A stylish hostel with a laid-back vibe, Hostal Chalupa (Av. Cobá near Av. Tulum, cell. tel. 984/128-8423, www.chalupatulum.com.mx , US$18 s dorm with a/c, US$23 d dorm with a/c, US$45 s/d with a/c) offers air-con-only dorms with queen-size bunk beds and en suite bathrooms (a steal if you’re traveling with your honey). Beds are in great shape, sheets and towels are included, as are lockers (with locks) and Wi-Fi. Private rooms are similar in style and comfort. There’s an inviting pool tucked beside the lounge and a rooftop solarium with plenty of chairs, too—both popular spots. There also is a terrific vegetarian restaurant on-site, a welcome change of pace for many travelers.
Casa del Sol (Calle Polar Pte. between Calles Saturno and Luna, cell. tel. 984/129-6424, www.casadelsolhostels.com , US$10 dorm, US$20 s/d with shared bathroom, US$30 s/d, all including breakfast) offers two long dorm rooms with high ceilings and sturdy beds, though just a lone ceiling fan. Rooms with shared bath are small, with cement floors and thatched roofs, but are much more appealing than the stuffy private rooms with bath. An open-air kitchen, hot tub, and spacious common areas—including a rooftop terrace—mean there’s plenty of room to relax. Free lockers, water, and Internet are available; bikes rent for US$4.25 per day.
Villa Matisse (Av. Satélite at Calle Sagitario, tel. 984/871-2636, shuvinito [at] yahoo [dot] com, US$37.50–50 s/d) has six simple, comfortable rooms, a pleasant garden and reading area (with book exchange), and a community kitchen. The rooms are spotless, and the grounds and common areas are equally well maintained; the multilingual owner sets out coffee and small snacks in the morning and often supplies rooms with fresh flowers. There’s no air-conditioning, but rooms have fans and good cross ventilation. Use of the hotel’s bikes is included in the rate.
Tucked into a quiet residential street, Secret Garden (Calle Sagitario near Calle Acuario, tel. 984/804-3697, www.secretgardentulum.com , US$50–60 s/d with a/c, US$70 s/d with a/c and kitchenette, US$60–70 palapa bungalow with fan and kitchenette) offers stylish and plush rooms at affordable rates. Units vary in size and layout (e.g., some have kitchenettes, some have lofts, etc.), but all have midcentury charm, dramatic stencils on the walls, and high-end features like thick towels and high-thread-count linens. Rooms open onto a leafy garden with low-lying couches—tiki lamps are lit at night so that guests can use it as a lounge night or day—and Wi-Fi runs throughout the property. Purified water, fruit, and baked goods are offered daily, too. Guests over age 15 only.
Set in a leafy garden on the road to [node"22766 link Cobá], Hotel Villas Uolis Nah (Carr. Tulum–Cobá Km. 0.2, tel. 984/146-1142, www.uolisnah.com , US$75 s/d, US$85 s/d with a/c) has six simple studios with little touches like mosquito-net canopies, mosaic-tile bathrooms, and palapa-shaded terraces with hammocks. All units have fully equipped kitchens—a real advantage for longer-term stays—and Tulum ’s main supermarket is just down the street. The hotel’s owners also run the kiteboarding school Extreme Control and offer good hotel/kiteboarding packages. Continental breakfast and wireless Internet are included.
Hotel Don Diego de la Selva (Av. Tulum s/n, cell. tel. 984/114-9744, www.dtulum.com , US$75 s/d, US$95 s/d with a/c) offers spacious rooms and bungalows with classy understated decor, comfortable beds, and large glass doors looking onto a shady rear garden. There’s a large pool near the entrance, and the hotel restaurant serves good French-Asian-Mexican cuisine. The only catch is the location, about a kilometer (0.6 mile) south of the plaza. The hotel rents bikes, but most guests find a rental car indispensable. It’s very popular with French travelers; wireless Internet and continental breakfast are included.
A short distance down the road to the beach, Teetotum (Av. Cobá Sur s/n, cell. tel. 984/143-8956, www.teetotumhotel.com , US$140 s/d with a/c) has four sleek minimalist rooms—ceramic basin sinks, low bed stands—and artful decor throughout, including playful oversize murals in the dining room. All rooms have air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and iPod docks—but no TV or telephone. Guests enjoy free continental breakfast and bike rentals, and a lovely plunge pool and rooftop sun beds, too. There’s daily yoga, and various massages and other spa treatments are available on request. The restaurant serves a little of everything, from vegetable dumplings to seafood skewers, with an equally varied (and enticing) drink menu.