Editor’s Note: All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by 10xTravel.

Tulum, Mexico, is mystical and amazing. It’s famous because of the sacred cenotes, clifftop Mayan ruins and gorgeous coastline, which is why it’s exploded in popularity to become an eco-chic retreat for many.

Located about 80 miles south of Cancun International Airport (CUN), the hotel scene here is a world apart from the gated resorts you can find farther north in Riviera Maya.

You’ll find many clusters of palapa-style and solar-powered boutique hotels around Tulum, which focus on minimalism, nature and wellness seekers. If you’re a free-spirited traveler and want an offbeat Caribbean getaway, you’ll likely find it here.

However, there haven’t always been many hotel options for travelers looking to redeem points for their stay.

Finally, the Hilton portfolio decided to expand in Mexico, which brought with it the anticipated Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya. It debuted in January 2022, which means it’s still a pretty new property.

What you get is a stylish place that appreciates the finer things in life while also embracing the bohemian sensibilities of the region. Does it live up to the expectations? Here’s my experience at Conrad Tulum.

How I Booked Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya

I had a free night certificate from my Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card that was due to expire, and because the certificate is valid for any Hilton hotel with standard availability, the relatively pricey (especially around the holidays) Conrad Tulum made for a great redemption.

The Conrad Tulum regularly costs 100,000 or more Hilton Honors points per night in a standard room. Compared to cash rates from around $270 per night during low season to over $1,000 per night during high season, it may or may not be a good option to redeem your points here. However, even at $270 per night it’s not a bad use of the Hilton Aspire Card’s free night certificate.

It’s also possible to earn Hilton points with the following co-branded Hilton credit cards:

Hilton is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards as well.

Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya Location

The Conrad Tulum front gate

The Conrad Tulum front gate is about a 10-minute walk up to reception. | Photo by Charlie Lewis

Located at 307 Tulkal Chemuyil, the Conrad Tulum is 81 miles, or a 90-minute drive, from Cancun International Airport. However, the hotel isn’t located in Tulum Pueblo and isn’t found by the Mayan archaeological site. Instead, it’s near Akumal, which is 13 miles north.

It’s not a great location for sightseeing on your own, unless you have a rental car. But if you’re happy to hang out at the resort or book tours, then you’re close to plenty of the top sights in the area.

Best Parts of Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya

There were a few standout features about Conrad Tulum. They include:

  • The base-level rooms are stylish, chic and beautiful, so you don’t have to upgrade to the ocean view rooms.
  • The staff members were warm, present in what they were doing and interested in the guests.
  • All the cocktails and food I tried were amazing. In fact, they were creatively presented, and I truly felt that I was in another world.
  • The blue-tiled infinity pool is surrounded by palm trees and fully mesmerizing. The scene is cool, but it’s not pretentious. However, there are other casita pools and a beach, which is perfect for any mood.
  • The resort itself has integrated effectively with the forests and jungle coastline, so you’ll always feel immersed in nature. In fact, many of the trails from the rooms to the lobby are populated with various animals native to the area.

Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya Drawbacks

Although I had a great time while at the Conrad Tulum, it wasn’t all roses. There were a few drawbacks, such as:

  • I experienced a few service glitches. My room wasn’t ready when I arrived. I called the front desk once and got no response. Granted, I was there on Jan. 1 when a ton of people were checking out.
  • Though the castaway feeling of the beaches is nice, they’re contained and quite small. Therefore, it might not be everyone’s idea of the ideal Caribbean escape.
  • While the dining venues were beautifully designed and swanky, I felt there should have been an under-the-stars or feet-in-the-sand experience.
  • The location isn’t great for exploring without a car unless you book packaged tours, which aren’t my vibe. I wouldn’t have enjoyed staying here for more than a couple of days.

Getting to Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya

Once you arrive in Mexico via the Cancun Airport, it’s time to figure out how to get to Conrad Tulum.

You may book meet-and-greet transportation in advance through the concierge at Conrad for up to five passengers, but it costs $170 each way. Although you get a luxury SUV, it might not be within your budget.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi, and you’ll find many companies available at the airport. This should cost about $90. Depending on your itinerary, you may choose to rent a vehicle while at the airport. It’s wise to call ahead and book so that you know you’ll get what you want. Every rental company has its own policies and pricing, so it’s best to do research first.

You can also take the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen and then take a taxi for the final stretch to the hotel.

We were staying in Playa del Carmen prior to my stay at the Conrad, so we decided to take a colectivo (a shared minivan) to save money on the transfer. The colectivos stop right outside the gate to the Conrad, and it’s about a 10-minute walk up to reception from there. The colectivos are how many of the hotel employees get to work, so it’s definitely a more local experience.

The Check-In Experience

The check-in process was quite easy for me. Someone greeted me at the door when I arrived, and they walked me to the service desk. I gave them my name to look up the reservation. They mentioned that I held the Hilton Diamond status and told me that included free breakfast.

However, I wasn’t offered an upgrade. I wasn’t upset, though it would have been nice. The room wasn’t ready when we arrived, but the staff told us we could use the hotel facilities while we waited. We had specifically arrived early because we were only staying one night and wanted to enjoy the hotel as much as possible.

