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The New Tulum

Tulum Mexico Papaya Playa Project

Papaya Playa Project 

For everyone from the uninitiated voyeur to the seasoned traveler, Tulum speaks a common language: it’s an experience in adventure, relaxation, and the luxury of total escape. A visit here offers spectacular views of the Riviera Mayan beaches, Caribbean Sea, and surrounding coastal region. The area is a natural Elysium of uninterrupted pure white sand beachfront framed by unique jungle landscapes. Both a tropical hideaway and a vibrant town center, Tulum is a lively and exceptional place that will stay with you long after your journey.

Tulum Mexico Papaya Playa Project

When in Tulum, one of my favorite places to stay is at Papaya Playa ProjectThis natural preserve turned traveler’s nirvana is located on 900 meters of beachfront property where adventure and enchantment find harmonious sanctuary. Papaya Playa is a member of DESIGN HOTELS™ and features 85 idyllic beach-front and jungle-nestled Private Casas, Cabanas, and Casitas, a Papaya Mayan-fusion restaurant, an all season Beach Club, and Spa and Yoga offerings - all just within steps of the glittering Caribbean Sea. Blending authentic Mexican charm with laid-back luxury, Papaya Playa is the ultimate getaway for relaxation, revitalization, and natural well-being.  Imagine dreaming with your eyes open – Papaya Playa is just that. 

Papaya Playa Project Tree House

The new Tree Houses at Papaya Playa Project

Tulum’s rich Mayan culture and heritage are an integral part of the guest experience and ethos. The intention has been to create a property that promotes a holistic and spiritual lifestyle, and supports a deep respect and connection to the natural environment.

The property boasts some of the most beautifully appointed accommodations and amenities, now with the addition of the handcrafted Tree Houses, built at an eco-friendly workshop on the property, there is even more reason to visit this North coast nirvana where pleasure, travel, and natural well-being coexist in an eclectic and very stylish setting.

The new Tree Houses are crafted from local Zapote and recycled wood, while seamlessly integrating the beauty of the lush jungle landscape with spectacular, panoramic views of the sea. The sphere of the room gently hugs the jungle and projects just above the height of the trees, paying homage to some of the earliest Mayan structures.  Sequestered stairways lead to the bedroom, an inner sanctum that includes a meditation chamber and a separate bathroom. The handcrafted wood interiors, textiles, and local art add just the right balance of tropical elegance with a playful nod to bohemian chic. Both accessible and private, each accommodation is a personal oasis with a soothing spirit and an authentically Mayan soul.  

In addition to the new Tree Houses, the property’s gorgeously appointed Casitas and Cabanas celebrate the luxury of simplicity fused with the natural glamour of the surrounds. Every room is unique, acting as an artful hideaway boasting minimal design with a focus on the benefits of interior-to-exterior living.  For example, the property emulates “Chukum,” a technique used by the Maya to cool the interiors of a building, made with the resin of a tree of the same name.  The property also includes Casa Palapaa Private sea-front beach house, featuring unparalleled design, on the northern wing of Papaya Playa. 

Located on a pristine beachfront setting, Papaya Playa’s Mayan-fusion Restaurant specializes in mouth-watering local and experimental fare. Also "parked" right on the property is Charley's Vegan Taco Truck, which serves up some of the best vegan food anywhere, along with locally-made Kombucha. 

Charley's Vegan tacos Papaya Playa Project

Charley's Vegan Tacos a must at Papaya Playa Project

There is also a day-to-night Beach Club, the Sian Water Sports Center & Kite Boarding School, and a host of amenities and activities to keep guests well tended to. The Playa’s Spa cosmo-vision concept joins holistic, therapeutic, and Ancient Mayan medicinal practices through sensory stimulation and the promotion of an overall sense of physical balance and spiritual well-being. Receive a selection of customized treatments delivered by experienced local therapists, including the resort’s resident shaman. 

Active proponents of creative initiatives and community involvement, Papaya Playa has its own Music and Arts Curation that has been an ongoing sponsor of the Opera Maya project, among other endeavors. Papaya Playa also partners with local foundations to help support children’s education and care for those whose parents suffer from Down’s syndrome.  The property gives back to local artisans, including a clay project that contributes to a Mayan Village where artisans craft goods are for sale while remaining deeply rooted in their culture. The Riviera Maya Film Festival is set to launch soon.  

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