When you arrive in Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, you can immediately sense the slow pace, relaxed way of life. It's the closest thing to living in a state of savasana. Your body loosens up, your mind stills and everything around you seems to dance to the beat of a steady drum. You'll hear us reference that same exact feeling throughout my posts on Tulum, and in our vlog.
Hotel Nomade is located on the road to Boca Paila, situated at the end of the 'hotel zone'. This eco-friendly resort was designed by architect Sebastián Sas. When you enter the property, you will be transported to what feels like a more "hipster", quieter version of Morocco. Each of the 35 bungalows is decorated differently with Persian rugs and Moroccan poufs. Almost every room has a breathtaking view of the teal-blue Caribbean sea.
Since we visited Tulum, I've gotten so many Instagram DMs asking "did you feel safe?" I shared the same concerns, but upon arrival I quickly realized it's far too remote and quiet to harbor crime. A tour guide even told us, "the worst crime in Tulum is having your bike borrowed. They'll leave it a couple doors down!" So, before I share all about the Nomade Hotel - cast your worries aside. Keeping safety in mind anywhere you travel is a good idea, but take comfort in knowing that our entire group felt incredibly safe and everyone we met was nothing but welcoming and kind.
There is no right way to book your stay at the Hotel Nomade. We did a lot of upfront research and the prices were similar across the board on various booking sights. The only thing I can recommend is to sign up for the Chase Sapphire or Chase Preferred credit card. We ended up booking ours through our Chase Ultimate Rewards program and got the room for almost $70 cheaper per night! They have great rewards redemption and service - in fact, most of our travel on this (and every) trip was booked through Chase.
Tulum is very eco-friendly, so be aware when booking that your room may be a tent, if they provide safes, if the AC is available all day/night (it might be rationed!), and if you will have your own private restroom. We were lucky to book with our friends who spoke fluent Spanish and they made sure our rooms had private bathrooms and safes. If you're someone who can live in a jungle without AC, then more power to you, but for us it was an absolute necessity that Nomade was able to provide! Another plus, Nomade provides free wifi. We stayed away from laptops most of the trip, but it was nice to have when we wanted to connect with family back home to check in, and a great option to send and receive emails, IG & iMessages if you don't have Mexico phone service!
I can't say enough how wonderful the people of Tulum were to us during our stay. From Nomade to Be Tulum, and Casa Malca - all of the area resorts were attentive, conversational and accommodating. Our first day at Nomade, my friend Judy was bitten by an indigenous fly called the Tabano! The staff immediately knew what it was and were able to give her ice and tips on caring for her wound the rest of the trip. (PRO TIP: The tabano fly is very rare and poses no threat outside of a little swelling, but WEAR BUG SPRAY AND LOTS OF IT). The beach staff always provided warm, fresh towels to the cabanas when we arrived and made sure to check in with us often (but not too much) to see if we needed refreshments or more food.
We were especially impressed when the Nomade concierge guided us to our ocean front room to wish me a happy birthday (thanks to Judy informing them ahead of time!). They had a chalkboard wish birthday wishes, balloons and a fresh vegan dessert waiting for us when we arrived. It was a simple, but memorable gesture that I will never forget!
A few nights later we had dinner at Be Tulum, and my stomach wasn't 100% - the staff rushed over with water, chamomile and ginger tea and even helped us hail a cab to get me to a pharmacy (luckily they stocked Maalox)!
On our last day, we visited Casa Malca where the staff brought us cold eucalyptus towels to freshen up before our lunch. They sat us at a breezy oceanside table where we had a delightful meal. The concierge gave us a quick tour of all 4 floors just before we had to head back to Cancun and fly home. The views of Sien Ka'an were like nothing I've ever seen before. I will definitely be back to visit this incredible resort (more on that later...).
ROOM @ NOMADE TULUM
Image source: Nomade Tulum
When traveling to a tropical climate, the first instinct is to book the best looking suite available online to ensure you'll have a large, cool space to retire too each night. At Nomade, this was not the case! Our friends booked a larger ocean suite that looked incredible, and we booked an oceanside standard room that seemed visibly less impressive than theirs. That night, we all realized though their room was larger, we had the same size AC units and ultimately their larger, more expensive room ended up much less comfortable and very warm! Our room was borderline freezing (I slept in socks nightly) and I like it that way! Bigger and more expensive is not always better! Next time we go, we'll probably book an ocean front room on the bottom floor to ensure a sealed room (no thatched roof). Either way, still one of the most badass hotels I've ever stayed at and I would absolutely visit again and again!
