My boyfriend and I stayed four nights at Playa Mambo in January 2013. One night in Ochre and three nights in the Penthouse.
This was our first trip to Tulum and a short one for my birthday. I researched pretty extensively where to stay, and it ended up being a choice between Playa Mambo, La Zebra and Nueva Vida de Ramiro. I wanted to be on that area of the beach since I read that it was the nicest. I ultimately decided on Playa Mambo due to the price difference, reviews and speedy email communications, and it was a great choice. Driving through the little busier section of the hotel zone made me happy that I had chosen this location -- it was just way too busy further up the beach for my taste.
The property is small and intimate. The cabanas are cuter than I expected and pretty tastefully decorated. What I like about PM is that it's not trying to be anything it's not, and it's pretty perfect that way it is. Definitely a barefoot-in-the-sand experience with -- like another reviewer said -- enough creature comforts to make it pleasant (24 hour electricity, electrical outlets in the cabanas, and -- at least in the Penthouse -- SUPER hot water). The beds were surprisingly very comfortable (though the pillows not so much -- bring your own if that's a big issue for you).
It's just felt very easy and comfortable, and we felt at home and welcomed the entire time. There are only about eight cabanas, so it never feels crowded. At most, there were usually a total of 3 or 4 people on the beach loungers, and it was very, very quiet, day and night (ps: there WAS construction going on on either side of the property while we were there, so there was a lot of hammering and chainsawing going on during the days making it impossible to nap or sleep late, but that's not PM's fault).
The Uruguayan family that runs PM is incredibly nice and accommodating. If you don't speak Spanish, there may be a few communication bumps, but nothing that can't be figured out -- and their young son speaks English, so he can translate when needed. I speak very limited Spanish, and it was really a non-issue (and I need to learn more Spanish...).
If I had to do over, I probably wouldn't bother spending the extra money on the Penthouse. Even though Ochre was the furthest away from the water, it was plenty cute and comfortable, and we wish we had just stayed there the entire time. The Penthouse was nice and roomy, but going up and down the somewhat tricky staircase to the bathroom was annoying after a while (though it was nice having a bit more bathroom privacy).
FYI: the parking is pretty limited and tight, but they make it work. You leave your car key at the reception area, and if they need to move your car, they do it. Also, the gate is closed after a certain point, but there is a way to open it from the outside. But, a car really isn't necessary -- there were plenty of restaurants within walking distance.
All in all, a really special place -- thank you!
- Also Known As:
- Playa Mambo Hotel Tulum