Regardless, my first impression was that this was a beautiful place full of helpful people.

The Room at Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya

room at the Conrad Tulum

One night wasn’t enough in this gorgeous room at the Conrad Tulum. | Photo by Charlie Lewis

An instant sense of calm and serenity takes hold when you walk into the hotel and also when you get to your room. You can’t help but think about drumming and dancing outside, napping in the hammocks found all around the property and being pampered in the spa.

I booked the Tropical View Room with a king bed. When you walk in, you get a pleasant shock because everything looks so put-together and warm. The stately bed is the main attraction, but beyond it is a cute pod-like chair and a small table.

Although there’s wood paneling, it’s not dark and dreary, especially when you pull back the blackout curtains. Plus, there are hanging lamps that give you that bohemian vibe, as well.

balcony at the Conrad Tulum

The view from the balcony at the Conrad Tulum | Photo by Charlie Lewis

After setting down the bags, I went to the window and out on the balcony. There, I found the relaxation tub, which is just big enough for two. I was initially excited about it, but later when I went to try it out, I found that it wasn’t clean enough for my liking and decided to pass.

I’ll also say that I always focus on the bathroom when I stay in a hotel, and Conrad Tulum didn’t disappoint. It gave me spa-like vibes and had a large shower, separate vanity and a double sink. We had plenty of towels and washcloths. Plus, there were robes and gorgeous lighted mirrors.

The water pressure wasn’t too bad, and there was plenty of hot water to feel clean after a long day of lounging around on the premises. This hotel uses Byredo toiletries, and we received the Mojave Ghost fragrance.

Although the room amenities aren’t off the charts, they suffice. You’ll get a Nespresso machine, a large closet, a safe and a 65-inch HDTV. However, most people don’t want to stay in the room the whole time, so don’t let that fool you. There are multiple pools and so many things to enjoy.

Surprisingly, there weren’t many outlets to plug in electronics, but there was one beside the bed. They’re somewhat hidden, so you have to go searching.

Overall, I felt like the room lived up to the hype I’d seen online. I expect high quality regardless of where I stay, and the Conrad Tulum gave me that with a few bohemian vibes thrown in for good measure.

Food and Drink Options

Mexican restaurant at Conrad Tulum

Autor, the nouvelle Mexican restaurant at Conrad Tulum, offers a fine dining experience. | Photo by Charlie Lewis

There are nine places to eat, and four of them are considered fine dining. While we didn’t get to try them all since we were only there for one night, the places I did go were delicious. A few of the restaurants to consider include:

  • Kengai (Japanese)
  • Autor (nouvelle Mexican)—this is where we chose to eat
  • Maratea (Mediterranean)
  • Ukai (sushi)
Conrad Tulum offers complimentary breakfas

Conrad Tulum offers complimentary breakfast to Hilton Honors elite members. | Photo by Charlie Lewis

Arbolea serves a huge breakfast buffet, which includes baked goods, tropical fruits, waffle/omelet stations and Mexican specialties. The breakfast that was included with my Hilton Diamond status was fantastic.

You don’t have to leave the hotel to eat, either. There are palapa-style pool bars situated all around Conrad Tulum, and they serve various classic and modern Mexican fare. The menu included tacos with pork, octopus or crab, but you also can find plant-based foods.

Hotel Amenities

pool at the Conrad Tulum

The view from one of the many pool options at the Conrad Tulum was beautiful. | Photo by Charlie Lewis

Along with the infinity pools that are the central focal point of the hotel, the three casita blocks have more secluded and quieter pools and pool bars. You can toggle between them all. While there’s no designated pool area for kids, it seemed to be family-friendly. I’ll go into more on that later.

beach at the Conrad Tulum

The beach at the Conrad Tulum offers a great alternative to the pools. | Photo by Charlie Lewis

The beach is beautiful and features soft white sand that slopes into warm and clear water. The pool staff members come around constantly to set up ice buckets, menus, white parasols and black lounge chairs.

On a calmer day, you can use the water sports equipment, which is complimentary for guests. These include kayaks and paddle boats and help you explore the bay.

I also have to touch on the lavish spa that looks like a cenote. It’s shared with the Hilton Tulum, which is found in the same gated complex but accesses a different beach.

The spa offers many Mayan-inspired massages and treatments, and they all incorporate chanting, indigenous herbs, mind-body rituals and aura cleansing. However, you can still find the more traditional massages.

There’s a sleek gym that’s located on the lower level of the building. You’ll find stationary bikes, treadmills and elliptical machines there. Plus, the picture windows make you feel like you’re working out right on the beach.

Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya Family Friendliness

Conrad Tulum appears to be quite family-friendly. Children were always running around, and they have teen zones and kids’ clubs that are engaging and full of activities and events.

Final Thoughts on Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya

I loved my stay at Conrad Tulum, and one night definitely wasn’t enough. It combines the character, style and sophistication you would expect from the Hilton brand, but it doesn’t break with tradition. It’s cool, bohemian and functional.

With amazing dining options, tons of amenities and a mood-boosting vibe, you may never leave the resort during your stay. Plus, it’s kid-friendly, though I must say it has a grown-up vibe to it.