Other pluses: water with fresh flowers outside your door to wash the sand off your feet, nightly turn down service (which apparently is normal, but I found it fascinating #imnotthatbougie), amazing organic soaps and fresh salt water showers (my hair looked INCREDIBLE all week), and dreamcatchers on the balconies - because, why not?!
There is a certain magic that takes place while walking through a canopy of palm trees with the smoke and scent of copal (a local Mayan tree resin that's burned over charcoal) heightening your senses and awareness. Now home almost a month after the trip, I find myself yearning for that exact feeling. We work to recreate the environment in our home by burning copal and playing the Nomade playlists on Spotify. For a jungle, it's clean with pathways, lounge seating throughout, a Gratitude tent and candles flickering to create eco-friendly light each night. It's romantic, mysterious and seemingly off the beaten path. Everything seems to shut down between 8-9 PM. The music goes on (so quietly you can't hear it unless you try) and the candles flicker up the steps to your room as you retreat to the best sleep you've ever had.
The beach is snow white, the cabanas look like something out of a Restoration Hardware magazine, but everything was sourced locally through a place called MarEzTo. I haven't figured out how, but I am going to order some of the seating they offer for our patio here in Austin soon. I've never experienced anything like the water in this part of Mexico. Our visit to Isla Mujeres AND Tulum was unforgettable. I loved everything about wading in the crystal clear blue waters all day long. I just can't wait to go back.
We tried a range of foods at Macondo, the restaurant at Hotel Nomade, including the freshest guacamole I've ever tasted, fresh-squeezed fruit juices, potatoes like I've never eaten before rich with a vinegary flavor, sea salt and herbs, fresh breads, eggs and fruit in the mornings, bold, dark coffee that gave me life... -- the list could go on. All I can say is FRESH, FRESH FOOD and I haven't stopped thinking about it since I left. One HUGE note - a stay at Nomade includes a daily breakfast of juice, fruit, yogurt, granola, eggs, potatoes and fresh bread - some of the best food we ate all week. The "best bite" award goes to Casa Banana, just a couple minutes by bike. Check out their Instagram to see what you're missing!
Dress: Hemline | Earrings: Katie Kime
Nomade isn't really a child-friendly hotel. I wouldn't recommend it for a family stay. It's a very serene and peaceful place meant to free and restore the mind. OK - I'll say it: no one will want your kids there and they would be bored AF anyway at Nomade. Sorry for the blunt honesty, but I'd hate for you to arrive with toddlers in tow saying what the hell are we going to do all week? Older kids would probably love it - but be sure to book some adventures and tours with Cesar at Authentic Tours Tulum. You'll walk away feeling like a local.
Hotel Nomade offers complimentary bikes to ride around the area where you can experience local restaurants and boutiques, other hotels and beaches and more. Tulum is an area vibrantly living on tourism - so beware to always have pesos on hand and know that all the restaurants and shops are basically the same as eating and shopping in LA! For an authentic, Mayan shopping experience, book a private tour with Authentic Tours Tulum. This is not sponsored, I just really, really recommend doing a tour with Cesar!
The hotel has some very powerful workshops and classes to experience complimentary with your stay. We participated in a Sound Healing workshop that gave me the best night of sleep I've ever had, in my life! Other activities include "Intro to Energetic Lovemaking" (...yup), yoga and meditation, "the benefits of essential oils," the Yäan Wellness spa and more. Staying in this community will ultimately awaken you in ways you never would imagine possible. I left with such an appreciation for chasing slowness, experiencing nature and spending quiet time with Chris, away from the noisiness of managing my business and our work and celebrating the life and adventures to come.
THE BEST PART
I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Isla Mujeres, Tulum and Cancun this fall. Thank you to our friends Sarah & Nick for getting married so we had an excuse to travel out of the country in 2017, and thank you to Judy & Tadd for saying yes (without knowing a single detail) to the unknown adventure that was Tulum! We love traveling with good friends and Judy & Tadd have proven to be incredible lifelong friends who also happen to be great travel buddies too! Thank God for Judy and her ability to plan in advance and keep us safe and accounted for, and for finding Cesar who gave us a one-of-a-kind tour of the Mexican Cenotes and Mayan Ruins.
As always, my advice is when adventure calls, listen. Pack your Away suitcase and take the opportunity to make memories, see and experience new things and enjoy every single moment. Life is short, if we spend all of it in one place doing the same things, how do we grow? Travel is expensive, believe me, I know! But EXPERIENCE is priceless. It's something you hear often, but it won't ever really register until you stretch yourself to do things you've never done before. Every time I travel, I learn something new that brings me a little bit closer to really finding and knowing myself.