Review: El Pez Tulum

After arriving in Cancun on our American Airlines B787-9 flight from DFW, we picked up our rental car from Hertz and headed down Highway 307 towards Tulum and the El Pez, a Colibri Boutique Hotel.

a beach with palm trees and a body of water


The El Pez is not part of any major hotel group and so we booked our Sea View King room directly with the resort. In the weeks leading up to our arrival our personal concierge, Gilbert, was in constant communication with us regarding our stay and any special requests that we may have.


The hotel is located just north of the heart of Tulum Beach, down Highway 15 from the principal city of Tulum. It is located a couple of miles south of the Tulum ruins and the town is less than 10 miles away. Highway 15 is a sometimes paved, sometimes dirt two-lane road that hugs the water all the way down the beach. Due to the road conditions and the traffic it can take a long time to make it anywhere along the road.


Upon arrival at the hotel, I called the front desk and a bellman came out to show us to a parking place and help us bring our bags into the lobby.

a sign outside of a hotel
a room with a thatched roof and a large tree with lights

Once inside the large, open air lobby, we headed over to reception where we were checked in amid the sounds of the ocean. It was here we met Gilbert, the concierge that I had been speaking with via email, who provided us with some welcome drinks from the lobby bar.

a group of people standing in front of a counter
a pair of hands holding drinks


Our Sea View King room was a short walk from reception and was decorated for the birthday girl upon arrival. Our bags had also been taken by the bellman and were waiting for us upon entry. The room essentially consisted of one large king bed with a nightstand behind it and a loveseat at the foot of the bed.

balloons on a bed with a mirror and a pillow

A small dresser and shelves, upon which was a welcome amenity of a bottle of mezcal, stood along one wall with the luggage racks.

a room with a dresser and luggage
a wooden tray with glasses and a bottle of alcohol on it

A cabinet with a pitcher of water and glasses was against the other wall. The water in the room was regularly refilled as we were advised not to drink water from the tap.

a wood cabinet with glasses and vases on it

The bathroom was fairly standard and there were reusable toiletries in some glass containers inside the shower.

a bathroom with a sink and mirror
a group of soap dispensers on a tile wall

There was also a cabinet that held towels, robes and an umbrella located in the bathroom as well.

a white robe and a purple purse on a swinger

The best part of the room was the large outdoor patio that led out to the walking path and the ocean. We spent a lot of time sitting out here enjoying the view and the hotel provided us complimentary coffee each morning, dropped off before sunrise, and tea each evening.

a deck with chairs and a table and chairs on it
a man standing on a deck overlooking a body of water


The resort is situated on a long, narrow strip of beach surrounding a shallow, half-moon bay. There are a few individual beachfront villas away from the main hotel but most of the resort was situated on a rocky peninsula that jutted out into the water. It was here where the lobby, restaurant and the sea view rooms were located.

a beach with waves and rocks

The lobby had various styles of seating spread around and there were also some outdoor seating areas on the deck just adjacent.

a wooden deck with a couch and tables and a table and chairs
a patio with tables and chairs
a couch with a lamp and a mirror
a deck with a building and trees by the water

There was a grassy area in front of the room that was home to some chaise lounges and cabanas, though a row of vegetation blocked most of the view.

a walkway leading to a building with palm trees and grass

The beach also had a number of lounge chairs and, with less than 30 rooms total on the property, it was always easy to find a place to sit and relax. The hotel was completely full during our stay and we barely noticed any other guests.

a beach with palm trees and a body of water


Tulum is well known as a culinary destination though we did choose to eat at the hotel restaurant each morning. Breakfast was included in our room rate and was quite good. We enjoyed not having to get up early and rush off to find breakfast. Breakfast was served in the restaurant, located in the open air lobby, and the menu read as follows.

a menu of a restaurant

Each meal was served with bread and a choice of juice.

a table with food on it

The first morning I had the Eggs Your Way, which was tasty.

a plate of food with a basket and a basket

The next day was the Pancakes, served with a hearty portion of berries.

a plate of pancakes with berries and butter on top

Our final morning coincided with the Sunday Brunch, which was a larger menu compared to what was offered the rest of the week. This menu is geared more towards those who weren’t staying at the resort, though our meal was still included as part of our room stay.

I had some coffee, juice, and a mimosa to accompany my main of chicken and waffles. Strangely my dish was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream right in the middle, which was a first for me.

a glass of orange juice on a table
a plate of waffles and chicken

In addition to the main brunch, there was also a smoothie and oyster station setup for an extra fee.

a beach with a beach and a beach with a beach and a blue sky
a white box with rocks on it and a beach in the background

In addition to breakfast, the hotel also had a lunch and drink menu that could be ordered from during the day both in the restaurant and while sitting on the beach. Though we never ordered any food from here, we did get some of the drinks.

a hand holding a menu
a hand holding a menu


Though we spent most of our time away from the hotel, exploring the surrounding area, they did have some amenities to keep you occupied throughout your stay. We intentionally avoided anything resembling an all-inclusive as we wanted more of a local experience so don’t expect any giant pools or over the top buffets. However, the hotel did have a massage area located along the beach.

a white curtains on a wooden structure

The hotel has a full time masseuse however, if you want a couples massage, they ask you to provide them with at least a days notice so that they can bring somebody else in to support. We decided to get a massage last minute and thankfully Gilbert told us that it would be no problem to get a massage for later in the afternoon.

We both chose the 50 minute relaxing massage and the atmosphere of the oceanfront cabana, combined with some mojitos from earlier in the day, made me relax to the point that I fell asleep during the massage. To say that I was thoroughly relaxed would be an understatement.

a bed on a beach with a view of the ocean


Our stay at El Pez was absolutely amazing. The location was perfect for our needs and the friendly and attentive staff went above and beyond to make our stay as enjoyable as possible. Due to the extremely small size of the hotel, the staff to guest ratio was easily 1:1 if not better and we still felt like we were the only people there.

The next time we are in Tulum we would absolutely stay at the El Pez or one of the other Colibri Boutique properties in the area!

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