Tulum is a laid-back, bohemian beach paradise that couldn’t be more different in pace from hard-partying Cancun, just two hours to the north. But more and more travelers are heading to the artsy, eco-conscious beach town; in fact, Tulum was named TripAdvisor’s number-one “Destination on the Rise” in 2015. Its exploding popularity means that “bargain” is a relative term here, but just because Tulum hotel rates often reflect the destination’s in-demand cachet doesn’t mean that there aren’t great deals out there. Some of our already-favorite hotels throw in freebies like free breakfast, bikes, and Wi-Fi (as if they needed to increase their appeal). Take a look at the best value hotels in Tulum, and get yourself down there before Tulum’s under-the-radar status is officially a thing of the past.
One of the first hotels open in the now-bustling south end of the Hotel Zone, Encantada was built in 2012 by a San Franciscan couple with a true love for the area. The mid-range boutique hotel is strongly focused on preserving and sharing local culture: Its restaurant serves authentic regional dishes; its bar pours local craft brews and liquors and hosts local music nights; and the property uses regional artisanal goods throughout. The eight spacious, eco-friendly guest rooms have no air-conditioning or TVs, but they do have fans and private furnished terraces. This hotel's authentic style, steady service, lovely beach, and slew of freebies (full breakfast, Wi-Fi, loaner bikes, and parking) are making it one of the most popular picks in the area.
This cozy mid-range boutique hotel is located on the beach in the heart of Tulum's Hotel Zone. All 15 of its suites have epic views out over the Mexican Caribbean; some have their own mini plunge pools and others with expansive balconies. There's little in terms of amenities beyond the palapa-covered restaurant, bar, and beach, but the restaurant is a popular spot with locals and travelers in the know, who often drop in to sample chef Eleazar Bonilla’s offerings. It's open daily for breakfast (not included), lunch, and dinner, and offers a variety of events throughout the week, from free Sunday salsa nights to regular live music performances. There's no pool, but the hotel sits right on a wide stretch of white sand with lots of lounge chairs. Other features include a small children’s playground just to the side of the restaurant, and free Wi-Fi (but only in the lobby).
For travelers looking for a rustic and chill spot along the rocky Tulum coastline, the mid-range El Pez is ideal. All 19 rooms have cool tile or concrete floors, personal patio space, and come with free breakfast, free morning coffee delivery, 24-hour electricity and air-conditioning, organic toiletries, and great ocean views. Thanks to the hotel’s location -- in a semi-restricted area -- guests get a mix of coastline spots from a soft sand beach to elevated grassy banks to a rugged and rocky beachfront. Alas, the water here is choppy and not made for swimming. There’s also an excellent on-site restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, a fantastic bar with tasty cocktails and healthy smoothies, and a small pool.
The 20-room, adult-only Beach Tulum is one of the best options at this price point. The popular upper-middle-range hotel, in the heart of the Hotel Zone, has 20 rooms that are right on the beach (you can step out onto the sand from the ground-floor units), plus a beachfront restaurant with great food and a generous free breakfast with fresh juice and smoothies. The small size allows for lots of personalized attention from the staff. Charming rooms combine rustic and modern elements, and all have ample outdoor space and ocean views. Property features are impressive for a boutique, and include a pretty, meandering pool, outdoor whirlpool, and daily yoga classes. Free Wi-Fi and parking add to the value, although year-round mosquitos can be an issue.
One of the better bargains in the Tulum Hotel Zone, the eco-friendly Nueva Vida de Ramiro has 33 rustic rooms and studios tucked into a natural setting along a long stretch of beach. This family-owned, mostly solar-powered property has been around for two decades, and set the tone for the glut of properties that followed. It has an on-site conservation program (during turtle season, guests have a good chance of seeing hatchlings) and an Argentine restaurant with craft bar. Some rooms come with air-conditioning, but the hours for it are limited. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi and 24-hour electricity and hot water make Nueva Vida de Ramiro a comparatively budget-friendly choice.
Las Palmas Maya is a quirky eco-resort located on the main strip in Tulum's touristy Hotel Zone. It offers the communal benefits of a hostel, such as a shared kitchen with many food prep gadgets, while guests can enjoy the privacy of having their own rooms (albeit very simple ones). Reliable W-Fi and morning coffee service are both free. Las Palmas is a solid option for budget travelers seeking an escape away from the party atmosphere of some larger resorts. While Las Palmas Maya does not have its own beach, guests are encouraged to use other (mostly public) beaches along this sandy stretch of coastline, including that of the nearby Hip Hotel.
Tons of extras -- free hot breakfast, daily yoga, and Wi-Fi -- make the upper-middle-range Cabanas Tulum 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, bike rentals, and off-site restaurant, bar, and beach club.
