Carr. Tulum Ruinas Km. 6, Tulum Hotel Zone, Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula, 77780, Mexico
Basic Low Key on the Beach
Hotel Zahra has a variety of rooms from basic cabanas to more luxurious rooms. I rented one of the basic cabanas for a couple night to save some money. The basic cabanas are a simple one-room with cement blocks for three walls, one wall of wood & screens, and a thatched roof. The door had an external padlock for when you are out of the room and then a latch while inside. There were two chairs, a table, a full-sized bed with mosquito net, ceiling fan, and a large water cooler of purified water. For the four basic cabanas, there is a shared bath facility about thirty feet away, on the other side of the restaurant. There are nicer rooms with private baths and more space, but at a higher price. My room met the essential need of shelter and I was okay with it. The electricity turns off at night around 11PM and then comes on at 6AM. I had to request towels each day and one of the days they didn't have any clean ones for me, so I had to use my own beach towel after my shower. Just poor planning, but the bell boy was quite apologetic and threw towels in the washer immediately.
The location is perfectly situated by two small beaches set between three section of rocky cliffs. The small beaches were shared with only about five other facilties, making it peaceful even at busy times. Directly behind the hotel grounds is a rocky cliff section that is used as part of the Maya Spa they have. There is a platform with a covered area where they give massages and such. At night, it is a beautiful location to view the stars and listen to the waves.
If I return to Tulum and stay at Zahra, I would probably upgrade to the more expensive room for the convenience of the closer bathroom and nicer rooms. I would not rave about Zahra but I did enjoy my stay because of the location and inexpensive option I had.
Unique Quality: The restaurant has 2-for-1 happy hour starting at 5PM. I had a couple banana margaritas that were made with fresh bananas. They were okay and the price was good, but I have had much better ones. I had hoped to have a starter while I drank but the menu was lacking in its choices and I didn't have anything.
Directions: Southern End of Zona Hotelara
Great rustic accomm in Tulum
Spent 2 nights here. Very rustic basic accommodation, but worh it! Stayed in the Nohoch - bigger cabin, right on the beach, with perfect view of the sea! Room was clean and with special touches to make it special, but still basic. Not really walking distance to the main town, but we didn't even need to go there as we had some restaurants and bars nearby, and we could catch a taxi to the places we needed to go to (e.g. bus station, Sian Ka'an, Tulum ruins). Saw a lovely little spa area up on the rocks overlooking the sea, but we didn't get time to make use of this facility. Not sure what the website says about electricity, but I'm pretty sure that we had a plug in our room.
Unique Quality: VIEW!!! With a hammock on the patio to enjoy it all! Filtered water in the room. Very friendly staff and a great outdoor bar area, in the sand (just behind the cabins), and yummy food! Lovely clean private beach. Mosquito nets on the beds.
Directions: Near the north end of town but right on the beach (about 5 min taxi drive from town).
Second Stay As Nice As The First
This was our second visit to Zahra's. Our first was 3/05 and our second 1/06. Twice in such close succession is rare for us, but there was a good reason. We needed to relax. Fast. Our stress levels were at redline, and this is the one place we can go and do nada, zip, zilch.
In our first visit, we stayed in the Nahil room. They have two kings but two couples could stay there either if they were extremely good friends or if carnal relations just isn't that important any more. There are four rooms, two upstairs and two down. Another way to look at it is two are at the beach end, and two are on the road end of the building. I recommend the room we had, up and towards the beach.
Our second visit, we had the Family Suite, as we went as a threesome (supposed to be four) with a friend of my wife's from grad school. That one has a king upstairs and a tub, bunks down and also a double suspended like a swing from the ceiling. My wife and I could do what husbands and wives do, but let's be real, our friend was either deaf or very polite. Also, the john (or "juan" as we call it in Mexico) is behind some local mangrove stalks giving adequate privacy only to those who don't need much. We tried as discreet as possible, but we got to know each other better than we would have liked. Finally, privacy from the outside is almost nil in the family suites at night. Either live in denial that the world can see you or shower during the day or in the dark.
Unique Quality: The best beach I have ever seen. Three to choose from, to the south is small and compact (topless OK), to the north is larger but seemed to be populated with more kids (not to my tastes) (topless OK), and one further north about a three minute walk away where you can get down to your skin (nudity OK but not ubiquitous).
