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“sleepless in Zamas”
Review of Zamas

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Zamas
Ranked #20 of 98 Hotels in Tulum
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Portland, OR
17
Reviewed February 11, 2006

At 26, I don't consider myself to be an old fuddy-duddy. I chose Zamas because it's website represented it as a chic, eco-friendly location to laze around in the sun and sleep. Reviews I read praised the restaurant and it seemed the perfect spot to unwind from a very busy fourth quarter. It delivered - somewhat. The rooms are clean, the beach nice, the food fairly good though overpriced. The restaurant's brightly colored tables and chairs are picture perfect.

Unfortunately, the website fails to note the restaurant hosts live music. Every night. Until 10 or 11pm. No problem, except it's electrically amplified and given an additional boost being right near the water. Thus my one week to sleep soundly listening to the waves turned into a week of lying in the dark, praying for the music to stop and then wishing I had the energy to get out of bed when the sun came streaming through the white curtains at 6am. I'm thankful I didn't splurge for a beach-side cabana, given their direct proximity to the restaurant. At least in the garden cabanas we were across the street and spared the full effect. Additionally Zamas appears to be a popular spot for wedding parties, and the "front desk" was not receptive to a query at 11:30pm as to whether the screaming/giggling frat party "wedding reception" going on next door could perchance be asked to quiet down.

So, Zamas is great if you're used to the rhythmic bass line of your neighbor's stereo and can sleep through anything. If I hadn't been more exhuasted on my return than I was leaving the office I probably would have loved the place. If you're looking for a quiet retreat off the road, though, take a pass.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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475 - 481 of 595 reviews

Reviewed February 8, 2006

We ended our 2-week drive through the Yucatan at Zamas, staying there 4 days. It was so relaxing listening to the sound of the ocean waves and the warm breeze. The colors give out pastel hues all around. The restaurant was fabulous. The wait staff really friendly and accomodating. The nightly entertainment was varied and fun. It is surrounded by things to do, if you're so inclined. We settled for quiet walks on the beach, lying on the sand, taking long naps, enjoying good food and good entertainment. We highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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2  Thank David.Karen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2006

I stayed at Zamas 3 times now, and still think it's a great spot. The beach cabana's are really the best: I also stayed in the garden cabana and in the ocean view de casa, the garden ones are nice but you miss the view, which is sort of the point of staying at Zamas, and the top floor of the house is really nice, and very suitible for families, but not on the beach, and if you prefer the "beachlife" I would definitely recommend a beach cabana (the smaller ones are also very funky). However: with all the new restaurants opening nearby, serving really great food (check out Posada Margharita: Italian like in Italy!), or Mezzanine (a Thai chef), Zamas'restaurant Que Fresco, which always had a very good reputation, is getting a bit "old". Still that great setting, and quite nice pizza's and fresh fish, but some of the things on the menu were not so fresh or badly cooked. They do have the International Chef series( a great idea), while we were there a chef from Chicago came down for a few days and added 3 extra dishes to the menu. About the live music: almost every night they have one of 3 bands playing. One of them is alright, the other two were a reason for us to eat somewhere else. In general: they might give their kitchen a "boost", but still a great place! If you go to Tulum: go snorkeling in a cenote (like Gran Cenote): very beautiful!

Stayed: January 2006
3  Thank Juul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2005

My boyfriend and I spent four nights at Zamas and had a very good experience. We stayed in a Garden Cabana and were pleased with its location and view. (You can see the sea from the front porch). On the porch there are two hammocks and a table and chair. Inside there were two full sized beds with mosquito nets (bring bug spray!) and a private bath. Our water pressure was quite adequate and warm. The rooms were cleaned daily and the decor is charming.

The staff at the restaurant/front desk were all friendly and helpful, especially Elmer! He made reservations for us to snorkle and tour the biosphere. The beach was beautiful and while we were there we just followed the other swimmers to where there was rock free swimming and had a very relaxing time floating on the waves. Other beaches which are bigger and a good get away from your hotel are Paraiso and Zazikhil/Don Armandos closer to the ruins. Zamas is in a really good location because it is at the end of the paved road. I don't think I would have liked to stay beyond the paved road because it is so bumpy and I'm not sure the taxis go down it. (We didn't rent a car). It is fun to explore the other resorts' restaurants on foot at night with a flashlight or take a cab to town or toward the ruin.

Our only complaint is that about half the people at the restaurant had kids and we'd prefer a kid free environment. It had a family camp feel to it. For the most part,they were not noticable when in our room. Also, the sulfur in the mud sometimes smells but you'll find that everywhere.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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2  Thank Frescana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2005

