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My spring vacay to eco-chic Hotel Amansala in Tulum Mexico.

2010 May 18

Amansala at nightfall

Hey guys. Just back from vacation, and I have to tell you: I’ve been to paradise. There are countless beaches that try to hold this claim, but Tulum Mexico takes the cake. And Hotel Amansala is nothing short of an eco-friendly paradise.

The night we arrived at Hotel Amansala, we were worried that we’d be spending our first night camping on the sand. All the power was off, and from outside the gates, it looked like our hotel was closed.  Silly me, this is an “eco-chic” hotel!  No sun = no power.

Beyond the main house, the hotel was whimsical.  It looked like a small village of tree houses set high against a canvas of stars and palms, kinda like what Kevin Costner and the Robin Hood crew would have built had they been banished to Tulum.

After being escorted up the stairs and into our room, the front desk guy lit candles so we can unpack our belongings.  Our room, constructed of cooling stone and wood from the sea, had a very high ceiling of palm and palapa roofing.  The beds, covered in flowing mosquito nets, were super soft. I wanted to stay forever.

Like conquistadores, the next morning we set out to explore the area around the hotel.  We swam in old Mayan wells called cenotes; gorged ourselves on fresh, local food; and drank the best margaritas made from locally-sourced tequila and fresh watermelon juice.

During the day, we passed a bar named “Zamas.”  I thought I was fluent in Spanish, but that was a foreign word!  It seemed to be following us everywhere.   ZAMAS.  I asked around, but the word remained an enigma.

Mayan Ruins facing the Ocean

We ventured down the street to visit the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. The majesty of the ancient structures totally struck me with awe. Can you imagine what it would have been like to be the rulers of this paradise?  I wanted to climb out to the edge and yell: “King of the castle. KING OF THE CASTLE!!”  When they weren’t getting their hearts ripped out and sacrificed to the sun god or being slaughtered by Spaniards, the Mayans must have had it made!

After more drinking, more eating, and more swimming, we made our way down to the main drag to check out Sonex, a Mexican band from Veracruz that was touring the coast.  To my surprise, they were pretty impressive.  Their long-haired leader had a voice that carries the essence of Old Mexico, very sorrowful, like cry of the revolution or 1930′s folk music.

Our eco-chic room

Standing on a box, he performed a Vera Cruzan flamenco called “Jarocho.” With heals tapping on the top of the box, it created such a cool sonic effect. Plus, kid had some moves.  You could hear the ladies gasp when he put on them dancing shoes-or was that just me?

On our last evening, I had a hunch that my mystery word was a Mayan one, so I asked the cook at our lodge to translate.  “Zamas” derives from “Zama” the Mayan word for “Dawn” or “Tomorrow.”

And the next day at  the brink of the Mayan dawn, it clicked.  An entire civilization built on tomorrow.  Instead of living for today, as we hear so much in American culture, why not live for tomorrow and preserve the future for generations to come?  It’s no wonder such a wonderful way of life has been preserved all these centuries.  They constantly had their eye to the dawn.

FINAL GRADE: A+ (breath-taking views, eco-friendly design, little slice of heaven)

The beach off El Diamante

view from our balcony

Diving 15 feet into a cenote

Ev, the cenote diving champion

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. Doug Robinson permalink
    May 19, 2010

    The beach pic is actually taken from Diamante K. My favorite spot in Tulum.

  2. Karen permalink
    October 12, 2010

    What is the name of this particular Cenote?

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