Are you looking for a cool, tropical destination for your next vacation? Search no more than Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico! This beautiful city is the perfect sandy beach destination, but also a great spot if you want to indulge in Mexican food, and explore the Mayan ruins, Sian Ka biosphere reserve, cenotes and everything else in-between.
Now, if you decided to visit Tulum, here’s the first problem you’ll encounter – where to stay in Tulum for the best experience? This is a hard decision because the city is divided into two VERY different areas – Tulum Beach (“playa”) and Tulum Town (“pueblo”). Your decision will be based on personal preferences and your itinerary in the city.
What you need to know for now is that you don’t need to have a single worry in the world, as I’ll guide you, step-by-step, into choosing the BEST hotel for your stay in the city! You’ll find plenty of choices here, from hotels for couples, families to luxurious resorts and budget hotels.
That being said, are you ready to find out more from my guide on where to stay in Tulum, Mexico? Yes? Let’s go!
Where to stay in Tulum – beach or town?
As I mentioned above, the city is divided into two very different (and distant, I might add) areas – Tulum Town, also known as “pueblo” for locals and Tulum Beach or “playa”.
Okay, so far so good, but which one of them should you choose? Well –
GO FOR TULUM BEACH IF:
- you’re visiting this place for the very first time
- you are planning on spending your days relaxing on the beach
- you want to splurge in a boutique hotel or resort
- money is not an issue
GO FOR TULUM TOWN IF:
- you are on the budget
- you are planning on exploring the Mayan ruins, cenotes and do plenty of day trips in the surrounding area
- you want to stay somewhere where you can experience an authentic local vibe
I know, I know, it’s hard to decide, but unfortunately you’ll have to, as the two areas are too distant to walk between them. I have one solution, though – if you plan on spending more days in the city, you can stay in two different hotels, one in each area. This way you’ll have the best of both worlds! Or you can just go between them with a taxi and it will cost you from 70 to 150 Mexican pesos (US$4 to US$8).
Now that the decision is more clear to you, let me share with you where and what are the best accommodation options in Tulum, Mexico in each of the two areas!
1. Best hotels on Tulum Beach
Wondering where to stay in Tulum for the ultimate beach vacation? You’re in the right place, as the beach here is one of the most beautiful you’ll ever see!
The “playa” is a long strip of beach where you’ll find tons of luxurious resorts (and by luxurious I mean US$1.000 per night) that have direct access to the beach.
The way this area is organized is that, even though the beaches are technically “public”, each of these resorts has its own stretch of beach and you’ll have to be a guest in order to spend your time there.
But no worries, you will have some free public beaches that you can enjoy! Oh, and by the way, the further South you go, the beach and water will become even more beautiful (and the hotels even more expensive!). Such is life!
But this is definitely the best area to stay in Tulum, Mexico if you want to relax and enjoy your visit to the fullest! And, if I might add, it’s where I’d stay as well. You’ll have plenty of modern, local restaurants where you can eat, cool bars, chic hotels and luxury shops that you can choose from here.
NOTE: By the way, I think you already guessed that the budget category for the beach area is not your typical “budget” category, so expect higher prices than usual.
Where to stay in Tulum on the beach? Here are my recommended hotels for the best experience:
Luxury (US$500 and up)
This area is PERFECT for travelers that want to splurge and be spoiled, so I’ll give you more hotel recommendations than usual. So here you have 7 top beach accommodations:
- Be Tulum Hotel & Spa Resort – This is one of the best hotels in Tulum on the beach, trust me! You’ll be totally spoiled here and you’ll get world-class service as this resort awaits you with 3 on-site restaurants, two pools, its own beach club and more. Just look at the pictures; and trust me, all the Be Tulum reviews are so good, which makes it a great place to stay! You can get from the airport directly here and you won’t ever need to go out!
- The Beach Tulum Hotel – The name simply says it all: if you want to stay close to the beach in style during your travel, this Tulum hotel is THE place to be! This boutique hotel is the definition of elegance, just pick your favorite beach front suite and enjoy the terrace, bar, spa, and even the on-site shop! Plus, it’s located a bit to the southern part of the beach strip and there are only 5.6 km to the biosphere in Tulum – Sian Ka!
- O’ Tulum – One of the best luxury Tulum hotels on the beach, this resort promises to not disappoint. The accommodation is decorated in a true Mexican style and it awaits you with a bar, a terrace and superb rooms. If you are looking for a great beachfront hotel, this might be your ideal place to stay when you visit Tulum!
- Hotel Cabanas Tulum – Didn’t you have enough yet? No worries, I have more! This 4-star hotel boutique in Tulum is located on one of the best beaches in Tulum (a private beach, of course!) and it has its own beach club and superb suites. During your stay in Tulum, guests will definitely love the high-quality facilities at Cabanas hotel on the beach.
- Zamas Tulum – Here’s another fab accommodation on my list of best Tulum accommodation on the beach if you want to be more to the south. This 4-star hotel boasts colorful rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a perfect beach and more. Make sure to book it in advance, as the rooms are selling out fast!
