by Jade Conroy, The Daily Telegraph, September 19, 2017
A new lifestyle hotel has joined the fray in the luxe-hippie beach town of Tulum on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula . Habitas, located in an acre of jungle set back from the hotel’s own private beach, has 32 guest rooms, an ocean-facing pool, wellness treatments plus a restaurant which is sure to become a hotspot amongst the area’s foodie-inclined visitors.
The hotel has been built in collaboration with local carpenters with an aim of leaving as minimal a footprint as possible – the rooms, for example, have been built on elevated platforms and feature natural palapa (thatched) roofs.
Inside the rooms, expect a mash-up of locally sourced furniture, such as mid-century-style side tables and raffia lamps, plus textured finishes such as kilim rugs and animal hide stools. Luxuries include air-con and homemade bath products which use ingredients such as coconut, avocado and honey.
All rooms have private terraces with outdoor rain showers. Upgrade to one of five ocean-front suites for uninterrupted access to the rolling waves.
The only permanent structure is the central pavilion, an open-air glass and steel space framed by palm trees, which houses an Instagram-friendly interior design of black tassled hammocks, long communal tables and colourful seating areas with coffee table books.
Moro, the hotel's restaurant, is headed up by Uruguayan chef Federico Cappi, and serves a menu of Moorish-inflected Spanish cuisine, with dishes such as lamb meatballs with lime yoghurt, chicken tagine and baked aubergine with chermoula.
The bar, located in the sand, specialises in craft cocktails and freshly pressed juices. Add to that a jungle courtyard cinema, parties, concert series, complimentary bicycles, ashtanga yoga classes and a wellness area which offers reiki, massage and facial treatments.
Habitas is the flagship of the new group of ‘lifestyle’ hotels by the same name, founded by Oliver Ripley, Kfir Levy and Eduardo Castillo. The trio used to run four-day, pop-up retreats in unique locations in Nevada, Los Angeles and Ibiza, which primarily focus on wellness, food and music. The natural next step for them was to open a hotel – or ‘home’ as they prefer to call it. Hotel openings will follow in Malibu, California, and Namibia, plus members’ clubs, a ever-growing trend in the hotel scene, in New York and Los Angeles .
Tulum has become popular with the international jet-set in recent years, not only for its natural assets, which include the Unesco-protected ruins of a 13th-century pre-Columbian walled city and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, the second largest barrier reef in the world, but also its internationally cool cachet – earlier this year Noma decided Tulum would be the location of its seven-week pop-up, which saw tickets sell out in a matter of hours.
Jungle rooms at Habitas Tulum start from $350 (£258) per night; Ocean suites from $500 (£369) night. habitastulum.com ; 00 52 198 4197 2142.