La Valise Tulum
Tulum used to be a small town known for inexpensive accommodations and popular among backpackers 30 years ago. Now, it has become a trendy tourist destination on the Riviera Maya coastline that attracts visitors from around the globe seeking a boho-chic atmosphere, luxurious beach clubs, and upscale hotels. Though it may not suit everyone’s preferences and can be pricey, a charming treasure is tucked away at the end of the main coastal road that is hard not to adore.
La Valise Tulum is a boutique hotel in the Namron Hospitality group, situated between white sand beach and Yucatan jungle. It’s about a two-hour drive from Cancun airport, and located on the quieter part of Tulum Beach. Guests can enjoy a relaxing stay where hammocks sway in the sea breeze and going barefoot is the norm.
La Valise in Tulum showcases the traditional palapa thatched roofs and exposed beams that characterize the area’s signature look. The property features two wings, one on the beach and the other in the jungle, each with 11 rooms that are just seconds away from each other.
The beachfront rooms offer views of either the hotel’s garden or the sea, while the jungle rooms are situated among the lush greenery, with some offering views of the cenote-style pool below.
All of the accommodations are designed beautifully with a beachy, earthy theme. Each one has its own unique features, such as a plunge pool or private terrace.
During our stay, we occupied an upper garden suite. It was a peaceful space that had a balcony, a king bed draped in white, a large stone bathtub, and an outdoor shower. Like the rest of the hotel, the décor was neutral with whitewashed walls, furnished with rattan, wicker baskets, and straw rugs. Quirky Mexican artworks added a touch of uniqueness.
The hotel has an indoor/outdoor atmosphere that can be experienced in the master suites, which have beds that can be rolled out onto a private terrace. This allows guests to sleep under the stars or sunbathe in bed. The Beachfront Master Suite is the biggest room in Tulum at 1,000 sqft and has a thatched roof that is seven meters tall. The room also boasts great ocean views making it one of the best rooms in the hotel.
The rooms have a beachy vibe with wooden floorboards and lightning bolt sculptures on whitewashed walls. Wicker creatures, like a cockatoo on a lamp and a jaguar-shaped seat, add a cozy feel. The beds are comfy with soft, white linens. The rooms have fans, air-conditioning, and coffee machines. Another notable feature is a large shower within the living space that’s open-fronted and round, which could be attractive to some as a unique design choice, but others may prefer more privacy while showering.
The pace of life in Tulum is relaxed and carefree. You can relax on the hotel’s private beach or lounge by the pool surrounded by jungle foliage. If you need a break from the sun, there are plenty of shaded hammocks and daybeds, as well as a common area furnished with hand-carved furniture.
You can maintain your zen state at the hotel’s spa, which may be small but offers excellent Mayan-inspired treatments with natural oils. You can even have the treatments done in your room. Although La Valise doesn’t have many facilities, guests can visit the hotel’s sister properties. For example, you can attend a yoga session at Radhoo or experience a guided meditation at NEST.
La Valise offers bikes for guests to easily explore the nearby beach town with its boutique shops, cocktail bars, restaurants, and wellness studios. Within a 10-minute walk from the hotel is Cenote Encantado, a large natural pool surrounded by mangroves that is surprisingly quiet. We had the opportunity to swim there without any crowds. Further away, you can find more popular cenotes like Casa Cenote, known for its snake-like shape and crystal clear waters.
The Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve is also close, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna. And, of course, you have the famous Tulum ruins, one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico, sitting high on the seaside cliffs.
Although La Valise is mainly focused on providing a relaxed atmosphere, Tulum is also famous for its nightlife and Music Festivals. There are plenty of trendy bars and clubs on its streets, but keep in mind that some of them can be quite expensive.
You can have breakfast on a deck overlooking the beach where they serve fresh juices, smoothie bowls, avocado toast, and huevos rancheros. The hotel doesn’t have a specific restaurant, but you can find dishes from NÜ in different places throughout the hotel. Their menu includes ceviches, salads, tacos, and sandwiches. They also offer great cocktails, including a passion fruit margarita that you can enjoy with your feet in the sand. They serve select wines and local beers too.
The establishment offers a great way to start your day with a selection of freshly brewed coffee and a variety of tea. Additionally, there are various breakfast options available, including avocado toast, eggs Benedict, genuine Mexican dishes like huevos motuleños and chilaquiles, and fresh pain au chocolat.
