New York & Tulum Mexico
New York is one of my favourite cities in the world. It was just love at first sight. This time I wanted to spend some days in the city and then relax in the sun. But I wanted something where it is warm, sunny, cool and not so touristic – just a cool place. So my choice fell on Mexico and especially Tulum. But first we spent some days in the wonderful city called New York.
As it was not my first time in New York and we just stayed for a few nights we wanted a hotel at a great location. We stayed at the Row NYC Hotel. This hotel is very nice but the best is the location – close to Times Square. It is also one of the best-value hotels in New York. As everybody knows, New York is not cheap.
My bucket list for New York is endless. And every time I can check off one position – three new positions are added to my list 😉 But this time, I was able to check off a few points from my New York bucket list. One of them was the Top of the Rock. I know this is so touristic but I have to tell you that the view is just stunning. I think that the view is even more stunning than the one from the Empire State Building (and this is really touristic ;-). There is a great offer called “Sun and Stars”. This means that you can visit the Observation desk twice in one day: Once during the day and the other time during the night. This is a great offer and New York is so adorable during the day and so breathtaking during the night.
Another thing on my bucket list was the High Line and the Chelsea Market. This is really soooo cool. Both locations are close to each other. We started our day with a fresh hot coffee in Chelsea, then went to the High Line and just walked around. After our stroll we went to the Chelsea Market for a quick lunch. But as you know I am real foodie the quick lunch went a bit out of control.
I think I tried almost everything at the Chelsea Market. From oysters to donuts and in between some tacos. Ohhhh the tacos. I think this was the best meal at Chelsea Market. If you are there, you have try the tacos at Los Tacos No 1. They were so yummy. Unfortunately I didn’t make photos from my tacos. I’m so sorry but when I see some good food I can’t resist – a real foodie. But I received some photos from Los Tacos No 1. I can only advise you to try as much food as possible. Everything there is so tasty and fresh. You can’t go wrong.
The best thing about the High Line and the Chelsea Market is that you are so close to the Meatpacking District. So after our lunch we went for a postprandial stroll to the Meatpacking District.
On the other day we did some culture sightseeing. We went to the Guggenheim Museum which is a very cool museum. But the coolest thing about Guggenheim is its architecture. It looks very unique. If you are in New York and you are tired of shopping you have to visit the Guggenheim Museum.
Another point on my bucket list for New York was just walking around. I mean, it was the third time for me there and I always had a long list with the things I would like to visit or see. And this time, I just wanted to walk around, explore new things, watch people and just enjoy New York. And I have to tell you it’s the best thing you can do. All the beautiful shops, museums, galleries are really nice and a must see but if you have the time to just walk around with no plan it will be the best activity during your time in New York.
On our last day we went to two amazing restaurants. One for lunch and the other for dinner. Those amazing places I don’t want to keep from you. For lunch we went to the cool ABC Kitchen. It is a organic but stylish restaurant. You have to book in advance. But you will not be disappointed. The advantage from the restaurant is that they also have a contemporary department store. So you can go for a little shopping tour first and after that you go for lunch to the restaurant. A very cool idea. PS: You have to try the salted caramel ice cream sundae for dessert.
The other amazing restaurant was Zuma. I am such a big fan of Zuma. I visited Zuma in different countries and they have all one similarity – the quality of the food. Its just outstanding. So I was very happy to hear that Zuma opened their first restaurant in New York at the beginning of the year. I would recommend to book a table in advance. The interior is very cool – just typical Zuma style. The idea of the restaurant is to share different dishes. But you have to think twice whether you want to share your dish because it is so good. It is a modern japanese cuisine. And it doesn’t matter what you will choose from the menu, everything will be more than good. My favorites are the Tuna Tetaki, Rib Eye Steak with wafu sauce, crispy fried squid and all kind of sushi. But these are only my favorites. I am sure you will find your favourite dish.
After a few busy days in New York, we flew to Cancun, Mexico because there is no direct flight to Tulum. Tulum is about 1 1/2 hours drive from Cancun. Tulum is just so lovely. You will not be disappointed. There is such a special vibe, which I can’t describe. Trust me. It is stated that you will have more dreams during your nights in Tulum then ever. And this is true. But first let’s start with the organisational things. When I informed myself about the trip to Tulum, I read that it is recommended to change money at the Cancun airport because Tulum is still a little Hippie Town and that they have no currency exchange and its better to pay in Mexican Pesos. So I changed my money at the airport. But this was a mistake. Because as everybody knows, changing money at the airport is always worse than to change it in the city. I have to tell you guys that there are different possibilities to change Dollars into Mexican Pesos. First, you can buy everything with Dollars. But if you want to change money you can change it in different shops. They offer you that you can change money if you buy something. And this exchange rate is so much better than at the airport. You also have the possibility to change money in the city of Tulum – there are two or three currency exchanges. Another organizational issue is the transfer. There are a lot of taxis outside the airport which will overload you with information and offers. But the best thing would be to arrange a transfer from your hotel in advance. Its the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum. Almost every hotel in Tulum offers a transfer opportunity. And I have to tell you that Mexcio, especially Cancun/Tulum is very safe. Don’t worry. So this was the organizational part and now let’s go to the fun part.
