Hacienda-style hotel Casa Pueblo—helmed by Derek Klein and Omar Rodriguez—offers a lush oasis just meters from Tulum’s bustling downtown. Right on Av Tulum 106, the central hotel still feels like a retreat, from the sun-dappled backyard to the bright atrium. And, with just 16 guest rooms and a friendly team, there’s a decidedly familial atmosphere. The mood is nothing if not laid-back and natural; in the morning guests wander downstairs for a coffee by the pool in their pajamas and slippers or hang out and play with the resident dogs.
This breezy, natural mood makes perfect sense when understanding the hotel’s serendipitous origin. When walking one day, Klein stumbled across a half-built cinder block construction on the road and saw immense potential. “There was nothing beautiful about it, but what caught my attention was the vacant lot next door and the central atrium,” he tells us. “I immediately envisioned what is now Casa Pueblo, a much-needed oasis in the center of downtown Tulum.” From that, the minimal and charming Casa Pueblo was born.
Klein had recently sold the wildly popular Gitano (which now also has a NYC outpost) and wanted to create something community-centric and relaxed. “Moving on from Gitano was an easy sacrifice to make, as I did this in favor of creating something that was once again in alignment with the vision I had for myself and my future in hospitality,” he tells us. “I always dreamed of being on the hotel side of hospitality. When I opened Gitano back in 2011, there was nothing like it on the sleepy beach road. Similarly, with Casa Pueblo’s first Tulum outpost, I saw an opportunity to bring something unique, elevated and beautiful to the downtown center—a meeting point where people could enjoy a beautiful environment that was accessible, comfortable and inspiring.”
Between the large backyard-style space (complete with long picnic tables and benches) and the pool area, there are a few indoor/outdoor nooks that offer a place to hide out in plain sight. Locals and guests are oftentimes sharing meals or working; laptops, notebooks and coffees strewn about.
Floors through the public spaces are covered with shiny Yucatán tiles, floorboards and concrete, with locally made antique pots placed between lush plants. A mix of timber, copper and leather furniture topped with woven pillows blend contemporary and traditional styles seamlessly. From the washed plaster walls to the use of concrete and wood, everything feels textured and rich without being overdone. Every detail has been meticulously thought through by Klein, interior designer Mike Moser and architect Jaime Aramburu, yet the result seems delightfully tossed together.
With hand-sculpted sconces by Justin James that seem to have formed organically from the walls, the rooms offer a cream-colored oasis. The amenities are few, but all the essentials are here: air-conditioning, 100% cotton bedding by Parachute Home, glass-bottled water and LoredAna bath products. With no electronics within or balconies connected to the rooms, the community aspect of the hotel is further encouraged—but there’s no pressure to socialize.
Klein says it’s difficult to explain his intention for Casa Pueblo’s atmosphere. “It’s hard to define with words—a place always takes on a life of its own,” he says. “I like to facilitate the vibe, but at the end of the day, the most important thing to me and to the Casa Pueblo team is that people feel comfortable and welcome. That they experience our casa as a home away from home. The design elements make for a unique space, but it’s all about the energy of a place and how one feels when they come and when they go. I hope they will always come back.”