This is a lovely, relaxing spot to completely chill out and get away from everything. We stayed in cabana 12 "deluxe unit". This cabana faces the ocean, but sits back off the road a bit. We found the road a bit of a detraction as there was a lot of traffic on the road during our stay (much of it likely post-Wilma related as we noted lots of sand trucks and trucks in general, but also lots of taxis and passenger cars). There were times when we had to stand and wait to cross the road because the road was so busy. Also, the deluxe units have a large front "yard" and a fence which, although allows for privacy from peering eyes of passengers in cars, does obstruct a bit of the beautiful view (see my photos) and makes you feel a little separated from things. Overall, however, we found this to be a really nice place to stay. We were happy with our cabana overall - it was very attractive and cleaned well and had a great front porch with hammocks to relax on. A couple detractions (and some of these have been mentioned already)...the shower pressure is VERY light, in fact so light that it is hard to rinse the soap and shampoo off well. And it's salt water, so you never really feel clean...you always have a residue of salt on your skin and hair. The water temp varies in the shower. Some days you get warm/hot water, other days you don't. The toilet sometimes does not flush - I'd say about 20% of the time it doesn't flush. You have to wait awhile and then try again. Our ceiling fan was not working during our stay, although since it was December, it was cool enough at night without it (but if you plan to come during the hot season - May through November -you may want to check ahead to make sure you'll have that fan working because you will need it!) The staff was friendly, courteous and professional. The BEST thing about Zamas is its restaurant, Que Fresco! WOW! The food was fantastic - especially dinners, and particularly their fish dishes. There were several dinners that were so fantastic, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. We live in a major metropolitan area that is known for great restaurants, but Que Fresco outshined anything we have eaten at home. The best things we ate there were "crispy fish", "fish tacos" and "garlic & lime fish". Prices are moderate. Most our our breakfasts (including tip) came to about $20 - $25 for two people (included 2 entrees, 3 cups of coffee, sometimes a fruit plate or juice). Our dinner checks (including tip) ran around $45 - $50 for 2 people. We almost always ordered 1 appetizer to share, an entree each, 2-3 cocktails between us, 1 or 2 desserts and coffee. Breakfast entrees average about US $5.50 a piece. Dinner entrees vary, ranging from about $8.00 or $9.00 for pizza or pasta, to $18.00 for the most expensive seafood dishes. Most alcoholic beverages are $4.00. Some really fancy drinks are $6.00. Coffee, and other non-alcoholic beverages are $2.00 each. Be careful when ordering "specials" at dinner. I ordered the soup special and when the bill came, the soup was $9.00 (for one small bowl)! Make sure you ask what the price is before you order.

A couple other things to mention. It is incredibly easy to hail taxis near Zamas. Right down the road, there are taxis sitting all hours of the day and night waiting for passengers. You can go anywhere locally (for example Tulum Pueblo or down the road to another beach or resort) for about $3.00. The beach at Zamas is pretty, but not good for swimming (it's too rocky). We discovered a WONDERFUL and beautiful swimming beach with a beach bar, called El Paraiso. It's about 1.5 miles down the road from Zamas (heading toward the ruins) and we took a taxi there almost every day and spent our beach days there. The beach bar there serves good food and drinks and there is also a bathroom. El Paraiso is the picture-perfect Caribbean beach - picture the Corona beer commercials and you get the picture. I'll include a photo so you can see how beautiful it is.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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10  Thank Sassygirl18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Hollywood, California
13
Reviewed December 10, 2005

We just returned from a week at Zamas. This was actually our 2nd trip in the past 6 months. The first was a family trip in August (prepare for HEAT) which included ages 2-60. Everyone had a great time! Our more recent visit included adults only. Both times, we found the accomodations simple but well maintained and very comfortable. The proprietor and his staff were very accomdating and the beach front restaurant is perfect. We think the pizza may be the best in the world, including Italy. If you are looking for a casual get away in a beautiful location with just enough to do (Mayan ruins,water parks and a marina are nearby) if, you want a break from eating, drinking wonderful Maragritas and lounging on a beautiful beach) Zamas is the place. Also, the full on recovery from hurricaine Wilma is truly amazing.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2005

I stayed at Zamas between the 15th and 19th of November 2005. It was my first time in Mexico and I had fallen in love with Zamas when I looked at the website. The hotel was just as I had imagined it, I was not disappointed. We stayed in the Ocean View first floor room, it was set back from the beach across a small road and the room was on stilts rather than above another room. The room was very spacious with two double beds and a chair and table by the windows and a tiled seating area as well. I loved the porch which had two hammocks and two deck chairs on it. The shower area and toilet lead off the the main room and don't have doors as such so unless you are comfortable with your travelling companion you might find that aspect of the room a little difficult. The restaurant is fantastic! The service was great, swift and polite. The pizza was perfect, large thin crust with great toppings and most cost less than £6.00. I loved the fact it was open air and at night the candle lanterns on each tabel give a lovely relaxed and romantic feel. There are a few things that weren't great which I will list now but don't let it put you off to much. Our fan was not working which luckily wasn't to much of a problem as there was a strong wind off the sea at night. The shower often smelt a bit, it didn't travel into the rest of the room though. The shower its self was useless, we filled bottles with hot water and poured them over ourselves, was a bit annoying but it is an eco hotel and you should expect it to be a bit rustic. The beach was nice but not the typical white sand and palm tree beach you will find down the road. Unfortunately while we were there the sea was rough and not many people were venturing in. Despite these few problems I found Zamas a relaxing place to stay that was in a good location for day trips out and getting taxi's to other restaurants etc. Good hotel, nice people, loved Mexico!

6  Thank Catty82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zamas

Address: Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km. 5 | Zona Hotelera, Tulum 77780, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Family Hotel in Tulum
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Tulum
#29 Romantic Hotel in Tulum
Price Range: $145 - $309 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Zamas 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ZAMAS is a boutique beach hotel situated on a strip of the Caribbean coast in Tulum. Inviting accommodations reflect a locally-inspired, organic architecture. Thatch roofs, stucco walls in beach-worn hues, and vibrant decor exude tropical warmth. Since it opened in December 1993 ZAMAS, with its hip beachfront style, has enjoyed an eclectic and international clientele of honeymooners, fashion professionals, artists, families, techies, and everyone in between. It is a quintessential hangout, mixing colorful urban roots with laid back local vibes and jungle ambience. Come experience the Tulum we know- delightfully laid back and naturally beautiful. Welcome to ZAMAS. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zamas Hotel Tulum
Zamas Tulum

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