lodging

A Look Inside Azulik Eco Resort, an Architectural Masterpiece!

I knew exactly where I wanted to stay during my first visit to Tulum - Azulik Eco Resort

I’d seen pictures of this unique tree-house lodge circulating around Instagram and it looked phenomenal. Now I know that pictures, despite how great they are, don't even begin to do this place justice. 

Sometimes I don’t mind where I stay - Give me a clean room with a shower & I’ll be fine. Other times, I purposely seek out one-of-kind places that are an experience in themselves. That might be a purple airstream in the middle of east Texas, a treehouse in the middle of the rainforest in Costa Rica, a glamping tent in a Mayan town and in this case…a jungle treehouse overlooking Tulum's white sand beaches. 


Upon arrival, we were welcomed with a traditional Mayan ceremony to cleanse us of any toxins or negative energy so that we could focus on being present. It was explained that Azulik was designed to bring connectivity to ourselves and/or each other. This is why there are no tv’s, A/C, wifi, or other 'distractions' throughout the property. After giving us a tour around the property and explaining the philosophy at Azulik, they welcomed us with a green juice and walked us to our villa.

We were blown away the moment we walked through the entrance. The whole property is raised off the jungle floor and you are completely surrounded by nature. Despite being only 5-10min away from any establishments, it feels like you are a thousand miles away from civilization. My jaw nearly dropped as we walked through maze-like wooden bridges & enchanting archways to get to our room.

Our villa? Oh, It was love at first sight - a beautiful white round canopy bed in the center of the room, a private toilet with an intricate wood carved door, a small handmade mosaic bathtub with an empty coconut to fill & rinse our bodies with, an intimate dining area with pillows on the floor for seats instead of chairs, floor-to-ceiling windows with intricately designed wooden blinds, and two large doors in front of the tub in case we wanted to soak as the ocean breeze flowed into our room. Sounds like heaven, right? 

 

Then we step outside & we’re blown away by a spacious balcony that is equipped with a mosaic pool, 2 comfortable chairs, a wooden dining table, a magnificent view of the beach, and a round bed that hung from the ceiling. We jumped onto the bed like children and squealed in excitement. “Is this real life?”, I thought. I guess that cleanse worked because we looked at each other and admitted that we DID feel different. After laying on our balcony and overlooking the turquoise water, we did feel a shift in energy. It might sound corny, but my soul did feel a bit more calm & free. Within 30 minutes, we both declared that we’d never stay at a place better than Azulik.

We originally planned to stay here for 2 days and then move to a nice but more affordable place. We ended up loving it so much that we extended our stay for an additional two days. I was completely awestruck by the architecture every second that I looked around. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. We actually ended up sleeping on the bed on the balcony more than the bed in the room because it was so peaceful to fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves just below us. We woke up at 4am daily to watch the sunrise from the hanging bed outside or the plunge pool because it was just that spectacular. It was a blast to experience such a unique place with someone, but I could see it being just as special alone. I never wanted to leave this jungle treehouse. 

Azulik is one-of-a-kind and I really do wonder if it can be topped. It's pricey, but completely worth it even if only for a few days. It's not for everyone - especially if you can't go without showers, A/C, or wi-fi. It is NOT your standard hotel or resort because it doesn't many offer modern amenities. However, it's perfect for anyone who is looking for a highly unique experience within the jungle and along the white sand beaches of Tulum.

FYI: This is NOT a sponsored post(I WISH! HA). This place was SO amazing that it deserved a blog post of its own. 

Helpful things to know: 

  • Azulik is adults only - all guests must be over 18

  • The beach & entire property is clothing optional. People are not shy, so be prepared.
  • Free yoga is offered every morning in the yoga dome
  • The beach area is small , but private. 
    • If you are looking for a bigger area, you can wander along either side of Azulik to find endless stretches of beaches.
  • The villas don't have A/C(only a fan above the bed), meaning it can get really hot & humid during the daytime inside of the rooms. 
  • Many restaurants are within a 5-10min walk down the beach
    • The food at Azulik is just 'okay' in my opinion. I'd recommend exploring some of the restaurants in town for better food options. There are SO many to choose from!
  • There are no showers, only tubs with a coconut to rinse yourself off
  • Since there are no lights, the place is candle-lit by nighttime 
    • This creates an inconvenience if you are trying to get ready at night or do anything in your room at night. You can use your phone flashlight or bring one
  • There is only one outlet to charge your electronics in the room
  • This is not a traditional 'resort', so you won't have people waiting on you hand & foot. However, the staff is friendly & helpful if you need anything.
  • The walkways are made of wooden sticks - Heels are probably not the best idea 
  • Wi-fi is available, but only in a concentrated area - not in the rooms
  • Organic mosquito repellant, body soap, etc. are provided inside of the room
  • You will need to fly into Cancun to get to Tulum. Check out my guide to Tulum here.

