Olas Tulum

Tulum The Yucatan, Mexico Book from Book from £225 per night

A laid-back, eco-conscious retreat with 8 sea-view rooms, set on the beach beside Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
Hidden away beneath towering palm trees just south of Tulum beach, Olas Tulum grabs a picture-perfect slice of one of Mexico's finest stretches of sand. Its eco-philosophy is sincere: power is solar, water is rain-collected and the only air-con is the Caribbean breeze. Set in 2 whitewashed villas, the 8 stylish and airy rooms have cool, uncluttered interiors; some have kitchenettes, and all have ocean views out through the palms. Thatched shelters and daybeds just metres from the waves ensure the vibe here is about sea, sunshine and slowing down.

Meals are served at one huge table using produce from local farms - or there are hip restaurants and bars a beach stroll away. Your affable hosts can arrange boat tours through the stunning Sian Ka'an Reserve or point you in the direction of little-known cenotes for an unforgettable subterranean dip. We loved the vibe at Olas, which is barefoot and easy: no flash facilities, just a chic space for couples to kick back and chill, with boho Tulum and its spectacular ruins right on your doorstep.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.


  • We loved the stunning and isolated beachside setting, with partial ocean views from all rooms
  • A laid-back vibe, with no kids under 6; staff know when guests want to chat... and when they want to just chill
  • Olas Tulum has won global recognition for its environmental design and sustainability
  • A rooftop yoga studio offers regular classes, and massage sessions can be booked at any time
  • Bikes and boogie-boards are available to borrow; cycling is a great way to explore the area


  • All meals are communal (a high for many, but not to everyone's taste)
  • No pool, though the ocean is just a few steps away
  • A fairly strict payment policy, and the 50% balance can only be paid in cash at the time of stay
  • Except for the Master Suite, bathrooms are small with low-pressure gravity showers
  • No air-con though with overhead fans and ocean breezes this isn't an issue

Best time to go

November to April are the best months – the weather is usually sunny, warm and dry. June to October is the low season, when conditions can be wet and very hot, with a chance of hurricanes. Olas Tulum is closed for the month of September.

Our top tips

For a magical experience, get up early and head straight to the cenote at Ek Balam ruins - if you're lucky, you'll get this gorgeous green pool all to yourself. Leaving Olas around 8am (by taxi or private transfer) should get you there by 10am, before the tour groups arrive late morning.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Beach Resort
  • 8
  • Breakfast + lunch on request
  • Children aged 6+ welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Boogie boards


The Oceanfront Master Suite is the star of the show, with a spacious split-level living room, a pair of kingsize 4-posters and a huge terrace just yards from the sea. It features a large separate kitchen and a bathroom with double sinks and walk-in shower.

We stayed in the Oceanfront Suite whose kingsize bed is draped in Mexican fabrics and faces a curve of ocean-view windows. There's a kitchenette for preparing simple meals but no private outside space.

The smaller Oceanfront Junior Suite has a queensize Balinese canopy bed and wraparound windows facing the sea. On the upper level, the Oceanfront Balcony Suites are light and airy with kingsize canopy beds, reclaimed wood furniture and basic kitchenettes.

The Ocean View Balcony Suites and the Ocean View Deluxe Balcony Suite sit in a separate villa further back from the beach, though they still have partial sea views. They are more contemporary in style, with kingsize beds, modern Danish furniture and polished concrete floors.

Features include:

  • Beach bag
  • Bose sound system
  • Fan
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


Breakfast is eaten alfresco with other guests at a communal table under the palms. It's a good opportunity to exchange Tulum tips while munching on chilaquiles, huevos rancheros or empanadas.

Chef Lulu can prepare light lunches and dinners if you let her know at breakfast. Expect classic Mexican cuisine: Lulu’s (round corn tortillas with meat or veggie toppings and cheese) are legendary, and our chicken fajitas were in a class of their own. Fish, straight from the ocean, is also frequently on the menu.

If you fancy eating out, stroll along the beach or cycle into town on one of the hotel's bikes and you’ll be spoilt for choice - you'll find restaurant recommendations in your room's guest file. We dined at Cetli which specialises in regional Oaxacan dishes; dinner here was superb. And don't miss Hartwood, one of the most talked-about diners in the Caribbean.

There’s also a gas barbecue should you fancy shopping for your meal in Tulum’s lively market.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Communal dining
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Enjoy a yoga class at the rooftop yoga studio. The schedule changes seasonally, so ask for the most up-to-date classes on offer
  • Indulge in a Mayan clay massage beneath the shade of a palm tree
  • Take a boat trip through the lagoon of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve to search out crocs and manatees grazing in the mangroves
  • Borrow one of 6 lightweight bikes and cycle to the coastal ruins at Tulum (10km), one of the Mexico's most memorable Mayan sites; alternatively arrange a catamaran trip and view them from the ocean
  • Swimming in the cool waters of a cenote (limestone sinkhole pools) is an essential Yucatan experience; the one at the Ek Balam ruins (136km) is one of the most beautiful
  • Do nada except laze in your hammock and gaze at the sea; that’s what Olas Tulum is all about

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Body boarding
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga


This is more of a grown-up retreat - think couples and solo travellers - but families with children aged 6 and above are also welcome here.

Family friendly accommodation:

The Oceanfront Master Suite is best for families as it has 2 kingsize beds – drapes can be drawn between them for a bit of privacy. A single rollaway bed can be added to the Oceanfront Suite.


  • Shops: 13km
  • Pharmacy: 13km
  • Hospital: 13km
Kid Friendly:


Olas Tulum is situated at the very end of Tulum beach, 10km from the town of Tulum itself, and next door to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

By Air:
The closest airport is Cancun (127km), which has direct flights from the US, the UK and elsewhere. Alternatively, change at a US airport or fly via Mexico City.

From the Airport
The hotel can arrange transfers but if you'd prefer to self-drive, see our car rental recommendations. It’s a 2-hour drive from the airport to the hotel on a wide, double-lane motorway. A host will be on-hand when you arrive to greet you.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.


  • Cancún 127.0 km CUN


  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 3.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


We loved everything about our stay at Casa de las Olas (or "at Jimmy's", as my children decided to rename it, so dazzled were they by the charismatic owner!). The property is beautiful and incredibly far up Tulum beach, so you have the beach front virtually to yourself. The eco-credentials at Olas are impeccable, and you can learn a lot about sustainable living by talking to Jimmy about the choices he's made. All the recommendations we received from Jimmy and his manager Mara were fantastic, from cenotes to visit to restaurants to try. We loved the communal breakfasts and friendly atmosphere. One night we crept from our beds to see a turtle laying her eggs on the beach just a few steps from our room, and watched baby turtle hatchlings swim into the sea. A really special place to stay, which we will never forget.


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