Trying to figure out where to stay in Tulum? Unless you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort where you never leave the property, I strongly recommend look at hotels in Tulum Town.
One of the top tips I found when beginning to research for my trip to Tulum was that I should absolutely not stay in the Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera) if I wanted to do anything outside of my hotel’s property. Besides everything being extremely overpriced, it’s only one crappy road. When I say crappy, I mean I’m kind of shocked at how poorly maintained this road is considering you have all sorts of rich people spending hundreds of dollars a night on these resorts. However long Google Maps says it’ll take to go from Point A to Point B on this road is a lie. You’ll want to at least double it, and we were there in the off season! I can’t imagine how much worse traffic is during high season.
Anyway, my friend, Alyshia, and I pretty much only looked at hotels in Tulum Town, and I thought I’d share the one we wound up staying at as well as a bunch others we had on our list!
Quick Tulum Travel Tips
- Getting in: Chances are you’re flying into Cancun Airport (CUN). I would recommend a private or shared transfer to make your life easier. If you do want public transport, check ADO’s time schedule. Either way will get you right to any hotel on this list or be within 15 minutes or less of walking.
- Stay in Touch: Most US phone plans work in Mexico, but the service is pretty slow. Nothing ever seemed to load on my phone even with full bars, so if I did anything I’d just wait until I was back in our hotel to use the wifi. If you need to stay in touch, just get a SIM ahead of time or at the airport.
- Getting Around: We rented bikes while we were there and biked around even when we really didn’t want to. Taxis are frankly exorbitant. If you need to drive, rent a car or, better yet, motorbikes. Whatever you do don’t rent those AWFUL ATVs.
- Money Matters: Tulum seems pretty mixed between credit cards and pesos. I’d recommend taking out about $100 USD word of pesos per day just to make sure you’re covered with restaurants, tips, and other random assortments. I took out cash at an ATM at the airport, but obviously use a bank for better rates! Just know that it’s MUCH more expensive than you’d think, and I say this as someone who’s spent plenty of time and money in New York City.
- Packing & Style Tips: Tulum in the summer was miserably hot and humid. My friend and I both lived in Saigon, and somehow the humidity felt a million times worse here. Pack flowy, light fabrics that’ll help keep your skin protected! I also recommend sneakers and sturdier sandals because the ground isn’t particularly smooth.
- Safety Advice: We generally felt pretty safe in Tulum, but we also didn’t go anywhere particularly remote nor did we go out late at night. Just keep your wits about you and practice all normal safety precautions when traveling.
Why Tulum Town?
I actually really liked Tulum Town (aka Tulum Centro, Tulum Pueblo)! It feels like any slightly busy tropical town where everything is slightly bleached and dilapidated from constant sun exposure and it actually feels like normal people live alongside the restaurants and hotels. Now, I won’t lie, Tulum as a whole has definitely been taken over by outside investment and hippie dippie expats, but if you want to even the smallest chance of seeing local life, it’s in town and not the Hotel Zone.
More reasons we loved Tulum Town? The restaurants are better here. Seriously, for any of you who love food, you’re going to be disappointed if you only visit Hotel Zone restaurants. Also, if you want to do anything, it’s easier to do from town whether it’s getting to cenotes, visiting the Tulum Ruins, or doing day trips to other places in the Yucatan. Just trust me as someone who travels a lot on my own dime – Tulum Town > Hotel Zone.
(In case you haven’t gotten the hint yet, this is an official Tulum Hotel Zone hate account. If that stretch of road has no haters, I am dead.)
Top Hotels in Tulum Town
Anyway now that I’ve convinced you, here are all the hotels in Tulum Town that made it to our short list!
*photos not mine are via booking or hotel websites
1. Layla Tulum $$
- Address: C. Centauro Sur Lote 13, entre Venus Oriente y Neptuno Oriente, (Google Map Link)
- Closest to: only a few short blocks from the main road that runs through Tulum Centro
- Notes: Adult only
We stayed at the really gorgeous Layla Tulum. It’s adults-only and has 13 rooms, so we knew it’s be a nicer, boutique experience. Plus the Moroccan riad – inspired design and rooftop pool were just too pretty not to at least look into more.
We honestly loved our stay. It’s in such a nice, central part of town so we could easily walk to any restaurant we wanted to try. The pool up top with the bar is super nice even though it gets pretty warm from the sun. If it’s too warm for you, I recommend swimming in their lobby level pool which is much cooler.
The rooms are spacious and ours had a nice little balcony we could leave our suits on to dry. You get a water jar that’s refilled daily, and there’s also water in the lobby. Customer service is fantastic as well, and everyone was just really friendly and helpful. Could not recommend this place enough.
2. Casa Abanico Tulum $
- Address: Calle Tauro Poniente M11, Lote 11 (Google Map Link)
- Closest to: Few blocks to the west of Taqueria La Chiapaneca
Located in a cheerful yellow building, Casa Abanico is super affordable and very cute with a fun garden area. It also features a shared kitchen with coffee and filtered water, so if you want a break one day from eating at restaurants, you can always get groceries to make a meal here.
Room-wise, they offer double and economy double rooms with A/C. Reviewers mention how lovely the hosts are and that wifi is excellent. The only thing is the whole area gets fairly dark at night, so if you feel unsafe, make sure you’re home before evening.
