This trip was special for another reason....we were coming without the girls!
Actually, we travelled to Isla for many, many years without our children. On our first trip in 1994 our youngest was only 2. It was our "us" time, and we often said that our Isla trips "saved" our marriage.
We started bringing our girls in 2003. It was our "last" family vacation before the oldest graduated from High School. Suffice to say they have been back (with us and without us) several years since.
There are two things that identify us to regular visitors now...my husband "Jaime" and our three daughters. Usually the first thing we hear when we are walking to our hotel is "Hey Jamie, where are the girls?" Amazing that that is our claim to fame, but it is.
OK...I am getting sidetracked here.
This year we decided to do something different. We had a very stressful year, and we needed to reconnect. It was also our 25 year anniversary last September, so we felt like we needed to make it special. After 14 years, we had only done one "off island" trip, to the Tulum ruins. I have done quite a bit of research on the area, but never actually experienced it. We knew about the area and a bit about the beach, but nothing about accommodations, so I decided to contact Kathryn htpp://kathrynstravel.com to see if she had any contacts in the area.
We gave her our specifications, and she recommended four places. The one we chose was Zulum....
We wanted a palapa right on the beach, with a balcony overlooking the water. This place fit the bill entirely.
Travelling to Tulum Puebla was amazingly easy for us. We do not speak very much spanish at all, so it was a bit of a worry, but it was fast and inexpensive. We took the first class ADO bus directly to Tulum (with a stop in Playa to pick up passengers) for about $17 total (2 people). The bus was very nice...bathroom, television, reclining seats and AIR CONDITIONING! I was actually a bit cold. The only problem that we had on the way down was that my window had a large logo painted on the outside, so I could not see the scenery. I suggest that you try to get a seat near the front to avoid this.
Once we arrived at Tulum Puebla we got a bite to eat at a small restaurant (thanks to MapChicks map we found a good place right away). We then took one of the cabs that was waiting near the bus station down to the Beach Road.
We were already in "Isla Mode" when we left the island (we went in the middle of our 10 day trip), so we got a bit confused and actually arrived at the Hotel a day early. The staff was amazingly accommodating and found us a room that was almost what we had asked for (1st floor instead of 2nd). We were told that we could move to the second floor on our second night.
Here is a view of our first room:
The cool sink..it was made from pebbles! Note the conch shell faucet:
Tulum is eco-friendly and there is no electric grid on the beach road. All of the hotels there run on generator power, thus electricity is used sparingly. Zulum has 24 hour electric, but does not have some amenities (refrigerator, overhead fan), that you might find elsewhere. We slept with our window (and door, when we were on the second floor) open and it was not too uncomfortable at night. It was breezy there, as I understand it is most of the time, and that kept the room quite comfortable. I was concerned about safety (and bats!), but I was assured by the staff that neither were a problem. We had netting around the bed, but never really saw any bugs.
The beach was beautiful, and very quiet! Low season in Tulum is extremely relaxing. As much as I thought we would, we never really left the hotel, except for walks up and down the beaches....
Our power source:
This kitesurfer almost ran over my husband one day in the surf!
The view from our porch in the morning was amazing!
We had dinner and breakfast in the hotels restaurant both days. The selection was quite good and the food was tasty. It was very quiet there, so we felt like we had our own personal chef. The were very eager to please us and even brought coffee up to our room in the morning. We got ice from the bar from the hotel bar to keep our water cold in our portable cooler. Drinks were available all day and the bar was open until at least 9, although it closed later on our first night when there were several folks there who had come for a wedding.
Here is the restaurant:
The second day we moved upstairs and we were very happy! All of the rooms were nice, but the view from up here was awesome!
Here is the view from the balcony:
The inside of the second floor room:
The view back towards the restaurant (these buildings all have a beach view)
View of beach and bar area:
Images from our beach walks:
Someone "made" a friend!
Fishermen on a rock...they must have waded out there...
Ive never seen one of these on Isla!
All in all we were so happy to have made this trip. We love Isla and will always spend most of our trip there, but we had a wonderful time exploring another section of the "Riviera Maya". Tulum was quaint and peaceful and very easy to get to. We wished we had stayed at least one more day....two nights was just too short.
We felt that Zulum was a very nice hotel, and the staff was so helpful and friendly. I am sure we will go back another time. Kathryns recommendation was perfect, and her service was top-notch, as always! We dont regret our "away time" for one minute. If you have been thinking of a side trip, my advice is to go for it! You wont be disappointed.
It was a perfect place to just "be".