Hilton and Conrad resorts in Tulum tempt guests to relax on the wild side

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The lobby at the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort.
The lobby at the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort. Photo Credit: Hilton Tulum

Wild as its jungle surroundings may be, there is nothing untamed about Hilton's newest resort in Tulum on Mexico's Riviera Maya.

The Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort is the first all-inclusive Hilton has opened in Tulum. 

A suite at the Hilton Tulum.
A suite at the Hilton Tulum. Photo Credit: Nicole Edenedo.

A recent stay at the modern Mexican beach-style resort, which opened on May 12, was booked through vacation wholesaler Pleasant Holidays as part of the company's annual retreat for 50 of its top-selling agents. 

The Hilton Tulum features 735 guestrooms across five, three-story villa-style buildings, along with 13 restaurants and bars, eight resort pools, and an upcoming Family Zone with a waterpark playground set to open in a secluded area on the property before the end of summer. 

There are 59 balconied ocean-facing suites that feature living and dining areas, along with premium suites that have two-bedroom connecting room options for families and large groups. 

Nestled in the middle of the resort is a 21,500-square-foot spa with 16 treatment rooms, a pool, sauna and steam rooms, as well as private areas for couples. There is also a 55,000-square foot convention center that can accommodate more than 2,500 people and includes two types of ballrooms plus a 9,000-square-foot outdoor terrace. 

The Hilton Tulum is now the largest all-inclusive property in the brand's Caribbean and Latin America portfolio. 

"We've opened three properties in less than 12 months," said Colette Baruth, vice president and commercial director of Hilton's all-inclusive division, referencing the Hilton Vallarta Riviera and the Hilton Cancun, which opened in 2021.

The entrance to the Hilton Tulum's spa.
The entrance to the Hilton Tulum's spa. Photo Credit: Nicole Edenedo

"We already had existing resorts, not just in Mexico, but also in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic through our relationship with Playa Hotels and Resorts," Baruth said. "The all-inclusive category overall will expand in the next few years and we have some pretty aggressive expansion plans by the end of 2025."

For those worried about how they might get around such a large resort complex, fear not: the hotel offers 24-hour door-to-door shuttle service to the lobby from each building daily.

Next door is the luxurious Conrad Tulum

Located on the same property and next door to the Hilton all-inclusive is the new Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, which opened its doors to guests in January 2022.

The 349-room resort spanning three buildings features 11 specialty restaurants, spacious outdoor patio seating and private beaches.

The exterior of the Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya.
The exterior of the Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya. Photo Credit: Conrad Tulum

The two hotels differ when it comes to their design scheme and what each offers guests, but both serve the same purpose for individuals looking to get away from their daily distractions and plug into a new kind of connectedness. 

Ancient Mayan temple vibes are what immediately come to mind when walking through the Hilton Tulum's massive floor-to-ceiling wooden doors that lead into an airy open-space lobby with direct views of the ocean on the opposite end of the hall.

Bright, natural hues incorporated into the minimalist design scheme are underscored as pops of other natural tones and wooden textures woven into the landscape help highlight this tranquil atmosphere. 

The Conrad, by stylish contrast, might make someone wonder whether they've stumbled upon Hilton Tulum's dapper alter-ego whose aim might be to show you a good time after hours. Draped in dark, rich hues of onyx and chestnut wood against the backdrop of dark tiled reflection pools and a centerpiece fire pit, a mood is immediately set upon entering the Conrad; this is a place of surrender. 

Rooms and suites follow suit with dark stone floors and walls, wooden window shades and ambient lighting that make the spacious accommodations all the more comforting as the jungle's chirps and the ocean's crashing waves sound from not too far away. 

"In my opinion, it's a dream," said Santiago Rivera, Hilton and Conrad Tulum's general manager. "It's luxury. A majority of the materials of the facilities, such as the ceramic, come from Mexico. There's a secluded bay and a strong gastronomy program, from Japanese to Mediterranean."

The Conrad Tulum's spa.
The Conrad Tulum's spa. Photo Credit: Conrad Tulum

With more rooms, buffet-style dining and several kid-friendly features available, the Hilton Tulum is the better choice for those looking to vacation with the whole family as the property is better equipped for such accommodations. And while the Conrad welcomes families, Rivera said its concept is more adult-focused, offering vacationing guests and couples a more mature, upscale and luxury experience with its European plan service. 

"[The Conrad] is quieter and more about wellness," Rivera added.

Exploration outside the Tulum resorts

Tempting as it may be to stay within the jungled walls of the property, the Hilton and Conrad Tulum staff are more than willing to accommodate those wanting to venture off site and head into the Riviera Maya's most talked about destinations: Tulum and Playa del Carmen. 

A sculpture in Tulum.
A sculpture in Tulum. Photo Credit: Nicole Edonedo

Only 20 to 35 minutes away, guests can reserve a variety of taxi services to either town from one-way rides to roundtrip visits with a three-hour window where the driver will wait for you and your party to explore the beach towns before bringing you back to the resort. 

Be sure to bring cash before leaving your original destination or use an ATM on the property as you'd be lucky to find a working ATM on Tulum's main strip, if you even find one at all. 

Taxi drivers reserved by the hotel do carry electronic card readers, but if possible, guests should pre-pay for their rides to and from Tulum in advance, since trying to do so while in town isn't as easy because data signals are weaker there. 

And if you really want to explore Mexico's Riviera Maya like a local or at least a bona fide tourist, Playa del Carmen was the number one spot everyone was talking about during my recent visit. While I didn't get a chance to experience the beachfront playground peppered with dance clubs, trendy bars and pedestrian-packed walkways, it's high on my list for the next time I find myself in Mexico's Riviera Maya. 

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