TULUM BY MERLE GROESKAMP

Merle GroeskampFashion stylist, and mother of the one year old Kee, Merle Groeskamp takes us to Tulum, Mexico. A journey they will not soon forget as it is a paradise on earth. 

"I wanted to go to a stylish and nice place, when searching the web I bumped into The Papaya Playa Project Tulum Mexico by designhotels.com. Cocooned by the jungle at the Caribbean coast. 
Small and simple houses with a modern Mexican twist. Bright aqua blue floors, Mexican rugs and a hammock with ocean view made me and my love wanted to go!"Papaya Playa Tulum"It is the perfect destination for people who are looking for nature, relaxation and spirituality. The resorts restaurant overlooks the azure waters, you can have massages and beauty treatments (the best!) or enjoy yoga/tai chi overlooking the see and the jungle (overwhelming!). Being linked to the best DJ's in the world makes Papaya Playa Tulum a complete experience!"The Papaya Playa Project"We wanted to start our Mexico trip in Tulum and than make a trip trough Yucatan. The next stop was Chichen Itza/Merida. But after a few days we missed Papaya Playa Project Tulum and the beach so much we decided to go back and stayed there the rest of our holiday. You can plan your stay in advance, but in low season it's also ok to plan your trip by day."Mexican streets SOME TO DO TIPS 

- When you can book a yoga course overlooking the jungle and the ocean.
- So Happy Spa, for the best massages ocean view. I also treated myself with a 'Maya Mud Treatment' which was amazing!

FOODHartwood Restaurant
- Hartwood Jungle Restaurant, open from 6pm, go early as otherwise it can take one hour to get a table. This place is known of the cover of 'The Shelby Food' and it is our favourite restaurant by far! Enjoy the best meat you have ever eat: Skirt Steak. Casa Jaguar Restaurant- Casa Jaguar Jungle Restaurant, walking distance from Hartwood you will find this place and it's perfect to do some drinks. TIP take a flashlight as it will be very dark.. They also serve breakfast and lunch here but I prefer the cocktails. Try one of the cocktails based on the local liquor. My favourite was the Guanabana Bites, delicious!
- Mateo's, a cosy place close by the Papaya Playa Project, true Mexican with lovely coffee to take away.
- Mot Mot Cafe, a lovely bakery! Go here for coffee, sweets and sandwiches. But their salad is also great.

TULUM SHOPPINGCoqui Coqui
- Coqui Coqui, a formal top model started this place. It's a Mexican version of Dyptique. Lovely scented candles, home perfumes and more. An incredible beautiful store next to the beach with a small boutique offering clothing, jewelry and shoes. We bought some lovely perfumes here. Stay here and enjoy a drink, or two..
- Across the street of Coqui Coqui, right in the middle of the jungle, there is an army tent which appeared to be an amazing shop as well. Super cool clothing and bags. Ask at Coqui Coqui for directions as you will easily walk by.
- La Troupe and Shalom are both really nice jungle boutiques.

WHERE TO HAVE FUN Maya Ruins Tulum
- Maya Ruins Tulum, go here don't forget to bring your bikini. The ruins are right next to the bluest ocean you've ever seen.
- At the Papaya Playa Project you can rent bikes to explore the surroundings.
- Take a dive in the Cenotes, snorkel between caves in shallow water. It feels like you're floating.
- Akumal paradise, take the Colectivo (a local bus). First go snorkel with turtles afterwards rent a golf car (this is fun!) to drive to the Lagoon. You have to pay for this Lagoon, but it is definitely worth it!"Healthy candy Lagoon"TIP you can enjoy lunch between the trees and you will also find a guy with healthy candy's (nuts, honey.. some really good treats!)."ChichenItza"We enjoyed the friendly and easy going people and the Maya culture is beyond interesting! Visit the Maya temples. A must see is one of the 7 world wonders Chichen Itza."Papaya Playa lunch"Tulum is a perfect holiday destination! Good food and drinks, the best beach, interesting culture, sports and relaxation. Papaya Playa Project made our Tulum experience complete."

"On my designhotels.com wish list: San Giorgio Mykonos; white, light, hammocks with a '60s bohemian vibe..."

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