This is really delayed but I realized may be a good resource for Tulum non-resort brides who are looking for a venue. My fiance and I went on a scouting trip in Feb 2010 and looked at A LOT of the hotels in the area for our wedding. Here is my biased summary in order of what we saw:
Akiin Beach Club - I think its Sandra that is the coordinator there. This is just a beach club, no hotel so guests would stay at nearby hotels and there are many w/n walking distance. The pics of the weddings that Sandra showed me while there weren't really my style. I want something more natural not the usual fuchsia chair sashes and starfishes. They seem to nickel and dime you for every chair sash and how you want the beach beds decorated. They have done a ton of weddings there though and Sandra is very detailed with the information and pictures she sends you and seemed like a sweet lady.
Cabanas La Luna- We stayed here and are getting married here. They are actually the only place we liked that does not charge a site fee. I have actually been online stalking weddings here since way before we got engaged. We really wanted somewhere unique and that a lot of our guests can stay together and take over the whole place. Their prices for food and alcohol are the most reasonable I have seen, they will bend the rules if you ask them to, and all the staff are so nice and accommodating and quick to respond. I will let you all know how the wedding goes when we get back.
La Zebra-Nice place with large (for Tulum area) oceanfront restaurant and rustic chic cabanas (very similar to La Luna). There is a $1500 site fee for use of the restaurant. Your reception would not be private unless you have enough guests to occupy the entire restaurant which I think is around 80-100. They have a side little palapa that is perfect for a small party of 15-20 guests or less. Food is the normal ~$60+service/person. They don't do open bar, you pay per drink. The drinks there are pretty damn amazing though. This place has a very chic vibe and I have seen pics of some really good weddings here. Look at mytulumwedding.com for lots of pics of weddings at La Zebra.
Suenos Tulum - I thought this would be the spot for us. The rooms are really nice and modern (door on bathroom) and can accommodate up to 24. In the end though the site fee of $1250 and costs of the rooms were just too much for us when there were better options available. The rooms here in the low season are at least $50 more per night than most hotels in Tulum and really aren't that special or different. We didn't want that for our guests. There is a large palapa in the back that is perfect for a reception that can seat up to 50. The owner, Elizabeth, is very insistent that the number of guests cannot exceed 50. The onsite restaurant is small and for guests only so if you have a group over 30, you will have to get a caterer.
Las Ranitas - Rooms are not the typical Tulum cabanas. They are more concrete Puerta Vallarta style and the decor in the restaurant is similar. It is you know the bright yellow, red, blue Mexican style. Food here was horrible. There is a pool and tennis court onsite and many rooms if you have a bigger party.
Rancho San Eric/Hechizo - This is the place for someone who wants a very private wedding. The beach in front is beautiful and very private because it is right before Sian Kaan. The food there sounds AMAZING! I haven't sampled because apparently they are closed on Mondays the one day we wanted to go. I would definitely get married here if food was my number one priority. They gave us their menus and they are cheaper than just about everyone for 5 star quality food. They don't mark it up for weddings like everyone else. Having a full blown reception here would be hard. They told me they usually recommend that the dancing part is off the premises. They have had a small DJ for the first dance and all the typical wedding songs for families to dance to but if you want you a big party, this is not the place. I think their reception guest capacity is 40-50. Also the places to rent at Rancho San Eric for your guests to stay are all 2-10 person houses and Casa de Las Olas is right next door too. We toured some of them and they are really nice...each is beachfront and has a kitchenette. They are more apts than hotel rooms. Casa Chic is so cool. It is very modern and has a full kitchen with wine cooler, full fridge, washer and dryer, and really nice rooms. I would love to stay there with a large group.
Milamores - There have been a lot of happy brides get married here...destination scout, sycamore tree, boven, etc...This place is 2 large very chic mansions formally owned by Pablo Escobar. The rooms are around $250/night which is too much for me to ask my guests to pay. In the end this place is more of a romantic get really away from it all place and not the typical fun cabana place we were looking for. Contact destinationscout because I think she is the wedding coordinator there.
We also briefly looked at Shambala Petit (zen yoga style place), Casa Violeta, Retiro Maya (very rustic), Playa Azul (small beach, party type atmosphere) and Puerta de Cielo. Casa Violeta has only 6 rooms but supposedly really good food. We are going to check it out when we are there for the wedding. We didn't see Ana y Jose because it seemed too wedding factory to me and also a place that nickels and dimes a lot. There are so many more hotels in the area that do weddings that we didnâ€™t look at. They include Nueva Vida de Ramiro, Mayan spa, Mezzanine, Cabanas Copalâ€¦.basically any hotel you like in Tulum.
Obviously this is my opinion of these hotels based on what we want. Our priorities were somewhere that worked with us, where our guests could all stay affordably, kind of central for people to walk for drinks and food, off the beaten path, good food and lots of dancing.
Belated Tulum Scouting Trip Report
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