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
Parking on site
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Design Hotel’s breezy collection of beachside thatch-roofed cabanas in the heart of rustic-chic Tulum
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.
Papaya Playa Project
Km 4.5 Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila
How to Get There
Flights are available to Cancún International Airport (CUN) from major U.S. and U.K. cities on a variety of carriers. Transfers to/from CUN, about 82 miles away,are approximately $100 per person, each way, and can be arranged through the property. Taxis to/from (CUN) are approximately $120, each way. If staying at the hotel for three or more nights, it is recommended that you rent a car for the transfer for about $20 to $30 per day, as self-parking is free.