Tour Tulum The Anti- Resort Vacation with dvd Interior Design

Finding Sanctuary On The Mayan Riviera


If you know me, you will know that my preferred mode of vacation is one where there is the opportunity to immerse myself in Nature, ( Earth, Water, and Sky).  Finding peace within our chaotic lives and creating the ideal flow, symmetry, and balance, are the hallmarks of the sanctuary.  While my work as an Interior Designer is to provide sanctuary for the homes we work on, so of course, a vacation sanctions similar goals.

For many people, having a moment away from our everyday life, positioned in new places to learn about the local culture, food, and a new environmental region is a way to find sanctuary and a renewed sense of SELF in this world. Luxury in life is wrapped in our experiences more that into things. If you can travel to these places with friends or family, well, it gets even better. Here are some highlights of a recent trip I took to the Rivera Maya in the Cancun region of the Yucatan, Mexico. 

Some points of interest on the Rivera Maya: The Caribbean Coast of Mexico

  • Playa del carmen 
  • Xcaret 
  • Akumal 
  • Xel ha 
  • Tulum 
  • Islands: 
  • Cozumel island 
  • Holbox 

Destination Paradise

Just looking at downtown Cancun from the sky as we flew over and into the airport, stressed me out.  Yes, its a beautiful piece of land surrounded by amazing crystal clear ocean water and reefs and it is very easy to get to, but I am not a fan of densely populated shores with CONDOS AND SKYSCRAPER resorts.  I prefer to visit real places and meet real people. 

Hartwood Restaurant
Mexico is a beautiful place with many vacation destinations that are off the beaten path, with the richness of history, delicious food, and crystal clear ocean beaches. 
Hartwood. A meal to remember

Artful Lodging
After a 2 hour drive south we finally turn off the highway and head towards to town of Tulum. This is the land of the "TOPES"!  Tope's are lovely speed bumps in the roads to slow down the vehicles on the roads. They make you slow down too, and at first, they frustrate you because you just want to get there, quickly!  Then you adjust to the slower pace and you just accept them. 

You learn to embrace the TOPES.  

ECO Boutique Sonara
With all the new luxury boutique hotels popping up, flying under the radar does not mean roughing it.  

Tulum and many of the surrounding towns south of Cancun offer a reprieve from the intensity and hardness of Cancun, and an opportunity to experience the local flavor and uniqueness of Mexican Yucatan. Don't expect the 4 Seasons Hotel here, Tulum has its own glamour and luxury, but not in tall skyscrapers. Currently, this is the perfect destination to merge nature, relaxation, and spirituality. 

Once in Tulum, you will find yourself traveling along a narrow two lane road parallel to the beach with the resorts, and businesses on the ocean side, and the jungle on the other. Kissed by the Carribean sun and surrounded by the ice blue ocean, this is the perfect getaway that you must visit before it disappears. 

You will see this is a town of environmental beauty as you plan to spend time on a glorious beach or boating on the crystal clear Ocean, visiting the wonderful "Cenotes" for swimming (sinkholes in the ground where you can  swim in pristine water) and the most anticipated, a day visit to Sian Ka'an for a ride on nature's sleepy river of fresh water.   You can also have the most wonderful meals if you choose correctly.

Walking to our Cabanas

We arrive at our hotel and are offered complimentary margaritas at the outdoor, beachside restaurant, with the sound of the ocean waves in the background, and our toes in the sand. We check in and our bags are carried to our beach bungalows. Instant decompression.  We have arrived. 

What to Do

  • Yoga (pictured) We rode our bikes in the morning for Yoga every day! 

Beach Bars (pictured) Wonderful food, drinks and the music was amazing! 

Get a Massage  (pictured) The perfect afternoon treat! A Massage and Mayan Clay body treatment, followed by a dip in the ocean to rinse off! 

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Take a trip to Sian Ka'an  (pictured) We hired a local Shaman to accompany us on our tour and swim in the Kian Ka'an preserve. Meeting and spending the day with him was a special part of our trip. This amazing environmental setting is owned by an international group of preservation organizations. 
Visit to Sian Cain 

Where to Eat

  • Hartwood (pictured) The wood-fired restaurant became the buzz of Tulum when it opened in 2010, using the familiar principles of seasonality and using local produce and meat. Get here early if you want to try this food experience that you will savor for years. make a reservation and anticipate a wait. We waited for a long time to have our reservation become available and we taste tested a few Mezcals to pass the time.It was worth the wait.

  • Posada Margherita Maybe the closest place Tulum has to a “scene,” the romantic restaurant—at night the tables become awash in tea candles nestled in mason jars—is the spot for Italian fares such as seafood linguine and Caprese salad.

Where to Stay

  • La Zebra (pictured) If you follow my Instagram, you may have seen me enjoying this beach hotel, having breakfast with the sand between my toes, or enjoying a complimentary Margherita when checking in.  The accommodations were perfect for all of us. LA Zebra

  • Our Beach Cottage at Le Zebra

  • Sonara Villa:
     This is a luxury ECO BOUTIQUE located on the beach and in the jungle.  Equipped their own Yoga Studio, Wellness Center and a wonderful restaurant featuring all types of great vegan to vegetarian selections.

Sanara Tulum: Eco Boutique
SanarĂ¡ Tulum won the 2015 National Competition for Architecture and Interiors for Hotels from the Asociacion de Arquitectos e Interioristas, Mexico. In 2017 we were selected  #3 in the 150 Greatest Hotels in the World by Harper's Bazaar

We also visited the Mayan Ruins
To see more about our trip to Mexico click here: TBD


If you desire a more luxurious experience, plenty of options abound. See more here in a feature of the region by DEZEEN 

For more information on ECO-FRIENDLY Luxury visit TRAVEL YUCATAN 

For more on about the remote island Isla Holbox, "Escaping to Mexico's Best Kept Secret".

To read more about our trip to Merida, Mexico and this wonderful Home that we stayed at click here: Hacienda Sac Chic

Hacienda Sac Chic

Also, come join our Facebook group where we chat all things HOME! You can find it right here

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Deborah von Donop in Greenwich, CT on Houzz

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Deborah von Donop
dvd Interior Design 
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