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  • Snow Colbeck

Where to stay in Tulum for an Authentic Experience

Updated: Jan 10

When visiting a destination as magical as Tulum, you'll want your accommodations to be equally extraordinary. The Villas at Mahayana and Zorba are among the most breathtaking properties along the hotel zone. They are sister properties, which represent a tiny segment of luxury villas with private beach access, offering a unique experience that is undoubtedly Mexican while incorporating the global vibe of Tulum.

When you first approach Mahayana and Zorba, you'll notice a few similarities. They are two separate collections of villas in Tulum nestled adjacent to one another on the beach. Both properties share a complementary aesthetic: whitewashed walls, curved angles, glass and copper lighting, handcrafted tiles, and reclaimed wood mixed with concrete. They also have similar amenities like daily housekeeping, high-speed wifi, beach activities, property swimming pools, breakfast + taco bars, security, organic toiletries and more. Both properties are exclusive to guests and not open to the public. Upon further inspection, however, you'll discover that Mahayana and Zorba have distinct personalities.

Mahayana Tulum

Mahayana is intimate and personable but also very central. Mahayana feels like private beach homes on a shared property. The abundance of lush and wild greenery between the homes helps maintain an intimate atmosphere. Mahayana is the hidden gem in the heart of the beach, with a private beachfront in the most coveted location. It is truly a magical wonderland. The grounds are filled with native plants, greenery, and various trees. There are lots of birds. It is perfect for the explorers and dreamers who would like to catch a yoga class next door at Lula (formally Sanara), the best yoga studio in Tulum, and eat out at the many incredible options within a few minutes’ walk of the property – Tulum Treehouse, La Zebra, Hartwood, Arca, Meze, and Gitano. Mahayana is for those who want to be close to the action with the option to disappear behind the gates of Mahayana to their private seaside paradise.

Perfect for: Someone who likes to dine out, explore, be close to the action, dreamers, have a natural aesthetic and be more private. Couples, solo travellers, and groups. Kids welcome.

Zorba Tulum

Zorba is the big sister and the extrovert. Zorba feels more like hotel-villas with a standout collection of private villas around the property pool and multiple shared outdoor spaces for groups to gather. There is an expansive shared rooftop for impressive sea views and sunsets over the jungle and a yoga studio space with a ping pong table and an 85" TV for movie viewing that guests can access.

Zorba is more impressive and grand, with an outdoor welcome lobby and higher-capacity villas. The various villas sleep from 4 to 12 guests, and the property has more of a hotel feel. The private beach is generous, with plenty of loungers and poufs, and palm trees for shade.

Overall, the vegetation and gardens are more manicured and contained.

Walk through the open-air lobby into an enchanted village with everything you need – private Villas, the Zorba communal rooftop for sunsets, the swimming pool for dips, an expansive private beachfront with loungers for sunning by the sea, and a Taco Bar for a la carte local fare. Once you enter the property, there is no need to leave Zorba.

Perfect for: guests who are style-conscious, luxury-oriented, bigger groups, families, and people who like to dine out and explore but also relax onsite.

Whichever property you choose, we would love to help make your trip to Tulum memorable. We would be thrilled to speak more about both properties and each villa to ensure you are matched with the perfect place to stay for your needs. When you are ready to start planning, please get in touch with us at, and we can help you with a reservation at Mahayana or Zorba.

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