I read some of the negative reviews of Amansala before I embarked on my vacation and they only convinced me that I'd love it. I was right. If you are looking for an American experience in Mexico, this is not the place for you. By that, I mean baked Alaska for dessert, meat locker-level air conditioning, Vegas-style shows, flat screen TVs, loud music, and lots of lines.
I have a busy, high-pressure job. I'm "on" 24/7, catering to demanding clients, waiting in line, and bombarded with media. I wanted to relax and recharge. Amansala was PERFECT. There is almost no noise. Just the sound of wind chimes and the ocean. There is no "anticipatory service" to drive you nuts. If you want something, you need only ask. But you won't be badgered with requests. If you want to take a yoga class, one is available. If you want a margarita, say the word. If you are in the mood to take a walk, the beach is nearly deserted, the water is crystal blue and the water is warm. Go for it. Eat when you want. Take a nap. Have a cocktail. Exercise. Whatever. On your terms.
The rooms are rustic, but fantastic. If you want the sheets changed every day, put them on the floor and it will happen. Otherwise, it will get done every few days (which is what I do at home, so that was fine with me). There is no AC but I think you'd need to be an Eskimo to care. It's really windy in Tulum. Open the big screen and fall asleep to the ocean breeze. I was never hot. It's wonderfully relaxing for the body and spirit.
The food is marvelous. Fresh, wholesome, local and delicious. There are plenty of wonderful places to have dinner. This place reminds me of a tropical version of Fire Island or the Key West of 25 years ago. Rent a bike and check out the ceynotes, the Mayans ruins, or the nature preserve. Yes, there are three yellow labs running around. They are friendly and fun. They don't pester you at all. I like dogs. I think it's great that a resort can be laid back enough to have a couple of dogs. Staff is incredible. Darlene, Kelly and Marco were friendly, accomodating and efficient.
If you are looking for high polish, don't come here. Please. Frankly, I'd like to keep the resort limited to people with a different sensibility. It's boho. It's charming. It's natural. And it's upscale in the way a vintage Mercedes is as compared to, say, a Cadillac Escalade. It's for a certain type of person. In my view, it was an incredibly romantic, relaxing vacation that brought me from frazzled to tranquil in record time.
Here are some serious tips you'll need to enjoy it:
Bring plenty of cash. Most of the little restaurants don't take cards. And you'll have to cab it to the Supermarket to use an ATM. Out of the way places are like this. $500 should be more than enough for a week.
Buy sunblock at the airport or, better still, use some that the resort has in its basket of free stuff. The guy who runs the little shack across the dirt road will charge you a fortune and the resort has plenty of leftover for your use. I found Chanel in the basket. This place is not low end. Like I said, it just caters to a different crowd.
Pack light. You'll need maybe one pair of shoes. This ain't Vegas. Think the Hamptons circa 1975. You won't need much. It has wind power so I think they enourage you to leave your blowdrier at home. Everyone looks natural and lovely. It's not an overly styled sort of vibe.
Long story short, If you're like me, you'll love it. A lot. I plan to make this vacation a yearly occasion. If you want something more stylized, head back to Cancun and try a major resort with karaoke, swim-up bars, and jet skis for rent. Those places have their charms. But it's a very different energy. Amansala is heaven. My only hope is that it stays as non-commercialized and beautiful as it was when I was there last week.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amansala is an eco chic resort located on the beautiful beach of Tulum. Set amongst the palm trees and white sand, the 24 rooms feel like you have stepped into a perfect little village. Attention to detail set Amansala apart with stylish spacious cabanas, a beachfront terrace lounge, great food, massages and tours. Perfect for a relaxing vacation, beachfront wedding or any kind of gathering. ... more less