Thatched palm roofs peer from Tulum’s tropical coast at theMaya Residence, a group of six modern hacienda-inspired homes with accents of bright artisan-crafted tiles and upcycled wooden trims that add warmth to its polished concrete design. Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors welcome in the coast’s sultry sea breeze, and the villa's private balconies are a slice of solace for those with toddling travel buddies. Set along the riviera’s sundrenched shoreline, wraparound decks make for a laidback cocktail-sipping spot, not to mention the hotel’s taco bar just a few sandy steps away.
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A locally produced pine- or almond blossom-scented candle from Oum Series
Six villas; with either two, three or five bedrooms.
10am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £984.23 ($1,246), including tax at 19 per cent.
Rates don’t include breakfast, but a traditional Mexican breakfast and fresh fruit is available for an additional fee at the hotel’s beachside palapa.
If the thought of grocery shopping doesn’t blend well with your idea of a zen getaway, then let reception know and they’ll deliver it to your door.
At the hotel
Parking, taco bar, yoga pavilion, swimming pool; you’re also welcome to borrow kayaks, paddle-boards and boogie boards. In rooms: Free WiFi, air-conditioning, kitchenette, blender, Nespresso coffee machine, drinking water, hairdryers, beach and bath towels.
Our favourite rooms
All six villas have their own charm, but sea-facing Casa Sol takes the win for us. High ceilings and windowed walls flood the living space with natural light, where Merida-made tiles, copper lights and crafted beams accent a gently minimalist interior. Plush bean bags line the palm-lined connecting patio, and a small private pool rests just steps from the Caribbean’s cyan-cast shore. If you’re travelling in a smaller group, try Casa Cosmo for equally gaze-worthy views.
If you’re not tempted by the Caribbean’s warm waters, then the hotel has a swimming pool just a stone’s throw away, shared between all six villas. There are also guest-only sunloungers available along the beach.
Bring the kaftans, leave the shoes; spend the week roaming barefoot along Tulum’s sun-warmed sands. Plus, you’ll have some extra room for handmade market finds.
Chefs are available at your request to whip-up a traditional Mexican meal, served in the privacy of your villa.
Welcome from two years old in all the villas. Entertainment is limited for little ones but babysitting is available; older kids are welcome to utilise the hotel’s paddle and boogie boards. Cots and extra beds are available on request.
Each property is powered with solar panels and the hotel has a zero-plastic pledge.
Dine on your private wraparound patio, or among the tropics on your sea-facing balcony.
Barefoot bohemian with a chic-edge flies here. Then again, the villa is your own so wander as you please.
The hotel doesn’t have a restaurant as such, but you can pop to the taco bar for some tasty tacos, and fresh breakfast is available daily in the beachside palapa. If you’d rather stay home without the faff of whipping something up, reception will be happy to send one of their chefs over for a private in-house meal.
Cocktails are served at the taco bar, but beyond that it’s homemade margaritas fresh from your villa’s blender.
Tacos and drinks are served from 8.30am to 4pm, six days a week.
That’s the beauty of having your own kitchen, room service is whenever you please.
Each of the six properties that make up the Maya Residence are located along the Mayan Riviera, just off Tulum’s sunbleached Caribbean coast.
Cancun International Airport is an hour and a half away. The hotel can arrange private transfers in a seven-seater ($150 one way; $270 return) or a seventeen-seater for bigger groups ($240 one way; $420 return). If you’re travelling in a smaller squad, the hotel offers a luxury five-seater SUV transfer for $200 each way, or a $350 return.
Rent a car from the airport and head south along the Yucatán coast to Tulum. Don’t worry about finding parking, the hotel has an on-site private car park.
Worth getting out of bed for
Beach bums will be in their element at the Maya Residence; the options are endless, but try avoiding the busier spots and head a little further afield to Akumal Beach, a secluded bay where resident turtles weave between coral reefs and snorkel-bearing swimmers have free rein. Stop for a dip in one of the riviera’s clear open-air cenotes, Cenote Azul is a top pick if you don’t mind the company of toe-nibbling fish; take a kayak tour through the lagoons of Si’an Khan Biosphere Reserve or venture inland to limestone-lined Laguna Bacalar. Once you’ve ogled the sought-after Tulum Ruins, take a traditional Mayan cooking class with one of the town’s local families for a more personalised history lesson. Or, if you’d rather stay within walking distance of your villa, borrow one of the hotel’s paddle boards at sunrise for golden views.
Pay a visit to off-the-grid Hartwood, where market-sourced Yucatán ingredients make up the ever-changing Mayan menu. Here, every fish is sustainably sourced, all cooking is done on a natural handmade wood burner, compost is used to revitalise the surrounding mangroves and the restaurant runs entirely on solar energy. If you’re looking for something a little closer, fresh Mediterranean cuisine is served up at Loco Tulum, a few minutes away from your villa. Try an up-market spin on Mexican favourites downtown at Tú, where chilli-infused octopus tacos are served with tequila-fuelled house cocktails.
Pop to beach hut Matcha Mama for a health kick in the form of fresh açai bowls, kombucha, smoothies, and well… matcha.
Mezcal is a must when staying in Tulum, and luckily Arca has you covered; sample one of the whimsically named house cocktails, or go classic with a Mestizo Margarita. For a more upbeat into-the-early-hours ambience, head to Gitano Tulum, where cocktails come served smoked and fairlights ablaze palm-lined gardens.
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 jungle hideaway in Tulum and unpacked their hand sewn silk and feather paintings, a full account of their Mexican beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Maya Residence in Tulum…
If you thought Yucatán’s coast had reached peak postcard-beauty, this cluster of six palapa-thatched casas may make you reconsider. Resting within a wall of towering palm trees along Tulum’s bleached shores, each home carries an air of exclusivity and serenity rivalled only by the gentle patter of your neighbouring sea turtle nest. Inside, local mahogany-stained wood lines plastered entryways and subtle upcycled touches adorn the walls. Casa Celeste even has splashes of stained-glass ceilings that are sure to mesmerise little Smiths (and perhaps you, too). Just steps from your door the Caribbean Sea’s signature shoreline glistens; turn around and a little further inland Tulum’s town centre alights with the colour of local artwork and handcrafted textiles, and wandering mariachi bands weave between evening crowds. Plus, if family time starts to get a little overbearing you can always venture to the hotel’s pool and bar for some margarita-led self-care.