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Located on one of the most tranquil and pristine stretches of beach in the Caribbean, this luxuriously low-key hotel is a far-cry from those terrifyingly commercial all-inclusive resorts dotting more of the Riviera Mayan coast than I’d care to share. With its 16 simple, yet modern bungalows and palm-lined private beach, La Zebra Hotel Tulum is the epitome of a chillaxed jungle-meets-seaside hotel where the point is to pretty much to do just that, relax. You could probably get a PhD in relaxation if you spend more than a week there, trust me, it’s got that kind of vibe.
The 16 bungalows, most of which are perched proudly on the sand staring the ocean in the eye, are comfortable yet simple. They have modern ceramic bathrooms and colourful wall-art bringing them to life but it’s the views that really set these bungalows apart from other hotels in Tulum.
The beach, with it’s sandy bar and thatched-parasols, is the main attraction and you can easily spend an entire day blissfully hanging out on a hammock sipping Don Julio’s and watching the waves roll in. No pool-hops or pub-crawls to be seen here, but if you want to do something other than re-imagining cloud formations or working on your tan-lines (because let’s face it, sometimes you actually need to get the blood circulating), there are lively Salsa nights every Sunday where punters come from all over to try their hand at the hustle and swing.
You’re also in the perfect position to hire one of the hotel bikes and explore the nearby Sian Ka’an Jungle Biosphere Reserve or cycle a couple of minutes down the pothole-laden road to one of the many award-winning fresh-produce cafes.
If you really can’t be bothered getting the blood moving then that’s okay too, La Zebra Hotel Tulum cantina dishes up some of the most amazing fresh-caught seafood around and all you have to do is mosey a couple of steps from your hammock to the soaring open-beam palapa-roof structure and you’ll be tempted by the best ceviche in Tulum. If all-you-can-drink tequila is what you’re after, the on-site Tequila bar should more than suffice. It should be noted that in an extremely cute touch, the bartenders freshly-squeeze their own sugarcane from the hotel’s antique hand-crank. Oh and these bartenders are pretty much the nicest people ever.
Yes it’s all very rustic at La Zebra Hotel Tulum but that’s part of the charm. Don’t get me wrong, there’s enough luxury to satisfy the Gypset but If you’re not willing to walk around barefoot and get some sand between your toes then maybe you should try one of the aforementioned all-inclusives. But where’s the fun in that?
La Zebra Hotel Tulum: The Lowdown
Reviewed by Stefanie Acworth who was a sponsored guest of La Zebra Hotel Tulum in December 2014.