Every year I make one trip to a different tropical destination. This year it was Tulum, Mexico. As a person who loves to soak up the sun and swim in salt water, I figured this would be the best of both worlds because not only do I get to do those things, I also get to experience a noncommercial, chic boutique style hotel. I’ve always been a big fan of shopping, eating, and sleeping in locally made businesses so it came to no surprise that staying with Manglex (pronounced in one word: main-glex) was a total oasis.
My time in Tulum was nothing short of amazing. A hotel that is 100% eco-friendly and small enough to feel like a family was the perfect quaint stay I was looking for. Since Manglex only has four secluded cabins and a few staff, I felt more at home than ever. This is the type of hotel you book when you’re looking to get away from technology and disconnect for a while. There are no TV’s, Wifi is only available within the lobby area, the cabins are solar powered, and rather than AC units, which require lots more power energy, fans are provided for the ultimate eco-friendly stay. Located in the middle of the jungle with a cenote right next to the hotel, it was the perfect escape from the city’s constant hustle and bustle. We took a canoe, curtiousy of the hotel, out onto the cenote for a relaxing swim and snorkel our second day there. There was a private deck and high jump, where my fiancé thoroughly enjoyed diving off of. The ambiance was perfectly in line with the small town of Tulum. They also have a fresh water pool and a shrine in the lobby called “Virgen de Guadelupe,” which is the symbol of Mexico for Catholic Mexicans. She is said the be a protector and a symbol of faith in Mexican culture. In Manglex, they have a shrine to the Virgen de Guadelupe in which you can reflect on your life and what you want out of it, make a wish, and take a ribbon as a symbol of that wish. It’s lovely. I made a wish myself. Alice was one of the staff who spoke English at the hotel, and she was greatly helpful in planning out our days. She suggested some great spots on things to do and places to go. The rest of the staff spoke mainly Spanish but were some of the kindest people I had met. They always had a smile on their faces and were beyond amazing in service. It reminded me of a tight-knit family.
All images above are at MangleX hotel
And the coffee, oh my! Where to begin? It was, hands down, the best coffee I’ve ever had. The dark roast was mixed with cinnamon and cane sugar, which was locally made. Kevin and I would already be looking forward to the amazing taste of it the night before. I wanted to bring some cane sugar home with me but ran out of time to make it to the local store before we left. If there’s anything from Manglex I’ll personally remember, it will be the taste of that incredible coffee.
Breakfast from Ahau restaurant
We lucked out with amazing weather four out of the five days we were there. Nothing but sunshine and blue skies. I was worried because I know how unpredictable tropical weather can be, and last year in the Bahamas we only saw one day of sun. However, the weather Gods totally made up for that last trip this time around. Going in November (during low season) was perfect for us because we were looking to unwind and relax. December to February is high season so it’s busier and the prices tend to be a bit higher during that time but if you’re looking for a more social trip, high season would be the time to go.
Each area was more beautiful than the last, and the sunrise and sunset are one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. During sunset, the sky turns to a cotton candy pink. And the decor is MAJOR inspo. Everything in Tulum is so beautiful and chic. It’s all handmade by the locals and very quaint. If you’re looking for a more Westernized society with fast food restaurants and cinemas, Tulum is not the place for you. Tulum is a tropical getaway and truly magical. The food is insanely awesome as well. If you’re looking for some amazing fish tacos and beers on a budget, I suggest La Euifemia. It’s right on the beach with awesome music and a town famous dog with a hipster haircut. If you’re looking for a more luxurious meal and scene, Ahau restaurant attached to the hotel was one of my favorites.
Five things I learned while staying in Tulum:
1) It’s best to go to the cenotes and ruins early in the morning because crowds and tour buses will swarm the spots later in the day
2) Rent bikes as opposed to scooters or cars
3) The taxi drivers will always quote you a higher price than intended- make a deal before getting into the taxi
4) Bring bug spray and/or coconut oil and be prepared for bites
5) It’s never too early for a drink