Tucked down the narrow road that traces the line between jungle and beach in Tulum, Mexico, you will find Playa Mambo. A charming little clutch of rustic cabanas that have laid claim to a swath of brilliantly white sand and feathery palms, the Playa Mambo provides its guests with everything they need on a Tulum vacation: namely, total, blissful tranquility.

Those who seek larger than life opulence, or pumping “spring break” beach parties: go elsewhere (and preferably far, far away). The vibe here is getting away from it all and delving into the simple heaven that is the hot Mexican sun, the silky Caribbean waters and a refreshing coconut to finally quench that thirst that’s been building for weeks on New York’s grey, winter streets.  There are hammocks to laze in and thatched umbrellas to shield you from the midday sun, and you are likely to laugh with an insanely happy glee every time you leave your own little cabana with its comfortable bed draped in the charming and effective mosquito netting and see the shining beach greeting you at arm’s length.  (Who new paradise could be gotten for less than $100 per night?)

If you seek a touch of nightlife after indulging in ungodly amounts of beach time, Playa Mambo is located within walking distance (or biking distance) of plenty of fantastic restaurants, low-key clubs and even some boutique-style shops—all of which cater to the eco-friendly environment that Tulum has admirably achieved.  And if your communing with the sand and sun has gotten you into a DIY spirit, you are welcome and encouraged to bring your own catch (or one you bought in town) to the grill at Playa Mambo’s little café area.

However you pass your time at Playa Mambo, it will still fly by as fast as all good things seem to.  When you pack up to leave, don’t be surprised to find yourself feeling like a new person: well-rested, relaxed and sun kissed.  All the things New Yorker’s just never can quite seem to achieve.  Here’s hoping you can hold onto it as long as possible, meanwhile planning your next escape to Tulum and the open arms of Playa Mambo.

– Ava Fedorov

Photographs by Jeff Owens for Socially Superlative

*To book reservations, contact: playamambo@yahoo.com