If you are looking for a quiet, relaxed, beautiful and not crowded place – Tulum is your place. You only need some flip flops, some shorts and maxi dresses and of course, some sun protection. That’s all you need. The whole little village is just laid-back. And that was exactly what I was looking for. You will not be finding any hotel bunkers. Only small boutique hotels with seven to twelve rooms directly on the beach. I found my Garden of Eden called Casa Violeta. They have only ten rooms, which are all little cabanas. Our cabana was directly at the beach. This means that the sea was just 10 meters away and if you have opened the door you stepped on the beach – a real Robinson Crusoe feeling. It was heaven. I think this was the most relaxing vacation ever.
The best thing is that you can do whatever you like. There is no pressure to do things or see things or whatever. Almost every hotel offers breakfast only. So you also have no pressure regarding your lunch or dinner times. You can eat whenever you want. And there are soooo many delicious restaurants just a few meters away – more about this later.
But what is particularly typical for Mexcio ?! It doesn’t matter if you are in Cancun, Tulum or Cabo San Lucas – the most typical thing is having a fresh margarita. And of course I had to try this, because otherwise I could not tell you how it tastes. I know, it is a hard job but somebody has to do it.
Let me tell you: It was soooo delicious. They made everything fresh. I think I ate almost every day some home made nachos with fresh guacamole and drank one margarita (or maybe twor or three ;-)) at lunch time.
If you like yoga, Tulum is also the best place for it. In almost every hotel they offer some yoga treatments. You can do yoga during the sun rise, you can do yoga at the beach and you can even do yoga on the surf board. But everybody who knows me knows that I am not a really sporty person so I preferred staying at the beach and doing some sun bathing 🙂 But helloooo, look at that beach – no wonder why.
There is also another cool thing about Tulum – you don’t need a car. You can rent a bike (in every hotel) and just drive the little street up and down where you will find some cool restaurants, little boutique shops and cafes. And if you want to go to Tulum City (which is a really small city) you can grab a taxi. It really doesn’t cost a lot. In the city you will find all the souvenir stuff and some little restaurants. We got there only once.
But there is a really must-see when you are in Tulum. The Tulum Maya Ruins. They are several of hundred years old and definitely worth a visit. Especially as it is only a 10 min taxi drive or 25 min bike drive away. It is so beautiful and just breathtaking when you think about that it is so old and there is so much history in all those stones.
You can also make some little friends there
We went to the Maya Ruins vey early. I think it was approx. at 8:00 am. And this I would also recommend to you because when you are there very early you will have the ruins almost for yourself. All the groups of tourists (most are coming from Cancun) will arrive at approx. 10:00 am. When we finished our tour and went to the entrance/exit it started to get very crowded and all the groups started their tour. It also gets very hot during noon. The Maya ruins are located at the beach. So if you like you can take your swimsuit with you and dip into the sea.
Now we get to the Food Part of my Tulum trip. As mentioned earlier, Tulum is very small, especially the jungle and beach side of Tulum where most of the hotels and restaurants are. Here are my Top 3 restaurants of Tulum which are definitely worth a visit:
This is a very nice restaurant with an argentine/mexican style. You will find fresh fish, a lot of meat and typical argentine starters on the menu, which are all very tasty. The restaurant also has an open cooking area (which most of the restaurants in Tulum have) so you can see what the chef puts on the grill.
This is such a cool place. It is a Mezcal Bar & Kitchen. And a lot of people go there “just” for the drinks. Their drinks are fabulous. You will have drinks on the menu which you can’t find anywhere else – with funny names like “Gypy Disco” or “Kisses in the Car”. I think I tried more than I should, but hey, who can resist such funny names. They also have a very cool live program with all kind of different music artists and very cool DJs from around the world. But what they also have is an outstanding kitchen. Their food is so fresh and so good. And could you imagine a better mix than outstanding food and great drinks ?!? At the Gitano you will feel a bit like if you where at a private jungle party. They have small lampions and disco balls everywhere, which throw a special light on the walls and palms. It’s really surreal there – but surreal amazing.
I think that the Hartwood restaurant is the most known restaurant in Tulum. It is so hyped, but for a good reason. Their food is out of this world. It is out of the world because of their taste and their freshness. At Hartwood there are no stoves or deep fryers – only wood fire. How cool is that ? The combination of wood fire cooking and fresh local ingredients is just phenomenal ! Also the whole interior is very chic – but very urban chic. Almost the whole Tulum town looks a bit like if it was designed because everything is so stylish but stylish in a nature way and not the fancy way. But I have also bad news regarding Hartwood. They make no reservations in advance and they are mostly fully booked. So how can you get a table ? You have to stay in line. There is a hostess on every day they are open (closed on Monday & Tuesdays) between 3 pm – 6 pm. Then you have to be there in person and tell her at what time you would like to have dinner that evening. Reservations will be made only day by day. But the reservation list is closed very quickly. If you arrive at 4pm or 4:30pm, the chance is very small for getting a table. You have to be there at 3pm at latest. And I have to tell you that the hostess comes on some days even at 1pm or 2pm. So my tip to get a table is: Make a little break from your sunbathing at the beautiful beach at noon and go to the Hartwood restaurant. Then you can check out if the hostess is already there. If not, you can have a green smoothie at the bar vis-à-vis and wait until she comes. And then take your chance, stand in line and get a table at Hartwood. You will not regret it !!!
My résumé of the Tulum Trip: Tulum is just beautiful. For me, it combines everything I need during my holidays. Good food, beautiful beaches and a relaxed atmosphere. Tulum has a special spiritual vibe – its just magical. You will not believe it until you are there. I will definitely come back !!