I feel like I’d stay here if I was coming solo and trying to be a little more budget conscious than normal! The only downside is that it seems ever so slightly out of the way, but if you have a nice bike or a car (they have free parking), it won’t make much of a difference. Actually from one of their photos, it looks like they have bikes available!
3. Howlita Tulum $$
- Address: Av. Boca Paila, entre Zacil-ha y Nicte-ha (Google Map Link)
- Closest to: Right in the same area as Casa Abanico, also a little out of the way
- Notes: Adult Only (will accept children over 13)
Howlita is also so slightly out of the way, but if you’re biking or driving around it’s only a matter of minutes difference from other hotels in Tulum town. It has a pretty basic, spacious design and, of course, a nice pool to come cool off in.
From what reviews say, it sounds like it feels more like staying at a family’s house with friendly hosts, a home-like atmosphere, and a nice, basic breakfast. They also have free parking as well as the ability to rent bikes. Room options include king, quadruple, and triple.
4. Arthouse Art Residences $$$
- Address: Nak Be, Aldea Zama S/N (Google Map Link)
- Closest to: Aldea Zama neighborhood, south of centro towards Zona Hotelera
- Notes: More aparthotel than just hotel or resort
Arthouse Art Residences are great if you’re coming with a group of people as room options range from apartments to “arthouses” and each have multiple beds. They’re located in the Aldea Zama neighborhood which is just a little south of Tulum Centor and closer to the road towards the Zona Hotelera.
The whole place has a very modern design and, of course, a nice pool and terrace area to cool off in. They also have free parking and options to rent bikes, though from reviews it sounds like the kitchens could be better equipped. It’s not my first choice for a vacation but I could see if you were coming with a bigger group this could be a good choice!
5. Bau Tulum $
- Address: Calle 2 Poniente esquina Calle Jupiter Norte (Google Maps Link)
- Closest to: 3 blocks north and one block over from Taqueria La Chiapaneca
Bau Tulum is another one of the top hotels in Tulum town for its affordability and design. It feels very harmonious with its surroundings with stone walls and clean, spacious interiors. It’s got a touch of that hipster design with exposed lightbulbs and cement walls and floors.
Rooms options are double and suites with A/C and it also has free parking nearby and a pool on the property. It looks like they also offer breakfast.
6. Ujo Condo Boutique $
- Address: F, M 52 L 16 Gamma Osiris y Beta S Osiris y Beta TLM Lakin (Google Maps Link)
- Closest to: Casa de la Cultura de Tulum; five blocks south of main road
With Caribbean-style influences and a gorgeous rooftop pool, UJO Condo Boutique is another great aparthotel option, though it’s closer to the center than Arthouse Art Residences.
Rooms range from studios to apartments and in general it seems like a fun place for a group or even if you want to stay a little longer. Internet is supposed to really good for anyone who needs to work a little. Reviews mention hosts were very friendly as well.
7. Botånica Tulum $$
- Address: Calle Escorpion Norte, Calle Sagitario Ote. Esquina (Google Maps Link)
- Closest to: Right by the main intersection between centro, the road to the cenotes, and the road to the ruins
Botanica Tulum looks like such a dreamy little oasis in the middle of Tulum Centro. Not only is it a hotel, it also offers residence options and a community space. It was opened by two friends from London, and its design was done by Fernando Angeles and Henry Hudson, both of who focused on using local, sustainable materials as much as possible.
Choose between dorm beds, a twin room, or a suite. Vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free breakfasts are offered daily. There’s a lovely pool as well, and reviews mention how lovely and personable the staff is. It looks like it’d be a fun place to potentially meet people.
8. Latino Hotel Boutique $
- Address: Andromeda Ote (Google Maps Link)
- Closest to: One block from the main road, close to Matcha Mama Pueblo and La Negra Tomasa
Latino Hotel Boutique is a very cute hotel with interiors inspired by tropical fruit. It’s got suite, queen, and studio options, and some even have spa baths. The only common negative part of reviews is that there are bars and a club nearby, so towards the weekend it can be very noisy at night.
9. Maison Tulum $
- Address: Calle MZ 13 Lote 4 Norte Centro, C. Alfa Sur (Google Maps Link)
- Closest to: Two blocks from main road near the ADO bus terminal; opposite side is Raw Love and Parque Dos Aguas
Maison Tulum looks like such a fun little hotel with lots of colorful charm. Choose from double, king, and suites for your room. Great place especially if you want to do day trips using the ADO bus terminal. The cafe also serves breakfast, though it’s not include din room rate. Reviews mention cute resident cats!!
10. Azura Boutique Hotel $$
- Address: Satélite Norte esquina calle 2 Pte (Google Map Link)
- Closest to: 3 blocks north of the main street
Rounding out this list of top-rated hotels in Tulum Town is the lovely Azura Boutique Hotel. This is another apartment-style hotel and you can choose from one to two bedrooms. There’s also a rooftop solarium with what looks like a small pool. The apartments look nice and simple with colorful accent walls and plenty of space to settle in. Great option if you’re with a group or plan to do most of your cooking.
And there you have it – some gorgeous and affordable hotels in Tulum Town that’ll put you close to the action but still allow you to enjoy your holiday. None of these are all-inclusive resorts or right on the beach, but after visiting I’d recommend staying in town regardless – especially if you like good food!
Have you stayed in Tulum town before? Any recommendations? Leave ’em below!
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