Hotels and Resorts
Chances are you’ve come to Tulum to stay in one of the famous beachside bungalow-type hotels. There are many to choose from, each slightly different but most sharing a laid-back atmosphere and terrific beaches. However, some travelers are surprised by just how rustic some accommodations are, even those charging hundreds of dollars per night.
The root of the matter is that there are no power lines or freshwater wells serving the beach. Virtually all accommodations have salty water in the showers and sinks. Most have fans, but not all, and electricity may be limited to nighttime hours only. Air-conditioning is available in only a handful of high-end places.
At the same time, some hotels use generators to power their restaurants and reception, so it’s worth asking for a room away from the generator; nothing is a bigger killjoy than a diesel motor pounding outside your window when the point of coming here was to enjoy the peace and quiet.
Official addresses in the Zona Hotelera are pretty useless, as they’re measured from Tulum ruins and there are no kilometer markers anyway. The entire beach road is now paved, but you should drive slowly as there are several blind curves.
If staying on the beach is too expensive for you (join the club!), staying in town is a perfectly good alternative. The options have improved significantly, with a crop of new bed-and-breakfasts and boutique hotels to go along with longtime hostels and budget digs. The beach is just a short drive or bike ride away, and prices for food, Internet, and laundry are much lower.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition