For my 24th birthday I decided I wanted to do something special, as it was the first time being away from family and friends! After doing some research I had my heart set on Mexico! T luckily had a few weeks off over August so this was perfect as my birthday was on the 15th. The best beaches in mexico (according to google ha!) were Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum! I looked at the enormous resorts right down to air bnb’s to see what sort of holiday we wanted and what it would cost. I actually found that the big resorts in Cancun had the best value packages, combining flights with bonuses such as money to spend at their spa or all-inclusive meals. I tend to like the more boutique style hotels that are big enough to have high standards but small enough to feel that level of personal service. There is nothing worse then feeling one in a million where the staff favour the ones who spend the most money!!!
Finally I came across the hotel ‘Be Tulum’. It looked absolutely incredible, from the earthy and natural interior design of the rooms, which reflected its surroundings, to the overall relaxed vibe. After doing some more research I realised it had a ‘sister’ hotel next door called ‘Nomade hotel’ which was half the bloody price!!! To me this hotel looked pretty much identical minus the two swimming pools on the beach or the private plunge pools for each room. The restaurants both had the same fresh and wholesome menus so I decided it made much more sense to stay at Nomade! We were lucky enough to get a great package on Expedia to include flights so it worked out perfectly! The only catch was the flight there was the red eye so we were due to arrive at 5:55am on my birthday! I didn’t mind though as I assumed we’d just sleep on the plane and would be fine by the time we got there!
Our flight was 11pm on the Sunday, I had checked us in to be the front row of economy so I was pretty chuffed with myself- especially as T is usually the one who looks after us travelling! Once we boarded I noticed that the flight wasn’t that full and there were a few rows around us not filled yet. Unfortunately the armrests on the front row don’t go up or down (which according to T everyone knows), so I sat waiting to jump into the row behind me to lie down and sleep. I’m not very good at sleeping let alone sleeping upright on a plane! I thought that was the last of the passengers but two girls boarded late and sat down in the two empty rows behind us… greeeeatttt! The flight was pretty miserable as when I got on I was busting to pee (yeah stupid me should have gone before I got on the plane!). Anyway I sat there dying for an HOUR AND A HALF whilst the seatbelt sign remained on. I asked the flight attendant twice when it would be turned off as I had to use the bathroom and she replied she wasn’t sure. Luckily a nicer older air hostess who was working in business saw my distress and told me I could quickly nip up to the business class toilets! By this time is was about 1am and I was exhausted. I tried to sleep in every possible position you can imagine but I just couldn’t fall asleep (I even considering bribing the girl behind me to switch in my exhausted state!). There wasn’t even entertainment on this American airlines flight so I just read whilst T slept.
Once we landed I had arranged a car to pick us up as I knew at 6am in the morning we wouldn’t be in the mood to get in some broke down taxi for the next two hours and be ripped off at the other end! Our driver was great and our SUV was enormous- it really made a difference driving down that Mexican highway with massive trucks roaring past. The company is called royal pick up cancun which I highly recommend! Arriving at Nomade around 7:30am we asked if there was a possibility to check into our room early. Unfortunately there wasn’t as the cleaner had to go through, so we had to camp out in the lobby on the couches. We were pretty delirious by this stage so the next two hours were rather funny…we debated if we were hungry half the time and the other was spent forcing T to give me a head massage because it was my birthday!!! Finally we were shown to our room after feeding half of mexico’s mosquito population! (note do not forget your insect repellent or you will look like you have chicken pox like I did!)
After what felt like a lifetime, and a few tantrums on my end haha, our room was finally ready! Holy shit it was well worth the wait!!!!!! Our room (well I would call it a bungalow) was something out of a dream!!!!! It was about 10 steps from the waters edge with its own day bed and hammock on our veranda. Sitting directly between the palm trees and the day beds we were the only ones this close to the water with a clear view out across the ocean! With a big double bed in the middle of the room, a wall acted as the bed head but also to separate the bathroom from the rest of the room. The bed head extended into the shower screen, allowing you to shower and still see out to the view (Made for some very funny awkward moments when forgetting to shut the blinds I tell you!!!) In one corner were two beanbags and a little table to form a sitting area. The room was absolute heaven, a mixture of bohemian and natural materials – An earthy exotic oasis that was all ours for the next 6 nights arghh!!!!!!!! I’d say happy was an understatement at this point, we felt like the luckiest two people on earth right there!! BEST BIRTHDAY EVERRRR!!!!!!!
After some very cute birthday presents from T we decided we should have a nap if we were to be of any use that day! It was about 10am at this stage with the sun roaring already, we shut our block out curtains and cranked the aircon! Our bed was so big and fluffy I wish I could have brought it home with me! (I forget how luxurious it is to sleep in a bed twice the size of ours, I could barely see T on the other side hahah!) With all the excitement I could only sleep a couple of hours. So I slipped out of bed, chucked on bathers, grabbed my book and sat in our hammock. The beach had a fair amount of seaweed washed up on shore which I was told was due to a hurricane out at sea a week before we arrived. Everyday we would see the poor staff shovelling it into wheelbarrows to take it further down the beach! T slept for a couple more hours and when we woke up we decided we needed food pronto!! The server’s station for the daybeds was right outside our room so we had access to everything all day long- not so good for the waistline I tell you!!!
By now we were starving so our eyes may have been bigger then our stomachs! We ordered the prawns, fish, guacamole, salmon ceviche with mango and the seared tuna. Getting through most of it thanks to my bottomless pit of a stomach but it certainly put us in food comas! After a little relaxing I convinced T to walk with me up and down the beach to see what was around us. We realised Be tulum was literally next door and to our other side Casa Malca. This hotel took over Pablo Escobar’s abandon mansion and has turned it into a luxury hotel mixed with unique art installations such as work from Keith herring! I think I’d love to stay here next time we visit it looks amazing (also Elle McPherson stayed here I saw on her Instagram haha!)
For dinner I had booked a bar/restaurant in the jungle not far from our hotel called Gitano, apparently it had amazing cocktails. Once we arrived we were drenched in sweat, I still think it was just one of the hotter nights we happened to go! Going into the jungle side of tulum without the ocean breeze means it can be a lot more humid. The Mosquito’s were much worse here as as they breed in the damp jungle!!! For dinner we had a few cocktails, the rib eye steak and I got the prawn tacos, I’d seen on Instagram a whole roasted sweet potato with creamy sauce so we tried that too. Overall the food was amazing and the place was really cute!! I think the heat slightly killed the vibe but maybe it was just our exhaustion and us acclimatising to the humidity!