Relaxing, pretty quiet, friendly staff that doesn't overdo the friendliness.
Restaurant with serviceable food, not the best but not bad.
Directions: Leave Cancun. Drive south 90 minutes on MX 307. Take a left at the only light in Tulum, next to the (I kid you not) Saint Francis of Assisi Supermarket, go 4 kms to the T intersection then go right, about 0.5 kms. Look left.
More about Zahra
Little bit of paradise within paradise
I stayed at Zahra from May 22-May 29, my first trip alone to Mexico and Cabana #17 (it is the one on the right side if standing on the beach) was my home during that time. The people like Fernando at reception, Bibani who makes the best smoothies & juices were so awesome!! Everyone at Zahra & Copal are very nice and so helpful.
When I first arrived I dropped my bags and had a grin from ear to ear as I made the right choice. It was like summer camp for adults!!
Tulum is a very special place, however don't be sursprised if you can't move from the beach and do nothing all day...it just that kind of place.
Thank you Eco-Tulum I totally reccomend this place to anyone who wants a different kind of vacation, however I suggest at least two weeks.
Happy Travels and go to Tulum!!
Zahra - Release your inner child
Zahra is not for everyone. If you are willing to escape our cluttered world to try something new - this adventure is for you.
My family (husband and two kids (8, 12)) stayed at Zahra in April. Not sure what an "eco-lodge" was all about, we arrived at dusk to find a casual front desk (right at the road - open air) with friendly clerks. Hot and dusty, the first thing we did was jump in the ocean. White foam and incredibly warm water greeted us.
We stayed in one of the family suites. It was magical. A downstairs room with a swinging queen bed and a bunk bed. Both were covered in mosquito netting (just like the Expedia ad!). A "gently" partitioned bathroom with log tub was also downstairs. Upstairs there was another queen, table and chairs, plus another log tub - open to the room. We had views of the beach - and the best part was the sound of the crashing surf. The birds were quite noisy - but very tropical.
At first I didn't like the lack of privacy. I felt people could look in; the bathroom wasn't quite private, etc. But as the days progressed (we were there five nights), the experience was quite liberating - "zen-like".
At one with the enviornment (thus the "eco" experience), we bonded as a family - spending quality time without TV, video games, etc. We hung out at the beach, played ball, swam, read - liberating. One day we ventured to the beach at Copal - which is clothing optional - but the kids just didn't get it so we stuck to the beach south of the property or explored all the other beaches in the area (gorgeous!).
This little enclave of Tulum is kicked back and beautiful. There are plenty of places to dine. We LOVED the food at Zahra and ate there often. The waiters made a big effort to understand what we wanted. We also explored other restaurants, liking to walk to Zamas for a sunset dinner.
I would recommend Zahra to families looking for something different. It's rustic, yet accommodating. And let's not forget liberating. I still hear the sound of the surf in my head, the rustle of the palm trees - would go back in a second. From Zahra we headed to an all-inclusive. We hated it. Even the kids. So much for canned fun. Opt instead for the adventure.
Great Five Star Camping!
We stayed at the Zahra for four nights in mid-May 2005. A delightful experience best described as Five Star Camping! Our “Kanab Cabana” (#14) was a spacious, comfortably appointed one-room structure built a few steps above the silky white sand of a small, palm shaded beach. With its sharply peaked thatched roof and outer walls that consisted of floor to ceiling windows, it blended beautifully with the tropical atmosphere of the beach. Wooden shades and cloth panels ensured privacy. After a day of visiting the nearby Mayan archeological wonders deep in the steamy jungle, we loved coming home to the peaceful, bare foot casual comfort of the Zahra, and to the warm welcome of its attentive staff.
The Zahra restaurant deserves a special mention. This friendly open-air place was blessed with a talented kitchen staff that used local ingredients and recipes to produce simple, healthful and well-presented dishes worthy of a spa restaurant. We especially liked the delicious local fish dishes. We also enjoyed the Sopa de Lima, a comforting clear broth-based chicken soup with a surprisingly complex flavor. It was garnished with fresh lime and generous amounts of chicken and thinly sliced avocado; a specialty of the Yucatan and a light meal in itself.
