Words by Gina Jackson
Easy, breezy, barefoot stays await at La Valise Tulum, a cluster of coastal-chic villas overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Travel writer and author Gina Jackson checks in for a jungle-wrapped jaunt fuelled by tropical juices and fresh ceviche.
La Valise Tulum photographed by Gina Jackson
It may have made a name for itself as the Ibiza of Mexico, but Tulum is far more than just a party destination. Often touted as one of Mexico’s most beautiful pockets, there’s plenty of sand, swim, and sun to be enjoyed in this particular corner of the Riviera Maya, and adults-only retreat La Valise is a far cry from Tulum’s buzzy nightlife scene. Situated on what is arguably the best stretch of beach, this luxe getaway beckons visitors with its sweeping views over the sandy shores and gin-clear waters. With a distinctly boutique feel and hushed atmosphere (pounding music is eschewed in favour of peace and quiet), La Valise functions more like a private home than hotel, where peppy team members are just a WhatsApp message away.
Set the scene…
Wind your way through Tulum’s ‘hotel zone’, before reaching the hotel’s discreet entrance, enshrouded in wafts of Copal incense. Make note of the surrounding restaurants and bars once you arrive – La Valise’s prime location places you in easy walking distance to some of Tulum’s best dining destinations.
Soaring, thatched palapa rooftops prick the cloudless sky, and strike quite a statement along the pristine beach. There are plenty of relaxed, open-air spaces for guests to strew themselves, each framed with boho-style hammocks and squashy sofas. Generous sun loungers allow guests to snooze by the sea, while the hotel’s pool is framed by fringed parasols and buttery-yellow loungers to kick back on.
Tell us about the rooms…
22 spacious bedrooms are split between the hotel’s two sides: bed down in a beachfront room overlooking the ocean, or choose a jungle-side suite cocooned within the leafy thicket. Expect airy hideaways designed in muted strokes of colour, with plenty of Crusoe-chic details: think four posters swathed in linen, vaulted roofs, and hammock-lined terraces. Opt for one of the Master Suites, each of which have generous beds that roll directly onto your private terrace for a sleepover under the stars.
”Expect airy hideaways designed in muted strokes of colour, with plenty of Crusoe-chic details: think four posters swathed in linen, vaulted roofs, and hammock-lined terraces.
The food and drink?
A leisurely breakfast is served wherever you’d like, whether that’s in the comfort of your suite, or in one of the indoor-outdoor lounge spaces on either side of the property. Start the day with fresh fruit, granola, and yoghurt, all washed down with one of the hotel’s homemade juices – before moving on to favourites such as avocado toast and chilaquiles. Whether you spend the afternoon sun-worshipping on the sand or spread-eagled by the pool, guests can order nibbles throughout the day, from zingy fish tacos to fresh guacamole.
There is no formal restaurant on site, but guests can nip across the road to sister restaurant NÜ, where flavourful seafood dishes and Mexican favourites are the name of the game: think freshly-fished Caribbean catches and ceviches, all eaten in a candlelit space. Back in your bedroom, you’ll find sweet treats waiting by your bedside every evening.
Anything else to note?
Guests at La Valise also have access to the other hotels in the Namron Hospitality portfolio, whether you’d like to dip your toes in the pool at Radhoo (located across the road), or sprawl yourself across the cabanas at Encantada next door. However, guests from these other hotels won’t be able to access La Valise, as it’s considered the most exclusive property in the collection.
Gina Jackson is a London-based travel writer, photographer, and the author of two books: British Boutique Hotels and London Hotels, both published by Hoxton Mini Press. Often found in far-flung destinations seeking out boutique hotels around the globe, you’ll find honest reviews and travel tips on Gina’s Instagram.