Welcome to the Beta version of a new kind of travel web site, specialising in eco-destinations, and ethical ways of getting there.
We want to hear from YOU, dear readers, with any eco-friendly havens you can recommend to the rest of the Web. Of course we recognise that the system is imperfect. We will always cause some damage just by gettinginto a plane or a car. So we will be featuring companies that at least offset their carbon.
Anyway, that’s an ongoing debate. Most times, when people want to travel to clear their head and get a bit of peace of mind, the last thing you want to worry about is damaging the environment. We are here to give you the tools to holiday with a clear conscience.
Today, Suenos Tulum on Tulum Beach Mexico, 90 miles south of Cancun at the end of a stretch of shoreline on the Caribbean Sea known as the Maya Riviera.
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As with most lower-priced eco-resorts and cabanas on Tulum Beach, Suenos Tulum has kitchen appliances and water heaters run on butane gas; solar panels generate the lights and electricity in the office and kitchen.
The laid back feel combined with the pristine white-sand beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula, is what has lured yoga and wellness practitioners to the area in recent years.
It feels more tribal than touristy. The 12 rooms are in five stucco buildings, with round port-hole windows and balconies shaped like the prow of a boat. Hand-painted murals, wall reliefs and mosaic inlays in traditional Maya motifs adorn the buildings. The incessant roar of the wind and rhythmic thunder of the ocean drown out any sound of civilization, thus intensifying the seclusion. Booking and payment is handled online before arrival, so you’re greeted with a margarita instead of a registration card, and then led through the palm trees to your hideaway.
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A couple miles north of the property on the road from Tulum to Boca Paila is Punta Piedra, an enclave of small resorts, restaurants and shacks selling traditional Maya food and wares. Further north are the Maya ruins. A denser collection of restaurants and shops can be found in the town of Tulum, about five miles inland.
The solar power doesn’t kick in until dusk and even then the rooms are dim. Battery-powered lanterns are available in the office. You can buy a flashlight in th local town. The five master suites and seven junior suites all face the ocean. The master suites, on the top floor of each building, have king-size beds with built-in shelves and private terraces. Junior suites have two double beds and either a private patio or terrace.
The showers are tiled and open to the room. The water pressure and temperature are ideal. The poor lighting could make primping for dinner problematic, but the ”wash and go” attitude at the beach seemed to negate the inconvenience.
There are no telephones, TV’s, CD players or other electronic luxuries. You can access a high-speed Internet connection or charge your cell phone in the office. More to the point, there are a half-dozen boogie boards available. The open-air dining room atop the second floor of the kitchen building offers prime ocean views. The food is fresh and simple.
The service at Suenos is like being at a friend’s beach house. You can take breakfast or dinner on your terrace, the beach or poolside. There is no menu; instead, the menu offers one tasty meal based on whatever ingredients are fresh and available,from nachos with cactus on the beach to breakfast in bed. Breakfast typically consisted of a heaping plate of pineapple, mangoes, bananas and grapes drizzled with granola and yogurt. Dinners feature freshly caught local fish or shrimp; margaritas and cerveza are available day or night.
PRICE & LOCATION — Rates vary by season: $160 to $285 for master suites and $120 to $250 for junior suites. There is an additional 12 percent tax. Breakfast is included.
Suenos Tulum is at Kilometer 10 on the road from Tulum to Boca Paila. Information: (52-984) 876-2152 or by e-mail to [email protected] Please mention you read it on Off-Grid.