La Zebra Hotel, Tulum
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Travel Blogs from Tulum
... they gave Dad and Michelle the 3 bedroom beach house next door instead. Even better, to apologise for the inconvenience, Dom and I were allowed to stay for free, so no hostels with bunk beds for us this week!
Over the next week, we had a good mix of lazy time drinking margaritas in the beach house and fun packed activities from cavern diving in the Cenotes to Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, topped off with snorkelling with whale sharks and ...
... I explained my tight budget, and he was kind enough to explain the ropes regarding the 'collectivos' which offer a flat rate, one way travel for as little as M$40 (£1.80).
They work by collecting as many people (or to capacity) going to the sameish location, speed there (like really fast) and you pay when you get out.
Unfortunately I was too chicken on this occasion and stuck with the 1st class bus, ADO. By ...
... inbetween salsa lessons. In Mexico beers come in 1.25l bottles which is a record for me too! We danced until we were chucked out and then were persuaded to go to the local karaoke bar, as it was the only place still open at that hour. We just stayed for a single beer and sang a single song but then headed home after what had turned out to be an epic night. We got back to our room and decided to pull the bunk beds right up ...
... beaches, 9 cenotes, 15 ruins, a football match and enough refried beans to last a lifetime! Everyone has been friendly and fortunately very patient with our poor Spanish.
And now amigos, having seen the whole Mexican Enchilada, it's time to return home so thanks for sticking with the blog, it's been great having you along!
Hasta la vista!
... a Spanish language school. The accommodation will be an organised home stay with locals, so after 6 hours a day of lessons we will get to practice at night with the family we are staying with. We both know that learning the language is going to be crucial for the next part of our trip. It will be intensive but well worth it.
We have no other set plans at this stage, just going with the flow and taking it hour by hour. As Chris said today, 'we're living the ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews La Zebra Hotel, Tulum
We spent four nights at La Zebra in the Grand Cabana, and our only regret is that we couldn't stay longer! The people are incredibly warm, friendly and helpful, the cabana is extremely clean and comfortable (great bed!), and the little touches from the staff made use feel like a part of the family. The beach is super quiet and well-kept. We even saw a sea turtle laying eggs by the moonlight!
The food at the cantina is hands down the best we had in Tulum. We kept trying other places but decided that since we had a winner, we'd stick with it. We can't wait to go back!
La Zebra was great!
I stayed for three nights 2/23/07 - 2/26/07. The cabanas are simply but beautifully redone, and the beach in front of the property was stunning. This spot is much less busy than other cabana developments on this beach, and the laid-back attitude was great. The staff was friendly and helpful. The restaurant/lounge area was under renovation, which meant that on-site conveniences were limited. There were many options nearby, though, so it wasn't a problem.
The property's manager mentioned that the owners are planning to build another 30 cabanas or so on the property, which would drastically change the laid-back appeal of La Zebra. This would be a disappointment, since it is one of the few properties on this stretch of the Tulum beach that doesn't feel overdeveloped.
The Perfect Vacation
My girlfriend and I just got back from a 9 night stay at La Zebra and we had a fabulous time. The beach is amazing, the staff is friendly and helpful, and the cabanas are everything you would need or want for a quiet beach vacation. We will definitely be going back.
There was a bit of construction being done on the restaurant while we were there, but because it is set back from the cabanas you don't really notice anything. Judging from the work being done I would guess that the noisiest part was completed during our stay, and there were only a couple of instances where I even heard anything. The workers were also very considerate to refrain from loud noises during the times you might be sleeping or just lounging around your cabana. As a result of the remodeling, the restaurant and bar wasn't open at the time. It looked like they would be fully functional by the beginning of April though. Once it is up and running again, I feel that it would rival any restaurant within walking distance (we ate or drank at all the ones we could walk to).
