Tulum occupies the Yucatán Peninsula’s most scene-stealing stretch of coast, a bucket-list destination blessed with beachside Mayan ruins and surreal cenotes.
What was once a sleepy fishing village has burgeoned into one of Mexico’s most famous vacation destinations. With more and more people flocking to the town each year, it boasts a wide range of exciting accommodation options from pricey beachside eco-retreats to budget-friendly hostels. For something a little more private, the area is overflowing with beautifully designed contemporary apartments and peaceful villa rentals; this is our pick of Tulum’s best Airbnbs.
For travelers watching their wallets, this stylish one-bed studio-loft is a top bet. The spacious hippie hangout boasts full kitchen facilities, a private bathroom and a hammock so you can put your feet up in the evenings. With high ceilings and a multitude of windows, the apartment stays cool without the need for air-conditioning. The home is surrounded by a beautiful wild garden, which is shared with the host Montserrat, who occupies the palapa hut adjacent to the property.
Located 10 minutes’ drive from Tulum town center, this two-guest eco-treehouse is a fantastic way to maximize your contact with nature. Guests stay in a domed tent structure whose comforting, soft lines blend seamlessly with the Mayan jungle surroundings. The accommodation is only a short walk from several cenotes, or underwater sinkholes, where you can cool off with a swim during the day. With very low light pollution levels, the secluded area is also perfect for gazing up at the stars.
Peacefully removed from Tulum’s main drag, this sprawling 10-guest villa is ultra-luxurious and covered in tropical foliage. Plants sprout from the ground at every turn, surrounding the whole house and visible through the wall-to-wall picture windows in every room. All four bedrooms have an ensuite and Smart TV, two have balconies and out by the heated pool you’ll find a huge barbecue station. A concierge is also available around the clock, armed with local recommendations and ready to assist you with whatever you need.
Those looking for a more rustic Tulum retreat will find it at this collection of eco-friendly (and air-conditioned) cabins close (but not too close) to town. Each one sleeps two, and is made from natural, local materials with handcrafted furnishings and palapa roofs, giving them that much sought-after boutique, boho vibe. Thoughtful extras include essentials like beach towels, a map of the town and mosquito repellent, while luxurious touches come in the form of Nespresso coffee machines, private patios, organic bath products and king-size beds. You’ll also have access to bikes and locks so you can easily zip between cabin and beach.
This one-bedroom apartment is an on-trend combination of modern wooden furnishings, polished concrete and traditional wall hangings. It comes kitted out with a king-size bed, air conditioning, smart TV and well-equipped kitchen, and you’ll have access to a large shared pool. The best thing about it, however, is the private plunge pool: a rare find when it comes to the smaller apartments in town. Shaded by palapa, made from polished concrete, and surrounded by potted plants and cushions to lounge on, it has a quintessential Tulum aesthetic, despite its more contemporary surrounds.
The pool of this four-bed villa is ready-made for Instagram. Traditional Mexican hammocks sway over the water, which is lined by parlour palms and wooden decking, while inside, the contemporary design and decor will appeal to those who prefer sleek minimalism over handcrafted bohemian. There’s a bathroom for each bedroom, while floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the jungle foliage. If you’re looking for a bespoke, luxury experience, private bartenders, masseurs and yoga instructors are available for hire, and the hosts work with a private chef who can be hired to craft a fine-dining menu for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.