FINALLY got my Tulum guide up and it is making me very sad that I am at a desk writing this and not by the beach sipping a margarita and eating guacamole. I put together the very long list of all of the places we visited while there and think I gave my most honest feedback. We loved most of the places we went, however, there were some spots that I would not have been super upset to have missed. I hope you enjoy my reviews and let me know if you have any questions!!
Kitchen Table: We went here our first night in Tulum and it was seriously such a neat place! Like many restaurants in Tulum, the kitchen space is open so you can see the chefs cooking away as you are dining in the main area. The drink options were plentiful and my personal favorite dishes were the fried shrimp, the avocado and the lobster. The menu changes from season to season so you never really can rely on menu shopping beforehand but you can't go wrong with any options.
Azulik Hotel (Kin Toh): This was by far the most scenic spot in Tulum. The whole hotel seems to have been build by hand, stick by stick. It is the most unique spot I had ever set my eyes on. If you get the chance to go here, definitely stop by the gift shop first. And bring your wallet with you! It is not the cheapest spot but the food it also amazing! Kin Toh is the rooftop restaurant with the "nests" pictured below. I don't know why but anytime there is Truffle on the menu, I order it. I ended up getting the truffle fettucini and was IN LOVE with this dish. It had real truffle shavings on it and I was completely content with my meal. Once you are done with dinner, go out and explore the rest of the property! The pool and some areas are off limits and only available for guests but there are several places to check out on property.
Cenotes: The cenotes were such a beautiful thing to see. I would suggest going at the earliest time possible if you want to beat the crowds. The Gran Cenote is the one we went to. Here is a photo from the cenote....
Casa Malca: Casa Malca is actually Pablo Escobar's old vacation home that was renovated by a world famous architect (hint: his last name is Malca) into a boutique hotel! Although it is the furthest we traveled from our hotel, it was worth it for the experience. When you walk in, you are immediately taken by the grandness of the entrance. Huge curtains hang from above and fancy couches are made into makeshift swings that hang from chains. The front wall is all covered in distressed wood and the house itself is stark white.
If you are able to sneak in past the front, make your way to the restaurant/bar by the pool. It has this kind of creepy charm to it. If you aren't a fan of dolls, you have been warned. They are plastered everywhere up on the walls. The drink selection is huge and each cocktail is made with care. We took ours outside and found a table on the beach. It was a really lovely way to end the day.
Gitano: Gitano is one of our favorite places in Tulum. When you walk in, it doesn't seem like much is going on except eating but if you walk all the way to the back, you will see an extra room that has the most detailed tile floors and some really cool artwork (neon signs) throughout. That room is called the jungle room and doesn't have seating for dining and is just used as a bar area.
Aside from the ambiance, the food is actually really amazing! I got the pork tacos and I would definitely recommend them. The drinks are also great and you can't go wrong with their margaritas!
Papaya Playa Project: This place is a little nuts. We stumbled upon it because our friends had suggested it and also I had read about it in several blogs. It is basically a HUGE beach nightclub. If I had to guess, I would say several artists are commissioned to do work there because there are several unique art installations that you walk through as you go in. When you get to the main part of the club, you walk down some stairs and see the DJ. There are tons of trippy light displays and interesting people to see. It wasn't my favorite place but it was definitely something we were happy to say we saw.
Matcha Mamma: Okay, this place is WORTH THE HYPE! I can't express enough how much I enjoyed my Acai bowl. Everything is made with local fruits, veggies and nuts and it is really the perfect way to start your day! There are two locations. Bryant and I rode bikes to the location in town but I would suggest going to the one on the beach. It is a more tourist friendly location.
Tulum Ruins: The ruins were beautiful and they are definitely something to add to your schedule if you have a free morning. Once it hits the afternoon, crowds are big and it is usually pretty warm.
Arca: This was probably one of our favorite spots for dinner. The grilled avocado is phenomenal and I tried bone marrow for the first time here! They just recently opened the back bar which is pictured below and it is such a beautiful spot. After dinner, head back there for a night cap with friends!
1) Bring Mosquito Repellent!!!
2) Go outside your comfort zone with your food order!
3) Try the Mezcal
4) If you drink has ice in it, don't let it sit to long. They make their ice with tap water and you can get sick.