Papaya Playa Project
What We Love
- Close to downtown Tulum, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and the seafront ruins
- Live DJ sets at the Beach Club and the monthly full-moon parties
- Locally-sourced Mayan and Mexican food at Papaya Restaurant
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Tulum
What To Know
- Free WiFi is available at the front desk and at the restaurant, though it’s spotty at best
- You’re practically in the jungle in a beachfront cabana, so expect to get friendly with the local flora and fauna
- This is an eco-resort, so electricity and water are scarce. Bring the provided flashlight for walking through the grounds at night
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Papaya Playa offers new turf for going native in Tulum. Two hours south of the sprawling mega resorts in Cancún, low-key Tulum is the antithesis of its all-inclusive-loving cousin; it has become a haven for eco-conscious travelers and behind-the-scenes fashionistas with a taste for fresh ceviche, a heart for permaculture and a body for Downward Facing Dog. Papaya Playa is about 30 steps to Tulum’s gleaming 3,000-foot-long white sand beach, and serves as a jumping-off point for Tulum’s best sights, either by bike or car.
Bed and Bath
Papaya Playa encompasses 13 acres of jungle warmed by the Caribbean sun and cooled by the ocean breeze. The resort’s 80 cabanas are sprawled along the property’s 800-meter beach, all on the sea. A natural rocky ledge raises the oceanfront cabanas from the sand, offering in dramatic views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The beachfront faces directly east allowing incredible views of sunrise each morning and gentle breezes of an evening. Like most of the region’s eco-resorts, Papaya Playa has no-frills accommodation with limited resources, but you won’t miss the modern comforts here, especially when natural breezes substitute for air conditioning, torchlight complements the pathway nightlights, and a local wildlife choir relieves even the faithful iPod from duty.
In the breezy, multipurpose Papaya Club de Playa Beach Club and Restaurant, guests and locals mingle over international fare paired with cold beers and resident DJs. Once every full moon, house DJs and improv artists settle in for an all-night party.
In the Area
Some of the best undeveloped beaches in the region stretch south from Papaya Playa for about 30 miles into the pristine Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Rent a kayak or boat to explore the most remote corners of the coastline. Or head to the area’s mystical cenotes (underground limestone caverns), today used as unique swimming holes. The cliffside Mayan ruins just north of Tulum are gorgeous, but it’s also worth a daytrip inland to other famous ruins, including Chichén Itzá and Cobá. And no trip to Tulum is complete without ceviche at sunset: Follow the sandy roads three miles in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve for fresh ceviche, ziklipak (roasted pumpkin seeds) and sundowners from the kitchen at CESiaK, where the views of the Caribbean to the east and the sunset over the lagoon in the west steal the show.
How to Get There
My girlfriend and I stayed at PPP for five days. All 5 days we spent here was special and relaxing. We mostly stayed inside PPP, only stepping outside the premises 2 out of the 5 days.
We enjoyed the cabanas on the beach, the delicious food, relaxing ambiance, and the refreshing smoothies. The staff and service from the bar and kitchen was excellent. The service was prompt and the customer service throughout PPP was great!
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner was delicious. We pretty much ordered everything on the menu and there was no dish that ever disappointed. From smoothies, appetizers, and main course meals, everything tasted fresh and amazing!
We’ll most definitely make this our destination every time we stay in Tulum. We would not want to stay anywhere else!
Extra thanks to Ari, Karen, Carmen, Maria, and all the staff at PPP for making our vacation an amazing and unforgettable experience!
A boutiquey hotel that has a very trendy and sexy vibe, but be prepared because staying there is glorified glamping. We stayed in one of the oceanview cabanas—the rooms were very simple with just beds. The place is a thatched roof clay hut so be prepared for lots of bugs. There is AC, and it was decent, but I couldn’t imagine how hot it must be during the summer months. There is only one small mirror in the bathroom and the only outlets are next to the beds. The shower is small with a half wall and is opened to the whole bathroom. They do bring you two fresh bottles of water everyday when they clean the rooms, which was an awesome perk. The beach has tons of different cabanas available for anyone, but the ocean has tons of seaweed and isn’t very swimmable. The pools were kept nice and cool though and were an awesome supplement to not being able to go in the ocean. The included breakfast was amazing and had tons of food!! The downtown wasn’t too far away with tons of trendy bars and restaurants, but it was so suffocatingly hot once you are no longer by the ocean (I can’t even imagine what it’s like in the summer months). Can’t say I would go back again, just not so much my taste for a hotel, but it was a cool place to go to at least once.
My friend and I arrived and were greeted promptly albeit our room wasn’t ready. They took our bags and held them for us so we could hit the beach. The service at the beach and front desk was awesome. I do question why they put a hold on my card for $500 when just taking my card info should have been sufficient.
The food was great but the bar service was lackadaisical at best. The room was beautiful but a reminder for your neighbors that you can hear everything so please don’t FaceTime your kids at 7 in the morning in the front of your room. Also they shut the front gates at night so if you arrive back to the property late, they should tell the guests to knock on the gate because we had to learn the hard way.
Is booked through Otel.com and was promised something other than what I received and that was a bit of a bummer but not the hotels fault.
All and all I would stay there again.
I went there last December for 5 nights and absolutely loved the ambient and the service.We had our own Private pool, the place has very nice views great enviroment and white sandy beach.Would definately come back and recommend :)
We stayed here in early April for 4 nights. I have visited many places in the world but this place was up there with the best. We had an oceanfront cabana (number 22) the best one out of the lot so if you can - request it! We hired bikes to get around which was good fun and the location is perfect, I would definitely stay here again if heading back to Tulum. Mexico is a beautiful place and we both fell in love with it from day one! Some may say it’s pricey but you get what you pay for!