocks and sunset views. Wi-Fi reception is limited to common areas, and there are no televisions or phones in the rooms. Zamas offers one air-conditioned room, and is in the process of adding several more. The restaurant, Que Fresco, is a highlight, for creative Mexican and American dishes. It's worth comparing rates with Suenos Tulum.
With its focus on sustainable energy, low density accommodations, and local arts and culture, Zamas' goal is to stay true to the culture of Tulum. The resort hosts artists participating in mural painting projects in Tulum, and offers a variety of local art tours, including a street art tour. Zamas is owned by a family from California who have operated the establishment since 1996. They live on-site, and are more than happy to answer questions about the area, or just provide helpful tips about getting around Tulum. The owners work hard to do eco-tourism right, even cleaning the beach in the most natural, noninvasive way possible. They pile the seaweed, and allow it to bake in the sun, as this is best for the environment, though it can create a rotten smell. This eco-resort is made up of large, airy palapas, including an open-air restaurant serving American and Mexican cuisine. It's situated on a white crescent of sandy beach, appropriate for swimming and playing outdoors. The resort is separated by a road, with reception and parking on one side and guest rooms on the other. Some guests may find crossing this road to be irritating, as it can get busy. As with other hotels in this area, flora and fauna that can be seen here includes tall palm trees, fresh coconuts, flowering plants, geckos, iguanas, and tropical birds.
On the beach in the northern section of Tulum's hotel zone
Zamas is located in the northern stretch of the Tulum hotel zone, along a busy beach road that is lined with shops, dining, and other resorts. Guests can reach downtown Tulum by car in about 10 minutes. Taxi services are easy to get and affordable here, as they rely on tourism in the hotel zone for a large portion of their business. Zamas is across the street from the Adventure Tour Center, which organizes boat trips through the Sian Ka'an biosphere and to cenotes. Cenotes are underground caverns, filled with water, that feature interesting rock and mineral formations. The resort itself is beachfront, with easy access to swimming and water sports, though a large swath of the beach is rocky. Beach coral can cut your feet, so caution should be taken when barefoot in this area. The on-site Mexi Divers dive shop provides equipment, as well as dive certifications, for added fees. They can also direct guests to local diving attractions, some of which include the aforementioned cenotes.
Room styles here include both individual palapas and suites located within larger cabana buildings. There are 18 total rooms, and two family-size palapas. Guests will not find phones or in-room Wi-Fi at Zamas; just wall sockets for charging hand-held electronics. As of this writing, Zamas has one room with air-conditioning, but the hotel is in the process of installing air-conditioning into more rooms. Turndown service, available for a fee, brings guests candles and matches at night. Accommodations with smaller windows can be quite dark, even during daylight hours. Rooms feature large beds with mosquito nets, wooden chair and table sets, and large private decks with lounge chairs and hammocks. Some rooms have couches, which are carved from the stucco walls and outfitted with over-stuffed cushions. Walls, furniture, and the platform that lifts beds off the floor are all hand-painted in white and Caribbean colors for an appearance that's imperfect, but homey and charming. Bathrooms include artisanal toiletries such as lotion and liquid soap. Bath and beach towels are provided. Tile walk-in showers are clean and attractive, though the salty air can cause some buildup on showers and sink basins -- this should not be mistaken for dirt. Coolers and ice are available upon request, for use in rooms.
Beachfront restaurant, free Wi-Fi, and on-site dive center
All meals can be purchased at the on-site restaurant, Que Fresco, which offers both Mexican and American menu items. Parking and Wi-Fi (with limited reception) are available for free. For added fees, the resort can arrange personalized tours and day trips for guests. These include everything from art tours, to snorkeling and deep sea fishing. The on-site dive shop, Mexi Divers, offers equipment rental and certifications. Guests may request additional services such as laundry, yoga and personal training guidance, and in-room massages. Anticipate extra costs for all of these amenities. There's a sandy beach set with sun loungers and umbrellas, plus a peaceful walled-in pool with day beds and shaded by palm trees.