Okay, now a little about the cabana's and daily life. If you can, stay in either the honeymoon suite, cabana #2, or #3. These 3 are the best and all directly face the beach. All of the other one's are set back in a row perpendicular to the beach. They are all really nice as well but don't face the beach right on (you get a pleasant view of palm tree's instead - darn). As far as the rooms themselves they are all about the same (check out the pictures on the website - [--]). They each are equipped with porches with a couple of chairs and an additional hanging hammock chair (I spent a lot of time here reading while I nursed my sunburn back to health). The beds are extremely comfortable and the rest of the room has everything you will need (including a bottle of tequila which is restocked daily - we had fun with that).
Now for a few other tips. Ask for a cooler (they are free of charge). It's nice to have if you want to keep your own supply of beer handy and other things you want to keep cold. Also, you should bring your laptop and some DVD's. It's kind of nice to curl up on the bed and watch a movie after you are done playing around outside. Make sure to ask Marco to take you kite-boarding. It's fun and he is very enthusiastic about it. They also have boogie-boards and sea kayaks if you want to play around in the ocean.
All in all it was much more than I expected and all that I hoped for. My only complaints were the fact that I didn't wear enough sun block early on, and there was one night where I forgot to tuck in the mosquito net all the way and one of the little guys got through.
Loved la zebra!
Just got back from a great week at La Zebra...beautiful cabanas (stayed in #3) woke up to the sound of the ocean...and a beautiful view from my cozy bed.
Everyone was really friendly and helpful....I can't wait to go back!
AVOID until 2009
DO NOT STAY HERE until late 2009-it is under construction. It is another 20 months from Feb 2007 until it is finished and for 18 hrs a day, there are workmen hanging around your cabana.
Nice (lovely) cabanas but no activities, breakfast is non-existent, there is no restaurant and no bar so you need to spend all day and night away, which negates the cost (about $140 USD a night) of the cabanas!! I was referred here by Mezzanine, a plush resort with excellent restaurant as they are co-owners and boy, as of late Feb 2007, was I disappointed! Highlight...having an afternooon nap at 4pm only to be woken by the pesticide control via a guy and a two-stroke pump-pack. There are a lot of mosquitoes here!!! And ONLY saltwater for showers. Beware. Plenty of nicer places along the beach and cheaper. And the owners are pretty good at promising a refund or a "deal" after wanting you to pay upfront via Paypal then disappearing on the morning you leave. Uh huh.
The cabanas have been finished since the beginning of February and there is no major construction going on in the cabanas. As with any place we will always be striving to add quality improvements.
Also, as a property in the jungle we do have to fumigate time to time and guests will be warned ahead of time.
We will not be under construction straight through to 2009.
We really want to offer a beautiful, tranquil and special place for our guests. We are working hard to finish improvement projects so that there are more amenities to enjoy on the property.
I am available to discuss any concerns guests and potential guests might have. Thank you.
Less than expected
I made reservations at Eco Inn based on reviews I read here. I must say, we were more than disappointed. We were not expecting a lot, we understood that it was rustic, but it was terrible. First, the only cabana that is beachfront and has any kind of view at all is No. 1, and we weren't in No. 1. The cabanas are decent sized, and while a little on the rustic side, perfectly fine. The bed, well it had a fitted sheet, and a mismatched folded top sheet was sitting on the bed. The fitted sheet didn't actually fit the bed, and "sprang" loose durning the night. So we were laying directly on the matress, not even a matress cover. The mosquito net was dirty (you can't tell when it is down, but when it is knotted you could see that it was dirty). Also, the net had several holes in it. There was electricity until 10, and that was fine. However, the fan didn't work even when the electricity was on. Also, because of the way the cabanas are built, you are not able to enjoy the ocean breeze because there isn't any cross breeze. So even though we slept with the door and window wide open, it was not pleasant. Oh, the restaurant - I asked and they said that they were cooking a 5 kilo fish and were serving it with rice, they usually included a rum on coke with the dinner, but they forgot to buy rum. The fish was for 10 people, they already had 8, so we could join them for $95 pesos each. We decided to just have snacks from our ice chest instead.
