The coastal road on the south side of the Tulum ruins has a number of hotels and restaurants, generally boutique style and accessible both from the road and from the beach. It’s an expensive place to stay and to eat, but beautiful.
The Mezzanine Hotel located on prime beach front property offers tons of seaside lounge space and friendly service. While the hotel sits on the divide between the rocky shore to the south and the white sand beach to the north there is easy access to the beach and sea.
Sea view rooms come at a super- premium price, more than double a standard room. At the time of writing a standard room is $210USD while a sea view room is $469. With so many seafront lounging options on the property we found it a better deal to take the standard room and walk the short distance to the seafront view of our choice.
The standard room is on the small side with not much storage, especially if you have scuba gear. Thankfully the staff was kind enough to hang some of our gear to dry for us as nothing dries in the room. The only windows offer light but are opaque glass and offer no view of anything. The room and bathroom are essentially one room with a large sliding door to separate the areas. Despite the size of the room, this is a high service establishment. Coffee is brought to your room in the morning and tea in evening, both accompanied by tasty treats.
Lunch at the Mezzanine Hotel
The restaurant at the Mezzanine serves Thai cuisine of sorts. The menu includes a number of soups, salads, rice and noodle based dishes, steak and fish filets. Offerings include – tom yum soup, red and green curries, fried rice and pad thai.
We ordered the fried rice with chicken and the green curry with fish. While tasty the flavors only moderately resemble true Thai preparations. The green curry was first brought out with tofu and not fish. When I asked about it they took my dish back and added fish.
Be careful when ordering beer. Their craft beers are nearly $10USD a bottle.
Breakfast at Mezzanine Hotel
Breakfast at Mezzanine is served from 7:30ish to noon. If you’re in a rush in the morning don’t count on the 7:30 opening time. When I asked at 7:30 they told me it would be another 20 minutes. We decided instead to have a late breakfast after visiting the Tulum ruins. At 10:45 there were few guests in the restaurant but it still took 30 minutes to get our food. It’s a relaxed setting with a relaxed pace. Perfect for a vacation but not for people on a tight schedule.
The menu offers a variety of traditional and creative egg dishes as well as non-egg choices such as fruit, pancakes and French toast.
We ordered the huevos rancheros and eggs any style. Both were well cooked but portions are not large. The huevos rancheros included – layers of tortilla, refried beans, fried eggs, sliced avocado and a delicious tomato sauce. The eggs were served with steamed vegies, slice tomatoes, toast, and refried beans.
Lunch at La Condesa
La Condesa, located next door to the Mezzanine Hotel, is a low budget eatery and basic hotel with a killer setting at a fraction of the price of neighboring establishments.
The menu offers simple Mexican dishes. We tried the chicken fajitas and the fried fish tacos. It took a long time to get our order but it’s a lovely place to hang out while you wait. Pretty good food, especially the fish tacos made with crispy morsels of fried fish.
Mi Amor, the sister property to the Mezzanine Hotel, is a 5 minute walk down the road from the Mezzanine. At 7:30 on a Friday evening the restaurant was dead quiet with only one other table occupied. Later around 8:30 another half a dozen tables filled.
The outdoor terrace has a pleasant garden setting with pools of water flowing through the property. I’m sure it has lovely sea views when the sun is shining.
The menu offers Mediterranean and Mexican specialties. We started with the suckling pig tacos – the minced meat was tasty but on the edge of being too salty for my tastes.
For mains we ordered the grilled octopus and the roasted chicken. The tender octopus was served with a fruit pico de gallo and plantain purée. The roasted chicken, pressed medallions about 1” thick, were tasty and not too dry, served with thinly sliced fried yucca and roasted pepper caponata.
The Pink Lobster
The Pink Lobster, across the street from the Mezzanine Hotel, is a new restaurant with a casual outdoor setting on the non-sea-view side of the street.
The short menu offers mostly ceviche starters and for mains – lobster, octopus and two steak dishes. It’s a pricey menu with mains priced at $480 to $700+ pesos ($20-$28USD). However dishes are well prepared using quality ingredients.
We tried the octopus served with mashed sweet potato and huitlacoche, a fungus based earthy yet sour sauce and the arrachera (hanger steak) served with roasted potatoes. Everything was beautifully executed and tasty. They also make a killer margarita. More expensive than most restaurants but the quality is worth the price. Service is friendly.
Loyal Order’s beach front property with a sand floor and shade trees for a roof has a laid back vibe. The servers don’t even wear shoes. The menu offers a mix of Turkish and Mediterranean fare with a Mexican twist. Service is ultra-friendly but prices are high for the quality of the food.
We started with the Atom Bomb, a fantastic combination of yogurt and Mexican dried chilies served with bread for dipping and a dollop of seasoned soft cheese.
For mains we ordered the whole fish garnished with a vegetable salsa and the lamb tandir. Both dishes were nicely done but the lamb dish, the most expensive main on the menu, was skimpy on the meat with just a small pile of crispy lamb bits served on a mountain of well-seasoned vegetable couscous.
On the plus side they offer large carafes, at least 2 liters, of water for 60 pesos. Most restaurants on the beach charge 120 for a liter of bottled water. On the negative side they also increase the total on the bill by 15% without adding a tip line.
Go for the atmosphere but be careful when paying your bill.
Casa Maria’s dining room located right off the beach is set in a large high-ceilinged enclosed pavilion. There is also outdoor seating facing the ocean. On this particular evening it was quite windy so we opted for an indoor table. The menu offers a mix of Mexican and international dishes in a range of prices.
The small roasted chicken ordered with the mole sauce was well prepared and served with roasted vegetables and a generous saucing of mole. The octopus and shrimp skewers served with roasted vegetables and rice, a pricier main, however, was a skimpy portion of protein and not cooked to order. An OK place with friendly service but there are better food options.
December 6-9, 2019
For links to all the posts in this series see the Yucatan Peninsula page.