Where do you stay in Tulum? What do you eat? Where do you go? Ruffian designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais have the skivvy in their latest La Vie En Ruffian column for us. They’ve returned from their holiday tanned and ready to share their Mexican adventure in Tulum. (They also had some maje celeb sightings!)
“The Mayans were characterized by the worship of heavenly gods, a sophisticated, aristocratic class, and the building of elaborate homes. Hence, the only thing that separates us fashion folk from the Mayans is their affinity for human sacrifice. The cradle of Mayan civilization was Tulum, a city that was at its height during the classical age between the 13th and 15th century. Tulum is experiencing a renaissance close to 700 years later, except this time the gods have been replaced by Hollywood yoga seeking refugees and Euro/Williamsburg bohemian cognoscenti. As we drove into Papaya Playa, we knew we had made the right choice for our accommodation. Cocooned by the jungle on a pristine stretch of the Caribbean coast, Papaya Playa is a bare yet chic beach camp with an urban spirit – a communal playground for a creative community seeking reconnection with nature and themselves. After a quick run in with Chloë Sevigny in the lobby, we were escorted to beach front cabana #29 by Henning Schaub of The Design Hotels Group. Our room and view were pure heaven. Quicker than you can say Reese Witherspoon (who was also in town), we peeled away our greige city clothes and slipped into our Marc Jacobs‘ bikinis. The first order of business was getting us Ruffians fed and red, so we headed to the amphitheater-inspired beach club. In the spirit of the Mayans, we drank our first sacrificial margarita and feasted on organic Yucutanian inspired cuisine, i.e. chips, picot de gallo, and guacamole. Service is stellar on the beach and we wanted to give a special shout out to Anna and Rafa (check out the gallery to see these hotties!), the dynamic duo who made cocktails magically reappear as soon as we took the final sip all week long! After lunch we decided to begin the long and intensive process of tanning our pale post-Fashion Week bodies to the sounds of the imported euro DJ du jour.
The next day we decided to go on a beach expedition to get a lay of the land. Tulum is a 4-mile stretch of eco-chic resorts, restaurants, and boutiques. Our first stop was Coqui Coqui, a famous perfumery on the Mayan Riviera. Its unique and natural blended fragrances are considered to be an elixir of love and appear to have the power to lure celebrities. Also on the premises is a very small restaurant where we dined alongside the camouflaged Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, both in town for Bikini Boot Camp. Other culinary highlights included Casa Violeta, where the gorgeous French wait staff makes the delicious pizza even more appealing, Be Tulum for the best burger on the peninsula, and last by not least, Hartwood, the Acme of Tulum, where they have no reservations about not taking reservations.
No trip to Tulum would be complete without a trip to the ruins to give respect to its founding fathers. So in an athletic-inspired moment we decided to rent bikes (Note to Lorenzo Martone! A potential market for you!) and headed north to the tip of Tulum. This ancient city was the economic and cultural center that connected Mexico to Central and South America. The mesmerizing architecture and its extraordinary location on a high bluff above the Caribbean make it a must-see for any visitor. On our last day, we decided to take a tour of the incredible property at Papaya Playa. The resort originally began as a pop-up, but because of its enormous popularity and revolutionary approach to hospitality it has become a permanent fixture in Tulum. We asked Henning to take us to the owner’s residence, the crème de la crème of accommodations. This Suite Presidencial is reserved for the most discerning and glamorous of papaya playa’s clientele, and while touring its majestic grounds, pools bedrooms, and guesthouses, we had flashbacks of lifestyles of the rich and famous. Although not listed on the website, this extraordinary property could be yours (or Oprah’s) for the asking. Signing off on this South of the Border edition of La Vie en Ruffian. Don’t forget to check out the photo gallery!
Always Your Ruffians,
Brian and Claude”
P.S. The Ruffian designers have created a chic bag for the CFDA’s You Can’t Fake Fashion campaign on eBay. Check it out!