A laid-back eco resort in the Tulum Hotel Zone run entirely on solar and wind power, this 30-room hotel consists of bungalows and suites set amid jungle and strung along a stretch of near-flawless beach. Owned by an Argentinean expat couple whose son made a miraculous recovery from a devastating accident as a teenager (the hotel is named for him and his new life), the vibe is friendly, the clientele is young and love-smitten and the back-to-nature setting encourages a carefree, swing-in-the-hammock indolence. The hotel is located right near the archeological site of Tulum and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
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The Grounds at Hotel La Nueva Vida de Ramiro:
In keeping with its green mantra, the 7-hectare hotel was built to minimize impact on the surrounding landscape. As a result, paths wind erratically around pre-existing foliage and the bungalows face subtly different directions to fit around natural impediments like sea grapes and palm trees. The effect is charming and unpretentious. The main lobby – equipped with free wireless internet -- is stocked with dog-eared paperbacks left by previous guests and the walls lined with the owners’ family photos. To complete the effect of staying with old friends, a whiteboard welcomes guests by name.
The Rooms at Hotel La Nueva Vida de Ramiro:
We stayed on the top floor of a stucco villa in an oceanview suite, simply furnished in the classic Caribbean style with sliding wooden doors, brightly painted walls and a bed swathed in white mosquito netting. Other accommodations are thatched-roof bungalows and a new set of pastel colored villas fenced off at the far end of the resort to create a mini-beach area that’s suited for romantic getaways. Every room has a priceless perk, at least for urbanites: the chance to be lulled to sleep by the crashing of waves on the beach just feet away.
The Restaurant at Hotel La Nueva Vida de Ramiro:
The hotel’s excellent restaurant, Casa Banana, is situated just across the road from the main resort, which sounds off-putting but is fine given the lack of traffic (we saw more scurrying crabs making the crossing than cars). At night the palapa-style open-air space is romantically lit with lanterns hanging from a huge, spreading tree at the entrance and votive candles on each table glowing within white ceramic bowls. The menu is a melange of classic Mexican – the guacamole is outstanding – and wood-fired Argentine-style grill. The managers, both South American, are charming and hospitable, and the bottle-lined bar – overhung with red glass light fixtures and a blackboard stating the wine specials – could have been plucked from New York or Mexico City. Read a review of Casa Banana.
The beach is a prime egg-laying spot for sea turtles, and the hotel operates a wonderful preservation program in which biologists study the creatures and transfer any vulnerable egg nests to a secure, fenced location on the beach where they can hatch in peace. One night we witnessed a turtle laying her eggs on the beach, swishing her great flippers to and fro in the sand to cover her precious eggs as the stars wheeled above. Magical.
The Bottom Line
An unpretentious, sand-between-the-toes castaway experience with just enough comforts to satisfy urban escapees.
Address: Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km 8.5
Reservations: +52 984 877 8512
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