Miami meets Mexico at laidback, budget-boutique Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum, whose rooms are graced with snug hammocks, vivid tiled floors, mid-century furniture and leafy jungle views. An Instagram-ready pool, tropical-treat café and cosy common areas are your additional cues to swap Tulum Beach for this off-the-radar, off-the-beaten-track spot in Tulum town. Take your tastebuds on a tour of the brilliant, frills-free street-food options on your doorstep, then hire tuk-tuks, bikes or scooters to leap-frog from beaches to bars to Maya ruins to cenotes (not necessarily in that order). Lush Mexican jungle – sacred, don’t you know – provides a serene, green backdrop to your adventures.
Noon; earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from £96.10 ($100), including tax at 19 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of $1.34 per room per night prior to arrival.
Rates usually exclude breakfast (Continental or à la carte options).
The hotel is 50 metres away from Holistika Tulum, a hotel complex that offers yoga classes and all sorts of holistic therapies.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: air-conditioning, blackout blinds, free bottled water, tea- and coffee-making kit.
Our favourite rooms
Terrace Suite King #13 is on the top floor, graced with a huge outdoor terrace with panoramic jungle views. This suite has lashings of sunshine in the mornings and is decorated with polka-dot floors. Light-filled Balcony Suite #10 is situated at the back of the property, with jungle views galore; soak them all up with help from the multiple windows and the spacious balcony. Each room is unique, with in-room hammocks, solid teak furniture and bespoke tiled floors, so it’s difficult to call out favourites.
The jaw-droppingly pretty outdoor pool has a black-and-white striped floor, winsome views of the courtyard garden and a sun terrace with six loungers; a waterfall wall cleverly catches the sunset. It’s heated in winter, so you can swim all-year round.
Bring a list of local restaurants with you – the hotel only serves breakfast.
Little Smiths are welcome, but there aren’t many distractions for them other than the pool. Bear in mind that there are also quite a few steps throughout the property.
Whichever one’s closest; they’re all born equal here.
Tiki Tiki hippie. Come armed with light layers for the heat.
The hotel has a very small, very relaxed café that serves simple breakfasts. Pick from Continental or à la carte options, including scrambled egg, toast with preserves, fruit plate and granola, and crostini with avocado; don’t miss the delicious fruit salad.
The little lobby bar serves cocktails every night except Wednesday.
Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum is sitting pretty amid the jungle greenery in Tulum Pueblo (town). The closest beaches are about a 20-minute drive away.
Cancun International Airport (CUN) is a 90-minute drive away; Smith24 will happily sort your flights. One-way hotel transfers in a private van are $120 ($220 return) for up to four passengers; you can also take a taxi, a shuttle or a bus to Tulum.
From Cancun Airport, drive south on Highway 307 until you arrive at Tulum town. Cross the entire town; at the end of town, turn left when you see the sign that says Hotel Tiki Tiki. Follow that road for 500 metres, then turn right; after 150 metres, you’ll see the hotel on your left. Tiki Tiki has on-site parking.
Worth getting out of bed for
Start with what’s right here: hit the pool, kick back and relax, and hire bikes, scooters or a tuk-tuk if you want to explore the immediate ’hood. Beyond brilliant street food, don’t expect a heap of things to do in Tulum town – but you’re well placed for coastal and cultural day-trips further afield. Take a taxi or scooter to the playa to see what all the fuss is about. Go on a day trip to Cobá to visit the amazing Nohoch Mul Pyramid, a 45-minute drive away at Carretera Federal Tulum. Adventurous types can go zip-lining, rappelling or cave snorkelling. Don’t miss the Gran Cenote just outside Tulum, one of the top diving spots in Riviera Maya. This series of cenotes connected by wooden walkways is just a few kilometres from the hotel, on the way to Cobá. The water is crystal clear, making for incredible snorkelling.
Join the locals at cheap and cheerful Don Cafeto (+52 800 505 1713) on Avenida Tulum for breakfast; head to Avenida Satelite Norte and have lunch at El Asadero steakhouse, a carnivore’s heaven with unforgettable tacos and sauces; sample paella and other Spanish classics at Patanegra Tulum on Avenida Tulum. If you’re after something more formal, you’ll need to head in the direction of the playa; Tulum Pueblo’s restaurants are all very low-key.
A vintage Volkswagen with a bolted-on sugarcane press parked up inside the bar; laidback vibes; mojitos and tapas; lively locals… These are just a few reasons why we love super-chilled Batey – Mojito & Guarapo Bar on Calle Centauro.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this tropical hotel in Mexico and unpacked their mezcal and straw hats, a full account of their jungle break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum in Tulum…
Tulum Beach: undeniably lovely, but also undeniably prone to high price-tags and crowds. It seems far more sensible to bed down a little further from the madding crowd in Tulum Pueblo – particularly since Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum beckons. This peaceful hideaway set in sacred jungle has a sparkling pool and a relaxed café that aces breakfast; settle in here each morning and plan the day’s exploits over tropical fruit smoothies, iced coffee and avocado-and-egg crostini. Mood-boosting bedrooms with mid-century furniture, handmade tiles and cosy hammocks will do their best to keep you on the premises, but the hotel also has a fleet of bikes and scooters to facilitate two-wheeled adventures nearby. Go a little further and you could hop from Cobá’s ruins and pyramids to the Riviera Maya’s lapis-lazuli-liquid cenotes and Tulum’s bohemian beachfront bar shacks.