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El Pez Colibri Boutique Hotel 3.0

Tulum, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located in Tulum’s trendy beach area, in a semi-restricted zone with far-reaching sea views
  • Various beach spots: a soft, sandy beach; a rugged, rocky beach; and grassy spots
  • Rooms with private furnished patios
  • 24-hour electricity and air-conditioning in rooms
  • Excellent restaurant and bar with international Mexican cuisine and great cocktails
  • Free breakfast, hot coffee delivered to your room
  • Small, free-form pool
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Lending library, board games, on-site ATM
  • Parking in front

Cons

  • Beach isn’t optimal for swimming
  • One small pool with few loungers
  • No TVs in most rooms
  • Wi-Fi is weak throughout the area
  • Wind can be very strong

Bottom Line

The mid-range El Pez Colibri Boutique Hotel is ideal for couples and small groups or families looking for a rustic and chill spot along the rocky Tulum coastline. All 19 rooms have cool tile or concrete floors, personal patio space, and come with free breakfast, 24-hour electricity and air-conditioning, organic toiletries, and great ocean views. Thanks to the hotel’s location -- in a semi-restricted area -- guests get a mix of coastline spots from a soft sand beach to elevated grassy banks to a rugged and rocky beachfront. Alas, the water here is choppy and not made for swimming. There’s also an excellent on-site restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, a fantastic bar with tasty cocktails and healthy smoothies, and a small pool. Travelers may want to compare amenities and rates with the upper-middle-range Cabanas Tulum.

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Scene

A relaxing and safe beachfront spot where a Cape Cod aesthetic meets Mexican colors

El Pez Colibri Boutique Hotel is the first hotel along a second stretch of Tulum beach hotels. Separated by a thin, beach-less and rocky shoreline, hotels on this southern most section of the strip are in a semi-restricted area with an entrance controlled by police inspection (though for the most part the only impact on tourists is reducing speed over the area's speed bumps). This spots advantage? There are no immediate neighbors to the left, giving El Pez's guests far-reaching sea views, a small island-like area with large climbable rocks, and fantastic sunrises, and bonus of security.

On-site, the vibe here is New-England-seaside-meets-Mexican-flair. The lobby's tropical-colored walls, thatch-roof, and pillows in teal and lime green mix with shabby-chic armchairs, distressed wooden and wicker furniture, vases full of fresh flowers, and an antique phonograph. This opens onto a large, grassy backyard area with a wooden deck, white picnic tables, and a rocky coastline. The grounds are a mixture of beachside and grassy garden spots with views of the ocean, fishing birds, and breaking waves. Guests and staff are laid back, friendly, and social enough to strike up small talk. 

Location

Resting along the rocky Tulum coastline, within easy walking and biking distance along the strip, or short cab to town

El Pez lies at the start of the action along Tulum’s tourist coastline, making it a convenient location within biking distance to other hotels, happy hours, restaurants, beach clubs, and, of course, Sian Ka’an. But unless you want to make a half-day trip out of it, you should opt for a taxi vs. push bike to get you to town. A few full-day trip activities include snorkeling and diving in cenotes or swimming with turtles in Akumal, both about 20 minutes away by car; or hitting the climbable ruins of Coba about an hour away. Adventure parks like Xplor and Xcaret are located roughly 45-minutes north off the main highway, just before the club-bumping, tourist-heavy beach city of Playa del Carmen. Cancun Airport is around 90 minutes by car. 

Rooms

Individual rooms and beach houses with rustic-chic decor, private patios, and ocean views

All of El Pez’s 19 rooms are kept cool with light-colored walls, either concrete or tile floors, and wooden-slat shutters that can allow the natural ocean breeze into the rooms. Most rooms have simple but colorful decor with traditionally embroidered pillows, candles, streamlined wooden furniture, and exposed wood beams. They also have a furnished private terrace either outfitted with a lounger and a pair of chairs or a beach chair and a hammock. Amenities include 24-hour electricity (not a given in Tulum), air-conditioning, beach totes packed with towels, safes, free Wi-Fi, bottled water, and organic toiletries. Most rooms lack TVs. Luxury rooms have a bit more style in their decor and feel slightly less sparse than regular rooms. 

For small groups or families, El Pez has interconnected apartments at the La Casa section of the hotel and its modern three-bedroom Tulum Beach House. Built as a collection of Seaview and Seafront Rooms, the La Casa section of the hotel has completely separate rooms as well as a large beachfront common space with a living room, flat-screen TV, and full kitchen. These rooms can also be rented out individually, but that comes without access to the common area. Or, guests can stay under one roof in The Tulum Beach House, a beautiful and spacious, two-story, three-bedroom wooden and glass building with its own full kitchen, large wooden terrace, and barbecue.

Beach

Beautiful sandy, rocky and grassy beaches, but none optimal for swimming

There are a few different beach experiences at El Pez Colibri Boutique Hotel. Located along a rocky coastline, El Pez is naturally up against wild and rugged scenery, plump mangroves, and white-tipped waves, but it’s also got a super-soft private beach area starting in front of the Tulum Beach House and La Casa sections of the hotel. Here guests can be found sunbathing on loungers, sipping drinks under personal palapas, or walking the shoreline. But behind the restaurant and in front of the Sea View rooms, the beach is traded for grass, and loungers for benches facing out to sea. This area is raised, giving guests uninterrupted views of the ocean, fishing pelicans, and crashing waves. A third section of the beach lies just through the greenery, down a sandy path. Here, the northern section of the beach is accessible to the public and is basically just a sandy bank flanked on both sides by the sea, leading toward a large, climbable rock -- a popular photo-op. This sand bank is the best option for swimming, though throughout the area, the water is choppy.

Features

A large, contemporary restaurant and bar with tasty drinks, smoothies, and locally sourced Mexican cuisine

One of El Pez’s outstanding features is its restaurant and bar. Located inside an open-plan palapa that also includes reception and a lobby area, the hotel’s restaurant and bar has extremely high ceilings, turquoise-colored chairs, and tons of ocean-facing views. Headed by Mexican-born Chef Efren Rios, El Pez’s menu features an international take on Mexican dishes, a carefully selected wine list, and prides itself on being committed to locally sourced produce and proteins. The hotel’s bar features mixologist-grade cocktails with a Mexican flare as well as delicious non-alcoholic drinks designed for health and well-being.

Aside from gastronomy, the hotel has a small raised pool partially enclosed by mangroves. Towels are available at the pool directly, though there are few lounge chairs to throw them down on. The hotel also has free Wi-Fi in public spaces, though, as per the area, cell service is lacking. There's a small lending library, a collection of board games, and an on-site ATM as well. Free parking is out front. Guests also receive free continental breakfast and direct-to-room hot coffee deliveries in the morning.

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Address

Carretera Tulum a Boca Paila Km 5.5, Tulum, Riviera Maya 77780, Mexico

Also Known As

  • El Pez at Turtle Cove

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