After leaving Cancun we were headed straight down the coast for Tulum, to stay in some beautiful hotels, visit those incredible white beaches and to completely switch off. It might sound a little specific, but that’s exactly what Papaya Playa Project offers.
Papaya Playa Project is set with the Carribean beaches of Tulum on one side and the mangroves and jungle on the other – it’s the definition of the best of both worlds. Knowing we’d be spending our days on those magically white sands we booked a Private Casita Jungle Experience for our two night stay in this very special hotel.
Each and every room at Papaya Playa is built using local materials and construction techniques. You see, here, being eco friendly isn’t just a tag line – it’s a way of life and the ‘Going Green’ initiative is all part of the project. You’ll walk up the wooden, winding paths to get to your casita, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll burst straight into your room and out the sliding doors to your own little jungle paradise.
Instead of taking over the jungle, the hotel and the casitas are built around the jungles, even to the extent that our private plunge pool was built around the tree in the middle and our staircase had a space for one of its branches!
// Beach dress //
If you can bring yourself out of the pool (or the hammock!) and back in through the fully sliding doors, you’re greeted with the sight of a king size bed, a low lying monolith sofa and on into your bathroom. The decor of the room is neutral and allows the natural colour of the walls to take pride of place, but I loved the pink accents in the cushions, too!
The casitas are made from locally sourced materials which have a low environmental impact, but there’s still enough air conditioning to keep you cool at night as well as some electricity to charge your devices for use at the beach.
The room itself is open plan, so you can see straight from the doors to the end of the bathroom, making it a wonderful space for couples, but possibly not for friends. Think high ceilings and light coloured walls which bounce all of the natural light around your room.
It’s a wonderful space to come back to after a day at the beach, relax, turn off your phone (as there’s no wifi in the casitas) and really re-connect with yourself, with your surroundings and with whoever you’re traveling with. With no tv, no internet and no phone – there’s only one thing to do: jump straight into that pool!
I loved the wooden features in the room which really reminded you that you’re in the heart of the Tulum jungle and also give the room a very warm, homely feeling. The caista is a testament to understated luxury, which was just what we had been looking forward to, and what made us fall in love with Papaya Playa Project.
A third of the room is given over to the bathroom, which contains a rain shower and wash stand (large enough for all of my toiletries!). I loved the touch of the wooden ladder to hold all your clean towels which added to the ambiance in the room. I have to admit to often being a little skeptical of in house toiletries, but this shampoo and conditioner (as you would expect, made from local and environmentally sensitive materials) was incredible at washing the salt water out of my hair after beach days!
With no phone, there’s no real room service, but if anyone needs to bring anything to you, there’s a little hatch near the door for them to bring it to you! Mind the tree on your way out…
Papaya Playa Project is invested in solar power, water energy, recycling and even more impressively, have committed to a zero emissions and zero contamination community by June 2018.
But there’s a little more exploring to be done in this casita… Take yourself back outside, and climb up those beautiful white stairs to your private roof deck…
Or, more accurately, hang out in your hammock for a little longer before going anywhere..!
Spend your mornings or sunsets listening to the birds, the animals and admiring the jungle top views.
Back down the jungle paths and back through the reception and beach club areas and you’ll find yourself on those incredible Tulum beaches… After exploring our room that first evening, I couldn’t wait to rush over and feel the sand in my toes…
Before settling in at the Beach Club with a cocktail in hand, listening to the live music playing and watching the waves lap on the beach.
With round tables and benches built into the beach, you can enjoy the live music from resident DJs as the sun sets and the cocktails and beers keep flowing…
The restaurant itself is as beachy and rustic as it looked in all the photos I had seen, and when we sat down on that first evening I couldn’t quite believe we were at a hotel that I had wanted to visit for so long!
Slightly tired from traveling down from NIZUC that day, we didn’t want to stray far when it came to going for dinner. With a total of 5 nights in Tulum, there was plenty of time for exploring, but that night we just wanted to enjoy the magical surroundings of Papaya Playa Project.
Moving up from the beach side bar seats, we grabbed a table right in the corner of the restaurant, so we could watch the last moments of the sunset over shared dishes of Mexican spiced salmon and gnocchi with fresh (huge!) prawns and Parmesan crisps.
As it became dark, we wandered back to our casita and slept until the sunlight streamed through the window.
With my usual requirement for a morning coffee (or two) we wandered back to the beach bar and restaurant for an early morning nibble as we were still suffering the effects of jet lag. Coffee served with poached eggs on toast…
And the fluffiest American pancakes with maple syrup, berry compote….
It made for an incredible start to the day – and that’s before we’d even explored that beautiful beach properly! But that’s a story for another day!
Papaya Playa Project
Km 4.5 Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila
Tulum, Quintana Roo 77780
Our stay at Papaya Playa Project was complimentary but all views are my own.