- Tago by G Hotels – This luxurious property was formerly known as Coral Tulum and it’s the perfect place if you are wondering where to stay for a luxurious service! The rooms are tasteful and cozy and the on-site local restaurant serves delicious food. What more are you looking for during a first time visit?
- Jashita Hotel Tulum – Last (but definitely not least), this gorgeous 5-star beach resort in Tulum is located on one of the most charming white sand beaches you will ever explore! It has no less than 3 outdoor pools (what?!), a bar-restaurant, a terrace with ocean views and more!
Mid-range (US$200 – US$500)
- Ahau Tulum – This cool 4-star accommodation is one of my favorite properties in Tulum! It comes with some more accessible prices, but the service is still luxurious! You can choose to stay here for the free Wi-Fi, superb rooms, yoga lessons, and the on-site restaurant. Plus, the hotel is located close (a short walking distance) to a beach called Akiin in Tulum!
- Ana y Jose Hotel & Spa – This 5-star hotel has some beautiful rooms for some more accessible prices, but you’ll still feel super spoiled during your stay. A spa, a private beach area, many superb rooms with Mexican decors – and more!
- Kanan – If you still haven’t found where to stay from the options above, here is another awesome accommodation located on a beach to the south that offers incredible service for the money you’ll spend! Prepare yourself to spend your days on the private beach or lay on the beautiful terrace.
- Coco Tulum – If you are wondering where to stay in Tulum for a great price and a private beach as well, I might have an answer! This beautiful hotel is one of the top choices on the beachfront and the rooms have a view of either the Caribbean Sea or jungle. Awesome or what?!
Budget (up to US$200)
As I mentioned before, the budget section for Tulum beach is not your typical budget category, but I still found some AMAZING hotels that offer a great price for luxury services. Here’s what I’m talking about:
- Diamante K – In case you’re looking for some Tulum romantic hotels, this one’s for you! I definitely recommend this beautiful 3-star hotel for a great time on the beach, where you can just soak in the sun all day long! This is among the top beach hotels in Tulum on a budget, so make sure to book it as much in advance as you can to get a good deal!
- Nativus Glamping & Cenote Tulum – Did you ever dream of doing some glamping? Now’s your chance! This awesome property is located in the Zona Hotelera area of the city and if you book it for your visit, you will surely enjoy a unique experience in the jungle, not far from the beach either! They have tent-like rooms that have all the facilities you might need, plus some very good prices so you can save some money!
2. Best hotels inside Tulum Town
If you don’t have the budget to stay in the “playa” area or if you’re a more active type of traveler and you’re planning to explore the surrounding area and to do day trips instead of laying on the beach, then I recommend staying in the town itself.
The “pueblo” is the actual village and it’s a great place to explore the local vibe of Tulum town and the Mayan ruins and to indulge in traditional Mexican food. You’ll find many souvenir shops, food stands and, last but not least, TONS of budget-friendly accommodations for your stay.
By the way, if you want to find out more about Mexico, I recommend checking out my article about 9 Unforgettable Things to Do in Riviera Maya!
The main con here is that you’ll have to take a taxi if you want to get to the beach. If that doesn’t sound that bad to you, here is the list of luxury hotels, budget hotels and everything in-between for a great stay in Tulum Town:
Luxury (US$100 and up)
- Kaab – Here’s an amazing choice if you want to take a break and feel like a queen (or king, of course) while staying close to the main city road! This is one of the top boutique hotels in Tulum Town where you’ll find a gorgeous on-site restaurant, a garden and wonderful rooms. Plus, you can also do some awesome day trips from here, such as visiting the Mayan ruins!
- Biwa – This 4-star hotel is a great option in Tulum Town as well in case you want to benefit from free bike rental, a cool swimming pool, an on-site bar and a terrace. Needless to say they have free Wi-Fi, room service and sparkling clean rooms, am I right? All in all, this is among the most superb luxury hotels out there!
- Casa Patrones – My third recommendation for where to stay in Tulum Center is Casa Patrones. It’s honestly one of the best hotels in Tulum Town for couples (but not only) that I would definitely recommend to you! It has free on-site parking, a shared kitchen if you want to cook your own meals, and more!
Mid-range (US$40 – US$100)
- Joy Tulum – Adults Only – This 3-star accommodation in the center is one of the top hotels in the center and it offers an amazing quality for the money you’ll spend when you stay here. Get ready for a great experience and a cute sun terrace, free Wi-Fi, plus a great location! Plus, the rates per night are very good!
- Ginger – This is actually one of the most popular choices among tourists that want to be in the heart of Tulum town. Why? Because this awesome hotel offers perfect facilities and amenities for a very good price. Plus, it has an eco-friendly vibe!
- Hotel Central Station – This 3-star hotel in Tulum Town has many types of rooms that you can choose from and all of them are super clean, spacious and very cozy. The accommodation has an overall good location, a calm atmosphere and many great facilities!