There was water, cold water, but the shower head and sink fauct were so plugged with lime that there wasn't enough water to get the shampoo out (all that would we needed to fix this is to clean the fixtures). There was purified water is the "restaurant" area, but there weren't any glasses or anything provied so you could get some. All in all, it was not at all what we expected, nor how it is advertised. I will say that the manager was very personable, and you could hear the sound of the ocean as you slept, also, the stretch of beach is beautiful. It would be good if all the cabana owners got together and put trash cans around because there was lots of garbage on the beach. We left at about 7:30 in the morning to drive down the road to get coffee. The cabana was more epensive that the wonderful hotels we stayed at in both Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel.
Next time La Zebra
We didn't stay at La Zebra, but definitely will next time. We came for dinner and were thoroughly charmed by the staff and the facilities (we got a tour of the cabanas). While there are fancier places along the beach, the cabanas here embodied what we hoped to find in Tulum. They were inexpensive, quaint and quiet.
Incredible tranquility and beauty
We went to Tulum to stay in one of the cabanas on the beach. We were in Playa del Carmen for the rest of the trip and heard that the Tulum beaches were much better, and the atmosphere much less touristy. We booked a cabana at Cabanas La Zebra without having heard too much about it. We got off the bus and had to pay 80 pesos for a taxi to this cabana, which seemed exorbitant until we arrived, after a painful ride down a partly unpaved road chock full of more potholes and craters than you would ever believe. Obviously the taxis need to make enough money to pay for new tires every week! By the time we got there, we were wondering if the trip to Tulum was worth it: we were hot and tired from carting our small but heavy backpacks around, and now had a headache. But all our doubts disappeared when we were led, through the palm trees growing in the finest, whitest sand I've ever seen, to the only truly ocean-front cabana (ask for cabana #1!), whose direct view from the door and windows is of nothing but the turquoise ocean and blue sky. I have never seen anything so beautiful. The beaches in Playa did not compare to this stretch of deserted land we had almost completely to ourselves. The breeze was very strong and constant here, and the waves were huge, but the water was warm. The cabana was way beyond what we expected to get after reading horrific reviews of other cabana properties. We paid $60, and got the best cabana there, definitely a great value compared to many of the other cabana properties in Tulum. The cabana was raised up off the sand to keep most bugs out (we did see two bugs, but after all, you are directly on the beach, and there are mosquito nets on the beds anyway). There were hard floors, two double beds (one of which was very comfortable), a ceiling fan, two wooden lounge chairs for the beach or the room, and a bamboo screen separating the bedroom from our private bathroom that had plenty of hot water. We also had electricity for several hours at night, unlike many of the other properties (some have only candles- all have to generate their own electricity). The cabana was really beautiful inside, everything white or natural-colored, prettier than most hotel rooms. And of course your front proch is the Caribbean ocean. We were very secluded, and only saw a few other people the whole time we were there. There were a few hammocks hanging between palm trees to relax in. At night, we went to their open-air pavilion to find out about dinner, but they didn't have many choices. It was either spaghetti, quesadillas, or tuna sandwiches with fries. No beer either, but we walked up the road a short way and bought some there. We were going to walk further to find a restaurant, but it was getting dark and the street is not lighted at all. If you don't have a rental car or a flashlight (which we didn't), you're pretty much stuck. We ate tuna and fries and drank our beer, then went to sleep to the sound of the roaring ocean. We didn't even need the ceiling fan, the breeze coming in from the ocean was so strong. In the morning, we were pretty much coated with a film of salt and some sand, but who cares when you haven't worn your shoes for two days? We had coffee at the pavilion and then sadly left to go back to Playa, wishing we hadn't booked ahead for our room in Playa that night. The Cabanas are at almost the very end of the beach opposite the Tulum ruins- the taxi to the ruins cost 70 pesos, which we gladly paid after walking for a half hour and not finding a single car to try to hitch a ride with. The guidebooks don't tell you to rent a car, but I wouldn't go back without one. Overall, I highly recommend the Cabanas La Zebra for anyone who wants to relax in paradise.