Tulum is not one of those destinations dotted with five-star resorts (though, if you’re looking for those, you can jump just an hour north to the resort community of Mayakoba), instead the Mexican beach town’s approach to luxury is decidedly toes-in-the-sand. Recently, a fresh crop of boutique hotels like Casa Malca–which was once one of Pablo Escobar’s favorite hideaways–and Tulum Treehouse have helped kicked the design levels of the ionically bohemian area up a notch–blending slick aesthetics with the region’s conscious ethos. Zorba Beach Homes, a set of five breezy villas set on the southern end of the coast, is the latest to join that pretty pack.
Opened in November, Zorba is the sister property to nearby Mayahana Tulum, which has long been a playground for the region’s jet-set crowd thanks to its pristine, and private, beach. Like Mayahana, the new property is tucked into the jungle lining the beach–an ecosystem that remained largely untouched during the development process. Instead, palms and mahogany trees were built around, sometimes extending straight through the ceilings of the villas. Inside, any trees that could not be preserved or relocated were put to work, forming rustic wooden tables and textured support beams that break up the otherwise whitewashed walls. Each of the five villas–which range from a sprawling five-bed with a private seaside pool to a cozy two-be penthouse–all feature a similar look; think up-cycled doors rescued from colonial buildings in nearby Merida, handcrafted tiles, and ceilings dotted with fragments of recycled glass bottles that send the warm Caribbean light glittering across wicker furniture and creamy linens.
Though the look of the property is cohesive, the experiences guests can build once they check in are varied. If they prefer to keep things low-key, the villas come with fully-outfitted kitchens (ideal for putting local ingredients snagged from nearby markets to the test) and they can spend their days lounging by the communal pool or in one of the private sun loungers on the beach just steps outside. Or, they can dial up the amenities–arranging for everything from private yoga classes in the property’s dedicated studio, in-villa (or beachside) spa treatments, and full menus of local dishes (mayan fish marinated in achiote spices and vegetarian tamales included) prepared by the resort’s on-site chef. A suite of water toys ranging from paddle boards to sea kayaks are also available for guests to play with on days when they aren’t making their way out to the region’s otherworldly cenotes or Mayan ruins.
And though each villa comes equipped with extensive patio space, we’d recommend guests watch the beach outside turn pinky-peach in the sunset from the property’s lush 1,500 square-foot rooftop patio. There’s not a better place for a sundowner in sight.