In a recent article by the New York Times,Tulum,Mexico,was named as the new hot destination for fashion insiders. At just 75 miles south of Cancun on the breathtaking Yucatán Peninsula,Tulum real estate is known for its eco-chic vibe and luxurious yet low-key atmosphere. While some visitors opt for a morning yoga session on the white sand beach,others can be found discussing some of fashion’s hottest trends and planning some of the season’s biggest events.
How did this new fashion hot spot begin? Some say with photographer Enrique Badulescu who has owned a house in Tulum for 20 years,renting it to the creative director of Mulberry this year. Others say with Mario Testino buying his beachfront house in Tulum some 10 years ago,using it for many shoots.
According to the article,Tulum is “a destination so popular with the fashion crowd at this time of year that it almost feels like Fashion Week.” From creative directors who work with the likes of Tommy Hilfiger,to stylists who count superstars like Lady Gaga among their clientele,the world’s top fashion industry professionals have definitely discovered this hidden gem in the heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
Barefoot clad creative director Nian Fish said “welcome to my office” as he finished up a conference call on his upcoming production of a Tommy Hilfiger show in New York,a sentiment carried on by the many fashion insiders who visit. “We were calling it the fashion jungle by the end of the week,” said Jym Benzing,a New York advertising casting director. “Every year,it’s more fashion people,and they’re all huddled together on top of each other.” Anne Slowey,fashion news director of Elle,said “The flight back was like the fashion plane from the shows in Paris.”
Other notable visitors so far this season have included Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa,Linda Fargo from Bergdorf Goodman,Amanda Hearst of Marie Claire and Michael Carl of Vanity Fair. Hollywood has also begun to discover the many charms of Tulum,with movie stars like Evan Rachel Wood,Jamie Bell,Kate Bosworth,Sienna Miller,Alexander Skarsgard and Neil Patrick Harris spotted soaking up the rays on the area’s pristine beaches.
The reasons behind the city’s growing popularity are many. First,location!
“Flights to Cancun are quick and direct from New York,a little under four hours,” the article states. “The cab ride from the airport is an easy 90 minutes,made even easier with a recent highway upgrade that serves many new all-inclusive resorts.”
Second,the area is known for its efforts to offer a sustainable vacation destination.
“Tulum is consciously and adamantly off the power grid,which means it often uses solar generators and wind turbines to keep its lights on.”
In addition,Tulum is very pedestrian-friendly,which appeals to city dwellers who prefer walking or biking to driving a rental car. “I used to go to St. Barts,and it was too much,” said creative director and fashion show producer Nian Fish. “So I started coming here 10 years ago and kept coming.”
In fact,celebrities have been coming here for years,with confirmed sightings of Sean Penn,Susan Sarandon,Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange at retreats like Casa Violeta and Posada Margherita dating back more than 20 years.
“People in Tulum are easy,” stated Daria Hines,a Los Angeles-based stylist and daughter of Gregory Hines. “They give each other space.”
Melissa Perlman’s Casa Magna hotel has also been a popular destination,boasting a laid-back atmosphere,dim lighting and good house music,while her new boutique hotel Amansala Chica promises to attract even more visitors. “Tulum is still inviting to the soul,” she stated. “And it continues to evolve.”
Ariane Dutzi,a former fashion editor who calls the nearby inland colonial city of Valladolid home,agrees,stating “Tulum has so many fashion people now,it’s like the Hamptons.”
With the impending end of the Mayan calendar later this year,there is little doubt that Tulum will continue to grow in popularity among savvy vacationers from around the world.
“People are saying 2012 is the end of the world,but I think it’s the beginning of a new world here,” shared Sebastian Sas,the owner of the new Be Tulum upscale boutique resort. “People come to Tulum to feel lighter. Here everyone’s barefoot and on bikes. We don’t have heavy music or Lamborghinis.”