We chose La Luna based on its beachfront location, perfect tripadvisor reviews, price, continental breakfast & whimsical decor. La Luna is located on the busiest stretch of Tulum beach with a vacant lot on one side & Zulum on the other. Great spot if you don't have a car as it is within walking distance to a number of (overpriced) restaurants. Be sure to bring a flashlight for nightime as lighting along the beach & road are minimal.
Upon arrival, no one was at the reception desk. A few employees walked by but didn't offer to help so we waited a while to be checked in. No one offered to assist us with our luggage either; pack light because it is heavy to carry while walking in sand. I had to remind myself that this is an ecolodge; not a 5 star resort.
The complimentary breakfast at La Estrellas consists of fresh squeezed OJ, fresh fruit, coffee, & homemade toast with jam. We ordered a hot breakfast from the menu twice & enjoyed it. We also ordered drinks & snacks on the beach daily. Service is very slow & periodic but the food & drinks were always very good.
The beach is public & great for swimming. There is a beach volleyball net & comfortable day beds with umbrellas, muskoka chairs & tables. Unfortunately, La Luna does not stop non guests from using their facilities. If you don't reserve a lounge chair early, you may not get one! On two particular days, guests from the hotel/restaurant next door carried many of our loungers to their beach leaving La Luna's guests without. Nothing was done, leaving many guests frustrated.
We stayed in Christopher Columbus our first 5 nights & Marco Polo our last 2 nights due to availablility. Be sure to book early if you have a room preference or don't want to switch rooms. C.C. is located directly ocean front; just enough privacy provided by a hedge but a great ocean view nonetheless. There is a hammock, small table, & muskoka chair on the porch. The room is VERY small! Barely enough room for 2 people but romantic. Be prepared to unpack strategically & store your things using the many shelves & hooks around the room. Although uncomfortable, the bed is pretty with the mosquito netting & colorful headboard. The bathroom consists of a small walk-in shower, water closet, & single hand-painted sink. It is quite dark since they painted it red; it looked roomier & brighter when it was yellow as pictured on their website. The windows have screens & rustic shutters but no glass. This led to noise issues & the room was really cold at night. The roof is a palapa which is pretty but again led to noise issues. Expect to hear EVERYTHING that is being said by your neighbors staying in Casa Blanca & Marrakech. If they smoke; you will be breathing it in too.
Zulum owns the property across the road & has nightly live music. It was really loud & annoying for the first 4 nights but at least they shut it down at midnight. On our 5th day, we noticed that people were setting up D.J. equipment & speakers on the beach at Zulum. At noon, they started playing REALLY loud techno music & a crowd of young people began to form. The music played non-stop during the ENTIRE day. The base was so loud in our room that our walls were shaking as if we were inside of a sub woofer! We tried ear plugs & ear buds hooked up to IPODs but nothing could soften the base. We complained to the staff member at the desk. He said that they were told that the party would shut down at midnight & didn't even offer an apology. Luckily we had a car so we drove into town for dinner to escape the noise. Upon our return, we discovered that the partygoers took all of La Luna's parking spaces; we were told to park on the road by La Luna's "security" guard. We were dissapointed that he didn't stop non-guests from parking there. Disgruntled, we went to Zulum at 10:30 pm to speak to the manager. A female identified herself as the manager. We asked that the base be turned down; we both had headaches. The music had been booming for 10.5 hours non-stop. She told us that the party would stop at 11:30 pm. She said she would turn the music down in the meantime. We went back to our room & tried to rest in our room that was still shaking. By 12:30 am, the music had not stopped as promised nor had it been turned down. Exhausted & angry, we went back to Zulum. We saw the "manager" we spoke to earlier sitting in the office. We asked to speak to her but she refused to come out. Another female "manager" spoke to us. We explained the situation. By this time, I was crying because I was exhausted, my head was booming, & my vacation was being ruined. She told us that the party would go for 48 hours NON-STOP! We asked her to come to our room so that she could hear how her event was impacting us; she refused. She refused to turn the music down & told us that we were ignorant Canadians who would just have to deal with it because we were in Mexico. Enraged, we waded through the hundreds of drunk, disorderly, & drugged underage party goers to talk to the D.J. himself. We begged him to turn the base down. He laughed & told us he didn't know how. We ended up spending the night in our car because it was further from the party than our room. La Luna has no staff at night except for "security" who speaks no english. I spent the night searching for alternate places to stay. The next morning, most of La Luna's guests had gathered at the reception office to meet with the manager; no one wanted to stay any longer. The manager was very nice & found us an alternate hotel to stay at away from the noise. After breakfast we drove to the new hotel & slept for hours on their beach. The party was FINALLY shut down by the police around noon; 24 HOURS after it started. La Luna's manager found us & asked that we return to La Luna. Zulum's liquor license was pulled but they continued to serve; telling their guests to conceal it. Each guest was given a one hour massage as compensation. Although it was a nice gesture & they didn't have to do anything for us; we felt that we deserved a refund for our ruined day & night.
We moved to the Marco Polo room on the fifth day. Again we carried our own bags. It is located on the second floor above reception & the kitchen in front of the Jungle Penthouse. The ocean view is almost completely obstructed by the restaurant palapa. There are 2 bedrooms; a master with a king-sized bed with mosquito net overlooking a wall of pretty sliding glass doors that leads to a large balcony with a hammock, a bench, & a chair. The other bedroom is very small with a single bed. The bathroom is spacious with a walk-in shower; however there is no door so make sure you are very comfortable with whoever you're travelling with! The ceiling is vaulted with pretty sand dollar chandeliers. There is a walk-in closet with tonnes of shelving & room to hang clothes. We preferred this room to C.C.; loved the space & privacy. It was much quieter too; minimal noise from the restaurant & kitchen. However, it is VERY close to Zulum next door; the potential for noise is huge!
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend staying here based on our experience. There are no noise bylaws in Tulum so Zulum can do what they like. Whether or not you have a peaceful & relaxing vacation is totally dependent on the hotel next door & the other guests staying around you. During the rave next door I was disappointed at how little the reception staff seemed to care about their guests, how poorly the manager communicated with the guests, left for the night while the party was still going; unaware of the nightmare we experienced, & poor security of La Luna's ammenities such as parking spots & lounge chairs. I'd recommend staying somewhere far from the Tulum beach "main strip"; either close to the Tulum ruins or the Sian Ka'an Biosphere. Rent a car so that you can eat in the town of Tulum where prices are more reasonable.
As an aside, I had the best massage EVER at La Luna; it was almost spiritual & extremely relaxing. The resident cat; Luna is beautiful & provided great pet therapy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Feel like Robinson Crusoe, Christopher Columbus or Captain Dale on a tropical shore with everything you need to feel the magic of life: fresh air, blue skies, turquoise water, fresh local dishes, friendly people and a lot of sun. Come to magical La Luna and enjoy a fairy tale come true! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cabanas La Luna Tulum
- Cabanas La Luna Hotel Tulum