First check out our post from our visit to Tulum in February 2019.
And now here are our impressions 10 months later.
When we first went to Tulum in February 2019 we were awestruck by its cool vibe and beautiful beach, making immediate plans before we left to return when the weather started to get crisp in San Miguel for the winter.
But, what awaited us in December was a changed Tulum, a pricier Tulum and a Tulum in the middle of a construction zone. Yes, the sargassum was substantially less this time, making for a more pleasant walk along the beach, but it seemed most of the restaurants we had sort of been able to afford previously had gone the way of the dodo bird.
Not only that, but our lovely hotel, Tita Tulum Ecological, was in the middle of a change of owners that wasn’t made known to us until 10pm the evening before we were to check in. Thinking, well it can’t have changed much, we arrived the next morning to find that the woman who had owned it for years had died and her daughter made a fast sale. This meant that all of the staff left and there was a new receptionist who didn’t know the lay of the land or what to do. We had paid half of the bungalow charge in February last year and the balance when we checked in, without checking out the room. When we saw it, none of the furniture was left except for the bed. So wrong!!! We also had at least 14 hours of the first two nights of our four night stay without electricity. At first we thought this was just a Tulum thing, but no, it was a Tita Tulum thing. No explanations were given to us and when paying $250 a night this is certainly not acceptable. To make a long story short we did finally come to an agreement for compensation as we let them know that we could not recommend the property anymore. This is so unfortunate because we loved the quiet location on the beach and the bungalows.
Our favorite place to eat breakfast was at Restaurante Las Estrellas with a very laid back on the beach location, great breakfast packages, yummy food and cool waiters. The service isn’t fast but with the beautiful view and your feet in the sand who really cares. Also as an alternative to staying at Tita Tulum is Cabanas La Luna, the hotel that Las Estrellas is attached to. I love the distressed style furniture, colors and boho look. It only has 10 cabanas which means it is quiet and rustic. A bit pricey, but a nice choice. Another nice choice for breakfast is Fresco’s. Fresh food choices and a casual atmosphere with nice waitstaff.
Our money did not go far in Tulum! And as mentioned before, some of the less expensive restaurants we had gone to at the beginning of last year were now closed, instead there are a lot of pricey restaurants that seem pretty “Instagram poser” in style. We don’t head for those, but, we bit the bullet and chose a few lower key places to explore. One thing we definitely noticed was that a large number of the waitstaff in Tulum restaurants were beautiful, friendly Argentinians.
Our first was Casa Jaguar which was in a lovely jungle location with soft lights and a few mosquitos. There is incense burning to help with the mosquitos and add to the ambience and we were able to get in without reservation as we went early and we weren’t in high season. Apparently there is music in the evenings but we skipped out on that. We have read reviews that there can be a long wait so make reservations. We really enjoyed the food here and they have some creative cocktails to sample.
We loved the seafood at La Corriente!! It was easy to spend some money here because the plates were not big and we were hungry. Everything we tried was excellent and with a comfortable mood and good servers we would definitely recommend checking it out.
For a really interesting concept go to Safari where the kitchen is in an old Airstream. I am such an Airstream fan that we just had to have a meal here and it was quite good. Loved the world music playing as we chowed down, it made for a great experience.
And finally, we had a lovely meal at Cenzontle the last time we were in Tulum so we returned to see if it was still as good. It is a beautiful garden setting, once again with soft lighting, and serving delicious food. Very pricey but we thought it was worth the splurge.
We spent only four nights in Tulum and although we love the beautiful long beach we feel that the beach strip has become a bit too exclusive, built up and out of our price range to return. We are all for a splurge but with a fixed budget we need to look for places with some good bang for our buck. Tulum is looking more like a young and partying location and is striving for a persona that just doesn’t really fit in with our style of travel anymore. So off we went to Isla Holbox!