Tulum, Mexico

Kai Tulum

Rates per night from$223.60

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD223.60), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Ruinously good


Bang on the beach

Life: it’s better on the Yucatán Peninsula, especially if you bed down at Kai Tulum, whose tropical casitas are utterly in tune with their surroundings (we’re talking sea-and-sand-inspired styling, natural materials, stilts and palapa roofs). The clifftop Mayan ruins are a short walk away and a stay here also puts sparkling cenotes, watersports galore, dreamy beaches and buzzing bars on your doorstep. Rooms are refreshingly fuss-free, letting the ocean views do the talking; there’s also a laidback beachfront restaurant, which dishes up melon smoothies, mezcal cocktails and seafood feasts.

Smith Extra

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One dinner for two


Photos Kai Tulum facilities

Need to know


11 beachfront casitas.


Noon; earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.


Double rooms from £213.98 ($266), including tax at 19 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include WiFi, use of the beach chairs and umbrellas, plus purified water. Breakfast (a la carte) is an extra cost.


Private yoga classes can be arranged onsite or at one of Kai Tulum’s sister hotels nearby (an extra cost). The same goes for beauty treatments from visiting therapists. Wannabe Rambos can make use of Kai’s ‘Jungle Gym’, a few kilometres away.

At the hotel

Beach; beach lounge; beach club at Playa Pescadores next door; jungly grounds; free WiFi. In rooms: deck, air-conditioning, free bottled water.

Our favourite rooms

Do you want full views or full seclusion? Rooms with partial ocean views offer more privacy – for less ocean-gazing.

Packing tips

Bring light layers for the tropical temperatures. Add a dash of spicy scent – Le Labo, perhaps? – to turn up the (already considerable) heat.


Kai Tulum and its grounds aren’t suitable for wheelchair-users.


Little Smiths of all ages are welcome. Cots can be provided for free; under-12s can share their parents’ room at no extra cost.


Very. Light bulbs and cleaning products are eco friendly; the restaurant’s ingredients are organic and locally sourced. The buildings star natural materials, palapa roofs and stilts, minimising the construction footprint and the impact on the biodiversity of the land.

Food and Drink

Photos Kai Tulum food and drink

Top Table

They’re all born equal here; pick according to your sun-seeking or shade-needing preferences.

Dress Code

Fresh from a Bounty ad: pearl-white linens; gold; sun-glow skin. Staff sport polo shirts and shorts, so you might want to steer clear of that combo.

Hotel restaurant

Kai’s open-air restaurant is bang on the beach (come armed with your favourite shades by day). It’s a winsome setting for melon smoothies, sea-fresh ceviche, perfect pizzas and other happy-holiday fare.


Hotel bar

There’s no formal bar as such, but the restaurant will rustle you up a tequila – or mezcal-heavy cocktail, or a delicious fresh-fruit smoothie.

Last orders

Breakfast is served until 11am; dinner until 9pm.


Photos Kai Tulum location
Kai Tulum
Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

You’ll find Kai Tulum in Quintana Roo, on the northern end of the playa, near the ruins (huzzah).


Cancún International Airport is 65 kilometres away (a two-hour drive); the Smith24 team will happily book your flights.


There are plenty of car-hire options at the the airport, and the hotel has free on-site parking.


Hop on the regular bus service from the airport to Tulum’s bus station terminal, if you’re on a budget, then take a taxi to the hotel zone. There’s also an airport shuttle service every 15 or 30 minutes.

Worth getting out of bed for

Beyond sea frollicking, sunbathing and eating everything you fancy at the restaurant, there’s not a huge amount to do at the hotel – and that’s part of Kai’s charm. Stroll along the beach, admiring the colourful fishermen’s boats, which are moored in the mornings and evenings, bobbing prettily on the water (when they're not out on the waves or beached on the sand). If you’re feeling a little more lively, go diving or swimming in the sparkling cenotes: Gran Cenotes and Cenotes Dos Ojos are some obvious choices. If you’d like to join a diving tour of the cenotes, get in touch with Dive Cenotes Tulum, based at Callar Polar Poniente. Try your hand at kite-surfing and other watersports with help from Extreme Control, whose HQ is on Carretera Cancun. It’s well worth making the 45-minute drive north of Tulum for the Cenotes at Chikin Ha, which are jaw-droppingly beautiful, well-maintained and thankfully free from the selfie-snapping masses. It’s pretty much illegal to go to Tulum and come home without visiting the Maya Ruins at Carretera Federal. (You’ll soon see why.) Save some energy to experience Tulum’s famous/infamous nightlife, too.

Local restaurants

Sin Yolanda in Tulum is equal parts colourful and fashionable. It has a breezy open-air setup, with the beach just a stroll away. Highlights include aguachiles (a spicy shrimp ceviche), tostadas, tacos and brick-oven pizzas. Naturally, all of the above are best enjoyed with a mezcal or tequila cocktail, or a local beer. Kitchen Table grills succulent seafood and meat to juicy perfection in its jungle kitchen by Tulum National Park. It’s eco-conscious, too. For something a little fancier, make a beeline for Posada Margherita hotel on Carretera Tulum–Boca Paila; its Italian restaurant is dreamy. You could also nip to your near neighbour, Playa Pescadores (Kai Tulum’s laidback sister) for a fishy feast served in bohemian surroundings.


Local bars

Toast those Tulum sunsets in style at Mezzanine Thai Restaurant and Martini Bar on Carretera Tulum–Boca Paila. The master mixologist honed his skills at Soho House, so you know you’re in safe hands. Add Thai bites to the equation if you’re feeling peckish.


Photos Kai Tulum reviews

Anonymous review

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 beachy hotel on the Yucatán Peninsula and unpacked their beachwear and mezcal, a full account of their Mexican break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Kai Tulum

Isn’t it time you encountered the Tulum version of yourself? The version that wakes up at 10am and starts the day with a fresh melon smoothie, pastries and tropical jams – all enjoyed while sitting admiring the ocean, with toes tickling the warm, waveside sand? That version of you that spends the day in a bikini or beach shorts, doesn’t brush their hair much, hops from sunbathing to surfing to snorkelling to diving cenotes to exploring Maya ruins, rewarding all of the above with a tequila-splashed cocktail and/or succulent seafood afterwards? We’re talking about that holiday embodiment of you that loses track of time, doesn’t know what day it is, forgets to check their emails and doesn’t give a fig about what’s on TV. If you’d like to become acquainted with that particular you, just head to Kai Tulum for a week or two…

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Kai Tulum’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The great location close to the ruins but away from the crowds. The great staff and fab food. Relax and watch the world go by.

Don’t expect

To party.


Stayed on 16 Nov 2019

We loved

The villa itself was perfect. Very cosy and clean with high spec everything - the bed was super comfy (and huge), shower was in a jungle-like setting, there was after-sun provided which came in handy...we felt very looked after! We had a great night's sleep with just the waves in the background aiding a relaxing holiday. The location was good, right on the beach with a lovely restaurant with sunrise views in the morning for breakfast (get the Flat Iron steak for dinner). Everyone really friendly and helpful, very chilled place.

Don’t expect

The beach itself wasn't great, loads of seaweed and smelt of sulphur, but that's Tulum I suppose. It was more crowded than I was expecting, too, not quite the get-away-from-it-all location I had envisioned. But it wasn't overcrowded and you do get your own large beds to lay by which are private.


Stayed on 12 Apr 2019