An honest review around my stay at Una Vida Hotel Tulum, Mexico. You can see more photos, prices, and availability over on this Una Vida booking page.
This was not a gifted/promotional stay and I paid for this trip myself. This article has links which I may make commission from, at no extra cost to you.
Una Vida Tulum rests peacefully in the jungles of Tulum, less than a kilometer from the central ADO bus Station. Stumbling off a 2-hour coach ride with my backpack into the bustling Tulum main street, I hopped into one of the taxis directly outside. A kilometer might sound like an easy stroll, but it’s no fun when you’re walking in 30⁰ heat with 14kgs strapped to your back. Be sure not to pay more than 100-150 pesos max; I found the taxi drivers frequently chanced their luck with outrageous fares.
The entrance to the hotel sits on a turn, just off one of the town’s humble back roads. The dusty road opens into a wide and welcoming car park/reception area, where you’re greeted by the scent of burning incense.
Aesthetics & Character
Boho chic is the name of the game at Una Vida, it’s winding paths and sprawling canopies transporting visitors to a jungle paradise that feels miles away from the buzz of Tulum’s main Street, just a few blocks away.
One of the most special parts of walking into Una Vida is the feeling that you’re checking into a relatively undiscovered spot. The reception opens out into a pristine pool area, strewn with Moroccan-inspired cushions, luxury double day beds, and sun loungers, where I never found it difficult to find a spot to lounge the day away on.
There’s a sophisticated feel to the hotel grounds; a grown-up aesthetic of natural materials, heavy macrame furnishings, and organic surroundings.
At night, the hotel team meticulously line the pebbled walkways with hundreds of glowing tea lights, guiding you to communal areas and back to your room. Macrame lanterns hang from the trees like clusters of flickering fireflies, and the heavy scent of incense fills the air, smoking from pots around the grounds and an elaborate floral shrine off to the side of the pool.
Una Vida Services & Facilities
On arrival, the reception team handed over their WhatsApp contacts, allowing guests the answers to any questions at their fingertips. Spa and restaurant menus were also sent via WhatsApp so that visitors could order digitally, either to their room or poolside. It’s worth noting at this point that the staff and service here was unbeatable, with everyone I encountered engaging in genuine conversation with me and always sporting a smile.
A residency in Una Vida also opens up access to their sister hotel, Hotel Bardo. This adults-only hotel delivers a similar bohemian decor to it’s counterpart, but with a darker, sexier edge. Guests from Una Vida can take advantage of Bardo’s daily morning yoga class, alongside pool facilities and spa (for a fee). I took advantage of the extra facilities and booked myself into a 60-minute Reiki session.
Sitting on the outskirts of town and away from the beaten path, Una Vida have recognised the need for a less rigid way of getting about Tulum, and so, provide free bikes for guests. Although a walk to Tulum’s main street is a little laborious, a quick bike ride will have you at the center of the action within 5 minutes or so.
Una Vida Tulum Rooms
It was a promotional photograph of their Tropical Room with Plunge Pool and Private Garden that initially sold me on Una Vida. Boasting an indoor (and double outdoor) shower, alongside a vintage freestanding outdoor bathtub, you get a lot of space for your luxury hotel buck.
Complete with all the mod cons and a pared-down boho aesthetic, my room felt so peaceful that I found myself reluctant to head out for the day. Every morning I pulled back my heavy blackout curtains, slid past the glass sliding doors, and stepped out into my own little slice of Eden, where I would sit by my private plunge pool, enjoy a fruit platter (room service) and plan my day.
Food & Drink – Is Una Vida Tulum vegan-friendly?
With the neighbouring 5-star Bardo hotel providing a theatrical dining experience quite like no other I’ve ever seen, food and drink didn’t seem to be one of Una Vida’s focal points. They did, however, offer both a breakfast and a lunch menu.
Tulum has been referred to as the ‘unofficial vegan capital of Mexico’ and I was eager to get out everyday and explore new offerings that had popped up since the last time I was in town. That being said, a quick glance over Una Vida’s menus confirmed what I’d already suspected, vegans are not their target audience; slightly dissappointing, given the organic, earthy feel they appear to be aiming for.
The hotel’s breakfast menu was slightly more accommodating, offering the aforementioned fruit plates, ‘Green bowls’ and almond milk chia bowls (that include yogurt and honey, which I assume we could ask to be removed). There was also an avocado toast option, accessoriesed with eggs and parmesan.
The lunch menu left me with no choice but to head out on a quest for a vegan-friendly meal. The only item that wouldn’t require substantial altering was an appetiser plate of guacamole and chips. In a moment of poolside laziness, I took them up on this option; a large portion, with guacamole that was a bit salty for my liking.
Despite its luxury name tag, the prices that came with Una Vida’s menu we’re not too dissimilar to those in the main town restaurants. Expect to pay $190-230mxn for a breakfast order.
Value for money – How much is a room at Una Vida Hotel?
At the time of my stay, March 2022, the Tropical Room with Plunge Pool & Private Garden was £293 a night.
Is Una Vida family friendly?
Much to my dismay (jokes), Una Vida is very family friendly and rooms appear to be purposefully designed to accommodate extra cots. Whilst this was great for parents wanting to experience all the benefits of Tulum’s jungle vibes without ever leaving the hotel, it made for quite a noisy day by the communal pool for most of my days.
If you’re booking a stay at Una Vida, it’s worth noting that there’s a gamble to be made on whether or not you’ll be sharing your poolside down time with young children.
Is Una Vida pet friendly?
Much to my delight, Una Vida Tulum is pet-friendly. As with most hotels that welcome animals, guests are expected to ensure their pets are well-behaved at all times.
How far is the hotel from the hote zone beaches
Una Vida states on their website that they are approximately 20min from the beach stip. During my 3-day stay, I used the free hotel bikes to cycle up there one evening, and this journey took around 30-40 minutes of solid peddling. However, the journey is a pleasant one, with the main road taking you past plenty of bars, restaurants and cute looking stop points. Taxi rates anywhere in Tulum seem to vary wildly depending on who you flag down (and how firm you are).
The hotel states that taxi prices will vary depending on season and time of day. I wouldn’t recommend the taxi service that the hotel uses. I asked them to call me one to save the walk back to the bus station as I left. Despite being told it should cost no more than $100-150mxn pesos, the driver tried to charge me $250mxn. When I spoke to the hotel to tell them this, they chased it, and the driver accused me of lying.
Nearest Airport to Tulum
Cancun airport is the most convient airport to travel from. I used the ADO bus app to book my seats in advance and pay online (to save on the large bus station queues). Whilst there are direct buses from Cancun airport to Tulum, there are also coaches that will make stops along the way. The journey took around 2 hours and was really easy.
Are you travelling around the Quintana Roo area and looking for other places to stay? Read my Isla Mujeres accommodation review.