Fresh salads, ceviche, tacos (including octopus, mushroom ‘al pastor’ or shrimp) and burgers are available for lunch, but they are not prepared on-site due to the lack of a kitchen. Instead, they are brought from the neighboring hotel, which is part of the same company. For dinner after 5 pm, you can order from the innovative NÜ restaurant of the same company, which offers Mexican cuisine including fish tartare with coconut ice cream and elevated beef stew. However, if you want a better atmosphere, it’s recommended to go to the restaurant itself which is located across the road.
The cocktails, which include classic options as well as creative mixes like Amores de Agave (made with mezcal, ginger beer, mint, and agave syrup), are both flavorful and well-proportioned.
You can go to NÜ restaurant across the road for dinner and enjoy tasty and healthy Mexican/Caribbean dishes. The head chef, Luis Aguilar, and his team use organic and regeneratively farmed produce from Mestiza de Indias. The farm recovers local, endemic species including winged beans, African cucumbers, and honey pineapple. The menu changes regularly and offers small plates, such as sweet potato with wild ginger and peanuts, wood-grilled prawns, chorizo-spiced cauliflower, and local fish with shaved roots.
The staff at the front desk are friendly and supportive. The breakfast waiters go above and beyond to ensure guests have a relaxing start to their day. This small hotel has limited facilities, with no spa on site. However, massages can be arranged in guest rooms, and bikes are available to borrow. A stylish swimming pool is located next to the reception/lounge, but it is better suited for cooling down rather than swimming laps.
This hotel has a variety of amenities including air conditioning, a bar, a beachfront location, bikes for guests to use, a concierge desk, a doctor on-call, free parking and Wi-Fi, a garden, a lounge, luggage storage, multilingual staff, an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, room service, shuttle service, a spa with treatments available upon request, a swimming pool, and valet parking. The hotel is also 100% non-smoking and does not allow pets. Guests can participate in yoga during their stay. The hotel’s front desk is available 24 hours a day.
During the low season, Jungle View rooms are available from $399 (£528) whereas during the high season, they cost $686 (£307). Your booking will include breakfast and free Wi-Fi. If you choose to book a Beachfront Room, it will cost approximately £634 per night with breakfast included. The rooms on the ground floor come with a deck that has chairs and hammocks.
We enjoyed everything during our stay. The staff was amazing and took good care of us. The property was well-maintained and had everything we needed. We highly recommend it!
The hotel is quite small, with only 9 rooms. However, the atmosphere is lovely and welcoming, almost like staying with friends. The service is exceptional, with staff even stopping by our room to inform us about turtles nesting on the beach when we mentioned our interest earlier in the day. The vibe is low-key and relaxed.
To keep the chain functioning smoothly, bikes require a small amount of oil. While they are in good working condition, I have experienced better bike quality at other hotels.
Although Tulum is home to a diverse range of species, it has received negative feedback for its excessive development. However, there are establishments such as La Valise that coexist with nature in a harmonious manner. The hotel prioritizes eco-friendliness by adopting eco-conscious practices such as avoiding single-use plastics and providing reef-safe sunscreens. Additionally, they have implemented minimal outdoor lighting at night to preserve the natural turtle habitat.
La Valise Tulum effortlessly lives up to the thrilling reputation of Tulum as a resort destination that is wild yet luxurious, stylish yet authentic, and spiritual yet grounded. The natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere of the place also serve as a reminder of the need to protect our planet.
The property includes a beachfront villa and several bungalows that are surrounded by jungle on one side and a beautiful white sand beach on the other. The place is filled with modern amenities and features a unique bohemian design mixed with traditional crafts that reflect the vibe of Tulum. It’s truly a heavenly place to stay.
You can enjoy both palapa roofs and a luxurious king bed with a direct view of the Caribbean without any conflict in style at La Valise Tulum. The design aims to create a tasteful Robinson Crusoe-style fantasy, which it achieves successfully. La Valise Tulum is a new addition of a micro-boutique hotel located in Mexico City, which proves their expertise in providing top-notch hospitality. Hence, you can trust them for an exceptional experience along with a beautiful ambiance.
The food is worth mentioning. There is a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch, focusing on local cuisine that has been influenced by the Mayan culture. Another restaurant in Tulum, called NÜ, serves dinner and boasts a team of seven chefs from Mexico City.