Glamping at Harmony Boutique Hotel in Tulum

I’m always searching for unique experiences during my travels, which includes accommodations. On a recent visit to Tulum, Mexico I stayed at Harmony Glamping & Boutique Hotel. Harmony is located towards the end of Tulum Pueblo. It sits a block behind the main road in Tulum, surrounded by local homes and restaurants. The property is small and rustic, with nearly 10 lodging options to choose from - including tents & private suites. Since I was looking for something out of the ordinary, I stayed in one of their glamping tents. If you’re unaware, glamping is essentially a glamorous version of camping. You don’t have to set up your own tent or bring a sleeping bag, but you still get a camping experience.

 

Harmony offers 6 different glamping tents to travelers. Each tent has its own name & personality inspired from locations around the world. I was placed in ‘The Frida’, which was closest to the property’s entrance. Aside from colorful Mexican decorations inside of the tent, the layout was extremely simple. It included a queen-sized bed, floor fan, side-table, and a small veranda. Due to the lack of air-conditioning, the tents are not a place to lounge around in on a warm day in Tulum. However, it was perfect to return to after a day of wandering around town. While towels and soap are offered for showers, tent-dwellers will use the communal bathrooms placed in the center of the property. Since you’re outdoors, you may hear nearby street cars and dogs barking at night. You are given a key to lock your tent during the day and a locker for your valuables while you are away. If glamping is not your thing, there are 5 suites available with air conditioning, personal bathrooms, and complete privacy.

 

Like many other hotels in Tulum, Harmony is eco-friendly. It was built on the grounds of their  Organic Permaculture farm, only using sustainable materials. I was able to enjoy some of the produce grown on their farm during meals at their onsite Flow Restaurant. The restaurant is extremely vegetarian/vegan friendly. There are only a few meat options on the whole menu, so  I tried a veggie burger for the first time and it was surprisingly tasty! I also had a breakfast smoothie and Falafel for lunch the following day. Each meal was fresh, the service was prompt, and I loved the dimly-lit atmosphere at night.

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Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Harmony. Tulum holds a special place in my heart, so I love discovering new places to stay, eat, and play in town. During my last visit I stayed in the hotel zone right on the beach, so it was nice to stay in the ‘real’ Tulum this time around.

You can book on their website for the cheapest rate at http://www.harmonyglampingtulum.com/book-it

Note: Harmony Glamping Hotel & Boutique offered me a complimentary stay, but all opinions expressed are my own. 

What a hostel is REALLY LIKE Inside - A VIDEO and a story | HOSTEL GUIDE PART II

I just returned from a weekend in one of my favorite places - New Orleans, Louisiana. (Dedicated blog post coming soon, btw) 

I stayed in a hostel while I was there -  the Auberge NOLA.

I could have stayed in a hotel but I saved $200+ by staying in a hostel.

And in my mind.....more savings = MORE TRAVEL + (more money for good food). So...it was a no-brainer for me. 

This hostel is probably the friendliest hostel I've ever stayed in. Everyone was SO friendly from the jump! As soon as I arrived & walked out to the courtyard outside, I was greeted by 10 + strangers sitting around the table playing King's cup.

Everyone at the table had an accent. 2 girls were from Germany, 2 guys were from New Zealand, 1 guy was from England, 1 guy was from Syria, 1 girl was from South Korea, and only 1 other guy was from the US.  Many of them were traveling the US for the first time. 

We all talked, battled it out in King's Cup(I Lost), and then headed out for a night on Frenchman street. We had such a good time together each night despite the fact that we'd just met. It's crazy how easy it can be to meet awesome people when everyone is open. No matter where I go, my favorite part of travel is the people I meet and the experiences we share - even if for just a few hours. Even if I never see these people again, it feels good to know that they played a role in my travel experience. 

I talk about how easy it is to make friends at a hostel my last post. Hostels are perfect for solo travelers, budget travelers, or anyone that might be looking for a friendly atmosphere.

I've said it before - they're NOT for everyone. I'm not saying I'd choose a hostel over a comfortable & private hotel/rental every time because I wouldn't. I do know that staying in a hostel could bring many one step closer to being able to afford that trip you've been wanting to take. So as long as it's clean & safe, who cares where you sleep? You'll be out exploring anyway! 

Sure, you'll be sleeping in bunk beds like you're at 6th-grade summer camp. but you'll save hundreds of dollars and you just might meet some pretty cool people.  

In Portugal, I recorded a hostel tour video & I finally got the chance to edit it1

Check out this video to see WHAT A HOSTEL IS REALLY LIKE! 

Sorry for talking with my hands and being a bit boring - I've gotta get more comfortable on video haha! 

Is this what you expected a hostel to be like? Comment below!

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