Casa Violeta embodies the ethos that Tulum tourism was once built upon. With 16 rooms, two of which are new garden-facing palapa-style options, there’s an elegant intimacy to the independent hotel. Directly on the beach, along Carretera Tulum, there’s no better location to access the local splendors. Karla Gutierrez founded the eco-friendly boutique 14 years ago as a reprieve. And while the Mexican destination as a whole grew more popular, Gutierrez and her property held true to their values: thoughtful and caring hospitality. Now, the beloved venue has increased its wellness program and opened a new ocean-view restaurant.
Cocina Violeta finds Italian chef Alex Sal blending his native cuisine with that of Mexican lineage. Be it the catch of the day or ceviche and tortilla chips (a favorite), unparalleled freshness takes priority. A small wood-fire brick oven churns out delectable pizzas, and the organic produce—from crisp salads to grilled vegetables—impresses. Perhaps as expected, it’s easy for vegans and vegetarians to find something here too.
The restaurant’s best design attribute is most probably the floor-to-ceiling windows that open to and overlook the hotel’s private strip of the beach. It’s easy to listen to the Caribbean lap at the shore, under the thatched roof and rustic lighting of the dining room. Seating options range from wood tables to comfy booths and even a curved bar near the kitchen. Far from the louder, scene-oriented venues of Tulum, the restaurant encourages conversation and appreciation for the environment.
Regarding wellness, an open-air yoga and meditation studio sits at the heart of Casa Violeta’s layout. Beyond that, however, there are volcanic rock Temazcal sweat lodge experiences, sound baths and cacao ceremonies. Many of these aim to enhance the sleep experience while visiting. Of course, there are also massages—indoors and out. Undeniably, though, nothing affects wellness like volunteering, and Casa Violeta guests can spend a day with the non-profit Movida Maya, which works with local youth on cultural preservation.
As the identity of Tulum changes, the benefits of Casa Violeta remain. Whether one heads to Riviera Maya to explore ruins or hide away by the beach, the boutique honors the idea of vacation as a sanctuary. From white sands to tropical gardens, it’s a return to nature through a property that softly sits within it.
Additional reporting by Paul Tuller, images courtesy of Casa Violeta