Tulum is a dreamy place where you can leave all of your worries on the beach as you go swimming with turtles… and unfortunately, the rest of the world has discovered this as well. More specifically, New York’s rich and famous have taken a liking to Tulum and affordable accommodation is becoming harder to find with the expansion of 5-star luxury resorts.
However, there’s still a glimmer of hope for those of us who aren’t direct descendants of royalty! I had the pleasure of staying at the Zendero Hotel in the heart of Tulum city center.
Before I dive into my detailed review, here are a few important details about Zendero Hotel!
- Average $130 – $150 per night
- 4-star hotel with outdoor pool
- near Tulum National Park
- With breakfast amenities
- People who want to experience both the beach and the city of Tulum
- Couples, Groups of Friends, Solo-Travelers
- Those who are interested in luxurious, yet affordable accommodation
After flying in from Mexico City and then driving down to Tulum, reaching Zendero Hotel was a site for sore eyes. There was parking at the front of the establishment and it was quite safe as the desk had a direct view of our car. We checked in easily and without much fuss, which is always appreciated.
The hotel structure was fairly new; a testament to the growing hospitality scene in Tulum. There were natural planets hanging from the balconies and there was an adorable zen garden in the center of the structure. It was a very organic and modern vibe, and I was there for it.
The room was charming and functional with a queen bed, a little area for clothing and a safe. The bathroom was BEAUTIFUL and newly re-done with lush tile and trimmings. The real treat was the rooftop!
There was a huge rooftop bar and pool on the roof of Zendero Hotel and every evening that we could, we came up to watch the sunset and enjoy a few drinks. We met several people in the pool one evening – a cool wedding band from North Caroline – and we quickly made friends and exchanged Instagram handles 😉
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The location is UNBEATABLE. It was perfectly located on the corner of where both transport lifelines meet – Highway 15 & Highway 307 – so it was the perfect launching point for when we wanted to do any activities. We were a mere 5 minute walking distance from any major restaurant in Tulum city and then an easy drive from up and down the major highways to any major beach resort or cenote.
We took full advantage of all of the walkable places and stumbled upon loads of hidden gems whilst we were there.
Furthermore, we were able to enjoy the luxuries of Tulum without having to pay the typical price tag. Because we were so close to the major beach resorts, we easily drove down the coast to spend a day along the beach.
Some of the beach resorts have covers, but we were able to sneak into the majority of them by purchasing a drink at the bar. If you want to read more about sneaking into resorts that you have no business being at (lol), please do read my Tulum guide.
Nearby Food Scene
Tulum has an INCREDIBLE food scene for everyone, with any possible food allergy. In my case, I’m lactose intolerant AND gluten intolerant (borderline celiac) and there was STILL something for me to eat in nearly every single restaurant.
Because there’s so much boogie food in Tulum (think vegan, gluten-free, calorie-free sustainable farm-to-table…etc etc), prices could sometimes reach that of New York or London! GASP! But I’ve pulled together my favorite local places that are walking distance from Zendero Hotel to help out.
- Don Cafeto – There is ALWAYS a line at Don Cafeto. Your best bet is to go at weird times for breakfast or lunch. You meal will come with a complimentary aperitivo, which is comprised of some VERY hot peppers mixed in with normal peppers. You have been warned lol.
- Taqueria Honorio – I’m almost certain someone just said ‘hey, I’m going to open a restaurant in this empty space’ because Taqueria Honorio is NO FRILLS, but INCREDIBLE food. Don’t be put-off by the makeshift nature of the place. By 1pm, they will have already have sold out of the best types of carne (meat) so be sure to get there EARLY. It’s also cash only.
- El Capitan – Literally just steps away from Zendero Hotel, El Capitan is an awesome local seafood restaurant that many locals pass the time in whilst drinking cervezas (beers) and watch wrestling. If you don’t order the mixed seafood, you did yourself an injustice!
You can find more of my food recommendations down below in my FREE Google Maps layer that you can download onto your app.
YES! Travel is all about ‘living large’ and enjoying yourself, BUT Tulum has EXPLODED with luxury resorts and fancy feasting opportunities that sometimes the normal traveler (like us!) can feel a bit ignored. No worries, I have to covered.
I want normal people to have an incredible experience, no matter what your budget is! I hope you enjoyed my coverage of Zendero Hotel and how affordable accommodation can also be luxurious and convenient as well.
Free Downloadable Google Map!
Use my downloadable Google Layer for your Google Maps app. I’ve put LOADS of food recommendations and I’ve organized them by deliciousness lol. Just click the ‘[ ]’ to open it on your Google Maps app.