Eco Boutique Hotels in Tulum

Three properties where relaxation and comfort come naturally


Spectacular beachfront settings with nary a high-rise in sight. Natural and sustainable materials that complement the landscape. Locally sourced food that is innovative and inspired by regional traditions. Sunrise yoga sessions followed by lazy afternoons in a hammock. If these sound like the ideal ingredients for a relaxing and inspiring beach vacation, then Tulum is for you, and these authentic and eco-friendly resorts are the place to stay.

Sanará Tulum

Soon after opening in 2014, this beachfront retreat became a highly favored holistic hideaway, and a magnet for yoga enthusiasts and teachers, who come to participate in Hatha and Vinyasa practices. The complex has just 19 rooms and suites, some beachside and others with jungle and garden views. Both the interior and exterior design of rooms and public areas seek to blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings of coconut and chit palms and complement the views of turquoise water. Interiors have dark woods that offer a dramatic contrast to white furnishings, walls and linens. A dream catcher hangs overhead to maximize dreamtime and trees grow through the roofs of buildings. The 10 Tamarind suites are just steps from the sea with private gardens and unobstructed water views from front decks. Some have outdoor showers and tubs set in private walled gardens. The Jungle suites are set around a Mayan-inspired rock stream garden, and some also include private pools.

Sanara Tulum Coconut Restaurant

Sanará Tulum’s Real Coconut restaurant is dedicated to the use of sustainably sourced ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes that encourage digestive wellbeing. Photo: Sanará

The heart and soul of the property is the Sanará Wellness Center, where a range of treatments is tailored to guests seeking deep relaxation, renewed energy or the resolution of any ongoing health issues. Traditional Mayan massages and healing customs are used to enhance nutrition, physical lifestyle and spiritual wellbeing. Co-owner Daniella Hunter was inspired to create The Real Coconut. This on-site dining venue focuses on plant-based foods and sustainable sourced animal proteins, and in keeping with the name, coconut is infused into many dishes. In addition to daily yoga practices, guests can enjoy beach time and water sports such as windsurfing.

Sanara Tulum Room

Simple whitewashed walls and rich wood textures create a restful atmosphere at Sanará Tulum, which focuses on dual themes of wellness and self-discovery. Photo: Sanará

Nest Tulum

The ocean takes center stage at this boutique resort, which promises natural simplicity. The beachfront setting encompasses a collection of individually styled bungalows, suites and villas. Some are set right on the shoreline, where the sounds of the sea provide the background music. More guest accommodations peak from the beachfront landscape, or are cloistered fully in greenery, with garden and jungle views. Interiors feature a minimalist design, with whitewashed walls, found objects and one-of-a-kind handmade furnishings sourced from around Mexico. Unpaved walkways wind through the landscape, and hammocks are hung throughout the property.

NEST Tulum Palapas

At Nest Tulum, the shoreline is left in its natural condition, and guests relax on white sand in the shade of simple, thatch roof palapas that allow sea breezes to circulate. Photo: Nest Tulum

Outdoors spaces are designed to evoke a sense of cozy comfort. Day beds are scattered across the sand, and tables sit in palm groves or under the shade of a thatched palapa. The setting encourages beach walks and leisurely dining, followed by naps in sun or shade. The property’s Mexican fusions restaurant serves locally sourced foods from morning till 10 p.m., and the thatched roof bar offers Mezcal infused cocktails with a taste of tropical fruits. Guests looking to expand their horizons can explore via bicycle, as the pueblo of Tulum is just six miles away on a shaded bike path. More ambitious day trips include visits to Mayan ruins, cenotes and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

NEST Tulum Day Beds

Open and shaded day beds line the beach at Nest Tulum. Guests have first choice on these amenities, but walk-on beach goers can also hire a bed for the day. Photo: Nest Tulum

Papaya Playa Project

What started as a seasonal pop-up gathering of creative individuals became a permanent fixture on Tulum’s beach in 2011. But the Papaya Playa Project isn’t just another oceanfront resort touting green credentials. Partnering with the Design Hotel group, the founders set out to establish a one-of-a-kind resort that would set the region’s standard for eco conscious design and operation. All resort structures were designed for minimal impact, which resulted in leaving some 93 percent of the original jungle landscape intact. Building materials and furnishings were locally sourced from sustainable materials, and some rooms are elevated as tree houses to leave the forest floor intact. The Project is a member of the Rain Forest Alliance, which serves to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods, and strives to preserve the natural beauty of Tulum. In July 2015 the Project launched a mission to begin zero emission and zero contamination to the community by June 2018.

Papaya  Playa Tulum

A number of buildings at the Papaya Playa Project are elevated above the ground. This not only allows cooling breezes to circulate, it preserves the natural landscape below. Photo: Papaya Playa

The Project promotes a spiritual and healthy approach to living. Guests are provided with numerous ways to relax and connect with nature and relaxation, including daily yoga, tai chi and meditation sessions. Buildings are constructed in a traditional Mayan manner to usher in sea breezes and maintain cool interiors. Local traditional materials and textiles from various regions of Mexico are incorporated in interior designs. Private porches and plunge pools are included in cabanas and casitas. The Papaya Playa Beach Club features open air dining and relaxation spaces with ocean views, and menus inspired by Mayan and traditional Mexican fare. The Club’s beachfront amphitheater is a popular gathering spot for concerts, readings and lectures.

Papaya Playa Lounge

An ocean front terrace at Papaya Playa Project showcases the resort’s approach to creating spaces that are both comfortable and in touch with the natural surroundings. Photo: Papaya Playa