Cancun vs Tulum: Hotel and Stay

Traveling to Cancun or Tulum anytime soon? Read this post!

Choosing where to stay when going on vacation is extremely important to my husband and I. We have had great experiences and some not so great ones… So we wanted to share with you guys where we have stayed, the pros and cons, the difference between Cancun and Tulum, and overall useful information for your next trip to Cancun or Tulum! (We will tell you about our experience staying at Club Med Cancun and Cabanas Tulum). 

Club Med Cancun (All inclusive resort) 

Laying out at Club Med beach 


I stayed at this resort for my first time in Cancun, and it was the second time for my husband. What we really loved about this hotel was that all the food, drinks, and alcohol were taken care of during our entire trip. If you are unfamiliar with what all inclusive is, you basically pay for everything up front so that when you stay you don’t have to worry about having to budget for meals. We also found that Club Med had an excellent selection of food throughout our entire stay. You have to make reservations at some of the restaurants, but this is also included with the initial payment. 

Something that was very new to me was having free “performances” during our stay. The workers would host performances for the guests almost every night, so it was honestly a “mini party” every night that we stayed there. I actually really enjoyed that they had this because we met some really nice people that we still keep in touch with today! 

The beach was absolutely amazing and SECLUDED. If you have been to Cancun before then you know that not all beaches are like this. Club Med is towards the end of the hotel strip making it way more quiet than many other hotels. You also do not have to pay extra for any of the day beds that are on their property. 

Trapeze Fun! 

They also offer activities such as: archery, snorkeling, and trapeze, kayaking, paddle board, wake boarding, water skiing, and bocce ball for no additional costs. It was really cool to try all of these fun activities! There was also volleyball tournaments on the beach that we both really enjoyed. So if you like to be active during vacation then thats for you!

Excursions can easily be booked here. We paid for an excursion that was located in Tulum, to visit a cenote. The excursion included lunch at Akiin Beach Club; and while enjoying lunch here, we found that there was a wedding set up for later that night. The set up was beautiful to say the least. We were both in love with vibe of Tulum. This is how we found our wedding venue at Akiin Tulum! Anyways, I would say that the excursions are definitely worth it! I believe we paid $100 for each person, however this was worth it because it included transportation, food, and a visit to one cenote. 

Safety is huge for this resort, and we really appreciate that they prioritize this. My husband and I decided to check out Coco Bongo, a night club performance in downtown, during our stay in Cancun. We had a great time there, but when we returned to the hotel the staff was extremely worried about us. It just so happened that there was a shooting in Playa del Carmen while we were downtown. We were happy to know that the resort was concerned about our whereabouts and kept track of who entered and returned. 


Because you are paying everything up front, your stay here is going to be a little more expensive than usual. We spent a pretty penny! You might also see some individuals top less… I think this may be because Club Med is a European owned company. It really didn’t bother us at all, but it may be something that you’re not used to. 

It’s secluded, so to get to downtown you have to take a taxi. That means you are going to spend most of your time on the property. However, you can easily move around in Tulum on a bike. 

Tulum: Cabanas Tulum



We absolutely loved our stay at Cabanas Tulum! When staying here you really get an amazing experience… to beach front Cabanas and delicious street tacos. You really can’t go wrong when staying in Tulum. 

First off, we really enjoyed how kind the staff was. They catered to our every need, and I couldn’t be more thankful since we stayed there for our wedding. Whenever we needed something they were always very prompt to help us. When we first arrived at the airport our shuttle to the hotel had cold towels and water waiting for us. So lets just say they know how to treat you well.

Since we had multiple family members and friends staying with us at Cabanas, we were able to see the different style of rooms/ layouts. We had stayed in a room with a roof top jacuzzi. It was quite cool to be up there! But we honestly didn’t spend too much time up there, we were mainly at the beach with our friends and family. Our guests had rooms that were beachfront and also some that were not. 

They have the BEST food at Ziggy’s, and the breakfast is free when staying at the hotel. Here’s a photo of a yummy dinner there! Sorry it was dark, had to use flash. 


The beach in Tulum was different than what it was in Cancun. When we went in September (2018) there was a lot of seaweed in the ocean and on the beach. Many of the hotels and beach clubs had to shovel out the seaweed everyday! The workers said it was called sargassum. Supposedly, the whole reason as to why there was this new sargassum is because of the fertilizer that is used in Bazil. We were told this while we were there, but we are not sure exactly what it is that is causing it. It is unfornate not being able to swim in the clear ocean however, the beach is still quite beautiful and lovely to sit out on! 

Don’t expect to do a lot of “cheap” shopping. The clothes that they sell in Tulum are cute and trendy, but if you’re looking for affordable then look else where. Most of the dresses that I seen there were at least $100-$300. 

You are going to have to travel about 1.5-2 hours in order to get to Tulum from the airport in Cancun. For us, this is no biggie. But it does add additional hours to your travel time especially if you’re coming from somewhere far away.

You can wear bug spray, but you’re still going to get bit. Just be ready for this. 

Overall, I would say that I would hands down stay in Tulum over Cancun any day. The experience you get in Tulum is truly one of a kind. When we had our wedding in Tulum, all of our family were blown away with how beautiful it is there. If you’re looking for a secluded vacation, then choose Tulum. But if you are looking for something more accessible and elegant than choose Cancun/ Club Med. There are also tons of other all inclusive resorts in Cancun to chose from. Tulum only has a select few. You will find more “Cabanas” or beach homes in Tulum.

Thanks for reading! Leave comments & questions if you please 🙂

*All the pictures that are shown in this post have been taken by us.*