Papaya Playa Project is a boutique hotel surrounded by the jungle on about 1 km stretch on the beautiful Caribbean coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. It is on the very north end of the beach, which is far away from the busiest spots and therefore extremely quiet and private. The accommodations, standalone suites/villas, dotted along the property blend seamlessly into the habitat, which is the charm of the space. Tulum is mostly known for their beautiful stretch of beach, lush jungles, mayan ruins, cenotes, lagoons and upscale nightlife. However, it is also very much a place for creatives, and a strong focus on health and wellness. The boutique offers daily yoga, meditation classes, a beachfront gym, and many more healthy influences for both body and mind. Being a big family with little babies we decided to stay for about 2 weeks at this beach front property so that we wouldn't have to bike or commute to the beach.
Due to the fact that the government has restricted big chain hotels on the beach to restrict overdevelopment, it has helped keep "the vibe" of Tulum. However these boutiques have become very expensive. If you choose to stay a bit inside town then you are still able to visit the beach club for day, just call ahead to make reservations. It's from 9am - 6pm with a minimum spend of 50 USD which is very easy to reach with their menu (but well worth it!).
This hotel is approx 1:45min away from Cancun International Airport. We used Cancun Airport Transportation and booked a private (one way) transfer which came to 130USD. They allow you to make 1 stop on the way to pick up any snacks/water/groceries etc. I recommend stopping in town at the grocery store to get some snacks, you have a mini fridge in your room that you can utilize.
This is the lobby entrance and it made quite the impression! We were so excited to finally arrive, the boys immediately jumped on the swings. Upon arrival they gave us watermelon popsicles which the kids devoured haha.
You can rent a bike right next to the lobby for approximately 15USD. The grocery store is a 20 minute bike ride, with a direct sidewalk that takes you there. For comparison a taxi there and back (he was kind enough to wait while we shopped) was 40USD. Taxis are very expensive, so always ask for the price before you go because unfortunately the prices can vary depending on the driver.
First things first! They have a shop that you can get coffee, smoothies, and treats to go. My go-to was a cappuccino with soy milk. Delicious!
Always watch your step with your little ones! The boards and stones are all uneven.
Our specific room was 'Casita C'. We were first recommended a 'Jungle Casita' for our family which is what we initially booked but upon arrival we saw that the location was more tucked away, and since the whole boutique is "eco conscious" the pool was too cold for the kids as it is only heated by the sun and that spot didn't have enough sun (at least during the time of the year we went). It came to approx. 800USD per night during the end of March/April - not a high season. I did a room reel you can check out here to get a better idea of the space!
*NOTE: Book with them directly. Breakfast is not normally included, but if you speak with them over the phone and ask for a deal they will often include breakfast for you. It makes things way easier when you're groggy in the morning to know you have something available for free (especially when you have kids and they can be picky eaters).
It is humid in Tulum so bring all the hair products needed!
I loved our rooftop and pool view. Truly felt alone in the jungle.
This spot is the central location which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a bar for drinks. We usually only ate breakfast here, lunch on the beach and then used their "uber eats" which is called Tomato..... download the app here. As a rough guide: ordering through the app was usually about half the cost or less than at the hotel, and groceries cost a bit less. Eating at the boutique was obviously the most expensive option, but for more variety (mainly for the kiddos since David and I never got sick of the hotel food!) the app was a great option.
Breakfast menu included with our room:
It was absolutely delicious and aesthetically very pleasing! We did get french toast from the paid menu as well as some other items, which still made breakfast inexpensive.
My fav was the Chia Pudding! I would go to sleep dreaming about it!
Outdoor seating was beautiful but breezy, so we usually ate 'inside'.
Even the main bathroom is gorgeous.
There's lots of places for the kids to roam, but it is not catered for them! A lot of the beachfront boutiques here do not allow children. We were happy that PPP allowed kids, and did as much as possible to make them feel comfortable. The kids loved to roam, and to be surrounded by so much neat nature, collecting all sorts of rocks and leaves... while looking for iguanas! Also the staff were so friendly and caring they made it extra fun for the kiddos.
These are the main stairs to go down to the beach coming from the main restaurant. Along the stairs they have more outdoor seating to grab drinks or food. Once you get to the beach you have cabanas to the left and right, and the central loungers in the sun.
*NOTE* Casita C is towards the left (in the picture) and you have direct access to and from your room down to the beach.
The triangle (centre) is the 'Loft suite' which although beautiful, was right behind the main pool and very close to the DJ booth which on weekends is a BIG party. Papaya Playa Project hosts lots of parties however we were in bed by 8pm :P
*NOTE: If you or your baby are light sleepers, staying anywhere near the central area will be very loud on weekends.
This was the main pool, with an infinity style view.
The hotel also provides surf boards, paddle boards, and kite boards for both rent + lessons. It was really neat to watch!
There was another pool area within the boutique grounds called "Roca". This was private, exclusive to PPP guests, whereas the main pool is available to anyone who reserved a beach cabana. It is a great spot however worth mentioning there is no shallow end, so only for swimming kids or kids that don't mind wearing floaties.
* Insert drool emoji here *
While we spent most of our days on the beach. If you have older children there are plenty of cenotes, spas, monkey sanctuary, Mayans etc. Tulum is a great place for some fun and adventure!
We spent most of our days on the beach if you have older children there are plenty of cenotes, spas, monkey sanctuary, Mayans etc. Tulum is a perfect destination to find some fun and adventure!
Hers & His.
During our stay we celebrated our first born's 4th birthday, and the staff made him feel very special and loved! They prepared lots of sweets for him, sang, and actually bought him a bunch of cute gifts. When we got back from breakfast they filled our room with balloons and prepared a fun dinosaur cake! We were so beyond thankful to everyone.
Getting family photos was next to impossible haha. Couldn't even get clothes on our little nudist. The staff had set up a lovely private dinner in a brand new space that will eventually be available as a "wine + cheese bar". I was too busy making sure everyone was eating and not staining everything to take a picture but it was magical!
Overall we had a wonderful stay. For more info go on https://www.papayaplayaproject.com You can find booking info here , but make sure to put the amount of people before browsing because there is a significant difference in price as many casitas/cabanas only sleep 2-3. If you have any further questions feel free to email or message me on Instagram.