Sun & Sea: A Tulum Guide

As we are almost through the winter season, you are probably dreaming about your next warm weather spring/summer get away.  Now is the perfect time to start planning your tropical adventure for this upcoming off-season!

If you love something that is beachy/boho/relaxed/chic, look no further than Tulum. With its incredible white sand beaches and turquoise water, variety of amazing restaurants and cuisine, fun nightlife and bars, beautiful yet low key hotels, gorgeous spas, unique shopping and incredible art, then this is your place!

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Logistics / Getting there

The easiest way to get to Tulum is to fly to Cancun, a major hub where you can fly direct from almost anywhere. Once you land in Cancun, your Diamante travel adviser can help you coordinate transportation to your selected accommodation. It will take approximately 1.5 hours to get to downtown Tulum from the Cancun International Airport. Also, Tulum is a primarily cash economy and there are very few USD ATM outlets there, so make sure to take out cash before you travel.

Accommodations

Tulum is one giant strip of so many incredible hotels along the beach with a variety to choose from. If you are looking for a fun relaxed by day and party by night Papaya Playa Project is the place to be, especially on the weekends with amazing DJ’s and beach dance parties. If you are feeling more of a low key romantic beach vacation the Nomade hotel is a truly special getaway, with a beautiful chic beach set up, cool crowd, bohemian décor and amazing food breakfast, lunch, dinner (all of which can be eaten gazing on the beach).  Next door is another amazing hotel Be Tulum which has an incredible spa and known for their amazing signature massages. If you are looking for an amazing yoga/spa vacation look no further than the newly renovated Sanara hotel with their beautiful minimal chic décor, incredible yoga studio overlooking the ocean and absolutely delicious organic café next door called the Real Coconut, for all things gluten free, raw, and collagen infused lattes.

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Restaurants

Aside from the amazing white beaches one of the very best parts about Tulum is the incredible variety of delicious restaurants. Even though you might be instantly craving Mexican food, one of our favorite place was an adorable Italian restaurant called Posada Margherita where you walk through what feels like the entrance to a greenhouse and leads you to the most charming beachside creative vibe, with an incredible selection of wine and homemade pastas. For an absolutely magical dining experience, be sure not to miss the restaurant at Azulik hotel, with the most incredible rooftop table overlooking the jungle, perfect for a group setting or special occasion. We preferred to eat on the beach most evenings, but for the best international restaurants on the jungle side, be sure to check out MUR MUR, with a cool crowd, amazing cocktails and fabulous food cooked on a wood fired oven. Another must is Hartwood, incredible food in a relaxed and trendy outdoor setting, also with an open kitchen featuring the fresh caught specials and amazing grilled organic seasonal vegetables. For fun mezcal cocktails and dinner on the jungle side, or an after dinner night cap, be sure to check out Gitano for its festive flair.

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Experiences

All of the hotels offer incredible yoga on the beach, and if you’re looking for even more of a workout, be sure to try a bikini-boot-camp to balance out all of the delicious meals you’ll be eating and drinking in Tulum. No matter what, be sure to catch at least one sunrise on the beach, coffee in hand, and take in the beauty of this truly special place. All of the hotels offer bike rentals for the time that you are there, and we couldn’t get enough of riding our bikes along the strip and restaurant hopping and shopping along the way. If you are wanting to mix it up and take a break from the beach, be sure to go swim in a Cenote. It’s a truly special experience and unique to the area. Tulum is also known for its incredible ruins, either the Tulum ruins if you want to stay local, or if you’re up for a bit of an adventure make a day trip to Chichen-Itza, where the Mayans believe the Universe started!

Tulum is a truly sacred, special, beautiful, cultural hub in Mexico where no matter what kind of experience you are seeking, it will be sure to find you there.

Exclusive Activities: Winnow and Diamante

I am pleased to announce the exciting partnership between Winnow & Diamante Luxury Travel for the 2019 Aspen Winter season.

Winnow is a travel app that connects you to exceptional experiences. The sort of experiences you would have to spend hours researching your destination to unearth. Why spend all your time looking for hidden knowledge when you can let Winnow do it for you?

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Diamante was approached by Winnow to create some bucket-list experiences for those visiting Aspen. If you are looking for unique, exclusive activities, Winnow + Diamante have you covered. Take a look at the Winter Exclusives by Diamante:

  • Elevate your party to apres ski perfection: Enjoy an apres experience like no other. You will enjoy apres in the comfort of your home with a private chef, masseuse, and private mixologist!

  • Enjoy a wellness morning for a mid-vacation reboot: Start your morning off right with yoga and healthy breakfast of your choice.

  • Late-night apres like you mean it: Keep the party going with your own DJ, mixologist and late night bites.

  • Put your ski skills to the test with the ultimate heli-skiing: Take your skiing or snowboarding to the next level with heli-skiing in the San Juan Mountains.

  • Design your own cowboy hat in a vintage saloon: You will to design your own hat and sip on some delicious cocktails in an Aspen saloon.

  • Escape for the night to a secret Ajax location: Spend the evening with friends or family in a beautiful cabin on Ajax mountain. Dinner will be served by an experienced chef and you will roast s'mores under the stars.

  • Balance indulgence and mindfulness with guided sensory dining: Experience food + wine in a new and mindful way. This isn't your average wine dinner.

These activities are only available through the Winnow app. So, head over to your app store and download Winnow to book an Aspen experience today!

An Unexpected Caribbean Getaway: Curacao

With winter upon us, you may be thinking longingly of the far-off warmth of spring and summer. If so, now is time to start planning a deep-winter tropical getaway.!

If you are looking for something new and off the beaten path, we have the perfect locale for just that: Curacao!