The 12-unit Villas Geminis Boutique Condo Hotel is a laid-back option in downtown Tulum that offers free Wi-Fi, bike rentals, and continental breakfasts served in the garden. It's within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and bars, and the beach is a five-minute drive away. Guests without cars can use the hotel's bicycles for free to get to the beach and other attractions. Rooms are attractive, homey, and decorated in tribute to various famous artists. They feature air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs, and some have full kitchens. All have a balcony or terrace with a hammock or lounge chair.
Teetotum is a tiny hotel, offering only four rooms, in an atmosphere that is decidedly laid-back. Features like modern room fixtures and some European design elements make this resort suitable for those who do not care for the eco-resort style of accommodations common in Tulum. While clean and neatly decorated, natural wear and tear has taken a toll on this resort. There are some cracks in the cement flooring, and a rusty gas tank occupies space on the hotel's roof deck. Many of the hotel's common areas could use some updates. Perks include in-room spa services and free breakfast.
This charming, earth-friendly boutique hotel was founded and is owned by the Mexican actor Roberto Palazuelos, whose secondary passion is ecology. One look around the rustic-chic hotel, and that drive is clear: all buildings are constructed with wood from the surrounding forests, thatched rooftops, and natural. The views of the turquoise sea are breathtaking from the private-feeling lagoon-like beach, and there's excellent Mexican food at the hotel's boho open-air restaurant. Each of the 29 cabins is quaint and mostly stylish, with natural wood details, polished concrete or stone floors with pebble inlays, and breezy fabrics creating light and bright spaces. However, frills are few: There's no air-conditioning or in-room Wi-Fi, and some cabins share bathrooms. For those looking to escape it all and unplug, the Diamante K is hard to beat.
This wellness resort has a back-to-nature vibe, thanks to its regular yoga class schedule, vegetarian restaurant, and simple, sturdily constructed huts with views of the beach and jungle. Two yoga halls offer a combined 4,500 square feet of space, and an on-site garden labyrinth, made of sand and stone, is set up for walking meditation practices. Maya Tulum is an excellent choice for those seeking a budget-friendly, unplugged vacation, away from televisions, phones, and modern distractions (but there is free Wi-Fi in common areas).
Posada Lamar is a rustic clustering of eight cabins about midway down Tulum's beach road. While charming, this mid-range property is not for everyone -- those who are skittish about bugs may find these unsealed rooms unsettling, and travelers requiring modern comforts, pristine rooms, and spotless bathroom fixtures might want to look elsewhere. But the quiet beach vibe, colorful folk art, and the rugged beauty will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking an unplugged getaway. While there's no on-site restaurant at Posada Lamar, a free breakfast that includes fruit, bread, and coffee is delivered to guests' porches each morning at the time of guests' choosing. Beach towels are provided free of charge. Electricity comes from solar panels and wind generators, and lights are kept low so as not to interrupt the breeding cycle of the blue crab, sea birds, iguanas, and sea turtles that lay their eggs in the sand.
Cocu Tulum is a resort for those who want to get out and about, either to enjoy the beach and outdoors, or to explore the local culture of Tulum. Room furnishings are sparse, and resort amenities are even more so; there's no air-conditioning, television, or pools (though Wi-Fi access is surprisingly good). However, the beachfront property offers many opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, or witnessing the wildlife of the Sian-Ka'an biosphere. Guests can hear the ocean from their rooms, and beachfront cabins open directly onto the shore.
Surrounded by stucco walls, Green Tulum Cabanas & Gardens is mostly hidden in a forested -- not beachfront -- location. The rooms and decor here are well-worn, with bathroom fixtures, linens, and other features that could use an update. However, modern amenities here include a well-maintained pool and sundeck area, air-conditioning (in some rooms), and free Wi-Fi at the on-site restaurant and bar. Small groups, families, and individual travelers who wish to get "away from it all" will enjoy the feeling of isolation at this small, earthy resort.
As the only LEED-Platinum-certified building in the country, Casa de las Olas is ideal for those who are looking for an eco-friendly, off-the-grid beachfront getaway. Relying only on solar power, this budget boutique uses self-sourced water, gravity-based plumbing, and biodegradable products. It also has locally sourced products and food. The five rooms have ocean views; most have kitchenettes or kitchens and furnished outdoor spaces. Free breakfast is served at a communal picnic table, but other than the occasional lunch (requested in advance), guest have to venture farther down the Hotel Zone for meals, drinks, or any other attractions.
Hotel Posada 06 Tulum is two-and-a-half-pearl boutique hotel right in downtown Tulum. It’s a great location for those who want to explore the pueblo -- with its cafes, bars, and restaurants -- but not so great for hitting the beach. The nearest slice of sand is around 15 minutes away by car. The 12 rooms are simple, but quaint, with adobe-style touches plus air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and balconies. There’s a small pool with room for a few guests, and a free breakfast has plenty of hot and cold options.