Gorgeous and tranquil
Posted Mar 2, 2015 on Orbitz
Zamas is in an especially good beachfront location just beyond where the ro from Tulum turns south toward the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve. The setting is very special, with a low rocky ledge immediately behind the hotel overlooking the Caribbean, and a short but attractive sandy beach to the side. Buildings are interspersed in a coconut grove so there's good shade while retaining a sea view from most of the grounds. Built in the palapa hut style common in Tulum, the cabanas are spacious and thoughtfully laid out and decorated with colorfully painted walls, Mexican tile floors, and all-white bedding. There's a constant sea breeze and the ceiling fans are mounting directly over the beds inside of the mosquito netting, so it's easy to set the breeze to your liking and it never feels too hot. The beds themselves are luscious, supportive but with soft bedding and high-quality linens. Each cabana has a pretty spacious patio, about 10' x 15', furnished with 2 good-quality hammocks and a small table with a couple of chairs. While some of the cabanas are close together, all afford a good deal of privacy. Each room is equipped with a bottled water dispense, and we never ran low.
The staff was truly outstanding. They clearly work very hard to keep the place scrupulously clean and took evident pride in their work. With beachside cabanas you expect to have critters in your room (occasional roaches and the occasional small lizard are common) but I didn't see any during our stay, and noticed that they regularly spray for bugs. One especially impressive observation is that they seem to have a full-time staff person dedicated to keeping the bathrooms that are shared by some of the cabanas constantly cleaned. The managers Salvador and Max both knocked themselves out to meet client's needs with things like printing up boarding passes or giving local travel advice.
The restaurant is a very attractive palapa set right on the beach, half on sand and half with a floor. The food was pretty good, not as remarkable as you can get at a few places in Tulum, but solid and fairly priced. Cocktails were a strong point they have a habanero-infused passion fruit margarita that was the best thing I've had to drink for quite a while. The really special thing, though, is that they have a live band playing almost every evening, usually with traditional music. All were very good, and one that I think was called "Son Jericho" was one of the best bar bands I've ever seen. They typically played from 7:30-10 nightly, and listening to Spanish music in that beautiful, candlelit seaside palapa was just wonderful. Having low-key entertainment right at your hotel in Tulum is especially important, as otherwise there's not much to do in town after dinner. It's incredibly pleasant to sit for a while sipping nice cocktails and listening to good music, then walking the few feet to your cabana nestled in a coconut grove with the waves roaring in the background. We slept like babies all week.
The only cautionary note I can think of about this place is that the beach is rather small and not connected to a larger beach, so you can't take long beach strolls right from the property. The beach is certainly large enough for the guest of this relatively small hotel and it was never anything close to crowded there are lots of beach chairs and we never had any trouble finding one and having some space around us to boot. There's also shade around the beach that makes it usable for more of the day. The seafront between Zamas to the south and Diamante K to the north looks like it's mostly rocky shore with little strips of sand the longer beaches are from about Mezzanine to the north from there, and south from Amansala Chica toward Sian Ka'an. These longer walkable stretches of beach have far more activity, with some stretches being pretty dominated by loud music with a thumping techno beat. Overall, Zamas was 'muy tranquillo' by comparison.