Outdoor meets indoor
Camping in the Mayan Riviera is basically what this would most likely resemble. There are bugs and other wildlife that come with the room, free of charge; we showered with cockroaches, slept with catepillars and hung out with giant moths. We had an iguana and some lizards, a dozen species of mosquitos and an army of red ants marching through our things- and this was INSIDE.
It's not that the place is dirty, it's just the style or feel that they were going for. My best friend and I tried to look at it all as an adventure and like we were living like the ancient natives.
We stayed in Tunich which is right at the gate with a "garden" view. The door had cracks in the wood. We had a cement floor, white washed walls and there is a huge gap between the door and the ceiling. Our roof was made of palm tree leaves and we had a small bathroom with a tile floor. It'd be nice if they just would tile the entire floor of the cabaña.
The first night we stayed there we were allowed to check in early but this came with a price, not monetary. The mosquito nets were sent out to be laundered (+) but therefore we didn't get one for the night (-). This meant that we were unprotected and my friend woke up with smashed bugs on her pillow. The water from the shower comes from the jungle and smells like it too. Do not drink the water or even brush your teeth with it. You can't flush paper down the toilet or you will be the cause for the water to shut down and beware that between midnight and 7 am there will be no electricity which means no FAN! The beach is beautiful but rocky in the water, so wear water shoes.
When staying here make sure you are in camping mentality.Bring a flashlight, keep all your things zipped up in your bag and remember that there is no TV, no phone and no luxuries. Just the mere neccesities. It is a layed back way of life here and everyone and everything operates very leisurely.
When problems arise just remember this: "Relax, you're in Mexico, be happy" because that's what the staff always told us when something was wrong. They were helpful and very hard working, so don't be hard on them. My main advise is don't spend time in your room, stay out on the beach and explore the sites around the area. The food in this area is expensive but unless you have a rental car you will have to pay about 30-40 pesos to get to town. So just go with the flow and be prepared for the great outdoors.
Excellent, amazing Zahra
It was incredible experience!
All the staff was amazing, always trying to help us. Our room was beatiful, near to the beach, with a great view.
Its excellent place to enjoy a quiet days, to getting in loved again with your couple.
I loved this place
We are gonna back surely
Away from it all...
Despite air as thick as bricks with Yucatan humidity and no A/C at the resort, Zahra was exactly what the crowded brain of this urbanite business owner needed. Staff was supportive and friendly enough to make you feel like family and the candle-lit jungle paths that lead from resort to resort is a true gem. YOu never have to step on the road if you don't want to. The new cabanas that were recently erected keep with the integrity of the Mayan traditions... although there could be more screens to allow for better breezes.
Zahra is connected to the Maya spa (just through the jungle path). I highly recommend a healing massage with shaman Daniel and for the strong willed, try the Mayan sweat lodge (claustrophobics beware!)
The resort along with its sister resorts are couple-heavy, but this solo gal traveler found much peace and serenity, and even found that the sweaty temps cooled as my brain quieted!
An easy, rugged yet affordable getaway.
Beautiful private bay
I arrived at Zahra after sun set so it was an amazing surprise to wake in the morning, open the door to my beach-front cabana and see a picturesque secluded bay before me. While away the day swimming in the warm Caribbean sea, watching Pelican's dive-bomb for fish in the sea, or sip margarita's at one of the mellow beach front bars. Despite plenty of tourist activity - diving schools, restaurants and bars aplenty - Tulum's coastline is unspoilt compared with the neon lights of neighbouring Playa Del Carmen.
We stayed in a premium cabana at Zahra, situated right on the beach and found the accommodation to be very comfortable, if a little hot in the morning as the walls are made of glass. The Cabana is decorated in a stylish colonnial style and serviced every day. We mainly ate just up the road at the nearby Copal resort where the food is reasonably priced and very fresh.
Make sure you visit the Maya Spa during your trip too. Also situated at Copal, it offers a range of traditional Mayan holistic treatments like the Mayan Clay massage. The indigenous sweat lodge was a real experience - be prepared to feel worse before you feel better though!
Tulum is now my number one holiday destination and I'm already saving for a return trip.
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Zahra Hotel Tulum
- Zahra Tulum
Address: Carr. Tulum Ruinas Km. 6, Tulum Hotel Zone, Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula, 77780, Mexico