After weeks of research and eliminating possible hotel choices, we opted for Playa Azul. What was our criterion? Beach front accomodation, located on the best beach possible and Mexican Food (surprisingly a lot of hotels serve other cuisine) - Playa Azul ticked all of those boxes.
About the hotel:
We spent one night in a suite above the restaurant - it was gorgeous (room 17) and I fell in love with the overall design and impressed by the little extra's - quirky decorative peices which made you feel you were somewhere 'different'. On the downside, the room was incredibly hot and we didn't get a good nights sleep (so much for all of the reviews saying the first floor rooms get better breezes - we did not find this to be the case).
The next three days were spent in Cabana 15, the most beachfront location of all of the cabanas. This was amazing and we were the envy of many of the people we met. (although no one was complaining about their rooms either). The room was a good size, great decorative order (not sure why people are saying the rooms are 'rustic' and not as the pictures depict - we did not find this to be the case) and a nicely laid out bath area. Be warned however that there are no doors between the bath/toilet area and the sleeping area.
The food and drink were all very good. Service is laid back - as you would expect however there was nothing that we were told 'no' to - i.e. lunch menu for dinner? sure! Substitutions at breakfast? not a problem!! and speaking of breakfast, the included continental breakfast consists of fresh fruit and an amazingly fresh croissant... excellent. I couldn't fault a thing.
The beach area that the hotel sits on is THE BEST in the area. They staff rake it every morning. We took long walks down the beach and can honestly say, Playa Azul sits directly on the best part. It is breath taking. And yes, there are hotels which sit on rocky,and narrow strips of beach. However as another traveller pointed out this also means people not staying in the hotel come down to Playa Azul and use the beach facilities so grab your space early.
So - why the bad reviews?
If you are expecting a cabana boy and michelin star table service, this is not the place for you. Then again, that would include all places in Tulum. Tulum is not a cheap seaside holiday destination. Nor is it cheap to eat out and drink (neighbouring Posada Margharita has fantastic pasta dishes - the least expensive being near to £12) - so if you are visiting the area you need to consider this and the hotel should not necessarily be faulted for this as it seems par for course.
Also - this is not the far east where you will get people willing to wait on you hand and foot in order to provide services (in return for tips etc) - the locals are quite laid back although hard working people. There is a true carribean vibe.
There are some very elegant and world class hotels / resorts located all the way down the Riveria Maya so there are options if you would prefer someting more luxurious (i.e. with air conditioning, better electricity etc) however if you want a beach front, eco chic experience, Tulum is the place and we can not recommend Playa Azul enough.
Back to the hotel....
I could write about it for days however you probably get the idea by now... if you take the time to look around and see how beautiful it all is, there really is nothing to complain about. We had a dream stay at Playa Azul.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Playa Azul sits on an incredible stretch of beach, close to the Mayan ruins. There is a kite school, with IKO certified instructors, and a full-service beach bar with service on the beach. The two-story restaurant and lounge provides the best views on the beach in Tulum! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Playa Azul Tulum Hotel Tulum