F.A.Q.’s and Things to Know About Tulum
1. Are you located on the beach? Can we have a beachfront/beachview room?
Las Palmas Maya is located on the west side of the two lane road that runs parallel to the beach, therefore we are not ON the beach. Our guests typically access the beach through one of the neighboring hotel’s property and it takes about 30 seconds to walk there. We have a very good relationship with OM hotel and our guests are welcome to use their facilities, including using their chairs and loungers. We ask that in turn our guests patronize their restaurant, perhaps with a few drinks or a meal.
2. How far is Las Palmas Maya from Tulum Pueblo and/or the Tulum Ruins?
We are located at the southern end of the hotel zone. Tulum Pueblo is approximately 10kms away and the Tulum Ruins are approximately 8Kms. Please refer to our “Getting Here” tab for maps. We are located at KM 8.5 Carretera Tulum – Boca Paila (Beach Road).
3. I am flying into Cancun. What is the best way to get to Las Palmas Maya?
The least expensive is the ADO bus, which picks up right outside Terminal 2 & 3. A few times a day, a bus runs directly from the airport to the Tulum bus station, otherwise you can take the bus to Playa del Carmen and hop on another bus to Tulum. Once in Tulum, you will find taxis right outside – hop in one and tell the driver we are at KM 8.5, across from Casa Violeta and Om hotel – taxi fare from the bus station should be 140 pesos.
When we travel, we personally use, and many of our guests have had great luck with Brasil Transfers (with an “s”, www.brasiltransfers.com). It is easily the most convenient way to get here (1 hr and 40 mins from door to door) their site has an instant chat feature to give you prompt replies and simplify the process. Their 1 way trips go for 90 US and roundtrip for 165 US. The owners, Memo and Jacky are very helpful and both speak fluent Spanish and English.
4. I have never been to Tulum before. What should I expect?
All properties located in the Hotel Zone (beach location) are off-the-grid, meaning there are no electrical power lines servicing the properties. Therefore, all hotels run off of either generators, solar panels or wind turbines. Have you heard the term “eco-chic”? Well, that is what it means. At Las Palmas Maya, we have just installed a brand new solar panel, generator, battery and inverter system to provide our guests with power 24hrs a day! Guests may now have lights and fans, as well as the ability to charge their electronics anytime they choose. This is a luxury not available at many of the Tulum beach hotels.
Hair dryers, flat irons, and anything that uses lots of watts should be left behind. Although our new system is top of the line, these types of appliances just put too much pressure on it. This can actually be quite freeing, if you look at it with the right perspective…none of us here have that “just stepped out of the salon look” so just relax and enjoy.
All guestrooms have private bathrooms. Our water supply is pressurized via a pump, allowing our guests to have one of the best showers (we have been told), in all of Tulum! Our water source is an underground cenote and is pumped through a filtering system. Even so, because of our proximity to the ocean, this water is slightly salty.
We provide free WIFI which is available throughout the property via a powerful booster. Please understand that occasionally there may be an issue with the provider, and service will be down. If you absolutely must have WIFI every day, all day (for example if you are on a working vacation), then it may be necessary for you to work from an internet cafe in town.
5. What sort of animals and bugs can I expect?
We share our little piece of jungle paradise with all sorts of critters and creatures…some welcome, some not so much, but none the less, we are living in what was their world first. You may see land crabs waving to you from their hole-in-the-ground homes, and geckos can be heard chirping, often from the rooms. Birds are plentiful and their singing may be the first thing you hear in the morning. Although they don’t like the limelight and usually shy away from people, iguanas can be spotted, mostly in the trees. Yes, there are mosquitos and occasionally other bugs…this is the tropics and inevitable. If any of these give you the willies, you might want to think twice about Tulum as your vacation destination.
6. Do your guestrooms have air-conditioning? Will it rain much and is it really hot?
The short answers here are “no”, “it’s anyone’s guess”, and “depends on your comfort level”! Regarding a/c, the generators just do not have the wattage capacity to run them. The evenings are typically pleasant and fans do a great job of keeping the room comfortable year round.
As far as weather, various sites online can provide averages and predictions. Generally, and I must emphasize generally, November through April are dry and quite mild, with lots of sunshine and sometimes a blanket is needed in the evenings. It begins to warm up in May and stays that way throughout the summer. Again, it is the tropics and rain showers can pop up most anytime. Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30.
7. We have children and want to bring them with us. Is that okay?
Of course children are welcome, but a few things should be considered, primarily based on their age. If your children are happiest with lots of room to run around and play, we really do not have that sort of space. Our grounds consist of gravel walkways and flower beds. Also, our rooms are not “baby proof” and the stairs and balconies may not have the types of railings to which you are accustomed. Please be attentive and watchful. Kids are not to be left alone on the property…although we like them, we do not offer babysitting services. Please use good judgment.
8. Do you have a restaurant and is breakfast included? What should I know about the communal kitchen?
We do not have a restaurant on property, however many are within walking and biking distance. Breakfast is not included.
Our communal kitchen offers guests the opportunity to bring a few groceries, stock them in the kitchen and refrigerator and prepare a few small meals. We are not set up for elaborate cooking, however we have a 6 burner stove with oven, grill, sink, storage cabinets, refrigerator and basic utensils, pots and pans, and dishware. If you intend to use the kitchen, please be conscientious of other guests wishing to use the facility. Wash your dishes and put them away…our housekeeping staff (meaning us!) is not responsible for cleaning up after guests in the kitchen. Respect the posted rules and hours. This is the only way the kitchen can continue to stay available.
9. Should I change money at the airport or bring Traveler’s Checks? Do you accept credit cards? What about using dollars vs pesos?
Although it used to be common practice to bring a big stack of Traveler’s Checks to Mexico, rarely is that the case any longer…particularly in Tulum. You might be able to get a bank to take them but that is about the only place. Credit and debit cards are accepted at some restaurants and stores, but the preference is always cash. So, what to do if you do not want to carry around a large sum of cash? ATM’s! We recommend using the ones located in banks and grocery stores, rather than stand-alone machines. Although you will pay a transaction fee, they are really quite convenient. You will get the current exchange rate in pesos and your bank account will be debited in the currency of your home country. Make sure to notify your bank that you will be using your credit or debit card in Mexico, before you leave home.
There are also several “casa de cambios” around that will exchange dollars, euros, etc., for pesos.
Las Palmas Maya accepts credit cards as payment.
Some restaurants and stores will accept U.S. dollars, however more than likely you will not get a very good exchange rate. You will always be better off paying in pesos if possible.