Dream Island Escapes

Craving an island vacation? Get inspired by these exotic destinations.

Escape to Tulum

Once the preserve of hippies and back-to-naturists, a laid-back town on Mexico's Caribbean coast is luring a new set of stylish travelers without sacrificing an iota of its quirky charm.

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Welcome Sign
Photos: Thayer Gowdy

Welcome Sign

Tulum has always been the haunt of travelers whose idea of bliss is bunking down in a hammock, strumming guitars on the beach, and performing seaside sun salutations. It's still all that, but there has been a welcome addition to the scene. Along with the cheap and cheerful cabanas and rustic palapas strung along the oceanfront, there is now a handful of resorts and restaurants catering to a more upscale, luxury-addicted clientele.

There are the rustic hotels, with their simple, bare-bones decor and enthusiastic commitment to environmental causes, and the glamorous resort-style numbers, each with their own special allure. On our most recent visit, we decided to dip our toes in both ends of the pool, starting the week at a no-frills spot called Hotel Zamas, and then spending the next few days at the hyper-stylish Be Tulum.

Left: A hand-painted sign, a Tulum hallmark.

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