Papaya Playa Project

Km 4.5 Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, Tulum, Mexico

Action Bar

17
Rating

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Ratings Breakdown

  • Rooms16
  • Public Spaces17
  • Service17
  • Overall17
28
Reviews
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Hotel Description

We know the pictures tell most of the story, but it’s worth stating right up front that Papaya Playa Project isn’t just another slightly rustic, reasonably green Tulum boutique hotel. In fact, by some travelers’ standards, it’s hardly a boutique hotel at all — and in no way should it be taken to be anything even close to a luxury hotel.

A stretch of wild, jungle-fringed coastline is the setting for 99 cabanas, huts and shacks left behind by a trio of now-abandoned hotel projects. Here the vibe is much more “beachfront commune” than “design boutique” — which makes the fact that it’s the Design Hotels group that’s behind it all the more remarkable.

The idea is to properly decompress, and get as close to the original, pre-tourism Tulum as possible. In fact it’s just about as close as you can get to pre-modern living in a hotel — certainly a hotel that has both Tablet and Design Hotels associated with it. Entry-level cabanas, many of them with bunk beds, are set back from the beach, and services are kept to an absolute minimum — they share a bathhouse, for example, with outdoor (though private) shower stalls.

Even the casitas, with their king and queen beds, have electricity only for lighting; if you’re chained to your electronics, you’ll be spending a lot of time at reception, with its charging stations and wi-fi network. Obviously “chained to your electronics” is not the vibe they’re going for here. And for guests who’ve found the Papaya Playa Project a bit spartan, the 11 new casitas push just a little bit further into proper hotel territory — more space, more comfort, still no electronics.

Papaya Playa’s Restaurant and Beach Club is the social heart of the project, serving local cuisine with musical accompaniment. There’s a spa as well, staffed by a resident shaman, and it’s the site of the regular morning yoga class. And from here you’re just as close to the surf, the snorkeling, the cenotes, the ocean fishing, the deep-sea diving, even the Mayan ruins, as any of the guests of Tulum’s more luxurious hotels are. This place might not pamper your body in the way a five-star would, but we’d put good odds on it being far better for the soul.

Please note: Papaya Playa Project hosts a monthly Full Moon party — which, needless to say, takes place on the night of the full moon. Noise from the party can be heard in the rooms until late into the night. Guests looking for a quiet night’s rest, or those traveling with kids, should choose other dates or alternate accommodations. To find out if your stay coincides with the full moon, please email CustomerService@TabletHotels.com.

How to get there: Papaya Playa is located 75 miles from Cancun Airport (CUN). The drive takes about an hour and 40 minutes.

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Hotel Criteria

  • 85 Rooms
  • Style: Traditional Elegance
  • Atmosphere: Quiet

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  • What I liked:

    What the hotel could do better:

    Guest

Hotel Amenities and Services

  • 100% non-smoking hotel
  • 24 hour front desk
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • Bar
  • Bicycle rentals nearby
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi
  • Garden
  • Library
  • Lounge
  • Luggage storage
  • Multi-lingual staff
  • No pets allowed
  • Restaurant
  • Shopping area nearby
  • Spa
  • Spa treatments (on request)
  • Yoga

Need to Know

Pets are not allowed.

Credit cards accepted:

Visa, MasterCard

Check in:

3pm,

Check out:

12pm

Hotel Booking Widget

Finding Available Rooms & Prices

  • 01 - Maya Oceanview Cabana 1 Bed

    • Fits 2 people
    • 1 ft²/0 m².
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    Amenities

    This room includes:

  • 10 - Oceanfront Casita with Pool

    • Fits 2 people
    • 1 ft²/0 m².
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    Amenities

    This room includes:

  • 12 - Casa Madera

    • Fits 1 person
    • 1 ft²/0 m².
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    Amenities

    This room includes:

  • 02 - Maya Oceanview Cabana 2 Beds

    • Fits 4 people
    • 1 ft²/0 m².
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    Amenities

    This room includes:

  • 07 - Jungle Exp Casita Ocean View Pool

    • Fits 2 people
    • 1 ft²/0 m².
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    Amenities

    This room includes:

  • 06 - Rustic Casita - 6 pax

    • Fits 6 people
    • 1 ft²/0 m².
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    Amenities

    This room includes:

  • 14 - Casa Palapa Beach House

    • Fits 1 person
    • 1 ft²/0 m².
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    Amenities

    This room includes:

  • 04 - Maya Oceanfront Cabana - 2 Beds

    • Fits 4 people
    • 2 Double Beds
    • 301 ft²/28 m².
    Amenities

    Views: ocean.

    This room includes:

    • central air conditioning
    • safe
    • stand up shower
  • 03 - Maya Oceanfront Cabana - 1 Bed

    • Fits 2 people
    • 1 Double/Full Bed
    • 301 ft²/28 m².
    Amenities

    Views: ocean.

    This room includes:

    • central air conditioning
    • concrete floor
    • stand up shower
    • terrace
  • 09 - Casita Oceanfront

    • Fits 2 people
    • 1 King Bed
    • 376 ft²/35 m².
    Amenities

    Views: ocean.

    This room includes:

    • central air conditioning
    • crib (on request)
    • safe
    • stand up shower
    • terrace
  • 08 - Casita Jungle Experience

    • Fits 2 people
    • 1 King Bed
    • 377 ft²/35 m².
    Amenities

    Views: garden.

    This room includes:

    • air conditioning window unit
    • plunge pool
    • safe
    • stand up shower
    • terrace
  • 05 - Rustic Casita - 4 pax

    • Fits 4 people
    • 2 Double Beds
    • 645 ft²/60 m².
    Amenities

    Views: ocean.

    This room includes:

    • central air conditioning
    • concrete floor
    • crib (on request)
    • safe
    • stand up shower
    • terrace
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    Only 1 room left Rooms Left

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    • Site Compare

      Discount Applied

      Per Night For 1 Person
      avg per night for 1 person
      for 2 people

      Discount Applied

      Per Night
      Avg Per Night
      Additional Taxes apply
      All Taxes included
      Taxes excluded
      Rooms Selected
      Assign guests at checkout.

      Includes:

      Tablet Exclusive Price

      This price is not eligible for Plus Privileges

      Member Privileges Eligible

      Travel reservation facilitated by: Expedia

      Tablet Direct

Hotel Amenities and Services

  • 100% non-smoking hotel
  • 24 hour front desk
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • Bar
  • Bicycle rentals nearby
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi
  • Garden
  • Library
  • Lounge
  • Luggage storage
  • Multi-lingual staff
  • No pets allowed
  • Restaurant
  • Shopping area nearby
  • Spa
  • Spa treatments (on request)
  • Yoga

Need to Know

Pets are not allowed.

Credit cards accepted:

Visa, MasterCard

Check in:

3pm,

Check out:

12pm

Map