Tulum is one of the hottest tropical getaways for weddings, honeymoons, and bachelorette parties alike, and it's really no surprise why...the beaches are beautiful, the activities are abundant, and the hotels are next-level chic. But let us introduce you to a slightly more secret attraction: Mukan Resort. It checks off all of Tulum's must-have boxes, yet it doesn't come with all the crowds or hype. Why's that? It's made up of just nine rooms and is located about 20 miles south of the buzzy beach town in the Sian Ka'an biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which makes this place—well, the perfect escape. We break down why, below!
The transfer there doubles as a private nature tour
As we mentioned, Mukan is located about 20 miles south of Tulum. To get there, it's best to go by boat—it'll take just 45 minutes, as compared to the hour-and-a-half drive by car. This mode of transportation also allows you to embrace your setting from the start, as a local tour guide can direct you through the 1.6-million-acre natural reserve (yes, it's one of the largest in Mexico), pointing out the manatees and zooming through the mangroves as you go. Seriously, don't be surprised if feel like you're on your own personal James Bond excursion. We found that the twists and turns made for a very engaging Instagram video.
Its seclusion is central to its charm
You know you've arrived when you post up at a private dock, hidden among the mangroves. There, a friendly staff awaits, ready to hand over a cold cocktail and grab your luggage. On the other side of the mangroves, a chic, palapa-style property sits on a secluded stretch of sand that you'll soon be calling your home away from home.
The beach is basically Instagram heaven
Or actually, like heaven in general. We recommend posting up in a comfy, palm-covered cabana for the afternoon, with a margarita in one hand and a book in the other. The hammocks are ideal for relaxing on the beach, and they're scattered around the property to ensure that every guest feels a bit of privacy.
The shared spaces are sophisticated and, again, semi-private
Since there's a limited number of guests at any given time, it's OK to think of the shared spaces as an extension of your room. We were especially drawn to the main lobby area on a rainy afternoon, especially after too much time in the sun. It's home to two comfy couches, pretty coffee tables, board games, and ocean views. There's also an intimate pool just below the lobby, where you can lounge on the side or get in a few laps, and a hot tub and patio up above. A bird's-eye Insta photo from here is a must!
The food is local and fresh
So fresh, in fact, that you can watch your fish be caught, or catch it yourself! Beyond the amazing seafood (tip: try the shrimp ceviche), most notable were the guacamole, fruit juices, and soups, all homemade. An add-on to the incredible cuisine? The thoughtful dining service. You start each day with a delivery of coffee on your porch, followed by an `a la carte breakfast in the main dining area. Lunch is your choice—you can order it at the restaurant or have it delivered to your beach chair—but the real highlight is the evening meal, which is a three-course affair. We had dinner in a different location each night—on the patio when it was windy, and on the secluded beach surrounded by tiki torches—with both a personalized setup and menu. It's next-level private dining.
The beach bungalows are just what they sound like
The digs here are nice—think a rain-forest shower, bathtub with ocean views, and a plush canopy bed—but they aren't too much. Meaning, they don't take away from the main attraction: the beach view!
There are activities for every kind of adventure-seeker
There are plenty of activities available on your own (paddle boarding, biking, and kayaking), as well as additional excursions that can be booked through the concierge. These full- or half-day getaways are great for the more adventurous types (or anyone who gets stir crazy), as Mukan offers cenote diving, scuba diving, fly-fishing, and bird-watching. History and nature lovers may opt for a tour around the biosphere itself, where a personal guide, Lea Bartel, can show you the ins and outs of the ecosystem.
The service is personal, attentive—and yet not intrusive
Whether you're fishing one-on-one with Charlie, the in-house "aquaman," requesting another margarita on the beach, or enjoying a massage on the lagoon dock, you'll feel like you're the only guest at Mukan. The staff gives you their undivided attention, is quick to act on any requests, and will even surprise you with your favorite treats. That said, they never made us feel overwhelmed by their attention...it's like they knew just the level we wanted.
And, finally, the sunsets!
We won't ruin our last point with a photo, but know that taking in the sunset by the lagoon is a must. On our trip, it was the perfect end to a perfect, stress-free getaway.