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Papaya Playa Project

3.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

I stayed at Papaya Playa in March of 2017 with two of my girlfriends when all three of us were in dire need of some R&R. We had a wonderful time. We did yoga everyday and enjoyed the wonderful food. The spa treatments were good if a little on the pricey side. Christian and his team took excellent care of us when we were on the beach. He made our stay truly special. Thanks Christian!!

Tired of tacos we popped in here for lunch. I had the burger sliders and my wife had a quinoa salad. Very good food. Nice aesthetic to the club but the beach itself isn’t that great here. Not much beachfront, and the water here was full of seaweed, much much more than at any other club we stopped. If we were a bit younger this place would have been right up our alley for the night scene.

This place is known for its parties and the DJs that go, however we did not attend during the evening. We came in around mid-morning and spent the day at the beach. The staff was very nice, they do have a minimum of consumption which is high, but the food and drinks are good.

We’d arrived at PPP and while anticipating the “boho” style of this hotel, it was highly evident that this rang true immediately as we’d entered. Our driver led us through a rickety, bamboo gate from the main street that opened to allow car access. Once we meandered through the many scattered, slim tree trunks to check in, we were pleased with the hipster vibe within the lobby. The guys behind the desk were quite casual yet nice. They informed us that it was their long-anticipated “full moon party” and the place would hold 600-1000 people that evening. It would be starting at 11 pm and forge on to 5 am with potential after parties that keep you going til noon the following day. Okay! You could tell there was a buzz about the place. We are SPG members so this was the reason we’d selected this particular place for accommodation. We didn’t have the selection or upgrade abilities here that we are accustomed to. We were given a rather modest ‘hut’ with a double bed. We hesitated but had no other choice. We walked through a jungle of sorts to our hut. This, we found out later, was the “slum” (or Papaya Playa “projects” as we’d called it) area of the resort. You first pass a group of nicer casitas with rooftop decks that are seemingly higher quality. Just past that you enter a community emulating homeless shelters. This was where our lodging was located. Upon entering, my spouse and I immediately got into a rather large, drawn-out argument... which is always a pleasant way to start a stress-free vacation. This was an unacceptable room as it barely fit the bed that was within. We could barely navigate around the beds perimeter. There was a mosquito net enclosing the child-like mattress while off to the side was an entrance to a bathroom that also was minimally stocked. One elf-sized sink with a single-handled, turn-crank faucet (just cold water), a toilet and an open air shower. We drop our things. We sprint to the bar. After a few shots of tequila acclimating us through the initial welcome, we’d agreed to make the best of it. Throughout the visit we did enjoy the views and the beaches. A high point was the use of cabanas and outdoor covered mattresses that were at no additional charge to guests. This was a bonus! Service: This was where this place could use an overhaul. I’m spoiled by other areas of Mexico where the service is unparalleled. Here you’ll find a considerable handful of staff however nobody at all rushing to assist the patrons. I can’t recall how many times I’d observe guests glancing around, scouring for assistance for a minimum of 10 minutes (no joke... at least) while servers would be texting by the bar or looking around to see who else might grab them first. I’d approach the bar on certain days and there would be 3 people behind it, talking amongst themselves, completing menial tasks while I’d awkwardly sit 2 feet in front of them for minutes on end just waiting to be noticed! They’d see me... but nope! The priority was to finish chopping the cocktail garnishes I suppose. It was like I was invisible! We’d eaten at the restaurant a handful of times; half of them we had to get up to fish someone out to even bring us menus. Even at the tail end, it would sometimes be difficult to find the server to pay the bill. I’d also witness customers just get up and leave because they couldn’t get their check. But make no mistake... the staff ultimately finds you, will come to your room even and bang on your door so that you sign the check and tip them. Food: The food was also hit or miss and to PPP’s detriment, mostly miss. A few breakfast items were palatable at best. Everything had quite a nice presentation however the detail of execution was lacking. An example would be the avocado bagel breakfast; which was not toasted enough yet the ingredients and presentation were nice. The doughy, cold quality of the bagel, however, disappointed the entire dish. That minor change to actually toast the bagel would have made it amazing versus dry and chewy. One day, among a few other dishes we’d ordered, we’d also opted for chicken tenders for lunch. Now this is no exaggeration on the description of this dish: The quality was simply inedible. Let’s imagine a hefty, nicely marbled ribeye steak. Take all those super fatty pieces on the edge of the steak, then cut them off. Now roll them in flour and egg and toss them in a deep fryer. THIS was what they served. We sent it back immediately and asked what possibly that could be as it certainly wasn’t chicken (or any protein at all for that matter). Our fingers went to pick one of the pieces up and it simply dissolved through to a fatty, greasy blob. Absolute disgust on a plate. We still are unsure what that was anticipated to be. Some of the tacos and Mexican dishes were ok. Coffee was great and their cold pressed juices and smoothies were also very nice! A few stellar service staff did stand out! The beach servers seemed to be the all stars, as well as the front desk teams. We’d understood that they do work quite a bit, 6 of 7 days a week and long hours. This may be an indicator of the lack-luster service we’d gotten throughout our stay. Also as a kicker, we found out on our last morning that certain breakfast items were included with our stay... Well hey! Nice to know! We’d paid for these items days prior but agreed that it was not even worth the energy attempting to recoup. Overall if this place had some type of management (seemed lacking big time; like a free for all of employees just moving at their own pace) and some polishing of its professionalism (and not much, I understood the vibe) and accommodations, it could be a popular choice. I wouldn’t go back unless some touch up efforts were put forth. Even with it being comped due to points, I left feeling like I wanted to call Starwood to beg for a refund. If I’d spent money for this place, then OH HELLLLL NAHHH.

