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
Amazing food and drinks. Attentive service. Very very kind staff who bought myself and my partner shots and chocolate cake for my birthday. Thank you Santiago and Jacob... as well as the rest of the staff. Made my birthday really something special
Staff was SO NICE!! The hotel had the coolest vibe ever, rooms were clean at all times, I loved having breakfast there in the morning since it was delicious AND in front of the ocean. There was a big party there during our stay and honestly it was not only fun but didn't interfere with the privacy of our cabanas when we decided to go to sleep. Pools were nice, I only got to use the guest-only pools because the other one was a bit too crowded for our liking but it was nice to have that option. We got amazing massages before we left too. Overall good experience.
The only bad part was all the algae in front of the ocean, but I did see how they tried to clean it every morning. And maybe the lack of a full body mirror in the cabanas.
In summary: I recommend and would go back!!!
Do Not Stay Here! This was the absolute worst experience I have ever had at a Hotel. We spent $656/per night in a "private villa" with a private pool. Lets begin with the fact they have NO TELEVISION/ NO ROOM SERVICE/ NO HOT WATER.. Even the Holiday Inn has room service. First Night: NO hot water, better yet not even warm water in the shower. We opened a bottle of Moet located in the mini fridge that ended up being hot champagne. Second day: at 7 am power went out for 6 hours. We had No working shower, No Air Conditioner, No Toilet.. We ended up having to take a shower and shave in our $656 pool.. Oh! and use the toilet in the reception. When I approached the reception about the power they said that their generators were not working either. Third Day: at 6:30 am a random worker broke into our private villa gate and walked through the back until we screamed at him and thats when he stormed off (sliding glass door doesn't lock properly). Again, no warm/hot water in the shower. Mid-day, we went back to our room and sure enough we had no power again. I specifically stayed here and not at Azulik to have air conditioner. Oh! and make sure you have WhatsApp downloaded on your phone.. it will be the only way to communicate with the receptionist.
IF YOU ARE READY TO NOT HAVE .... NO WARM WATER IN SHOWER, NO ELECTRICITY, NO TELEVISION, NO ROOM SERVICE, AND SOMEONE BREAK INTO YOUR VILLA THEN THIS IS THE PLACE TO STAY.