Destinations to Travel Travel

Two hours south of Cancun, Tulum is one of the last stops of the string of development that punctuates the Riviera Maya. It’s long been an attraction for a more bohemian crowd than the package tourists bound for the large resorts with their ostentatious entrances further up the coast.

Visitors to Tulum will be familiar with the beachfront street dotted with boutique eco-resorts and trendy beach clubs, and a notable lack of global hospitality brands.


That is, until the Aloft Tulum opened in early 2021.

Situated on the edge of Tulum National Park, just on the edge of the town of Tulum proper, Aloft Tulum takes up an ideal location for exploring both the beach areas and the town itself. The Mayan ruins of Tulum are the area’s top attraction, but there’s plenty else to entertain during a visit to the region.

Aloft Tulum brings the Marriott standard to Tulum, and visitors familiar with the Aloft brand will find all the brand touchpoints, but on a rather grander scale than most Aloft properties stateside.

Re:fuel by Aloft has the typical grab-and-go, and there’s also the brand-standard W XYZ Bar, with a range of mezcal cocktails and plenty of convivial seating (and a pool table!) This property also includes the three-meal W XYZ Restaurant, where breakfasts can be taken indoors or out, with a fine selection of local dishes at breakfast (lunch and dinner openings are forthcoming at the time of this writing).

There’s a family pool just outside, next to the fitness center, but the real gem of the hotel is Attico Rooftop Bar & Lounge, which is situated adjacent the rooftop infinity pool with first-come-first-served pool cabanas. Up top, there’s a selection of tacos and fresh seafood by a Michelin-starred chef, more cocktails (both mezcal and other varieties), and even a selection of hookahs.

Sweeping views of the national park are also on offer, and the spires of the beach clubs, and even the castillo of the ruins are just visible along the distant coast.

Speaking of beach clubs, the hotel partners with three of them, so guests who manage to tear themselves away from the rooftop pool will find a spot on the beach. During our visit we popped into Mia Beach Club for oceanfront daybeds with a European club vibe and grazed on fresh ceviche and tuna “tacos” with jicama shells.

Guests wanting to explore the beach or the town of Tulum (perhaps to sample tacos filled with cochinita pibil, the Yucatecan specialty of citrus-marinated pork) can borrow bicycles from the hotel for their wanderings—there are plenty of bike paths in town and along the road to the waterfront.

When it’s time to tuck in at the end of the day, it’s nice to have a Marriott standard of accommodation to lean on. The Aloft bed is standard across the brand’s properties, and creature comforts like free signature coffee and walk-in rainfall showers certainly up the plush factor.

But this is no ordinary Aloft. The destination footprint is deep and lasting. The hotel itself is built around an untouched swath of rainforest, rather than being built on top of it. I sat in the lobby one morning watching a little green lizard sunning himself on a bit of decorative cornerstone. There’s also work from local artists on display in the lobby, fitting in with Aloft’s art-forward overall design ethos.

The Takeaway

Really the best of both worlds—the comfortable standards of Marriott with the bohemian spirit of the Tulum’s arty boutique hotels, with more than just a passing homage to the spirit of the local area. Aloft Tulum is a destination unto itself.

The Math

I’ve seen rates as low as $91USD per night; all-inclusive rates are also available.

Instagrammable Moment

The rooftop pool feels almost made for Instagram.


Marriott Bonvoy

Good to Know

The hotel can help arrange airport transportation—traffic snarls are frequent and staff can best advise how early to leave the hotel for a return flight.

The three beach clubs the hotel has an agreement with have different terms. Hotel staff can assist in choosing the right one.

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