Traveling during the Covid-19 pandemic is nerve wracking and stressful. Not only worrying about undergoing the necessary safety precautions, working out where you can even travel to right now is also a concern.
During the pandemic, my fiance has been stuck in Italy, while I am based in Los Angeles. Exploring the options of where we can safely meet and return, it being a gay-friendly destination, then without us having any issues getting back to our respective homes, Mexico became our best option.
While researching, Tulum quickly appeared to be the perfect location for our exciting reunion. We had been separated for over 7 months because of the travel ban and we were looking for somewhere romantic and relaxing but still with lots of life, exciting things to see and do and delicious places to eat.
Kanan Tulum of the Ahua Collection is a new, adults only, beachfront and spa resort located directly on the Caribbean coast. Tulum was once a busy Mayan port city, but has since become a relaxing getaway destination. There’s plenty to see and do on the Mexican Caribbean, from exploring the nearby ancient Mayan ruins to activities and attractions such as water sports and taking in the city or nature reserves by bike.
Kanan was extremely welcoming and accommodating to us, as a gay couple. Though Tulum has no gay scene to speak of and no LGBTQ+ bars, we felt totally safe in the city and were never subjected to any negativity during our stay. Special mention to our incredible host Hector Lizarraga who kindly became our friend and guide and was amazing at suggesting us unusual and exciting things to see and do.
The eco-friendly hotel boasts 25 luxurious and spacious rooms with your own private terrace to watch the incredible Tulum, beach sunsets. Each suite is appointed with rustic, wooden furnishing, including a wooden bathtub, air conditioning and high speed wifi. Rooms are complete with premium, Egyptian cotton bedding, robes and towels with high quality skin care products for environmentally friendly, self care.
This is an environmentally conscious resort, with organic amenities and services throughout the hotel. This includes pampering at the Diksha Spa which features a full menu of healing treatments such as rejuvenating romantic couples massages, deep tissue massages, facials, even manicures, hair styling and waxing. All-natural ingredients with ancient Mayan influences. Yoga and meditation lessons are also on offer.
The resort itself is jungle inspired with incredible wooden and branch-woven walkways. Overgrown, tropical trees and plants remind you, you are in the midst of the Mayan jungle.
Woven nests are located in different parts of the hotel. Larger, ocean facing nests are the perfect place to enjoy the breakfast and brunch menu, whilst overlooking the crystal blue waters and white sands of the beach. From the varied breakfast menu I would recommend trying the spirulina yoghurt which comes with granola and seasonal fruit and then also the Kanan chilaquiles which are stuffed with roasted tomatoes, three different peppers, egg and onion. They are delicious.
Rooftop nests can be booked for handcrafted cocktails or an unforgettable sunset dining experience with 360 views of the jungle and sea.
There are four dining destinations at Kanan. The scenic rooftop lounge serves authentically, classic Mexican cuisine, Japanese fusion and sushi and fresh seafood and steakhouse samples by chef Gaston Contreras. Both roof and ground restaurants have beach views.
We followed chef recommendations and tried the t-bone steak, which comes with rosemary potatoes and Mexican style vegetables. We also sampled the grilled shrimp and octopus with carrot chimichurri and cauliflower mash. Both are absolutely delicious. For vegetarians and vegans, I also recommend the cauliflower pizza and zucchini risotto, which were also incredible and full of flavour.
One of the bars at Kanan is a swim-up bar located in the heated swimming pool. Enjoy cocktails, Mexican beers or wine while floating in the water or in the hidden caves. The lagoon style pool is complete with a bridge walkway and waterfall shower.
We were super impressed by the professionalism and kindness of the attentive staff at Kanan. Dealing with the pandemic in hospitality is challenging. The staff were taking all the necessary COVID-19 precautions with temperature checks and hand sanitising whenever you entered the restaurant area. The rooms were impeccably clean and all staff were wearing face masks at all times.
Rooms right now are extremely affordable with prices varying for premium ocean-facing suites, to garden and jungle view rooms. Regardless of location, all rooms are light and spacious.
Whether you are looking to unwind and recharge, Kanan Tulum is the perfect place to relax as a solo or as a romantic getaway with a partner. It also has enough personality and action to be a great destination for a group of friends.