Treasures in Tulum Begin With an Enchanting Mexican Getaway at La Zebra
Now, this is truly one unforgettable if not breathtaking stretch of land. From its glorious, exotic beaches to the jungle forests and curious Mayan Ruins, Tulum embodies all that is paradise. About 90 minutes south of Cancun, some travelers might not immediately think of staying in Tulum for a longer spell, opting to delve only into the offerings of Cancun. But they’d be missing out. Tulum is a remarkable portal—read: (somewhat) off the grid—rich in culture and full of a bounty of outdoor excursions. Dubbed the “Mexican Caribbean,” it’s hard not to be hypnotized by Tulum’s captivating spell (plan to stay for a week to 10 days).
Best bets reside, naturally, on the beach, away from the main town of Tulum. You can discover many hotels and “resorts” on the oceanside. And when I say resorts, I’m not talking about a lush palace-like empire you’d find in Miami or Las Vegas. Those tend to be somewhat garish. No. The resorts in Tulum are far more intimate. Think charming bungalows, often steps away from the ocean water.
As a wedding officiant, I was jazzed to have the opportunity to not only unite a happy couple in matrimony recently, but to also to experience an extended stay at La Zebra resort, where the wedding was to take place. Nestled on the southern end of a long stretch of beaches, La Zebra has that winning trifecta of spaciousness, cleanliness and professionalism. Beyond that, most of the food dishes offered in chef Lina’s Kitchen are wonderfully authentic in their Mexican design and presentation. The ceviche is out of this world. I still can’t decide which was better—the classic margarita or the intoxicating mojitos. I indulged in plenty of each of those.
Back to the trip…
My first morning at La Zebra consisted of chitchat with some of the other wedding guests before quickly downing some fresh-squeezed orange juice, then jumping into the ocean and losing myself in the body-temperature sea water. Lovely. Afterward, I went for a long walk north along the beach, admiring the striking expanse of ocean before me. The water here is mesmerizing. Meanwhile, each of the resorts I passed held a unique vibe—from rustic to quasi-chi-chi.
When I returned to La Zebra, it was clear that it stood out among the others. It’s one of the few resorts with a full-service restaurant/cantina/tequila bar, and one that sits right on the beach at that. In addition to a spacious dining area inside, there are several tables and chairs set up right on the sand, too. And several yards away, there were lounge chairs and real palm husk umbrellas.
But it’s the rooms at the resort that are impressive. I appreciated the lay of the land, as it were. At La Zebra, there are a variety of “stays” to choose from. Beachfront cabanas—the wedding couple’s was downright dreamy (see below)—stand out for their location, of course, but each one had its own look and feel.
The “honeymoon suite” is spacious and houses a spectacular bath and shower area, and it may be one of La Zebra’s best offerings. (Although there is another building right next door that La Zebra offers to vacationers which is just as enchanting.)
Interestingly, and perhaps a tad more affordable, are La Zebra’s jungle rooms, which are right across the street on the main road. Now, these I found absolutely charming. There are about three clustered together amongst the tall jungle palms, complete with a modest-sized pool, perfect for a late-night dip. These are equally spacious and I didn’t mind not being directly on the beach. In fact, there were many evenings where I just lounged outside and lost myself in the view of the stars—the scope and expanse of which was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced—before heading back to my jungle room, just a minute away. Bottom line: I didn’t miss out on the “beach” experience by not staying on the beachside.
There’s so much to report about Tulum, that it’s hard to put in just one post. So, I’ll be writing about my excursion to the Mayan ruins as well as a memorable snorkeling adventure I had elsewhere in an upcoming post. But take note of some other La Zebra highlights:
Salsa Lessons: A professional dancer—read: sexy and charming—and his small posse are on hand on Friday nights or select evenings. Some of the locals even show up, which is a testament to the instructor’s level of professionalism and fun. Other nights boast additional entertainment.
Wedding Packages: An ideal wedding spot? You bet. Check in with La Zebra’s wedding consultants for more information. The wedding I officiated was beautifully arranged—chairs, maracas, gazebo. And right on the sand.
Massage: Imagine losing yourself in such a soul-enriching experience—and right on that beach! Learn more at La Zebra’s front desk.
Look for more about my Tulum adventure in an upcoming post.
Where: Carretera Tulum a Boca Paila Km 8.2
Tulum 77780 Quintana Roo, Mexico (Roughly 10 km from town.)
Price: $150.00 – $575.00 US (Check for special group rates, especially if wedding-related; often prices are more affordable)
Tel: +1 (303) 578-1301
E-mail: reservations @ lazebratulum.com
Kitchen/kitchenettes in some units, toiletries, full bar, breakfast, lunch, dinner. Pool.