Once the domain of backpackers, the word “bohemian” and its associated experiences — yoga, ecofriendliness, etc. — have become synonymous with a new kind of luxury, as millennials with money search for the next bohemian experience, according to Travel Weekly.
No place is this more prevalent than Mexico. It started with Tulum, and now this concept of bohemian luxury can be found across many pockets of Mexico.
“People are continuing the trend to look for more bohemian destinations,” says Zachary Rabinor, CEO of Journey Mexico. “This is driven by the millennial generation. Mexico is carving a niche among those of high net worth as a luxury destination, and not just on the hotel front.”
Here are the top spots to know:
Back at the beginning of 2016, TripAdvisor named Tulum the No. 1 destination on the rise. Since then it has undeniably exploded into a hotspot for luxury travel.
Officially named a Magic Town of Mexico in 2015, Tulum received a massive injection of infrastructure investment. Its reputation stands out as being ecofriendly and untouched, when compared to Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
However, the price tag of a Tulum vacation is considerably higher than what it used to be as luxury hotels, beachside cocktail bars, and pop-up restaurants (like Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant, which hosted a pop-up with Colibri Boutique Hotels from April through May, with tickets running $700 per person) take advantage of the affluent hipster guest list.
Some of the very best boutique hotels to know include Sanara and Be Tulum, as well as Nomade and Le Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel. The Jashita Hotel underwent a resort makeover to launch a $12,000-per-night, two-story penthouse with private swimming pool and bartender, according to an article in Forbes.
A shadow of the former backpacker culture still remains with hotels like the Papaya Playa Project, a three-star sustainable bungalow experience with direct beach access. But with rates hovering somewhere around $162 per night, it isn’t exactly pulling in the nomadic clientele making their way across the Yucatan by bus that it once was.
The next beach community to follow in the footsteps of Tulum was Sayulita, a Magic Town located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico just an hour north of Puerto Vallarta. Once a surfers haven, the town of Sayulita has morphed into an A-list destination with high-end galleries, haute cuisine, yoga retreats and cocktail culture. A fair share of backpackers still flock to Sayulita for the epic surf along the coastline, but the high-season prices tend to pull in affluent travelers looking for that “flower child chic” motif.
Sayulita is, above all else, laid back. The town is splashed with mystical colors and travelers with wrists stacked with hemp bracelets. But a slew of new bar and restaurant openings selling everything from street tacos to gourmet brick oven pizza has altered the vibe significantly. Hotels to consider are Casa Mis Amores, an oceanfront hotel on its own stretch of beach that boasts lazily swinging hammocks, a large main villa and two separate bungalows. Here guests can enjoy the spa, infinity pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and tennis courts. Haramara Retreat is another option, tucked back into the jungle, where the vibe is all wellness, yoga, and relaxation. And then there is also Playa Escondido, a beach-jungle bungalow and spa hideaway, whose claim to fame is its treehouse-style yoga platform overlooking the ocean.
Internationally renowned surf spot on the Baja peninsula, Todos Santos is the epitome of bohemian. Where surfers flock, chic eventually follows, and this is certainly the case in this corner of the world. The coastal town is a blend of fishermen, surfers, and spirituals, who come for the colorful buildings, tiny artisan shops and epic surf.
Last year the New York Times named Todos Santos one of its top places to visit, and the jet setters have followed, as have the luxury hotel developers. Most recently to open was the Hotel San Cristobal in Punta Lobos, about 15 minutes south of town. The modern resort swings one part hacienda, one part minimalist-chic with colorful swirled tiles, wood accents, woven furniture, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The resort hearkens back to the surf heyday of the 1960s with an almost psychedelic feeling, but decidedly clean and elegant. A clientele of 20- and-30-somethings sip margaritas by the pool, while the onsite restaurant serves up blend of both Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine and a cocktail menu with an emphasis on small batch mezcal.
Sian Ka’an Biosphere
South of Tulum, almost touching the border of Belize, is one of Mexico’s largest preserved nature areas. The Sian Ka’an Biosophere encompasses 1.3 million acres of protected environment along 75 miles of coastline.
Within the biosphere is a brand-new ecofriendly luxury resort that is causing quite a buzz with the boho set. KanXuk Blue Maya resort, south of Tulum, is a remote eco hideaway right on the shores of the Mexican Caribbean. The eco-conscious resort is incredibly remote, accessible by car, boat and helicopter, in the middle of the jungle and offers five luxury rooms in its main villa, three ocean bungalows, and one premium bungalow with a private garden.
Wood and stone are the dominating design accents, along with clean, white linens that give it an elevated beach hideaway vibe. Property amenities include a complimentary VIP Car & Boat services to and from the Cancun airport, or helicopter service upon request (though not complimentary), complimentary concierge services, an on-spite spa, restaurant, and personalized excursions.