I didn't stay here but I attended a New Year's Eve party and it was super expensive and we bought tickets beforehand to save money. When we arrived there with our printed tickets they told us that the tickets had been used and we had to pay again. We were with a group, they got in, but my husband and I didn't get in. Because it was New Year's and half our group got in we paid AGAIN $110 EACH ticket!!! I was livid. I complained, I spoke to the manager and he was completely unaccomodating. It was ridiculous but I was determined to have a good night...after all, it was NYE. So this ticket was just the entrance fee...once we got there we had to waste more time to get in line to buy a wristband to buy drinks. So you spend $100 and this credit it put on your bracelet so when you go to get drinks you use your cash is exchanged. Well, it's a joke. You don't know how much anything is and they don't tell you how much credit you have after any 'transaction' and so the last time I waited and waited in line for a drink (literally 25 min) to find out I had very little credit left and was sent to have to put more credit on which was another long line. After this we left. By the way, there was NO music when we arrived...apparently they were having technical difficulties and THEN when they did have the music on it was like strange chanting. I'm all for an experience but this was beyond nuts. The people who seemed to be enjoying themselves were on drugs and out of their minds. I loved being on the beach but that's about it. This place is a HUGE ripoff. I would NEVER recommend anyone to a party here. And, I reached out via email to them the next day (reached out to several depts) and I never received a word in response. I got ripped off and they ruined my NYE.

PPP just keeps getting better!! Fabulous breakfast on the beach! Stunning views, ocean breeze, and inventive cuisine. We love to visit for breakfast and stay for a day of tropical drinks and snacks on the sand. Excellent service on the best beach! I love the chiliquilles - and they are GF! Excellent huevos Rancheros, and fruit dishes. The coffee is really good as well. Enjoy a morning or a whole day here dining & relaxing.

Recently went to Papaya Playa on a long anticipated vacation with my son. This was probably the worst hotel I have been to in my life. I rented an oceanfront 2 bed cabana. I was given a room in the jungle with 2 beds but one was a child’s bed. The shower was open in the room. No doors. The cleanliness was poor. No mirror above the sink. And no ocean. People were smoking in all of the public areas. I spoke with Dir of Operations and he said he could not help me. Checked out after horrible start to my vacation. This place is a joke for $300 a night.

I visited PPP some years ago and I already loved the ambient, how is integrated to nature.. the design... great people taking care of your needs.. and very quiet place to read, eat or drink something at the beach. As well as having a good breakfast in a cool place right in front of the ocean :)

I left $650USD in prepaid room at Papaya Playa to just walk away to book another hotel. THATS HOW TERRIBLE THIS PLACE IS. For starters, it took us an hour to find ( after a 2 hour drive from airport) all because they had no sign, looked like a construction zone with large crappy looking gates hiding it from the main road. Its also up a ways from the main tulum beach area. We showed up at check in time and the gate guy seemed totally confused, super rude not believing we are in the right place or why we were there. Like dude, we are checking in. Lol?? Then we get shown to our rooms. HOLY %#@* I literally thought this was where the staff slept or something. It was a small shed with a purple rag covering a tiny window. We were on our honeymoon and bought the "beach front cabana". This was it. Nothing like the pictures. I was so in shock I started laughing. We try to get into it, like, hey maybe the beach club is amazing type of place? NOPE. The beach club looked like an abandoned construction zone. Caution tape, structures abandoned etc. We walk in the lobby and it's basically a scrambling "hostel feel" with people with backpacks and laptops fighting for internet signal and table space to skype home. It was like a hostel meets a burning man FEMA camp. And hey I love burning man and hostel backpacking sleeping in dodgy zones. But not at 300usd a night. We go to ask for a refund. They said they would give us a 10% discount. We literally were so bummed we decided the best move for happiness was to just cut our losses on the $650, and checked into a beautiful hotel on the beach 5 min away. more luxurious, better designed, incredible beach and cheaper. I I had the best trip immediately after checking out of Papaya Playa. Tulum is BEAUTIFUL. The rest of the hotels have great food, drinks parties, people, literally amazing. Papaya Playa is a graffiti construction zone, lol. Jokes on us, but hopefully laugh at our expense and reconsider! DM me for other great hotel recommends of where we stayed if you'd like!

This hotel is unlike any other hotel I have stayed in before. We reserved one of the Cabins along the beach and has direct access to the beach and ocean the entire time. The hotel has a very rustic theme to it and is a great location if you want to get away from all the craziness in life.

Km 4.5 Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Tulum QROO

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining
  • Private beach

Papaya Playa Project places you within 3 miles (5 km) of popular attractions like Tulum Mayan Ruins and Tulum National Park. This 73-room, 3-star hotel has 3 outdoor pools along with a private beach and a restaurant. Temple of the Frescoes is also 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from the hotel, which is in a national park.


This hotel is home to a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Get a pick-me-up at the coffee shop/café. Start each morning with cooked-to-order breakfast, available for a fee from 7 AM to 11 AM.


All of Papaya Playa Project's 73 rooms are air-conditioned and have an array of amenities, including free bottled water, ceiling fans, and safes. Bathrooms offer rainfall showers and free toiletries.

Property features

At Papaya Playa Project, guests have access to a private beach, 3 outdoor pools, and free WiFi in public areas. There's free parking, and an airport shuttle (available 24 hours) for USD 135 per person one-way. Multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can assist with concierge services, luggage storage, and securing valuables. Other amenities at this beach hotel include a garden, a porter/bellhop, and wedding services.

Room options

Maya Ocean View cabaña 1 double bed

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Maya Oceanview cabaña 2 Double beds

Full 2 | Sleeps 4

Maya Oceanfront cabaña 1 double bed

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Jungle Experience Casita with Pool

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

65% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 471 reviews