From the category archives:


{Our home for a week at Maya Tulum: Cabaña #12.}

Here’s an idea to store in the back of your head for, oh, say next February:

Hop a flight to Cancun, and then a bus to Tulum.  If you get hungry on the way, ask your bus driver to stop at a road side taco shack.  In an hour and a half, you’ll reach what feels like far vestiges of civilization: an endless beach backed by jungle and lined with ramshackle cabañas.

The Mr. and I made the trek (which wasn’t arduous) to stay at Maya Tulum for a week of intense yoga punctuated by spa treatments, beach runs and walks, huge amounts of fresh food, and quite a bit of hammock time.

In all our travels, we have never been more inclined to stay put and less inclined to sight see.  The resort offers daily excursions to nearby ruins and more, but the thought of missing a sunset or sunrise smelled of sacrilege.

So stay put we did, for the most restful week of our lives.

Before you read on for Maya Tulum-specific tips, I’d be remiss not give proper credit to Empower Yoga, the studio that organized the trip, and Elizabeth Huntsman, the master Baptiste teacher who patiently guided us through five hours of power yoga a day.  If you’re on the North Shore of Boston, seek out Empower in Beverly, MA and Elizabeth (she also teaches at Treetop Yoga in Gloucester).  Even though I practice three to five times a week, I was apprehensive about five hours of hot yoga a day.  Elizabeth worked in plenty of meditation and broke down poses in detail.  As a result, the twice-daily classes went by lickety-split and poses that were previously impossible became plausible.



{Our room, inhabited by towel animals compliments of housekeeping.}

Choose Your Cabaña Wisely: All the cabañas are lovely, but anecdotal evidence from fellow guests suggested that some are more penetrable by critters than others.  Some theorized that the cabañas with fewer to no critters were newer builds necessitated by storm damage.  It might be worth requesting a newer cabaña.  I can attest that #12 had very few unwanted guests over the course of a week (one gecko sighting and a couple largish insects the Mr. dispatched tout de suite), whereas our neighbor in #13 was besieged.

While we’re on the topic of cabañas, the beach front beauties have stunning views.  For the endless beach experience, request one to the right of the restaurant (numbers 12, 10, 8, 6, 2, 35, 36, 1).  The beach on the other side of the resort is rockier and smaller.



{Maya Tulum’s restaurant.}

{A lunch spread.}

{Fish taco night!}

{Ever-present fresh fruits and salsas.}

{A typical breakfast, lunch and dinner.}

Buffet This Way: Maya Tulum’s restaurant offers a full à la carte menu in addition to a buffet.  If you choose an all-inclusive package or travel with a group, you’ll find your meals limited to the buffet option.  You can always order additionally off the menu, of course, but you probably won’t need to.  The buffet is fresh, local, plentiful, and healthy (mostly vegetarian with some fish).  Given all the yoga we were doing, I was grateful to dig right in and bypass the ordering wait.

{My daily coconut ritual.}

A Coconut a Day: It’s a very good idea.  Ask the bartender for a coco, and he’ll reach into a mini-fridge, extract an orb, machete-hack a hole in the top, and stick a straw in it before handing it over. Be sure to bring it back to him when you’re done drinking its water.  He’ll crack the nut for you and provide a spoon for easing snacking.  The meat of young coconuts is gelatinous and makes for terrific beach noshing.


{The resort’s paths are hand-raked every morning.}

No Heels, No Wedges, No Problem: You will never wear a pair of wedges here.  You won’t even wear your flip flops ninety per cent of the time.  Every inch of Maya Tulum is all sand, all the time.  Save the space in your suitcase for souvenirs.  The wedges I brought never saw the light of day, and the same goes for most of my costume jewelry.

{The beach outside our door.}

Book a Spa Treatment for Arrival: The spa specializes in traditional Mayan treatments, many of which involve scrubs.  Book one for arrival day, before you’ve had a chance to get any sun.  If you manage to get too much sun and have a scrub scheduled for day three, you may find the treatment more painful than invigorating.

{Dawn at Maya Tulum.}

{Me, all covered up for the sunny walk to town.}

Walk to Town for Better Deals: Speaking of souvenirs, the village within walking distance offers local products for less than the resort’s gift shop.  Keep an eye out for the Mayan mud mask, and the bright sarongs with ties, loops, and handy pockets for keys and cash.

{The beach adjacent to Maya Tulum, on the walk into town.}

{This is “little” downtown is within walking distance to Maya Tulum.  The larger, and grittier, town of Tulum is a short cab ride away.}

{Another sunrise.}

{All at once: Awwwww.}


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Sturbridge, MA: The Publick House

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{West Forty-Third Street by Joseph O. Holmes via 20×200} If you’ve lived in New York, you’ve heard friends and relatives moan about the relentless pace.  If you’ve visited, you may have left with aching feet and vacant eyes.  The truth?  New Yorkers aren’t super humans.  But they do have a few tricks up their sleeves […]

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Fish Tacos at El Camello (Tulum, Mexico)

April 18, 2011 Food
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Seaweed Baths in Co. Sligo, Ireland

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Irish Find: Stephen Pearce Pottery

March 30, 2011 Feathering the Nest
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{Pottery by Stephen Pearce} We stayed at a remarkable guest house in Dingle – something between a B&B and a small hotel, but more on that later – where one of the highlights was tucking into porridge (rhubard syrup? but of course!) served in this fine pottery by Stephen Pearce. Heartier serving pieces seem right […]

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Boston’s Island Creek Oyster Bar

March 29, 2011 Food

  The Mr. and I originally visited Island Creek Oyster Bar for dinner with our friend Shaina, a prolific Yelper, founding member of Boston’s Burly Burger Club, and all-around oyster fanatic.  Full disclosure: I don’t eat the suckers, but if Shaina says the oysters are good, you can bet they are.  Shaina had been raving […]

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Found: The Perfect Weekender Bag

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{Lipault 19″ Weekend shoulder bag, $109 at eBags} We have all sorts of duffel bags around our house: weathered leather totes, canvas bucket bags, bulky gym-ready numbers.  If we’re driving somewhere for the weekend, they’re often packed hurriedly and tossed in the trunk. On a long flight, however, small details make the difference between effortless […]

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Tribeca Grand Hotel’s New Spring Menu

February 16, 2011 Food
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{Tribeca Grand Hotel} On a recent jaunt to New York, the Mr. and I stayed at the Tribeca Grand for the first time.  The sleek yet subtle enclave rose to favorite status by dint of the relatively spacious room, ever-present but not stifling service, and a timely laptop loaner program (which came in handy when […]

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