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The Azulik Hotel in Tulum

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Located in the Tulum National Park, the Azulik Hotel hosted us for our five day trip to the region. Built atop a natural hill, each cabaña boasts a vista over the shimmering azure waters of the Caribbean, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better home away from home.

Azulik Eco Lodge

Because of its location within the borders of a national park which is frequented by sea turtles, there is no electricity in any of Azulik’s cabañas. Candlelight all the way. Though it’s tempting to see this as an annoyance, it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s actually among Azulik’s chief benefits. No electricity means no TVs. No radios blasting from the neighboring hut. No opportunity to flip open the laptop and work. No entertainment other than sitting on the patio with a bottle of wine and the starry night sky.

An adults-only establishment, Azulik sells itself as a romantic getaway for couples, so there won’t be any screaming kids terrorizing your vacation. The hotel offers yoga and reiki sessions, massages and temazcal, and you can even hold your wedding here.

We stuck to the same schedule for every night of our stay in Azulik. Dinner, followed by a long bath in the wooden tub. Then sitting together on the terrace, chatting about the day or star-gazing in silence. And finally stretching out on the bed, and allowing the sound of the waves to carry us off into sleep. It’s relaxing just to remember it. The Azulik is a perfectly romantic place to escape from the stress of your regular life.

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February 11, 2014 at 6:07 pm Comments (2)

The Life of a Baron in the Hacienda Temozón

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The gate of the Hacienda Temozón functions like a time machine, transporting you to an age when the Yucatán was among the richest areas in the Western Hemisphere. The henequen boom was a period of unimaginable wealth for the Yucatán… if, of course, you were among the lucky few who owned land.

Hacienda Temozón

I’ve always wondered how the ruling elite of grossly unequal societies can justify the abject misery suffered by the common people. I mean, how do they reconcile it, within their private souls? The landowners of the henequen-era Yucatán were no dummies; they were aware that their grand mansions and dainty luxuries were bought and paid for on the broken backs of an oppressed people. How could they sleep at night knowing that?

Most likely, they slept very well indeed… we started to understand that at the Hotel Temomzón, where we lived like barons for one glorious day. In the evening, as the sun was settling down, I stretched out on a hammock overlooking the hacienda’s garden with a tamarind margarita. At that moment, if someone had approached me with the choice to return to the 1800s as either [1] a spirited revolutionary fighting for social justice, or [2] a filthy rich landowner grown fat off the labor of others, there can be little doubt which box I’d have ticked.

The main hacienda building has floors with original tiling, photos of famous guests like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, a billiards hall and a restaurant on the patio. Behind the mansion is a beautiful pool and an old factory, with ancient machinery still in place. We loved walking through these equipment rooms, especially as they’re covered in old-time photos of life during the boom years.

Our room was in the former carpentry building, and I don’t even like thinking about it. It’s depressing that I’ll never be staying there again. The bathroom alone was a thing of perfection. The room was cavernous in size, and had an incredibly powerful shower that immediately turned on at exactly the right temperature. Sigh. Don’t ask me to describe the bedroom… the memory may reduce me to tears.

Hacienda Temozón

We woke early enough for a morning trip to the hacienda’s cenote. Three kilometers away, it’s reached along old railway tracks previously used to transport henequen. Climbing aboard a creaky wagon hitched to a donkey named Paco, we arrived at the pool after a bumpy and fun ride through the jungle. A deep hole with a ladder reaching down about six meters to the water, this was the first cenote we bathed in, and it couldn’t have been more beautiful.

Our day at Hacienda Temozón was everything we had hoped it would be. It’s a luxury hotel, so you can’t expect to book a room on the cheap. But you can expect a relaxing stay in a lovely and historic setting, hearkening back to another age.

Link: Hacienda Temozón

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January 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm Comments (0)
The Azulik Hotel in Tulum Located in the Tulum National Park, the Azulik Hotel hosted us for our five day trip to the region. Built atop a natural hill, each cabaña boasts a vista over the shimmering azure waters of the Caribbean, and we couldn't have hoped for a better home away from home.
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