Finding a hotel can be a full night of researching, especially when visiting a foreign country for the first time. Tulum is a resort town surrounded between the Mayan jungle and white sand beaches of Mexico’s Caribbean coast. This trendy “eco-chic” destination brings everyone from backpackers to celebrities, and yoga enthusiasts from all around the world together to retreat in relaxation and wellness.🧘🏼♀️ Located in the Quintana Roo State of Mexico, most of the prime boutique hotels are along the main street off the beach. The prices of the hotels in Tulum can range from a few dollars in a hostel to outrageous luxury beachfront villas. We decided since it was our birthday trip (and we were staying for 7 days) we wanted to stay at two different hotels and experience both the town and a beachfront resort. Zendero Tulum, a new boutique hotel located in town and Kore Tulum Resort, an all-inclusive luxury seafront resort.
While most people would prefer the beach, we were open to a more authentic experience so we decided to book our stay at Zendero hotel located in the town of Tulum. Zendero opened its doors just this past October! Since it is brand new we took a chance when booking it, as they only had 2 reviews on Expedia and 5 on Google (and most of them were in Spanish). With it being our first time in a foreign country, we were a little nervous and almost canceled our stay but we decided to give it a chance before making any final decisions. As we pulled up to the main street of the hotel, on a rocky dirt road, we were happy to see a very modern, sleek building with beautiful vinery hanging from every corner!
📍Calle, Venus Ote., 27, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
📞+52 984 231 6808
💲Prices typically range from ~$71-$120/night
🌟 This boutique hotel has only 17 rooms and is likely to sell out on most nights.
As we walked into the small, yet quaint, lobby for the first time we were pleasantly surprised! The first thing we noticed was the incredibly beautiful and zen decor all around us. We were so relieved by how bright and free flowing it felt, since we planned to stay here during most of our trip. It definitely exceeded our expectations! 😍🌴🌿🧘🏼♀️💫
The main lobby area of the hotel is where you can check-in at the front desk and enjoy a complimentary breakfast (included in your rate) every day during your stay. And it isn’t your typical continental breakfast, the hotel offers a full-service, cooked-to-order breakfast with some really good breakfast options! 🍳
Breakfast hours: 7:30-11:00 am, daily
(They don’t have food service during lunch or dinner)
They have options such as french toast topped with
Each morning you will also get a bread basket with homemade jam to share, coffee (of course!), and “Jugo Del Dia”, fresh juice of the day! While we were staying at Zendero we had fresh pineapple juice, watermelon, and even cantaloupe juice! Which we’ve never even heard of, it was perfectly sweet, fresh, and delicious! 😋🍍🍉 We did leave a tip for our server, but that’s a small expense compared to what you’ll spend at some of the restaurants on the beach.
During our stay, we had the same server every morning. He was the sweetest and we enjoyed attempting to speak Spanish with him while he taught us phrases throughout the week. Even if we were on the way out to have breakfast elsewhere, just saying “Buenos Dias” to him was a great start to our day! ☀️
The hotel only has four levels and 17 rooms. On the way up to our room, we loved how the building opens up to the sky with lush green vines hanging down from the rooftop. This concept utilizes natural sunlight and brings in peaceful energy throughout the hotel. 😍💫
Our room was located on the 3rd floor and had the simplicity and minimalistic feel for that “zen” design. There are earthy, natural elements throughout. While some may think it’s pretty plain, we appreciated the clear and open spaces. We booked two queen beds that
The beds are spacious enough to sleep 4 comfortably. On the bedside table, there’s a nightstand with the main switches to the lights in the room. Room service replenished it daily with 2 bottles of water. (We had to ask for more since we needed them for drinking and brushing our teeth, but they never hesitated to give us more!) In front of the bed, there’s a small smart tv mounted to the wall which streams Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube. There isn’t a phone, so we would call the front desk from our cell phones if we had any questions (or just walk down, it’s a smaller place). There is a 24-hour front desk and after 11 pm, the front desk clerk only speaks in Spanish.
Next to the bed, furthest from the balcony, is extra storage space/open closet with a small safe, a place to hang your clothes, and more electrical outlets. Inside of the bathrooms, there’s a single sink with limited counter space but a huge shower with a giant rain shower head that makes up for it! It’s probably one of our favorite showers ever in a hotel.🚿👌🏼 We also noticed a small window above the toilet that stays open to let air flow in/out.
Zendero offers free Wifi, although it was spotty at times. Some days it worked well in the rooms, other days we couldn’t connect to anything at all.
The pool is located on the rooftop. The view isn’t the most incredible (since it is in town) but it was nice to be high up and enjoy the sun. Tulum was experiencing a cold front while we were there, so we didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful glass-walled pool as much as we wanted to. There are plenty of sunbeds and comfortable lounge chairs to hang out on, and a cute palapa bar area with umbrella covered seating.
They offer a few more amenities including transportation service arrangements and bicycle rentals. If you haven’t heard yet, the best way to get around to see the natural beauty of Tulum is by
Zendero Tulum is a beautiful combination of modern urbanity with calm sanctuary decor. The spaces are consciously designed and we truly enjoyed our week long stay! We love that there were plenty of restaurants and shops within walking distance, as well as several car rental companies, ATM machines, and a bank for currency exchange. Which became a huge convenience for us! Zendero is minutes from the center of town and some of Tulum’s most popular attractions, like the Tulum Ruins. Also just a short cab (or bike ride) to the beach; the best of both worlds!