Budget (up to US$40)
Wondering where to stay in Tulum on a tight budget? As I said, Tulum pueblo is perfect for budget travelers and backpackers, so get ready for some amazing prices and even more amazing service!
Here is what I recommend if you want to stay in the heart of the city and have the Mayan ruins nearby:
- Hotel Blanco – This 3-star hotel is simply incredible because of its low prices and high standards! Some of the best advantages of staying here include concierge service, free Wi-Fi, buffet breakfast, and a very convenient location!
- Banana Hostel – This cool hostel has STUNNING reviews! Trust me when I say that it’s one of the most popular choices among budget travelers because it has a superb outdoor pool, a shared lounge, a cool bar, buffet breakfast and clean and cozy rooms.
- La Palmita Budget Boutique Hotel – Last but not least, if you still haven’t found where to stay in Tulum on a budget, this boutique hotel is another choice that you won’t regret! During your stay you’ll be able to explore the cute jungle garden, free Wi-Fi and more!
3. Best apartments in Tulum, Mexico
Except for superb beach resorts and nice hostels, this city has a wide range of apartments as well! Staying in an apartment is a great idea if you are traveling with family or in a big group, as it will give you a cozier atmosphere where you’ll feel right at home. Plus, the prices tend to be more accessible for apartments!
Here is what I can recommend for each budget:
Luxury (US$150 and up)
- Feb Offer Magical Villa in the Caribbean Jungle – Yes, you can stay in a jungle apartment and still be spoiled with a royal treatment and this is a perfect example! This apartment is actually one of the best Tulum villas and it’s right in the middle of the jungle. It’s ideal for up to 10 people. What are you waiting for?!
- Toma un baño en la piscina privada – Here’s another superb option in town! This one awaits with a superb decor, a private pool and an overall amazing service that will make your trip to Tulum simply unforgettable. Plus, it’s recommended for up to 6 guests.
Mid-range (US$70 – US$150)
- Hotel Panacea – Here is another stunning 4-star aparthotel in the town that combines the excellent service of a hotel with the coziness of staying in an apartment during your trip. The outdoor pool is simply gorgeous, they have many plants outside (just like a jungle!), free Wi-Fi, private parking, and a cool terrace as well!
- LiveTulum – Apparently, there are many excellent aparthotels that offer a very good service and beautiful rooms and this one is no exception! During your stay you’ll definitely be happy to enjoy the cozy rooms, outdoor pool, free breakfast and free wifi. You won’t even want to leave the accommodation, unless you want to visit the ruins nearby!
Budget (up to US$70)
- Villas Akalan – This budget apartment is located, as you guessed, in Tulum Town (right in the city center) and it offers a great value for its money. It’s actually a cool villa that can fit up to 4 people, so I recommend it for a group of friends or a family with kids. Ah, they have a very nice outdoor pool as well, so cool!
- Gorgeous Room in a centric & stylish apartment – This private room is super nice and it’s guaranteed to offer you a great time in town! You can spend your day in the hammock, you can take in some fresh air and appreciate all the nature around you or you can take a day trip to the ruins nearby. You won’t get bored here even for one second!
BONUS: Frequently Asked Questions about staying in Tulum
I have tried to respond to the most common questions about your future trip to this city:
1. Is it safe to stay in Tulum?
Even though Mexico is sometimes considered a not-so-safe destination due to drugs and gang violence, Tulum remains a safe place for your vacation. Just like with any other travel destination out there, make sure to follow the common safety precautions, as pick-pockets on the beach are not impossible, for example. So make sure to watch your valuables at all times!
2. Where do you fly into for Tulum?
First of all, you should know that there is no airport in the city. Cancun International Airport (CUN) is the place where everybody flies into Tulum. This airport is located around one hour and a half from Tulum and you can get there by private transfer or bus.
Your second option is Chetumal International Airport, but it’s way smaller, it usually has domestic flights and it’s two times more far away than Cancun.
3. Where is the best beach in Tulum?
Well that’s a hard question! With beautiful turquoise waters and soft golden sands, the entire beach in Tulum is simply amazing! As I mentioned before, Tulum has a long strip of beach and, as far South you go, the beach becomes better and better. If I were to make a top five, I’d say that Playa Paraíso, Playa Ruinas, Las Palmas, Secret Beach and Paamul Beach.
That was it! Here you have my complete guide on where to stay in Tulum, Mexico, both in the city center (pueblo) and on the beach (playa). I hope that you have already found THE perfect hotel for when you’ll visit Tulum, Quintana Roo in the article above!
In this post I gave you my hand-picked hotel recommendations after thorough research on the best spots and accommodations in Tulum, Mexico. You have everything here from the best boutique hotels in Tulum to fabulous beachfront resorts and cute budget ones – something for each type of traveler out there, am I right?
If you want to find out more about exploring Mexico (including Cancun), be sure to read this article about 9 Unforgettable Things to Do in Riviera Maya!
Are you heading to this wonderful destination anytime soon? Let me know in the comments!
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