by Lydia Linton Pontius
Photos by Alexandra Bradley and Lydia Linton Pontius
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It was dark when we pulled in to the Cabañas Tulum parking lot. The staff was so gracious; they said they had been concerned when the sun set and we had not yet arrived. Not one, not two, but three of the staff were there to help us unload our car and, before our luggage even got to the reception area, we each had a delightful, welcome rum drink in our hands. Life doesn't get much better than this. We sat in the open-air reception area, checked our e-mail on their wireless Internet, and sipped our cocktails. They provided us with menus to peruse and then helped us take everything to our room.
The beachfront accommodations are wonderful, indeed directly on the beach. They are spacious and very clean. Each one has its own private balcony or porch. We took some time to just sit and relax, listening to the sounds of the waves lapping upon the beach, and feeling the refreshing breeze. A decision needed to be made: retire early after a long day of driving and exploring, or head over to their fabulous restaurant El Bistro at Ziggy Beach. After reviewing the menu, we chose to shower and head over for dinner.
We chose to sit out closest to the beach to feel the breeze and hear the ocean. The service was impeccable: friendly and attentive without being intrusive. We started our evening with a glass of wine from their extensive list, and split an order of coconut shrimp with mango sweet and sour sauce. The sweet and the savory, crunchy and tender, was an amazing combination. For dinner Alex ordered the Roasted Eggplant with zucchini, tomatoes, Roquefort cheese and agave honey. I opted for two appetizers: the tuna tartare nachos, which were exquisite, and a fresh salad with Gorgonzola. For dessert we had crème brûlée. During our dinner there was a wedding farther up the beach, celebrated with floating fire lanterns, which rose and then glided over our heads before extinguishing. For those who have taken a youngster to see Tangled, you know exactly what that looks like.
Full and completely relaxed, we walked along the beach and back to our room. The black-out curtains allowed us to sleep in without being awakened by the spectacular sunrise just outside our door. We woke at a leisurely rate and spent the morning wandering the beach with cameras in hand. The night before, a nest of turtles had hatched and the caretaker showed us the nest, footprints and discarded eggs. He took great pride in the resort's conservation efforts and his own love for these turtles.
I highly recommend this location for anyone who wants a small resort directly on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with guaranteed great service, attention to detail, and a great restaurant right on the premises. Tulúm has a lot of great shops and restaurants along its beaches and, if you head just a little farther south, you will find yourself in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere. So this is an excellent location.
We enjoyed Ziggy's restaurant so much that we decided to call our friend Paul and have him come meet us for brunch on the beach. We spent literally hours dining, drinking, talking, laughing, swinging in a hammock and having a great time. They also have large lounge chairs and know how to create a true sense of paradise. There are a number of lovely small resorts and large all-inclusives but this place really goes the extra mile with its staff and their friendly, professional approach: elegant and sophisticated without being stuffy. This is a place I would return to whenever possible. They also have a sister property in Playa del Carmen that I hope to check out in the not-too-distant future.
Read more by visiting their website.