Curacao is a Dutch colonial island located between Aruba and Bonaire in the Southern Caribbean.  Willemstad, the colorful capital, is famous for its bright buildings that line the waterfront. The island’s pristine diving, gorgeous white sand beaches, and stunning nature are all attractions to the small number of tourists that pass through each winter.

Keep reading to learn about the best places to stay, food to eat, and things to do!

Willemstad, Curacao

Willemstad, Curacao

Accommodations: If you want to enjoy the culture and metropolitan vibes of the capital city Willemstad and be in the heart of it all, we recommend staying at BijBlauw Hotel. BijBlauw is situated beachfront in trendy Pietermaai, the historic cultural heart of Willemstad.  Walk to hip bars and restaurants, shop at well curated boutiques and check out some of the historic attractions nearby.  

If you are looking for a more relaxed destination, head to Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort.  Situated on 2,000 acres just south of Willemstad, Santa Barbara is a destination in itself.  Relax on their private white sand beach or poolside. Indulge in recreation on the golf course, tennis courts or biking and hiking trails.  Santa Barbara is also a water-sports heaven with diving, fishing and other activities available.

Restaurants:  The food is Curacao does not disappoint! Our favorite spots in Willemstad are The Gouverneur and Fort Nassau.  The Gouverneur is a stunning spot located right along the water. The food is phenomenal. We highly recommend getting the Cuban Banana soup; it is out of this world! Fort Nassau is an old fort transformed into a gorgeous restaurant overlooking the famous bridge and the city. We suggest getting the steak or lamb chops. In Westpunt, Sol Food is a big hit. This tiny restaurant, with only 8 tables so you need a reservation in advance, is situated on the patio off of the owner’s home. It is only opened on the weekends and serves up delicious pizza and other grub. The highlight though is the scrumptious peanut butter brownie dessert. Jaanchies is another hot local spot in Westpunt. There are no printed menus, rather, Jaanchie himself comes up and tells you what they are serving today and takes your order.  It is mainly fish and meat stews along with some sides. He will offer you a taste of the Iguana stew and you should try it. Travel is all about stepping out of your comfort zones, isn’t it?

Beaches:  Our absolute favorite beach is Playa Knip, in Westpunt. Although it takes about an hour to get here from Willemstad area, it is totally worth it to view the crystal clear water, beautiful reef, and white sand. It is hard to contain oneself from running straight in the water!

Another great beach in the Westpunt area is a Daaibooi because it is quiet and peaceful, with no loud music or kids running around.  Mambo is the most popular beach in Curacao, complete with beach bars, shopping, and events.  Tip - Sit near Lions Dive Resort for a more peaceful part of the beach. Jan Thiel is our favorite beach located in a central part of the island. Every Saturday night they have a party with music. Entrance is free, but you will most likely spend some money at the bar.  Dancing the night away on the sand is a perfect Curacao experience.

Activities:  Curacao is known for its pristine scuba diving spots.  We recommend diving at Playa Grandi (also a wonderful place to snorkel) where you are almost guaranteed to see a few turtles!

Other nice spots to dive are Alice in Wonderland at Playa Kalki and at Playa Porto Marie, all in Westpunt. For snorkeling, Tug Boat is a fun spot to check out a shipwreck up close. Speaking of shipwrecks, there is a massive ship at Jan Thiel beach you can snorkel/dive. We also recommend kayaking to the Blue Cave in Westpunt, where you can snorkel. Another unique activity in Westpunt is to see Watamula. This is an impressive, large, eroded hole above the ocean that the waves will crash through. Just don’t fall in! Klein Curacao, the tiny, uninhabited island located about 26 miles from the main island, is a day trip not to be missed. This little island boasts stunningly crystal clear water, an abandoned lighthouse, and a shipwreck to be explored.  However, be warned that the journey to Klein is often very rough so if you get seasick, be prepared with medicine, or perhaps forgo this option.

Curacao is truly a hidden gem in the Caribbean. If you are seeking sunshine, adventure, and delicious food, this is the place for you.

Skiing in Hokkaido, Japan

Are you looking to combine skiing and international travel?

Check out this article from “Snow” Magazine, written by Diamante, featuring Hokkaido, Japan to see how you can combine the best of skiing with an international getaway.

“While Japan is known as the Land of the Rising Sun, it should be known as Land of the Deepest Snow.  Hokkaido, the northernmost island of the Japanese Archipelago, has long been known by deep powder aficionados as the global record holder for snowfall. When cold Siberian air from the Asian Continent mixes with the moisture of the Pacific, it creates epic snowfall, leading to amazing skiing opportunities.  Combine these world class skiing conditions with a growing ski infrastructure, unique cultural experiences and Japanese hospitality and you have …read the full article.”


A Partnership Made in Heaven: Tablet Hotels & Diamante

We at Diamante are excited to announce our new partnership with Tablet, an online booking platform that curates the best collection of boutique and luxury hotels in the world. Our partnership with Tablet allows our clients access to their membership benefits without having to become a member.  This translates to amazing amenities and exclusive pricing for our clients at the best boutique and luxury hotels around the world.

While each property offers a different package of amenities, they generally include a mix of the following:

  • Room Upgrades when available

  • Guaranteed Late Check-out

  • Complimentary Breakfast

  • Spa Credits

  • Food & Beverage Credits

  • Valet Parking

  • Airport Transfers

  • Guaranteed Early Check-in

  • Welcome Amenity

Diamante is committed to searching for partners that will benefit our clients to give them the best travel experience possible. If you would like to learn more about the hotels offered on Tablet and travel perks our partnership, contact Diamante today!