Luxuriate in Nature, Disconnect from Modern Stress at Mayan Azulik Resort

Tucked away on Mexico’s Caribbean coast near Tulum is a resort unlike any other. Azulik offers a one-of-a-kind experience allowing you to luxuriate in nature, peace and quiet. No phones, no wifi and no television or electricity. More than just a vacation/digital detox, it is a rustic and mesmerizing resort that offers a retreat from today’s hectic life — a luxury that few of us ever actually get.

Natural construction highlights the entire resort.View in gallery
Natural construction highlights the entire resort.

The adults-only Azulik resort has actually been around for more than 14 years. Its rustic, natural construction and remote beachside setting are definitely not what you would find at a typical Mexican resort. This one is less about glitz and more about reconnecting with yourself and the natural environment…but that doesn’t mean it is not a luxurious experience in its own way.

The shores of the Caribbean feature prominently at the resort and offer views as well as swimming paddle yoga.  Other activities at the resort include touring the jungle and local ruins, visiting with a Maya family, or enjoying a gourmet picnic from the property’s chef.

Views of the ocean are particularly spectacular.View in gallery
Views of the ocean are particularly spectacular.
Water is an important feature throughout the property.View in gallery
Water is an important feature throughout the property.
Amazing views help guests relax and reconnect with nature.View in gallery
Amazing views help guests relax and reconnect with nature.

The natural environment permeates the entire resort, from the exterior spaces through to the guest villas.  Built with respect for nature and the resort’s surroundings, the entire facility is focused on water, not just the ocean but also the wetlands and natural water pools on the property.  Called cenote, they are naturally occurring pits, or sinkholes that happen when limestone bedrock collapses, exposing the groundwater underneath. Throughout the resort, elevated wooden walkways wend between the freely growing trees, allowing guests to appreciate the surrounding forest.

Rustic structures blend with the surrounding environment.View in gallery
Rustic structures blend with the surrounding environment.

The water on the property, especially in the cenote, are considered sacred so water paths were created to meander from the lobby to the spa. The flowing paths create water mirrors that are said to cleanse the energy at Azulik. The water from the cenote also flows to the guest villas, which have hand-hewn tubs that are perfect for enjoying a relaxing bath while watching the sunrise or sunset.

Mirror pools are believed to cleanse the energy of the property.View in gallery
Mirror pools are believed to cleanse the energy of the property.
The IK LAB is architecturally a work of art in and of itself.View in gallery
The IK LAB is architecturally a work of art in and of itself.

Amidst this temple to relaxation and the environment is the IK LAB, which more than just an art gallery. The IK LAB is a select group of world-class creative artists in an avant-garde residency program whose works meld with the unusual architecture of the space. Focused on the natural materials that are indigenous to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the IK LAB space is inspirational and thought-provoking even without the art.

Conceived by the great-grandson of art collector Peggy Guggenheim, the IK LAB features cement walls that surge like waves and vine floors made of Bejuco wood pitch and yaw like the ocean. Santiago Rumney Guggenheim is a local resident and had suggested that the resort’s founder add an art gallery. The rugged ceiling over the exhibition are is made from tree branches that have smaller sticks slotted in between, allowing sunlight to peek through. Variously sized round accent the walls and bring even more light into the gallery space. The furniture in the gallery space is made of the same cement as the walls.

“My history with Tulum is deep-rooted, and this project is very close to my heart,” Santiago Rumney Guggenheim said in a statement. “IK LAB is more than a gallery, it aspires to provide a framework for the world’s finest creative minds to interact with the gallery’s visionary architecture and explore new ways of creation.”

Guggenheim curated the LAB’s first exhibition in the spring of 2018, which included pieces by Tatiana Trouvé, Artur Lescher and Margo Trushina.

Walkways guide visitors through the space.View in gallery
Walkways guide visitors through the space.
Indigenous materials were used for the construction.View in gallery
Indigenous materials were used for the construction.
Furniture is crafted from the same cement that forms the walls.View in gallery
Furniture is crafted from the same cement that forms the walls.

Azulik’s ZAK IK Boutique follows in the resort’s philosophy of sustainable practices melded with traditional and innovative craftsmanship. It features the signature work of gifted creators. Believing strongly in the need to sustain traditions, the boutique features local artists and designers who create art infused with history and relating with visual appeal.

The warmly lit boutique features creations by local artists.View in gallery
The warmly lit boutique features creations by local artists.
The interior of the boutique is very interesting.View in gallery
The interior of the boutique is very interesting.
Water is present throughout the hotel.View in gallery
Water is present throughout the hotel.
The Maya Spa is perfect for pampering in a natural environment.View in gallery
The Maya Spa is perfect for pampering in a natural environment.
The spa's Dome is reported to be the center of the resort's spiritual energy.View in gallery
The spa’s Dome is reported to be the center of the resort’s spiritual energy.

In the mood for more pampering than just a luxurious bath? Azulik also has a seaside Mayan Spa with treatments to soothe both body and soul. The facility uses all organic products and features a variety of authentic purification rituals based on ancient Mayan techniques.Even the traditional spa offerings incorporate therapies and remedies that help heal mind and body.

The Spa features a dome, that symbolizes positive energy and is the spiritual heart of the resort. A variety of activities are organized in this hub of energy.

The Aqua Villa is among the most luxurious.View in gallery
The Aqua Villa is among the most luxurious.

The resort features 48 wooden villas of organic construction that are situated along the shore and amid the Mayan jungle, in perfect harmony with their surroundings. Not all of the eight types of villas have beach views. The Sky Villas are on the second floor and offer amazing sea views.

One of them is called the Aqua Villa, where guests enjoy spectacular eco-art. This villa features the water element, along with the finest services from the staff — called the tribe.

The bed is a massive  2.60 meters in diameter, tented with a mosquito net. The onyx bathtub in the private bathroom can be filled with mineral water from the cenote. The rooms have no showers as the belief is that showers contribute to stress. Guests are encouraged to take time for a real bath and perhaps make it more romantic by assisting one another.

The lack of electricity and technology is a plus in this location.View in gallery
The lack of electricity and technology is a plus in this location.
Interior pools are meant for luxuriating and relaxing.View in gallery
Interior pools are meant for luxuriating and relaxing.

Azulik has several top-notch restaurants, all run by executive chef Paolo Della Corte, an Italian who fell in love with Mexico and its food. From sushi to farm-to-table dining, there are a number of options for guests, all with views and spectacular surroundings. Those who prefer to dine in their rooms can get room service, ordered by way of a wooden ball sent through a tube to the kitchen. Once the order is received, guests hear a gong noting the order was received.

The architecture adds to the ambiance of the resort.View in gallery
The architecture adds to the ambiance of the resort.
Enjoying the open air is a big benefit at Azulik.View in gallery
Enjoying the open air is a big benefit at Azulik.
Being lit only by candlelight creates an unparalleled atmosphere.View in gallery
Being lit only by candlelight creates an unparalleled atmosphere.
Multiple hanging settings with amazing viewsView in gallery
Multiple hanging settings with amazing views