Mexican town Tulum has transformed from a sleepy hippie community to a lively tourist destination in a few short years. We’ve selected five design-focused accommodation options in the tropical forest and along the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya resort.
Palm leaf-lined ceilings meet wooden fixtures and furnishings inside the “small village” of guest suites that make up Jungle Keva, which Tulum’s Jaque Studio has designed in reference to the verdant surroundings.
Interspersed between the tropical plants, compact buildings with steep gabled roofs – and amenities like swimming pools and terraces – are built with local materials and techniques to provide an authentic jungle experiences.
Dark wood and neutral tones highlight the foliage outside, and a roof terrace provides a sunbathing spot and lookout above the trees.
Once home to drug baron Pablo Escobar (of Netflix’s Narcos fame), this mansion was taken over by art dealer Lio Malca and turned into a lavish boutique hotel.
Past the impressive log-covered entrance, elaborate artwork is found throughout Casa Malca‘s common areas – all with unique decor – and spacious beachfront guest rooms that feature concrete floors and high ceilings.
Eco-conscious Papaya Playa Project stretches almost a mile along the coast, dotted with thatched, chukum guest huts that owner Emilio Heredia designed to take cues from the area’s traditional architecture.
Accommodation options range from one-bedroom with secluded patios or open terraces, to larger private villas available for big parties. There is even a sculptural treehouse that peeps above the forest canopy.
Bedrooms at this holiday villa by designed by Specht Architects open onto expansive terraces overlooking the tropical forest and beach.
Casa Xixim serves as a fully rentable guesthouse for large groups up to 12 people. Squeezed onto a thin site, the T-shaped building’s contemporary architectural aesthetic features white walls, timber panels and local stone.
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