Sunday, July 6, 2014

Las Ranitas Eco Boutique Hotel in Tulum Mexico

I don't consider myself a writer, but right now I wish I could convey the magic, charm, and eco-chic that embodies Tulum through the written word. The Tulum magic seemed to hit me at once. After the hectic, hot Cancun airport and the hour long taxi ride, walking into the open air lobby of Las Ranitas was like becoming one with nature's own long, extended "aaaaaaaaaaaah", with its constant breezes and the powerful waves crashing methodically on the beach. It's an invigorating lull. The bright turquoise and peacock blue water strike eyes used to boring highway with a jolt, as if bringing you to your senses and knocking you out of them all at the same time. Just what I needed.

I stayed in Room 5, a second story room away from the lobby, without AC. I never missed it. My boyfriend was comfortable too, as the ocean breezes keep the room feeling perfect. I noticed that there were some rooms right next to the lobby, and they didn't look very private, so I would recommend making sure you're in a room away from the lobby. Room 5 had a great full ocean/beach view. As everyone has said, the food is wonderful, although US priced, not Mexico priced, but that is true in most of Tulum. The staff were very friendly and accommodating. We hung out with one of them when we ran into him at Akumal, and met some of his friends, one of the highlights of the trip.

The beach in front of Room Five, Las Ranitas Eco-Boutique Hotel

The view from Room Five

I have an online business, so the free wi-fi was crucial and much appreciated. The breezes, free breakfast in a gorgeous patio setting overlooking the ocean, (which was fruit with yogurt) nicely sized room, pool, friendly staff, delish food, nice beach chairs and round lounger beds added a lot to the 'aaaaaaaaaah'. We also rented bikes which were about $20 a day and rode to the ruins. We were very hot at the end and would do a taxi next time. We walked to restaurants every night, including Hartwood, Ahau, and others, which was very doable.

Free Breakfast

I went and snooped around other hotels and honestly couldn't find one that made me think, "next time I'll stay there instead". Las Ranitas was quiet and on a gorgeous beach, but be careful in the waves. They literally body slammed my boyfriend directly on his head; he was spitting out tooth chips and his back is still killing him. We also saw a sea turtle laying her eggs on the beach in front of Las Ranitas, a rare treat; a staff member said they had never seen this. I was especially impressed with the staff cleaning the rooms. One day we left some valuables out, and they left a note saying that they recommend storing valuables in the provided safe. So we felt very secure there and the staff were trustworthy.

A rare sight - a sea turtle lays her eggs on the beach.  She must have been a yard wide.  Be on the lookout for my video of this turtle, and diving with them at Akumal.

I never felt unsafe anywhere in Tulum, including Tulum Pueblo. At night there were police monitoring the beach, but I would have felt safe without them. I was also worried about the weather before I left, as many websites said June is the rainy season. However, there were only a couple light showers that lasted maybe five minutes, and the rest of the time the weather was spectacular. It would have been hot, but the breezes on the beach are constant and refreshing, but not overwhelming.

Las Ranitas restaurant.  The chef was one of the best I experienced in Tulum, and there were MANY good places to eat.  I'll post a video of my Hartwood experience soon.

One thing I wish they had more of is hammocks. There were only one or two on the property but they were right in front of other rooms so I didn't use them. I would have loved to have eggs for breakfast - they were available for $10, and even if you order just one, it’s $10, which was annoying.

The yoga studio at Las Ranitas

Stay tuned for more videos on my Tulum trip!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tulum Mexico from Waaaaaaaaaaaay up High

We got some beautiful footage of the sunrise in Tulum with a Phantom Quadcopter and GoPro camera. Enjoy this sensual, spectacular place from up high!  Be sure to watch it full screen by clicking on the '4 outward facing arrows' icon in the right hand corner.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tulum Mexico - a blog post

Gran Cenote


Tulum Pueblo

Las Ranitas

A turtle laying eggs on the beach, a rare treat to see!

Yes, Hartwood lived up to the hype

Don't know which was better, the food or the friendly staff.

Mayan ruins of Tulum

As of this writing, I'm still in Tulum. So more details to come.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

From Vancouver to Toronto on Via Rail

During my Spring Break, I took the Via Rail train from Vancouver to Toronto. This is the second time I've slept on a train. The first time was in China, where I shared a room with three other people, two of whom were smokers. It was VERY uncomfortable. On the Via Rail train, I had a one person roomette and I loved it. Here are some of the scenery highlights...

The video below shows what you can expect from the dining room, accommodations and public spaces of the train.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What I'm taking to Tulum Mexico

Here's everything I'm taking to Tulum so far. I'm sure I'll repack a zillion times. Do you do that??

By the way, I just learned about the following amazing place.  Doesn't it look gorgeous?  It's Lakes National Park in Croatia.  Have you been?  I'd love to hear your experiences there!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tulum or bust!!!

Hi all! My next trip will be to Tulum, Mexico and I'm SO excited.  Here is the first installment about my suggestions for carry-on luggage : ) I have another video about exactly what I"m packing (so far) coming out soon.