Kore Tulum Retreat & Spa Resort
While researching places to stay in Tulum, we thought it would be a good experience to stay at both kinds of places, one cheaper and in town, and one a luxury resort on the beach. Kore Tulum is an all-inclusive adults only resort. Formerly named Be Tulum that was family friendly, and Adonis Resort marketed for the gay community.
📍Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km. 3.8, Lote 48 Admo. Carr. Fed. Playa Tulum, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
📞 +52 984 161 0001
💲Prices: Starting at $250 – we booked our stay via expedia.com at $330 and we’ve seen prices go up as high as $646
Kore Tulum is a gated resort and requires anyone coming in and out of the resort to identify themselves with security. Which made us feel really safe! We arrived a few hours before
Once our room was ready for us to check-in, we arrived back and walked through gorgeous winding paths through a jungle of palm trees and tropical plants to get to our villa where our room was located.🌿🌴🍃
When we came upon our villa it looked nothing like a hotel, more like an apartment or condo. It felt homey and traditional. We were up on the second level and when we opened the door we both screamed with excitement because our room wasn’t only beautiful but they decorated it for our birthday!! (We’re not even sure how they knew it was our birthday because we didn’t tell them!) And believe us when we say they went all out, there were balloons and streamers everywhere, and a huge cake made out of towels!🎂🎈🎉
And even though we prefer a modern look, the rooms have a feel of a luxury resort. We loved the details of the beds. The room was so big and spacious, it had a separate dining space and office area. The Wifi worked well and we didn’t have to pay for the premium Wifi. But one downside is that there aren’t many outlets, especially near the beds, so we had to unplug the lamp to charge our phones. In front of the beds is a media unit with extra storage and a flat screen tv. Under the tv, there is a mini-fridge stocked with cold waters, seltzer water, and different flavored Mexican sodas (all included in your rate)!
In the bathroom, they had a huge shower and double sinks so we can both get ready at the same time (which we appreciated since most of the time we have to get ready separately). And a floor to ceiling mirror/closet which we found bathrobes and slippers, and a standard iron & ironing board. On the vanity Kore provides toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a shaving kit which we don’t see too often at hotels! The bathroom also included a scale, which we avoided since we were spoiling ourselves with the amazing food in Tulum for a week.😛
Did we mention that Kore Tulum is all-inclusive? This means 24 hour service for free drinks and late night snacks (lol this was dangerous). We ordered room service and they came to us very fast, in less than 20 minutes! We also ordered breakfast in the morning. They had some healthy options but it was your basic fruits and oatmeal. The food wasn’t anything remarkable, it was okay.
We booked a luxury suite with a jetted tub and garden view. So of course, that’s what we were most looking forward to! Ours was located outside on the balcony with tropical plants everywhere in sight. We enjoyed a bottle of champagne and relaxed in this serene moment.🍾🥂✨
Kore Tulum’s resort is spacious but also very private! On property, it includes a full-service spa, fitness center, sauna, and an amazing infinity swimming pool with a swim-up bar that leads your eyes right to the coast.🤩 Next to the pool they have 4 hot tubs, and their main restaurant. At breakfast, the restaurant serves buffet style with a made-to-order omelet station from 7am to 11am.
There isn’t any beach access but you still get a gorgeous view of the oceanfront, especially if you make it out for sunrise!🌅 Imagine spending an afternoon in one of their cabanas right on the beach next to the cliffs, with the waves crashing against them. So peaceful. 🌊✨
And although there is no beach access, they have beach chairs arranged at El Paraiso hotel, for the use of all guests staying at Kore Tulum. (It’s about 5 mins from Kore.) Along with a 10% discount on food & drinks at their beach club! We spent a day there, it’s a gorgeous beach and also where you’ll find the infamous crooked palm tree. 😉🌴
Everywhere we turned, while we were walking around the resort, was gorgeous jungle scenery! 😍🌿🌴
Kore is so quiet and calm, with many areas to relax. This was our first time experiencing an all-inclusive hotel and their staff provided the best service we’ve ever had, super quick too! Who doesn’t like unlimited food and drinks?! For guests staying at the resort, they provide complimentary bike rentals and are happy to arrange taxi transportation. Kore Tulum is so gorgeous and truly makes you feel like you’re in one of those pages in a magazine advertising a dream vacation.
Which one was worth it to us between the two? Overall, Kore Tulum Retreat and Spa Resort is a gorgeous hotel but we may skip it the next time we’re in Tulum and explore other nearby luxury resorts. However, for anyone traveling on a budget we highly recommend Zendero Tulum! For the price, you’re getting a great value and we could really see ourselves staying there again. Tulum can be a considerably expensive vacation, so if you want to keep the hotel costs low so you can ball out on a candlelit dinner at a trendy restaurant, than Zendero is our top choice! What we love the most about Tulum is that most hotels and restaurants we visited embrace the natural flow of the jungle atmosphere in and out. We can’t wait to be back in Tulum, Mexico to experience more places that reflect their beachy bohemian-chic lifestyle!✌🏼🕊🌿✨
**Check out our Ultimate Girls’ Guide to Tulum here!