Just Back From

A Long Weekend in Tulum

by Jade Lai

All photos by Jade Lai. 

When Jade Lai is not working on her forward-thinking shop and fashion label Creatures of Comfort, she's working on her tan.

Just back from: Tulum, Mexico.

Was it your first time? My second. It's so easy to get there from NYC that I am starting to make it a yearly trip (at the very least).

How long were you there? Five days.

Why did you go? To have a break from the non-stop intense work schedule of the last four months.

Who were you with? I went with two of my friends, Diana Yen and Claudia Wu.

What were the best tips you got before you left? Go to yoga at Maya Tulum every day (which we did), and the spa at Coqui Coqui (which we did not).

Just Back From: Tulum

What's the #1 tip you'd give a friend who wanted to go? There are a few! Stay as far south on the beach as you can. All the hotels are right next to each other. The further down you go, the clearer the water is and the less seaweed you have to deal with (piles of the stuff washes up on the beach and makes it smell like dead fish).

Watch out for eco hotels. They have no electricity in the evenings (and sometimes none during the day). That means no phone charger, no Internet, and no fans at night.

Make sure to rent a car and check out the wildlife refuge and cenotes (underground swimming caves).

What did you do? The goal was to do nothing, get massages, and catch up on reading. We succeeded.

Were you there for the right amount of time? We were there from Friday to Tuesday. I wouldn't mind staying a few more days to try out more food and take more day trips.

How did you get there? We flew Jetblue from JFK into Cancun and rented a car. The drive was pretty easy, just one straight road for about 90 minutes.

Cenote in Tulum

Speed round of favorites.

1. Meal or meals: Hartwood, Casa Banana, El Camello, and El Tabano.

2. Neighborhood to explore: Coba for ruins and cenotes. There is some shopping along the way, too.

3. Site/place/thing you did: Visited some ruins, did lots of yoga at Maya Tulum and Shala Yoga, and relaxed at the spa.

4. Cafe/casual hangout: Mateo's has the best fish tacos and ceviche.

What's the local speciality? We had ceviche every single day. There were some really neat hammocks that I wish I brought home.

One thing/place you didn't get to visit, but wanted to: The wildlife conservatory.

Let's talk about stuff.

1. Glad you packed: Bathing suit, sunscreen, sun hat, and sandals.

2. Wish you'd packed: Bug spray.

3. Didn't need: Most of the clothes I packed and real shoes. I wore a T-shirt and jean shorts everywhere.

4. Brought back: More hammocks, Mexican sandals, and leather purses.

Would you go back? If so, what would you do differently? I definitely want to go back soon. I walked up and down the beach to see where I would like to stay next time and it's between Coqui Coqui or the new Ahau Tulum which opened in December. It's super modern and bright, but still has that island feel, with larg e private balconies and hammocks. So cute.

What was your Kodak moment? The water is crystal clear!

You can't stop thinking about: Reading in those hammocks. And my sun tan.


Ahau Tulum
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila KM 7; +1-52-984-167-1154

Coqui Coqui
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila KM 7.5; +1-52-985-856-5129

Carretera Tulum Boca Paila KM 7.6; no phone

Mateo's Mexican Grill
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila KM 7; +1-52-984-114-2676

Shala Yoga
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila KM 7; no phone


Fathom Tulum Guide

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