An easy hop from Tulum, the new fly-and-flop Casa Chable, surrounded by nature, has a unique castaway setting, says Emma Love
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Hotel Review: Casa Chable, Mexico
Casa Chable is the third and newest property from Mexican-owned hotel brand Chable, following Chable Yucatan (surrounded by jungle and known for its comprehensive wellness offering) and Chable Maroma (a beachfront retreat on the Riviera Maya). It feels utterly remote: located on a thin spit of land in the Unesco World Heritage Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a 30-minute drive south of the Tulum Hotel Zone, then a 50-minute boat ride.
Mexican interior architect Paulina Morán is behind the beach chic vibe of the resort, including in the main house, Casa Principal, where the open-plan living area and bar has been furnished with blue and white tie-dye cushions, Ikat rugs and wooden bead chandeliers.
There are five rooms here, plus four bungalows among the palm trees, arranged together in a cluster on the beach, and a master suite for those wanting more space and privacy but still with an ocean setting. The bungalows feel more Robinson Crusoe rustic, with palm-frond roofs and an additional outdoor shower. Plus, there’s something quite magical about having a morning ‘eye-opener’ – a pot of coffee and a hamper of pastries, delivered to the door – on your wooden terrace while gazing out at the water.
Casa Principal aside, the other social hub of the resort is the laidback beachfront palapa restaurant K’uum, where green-cord backed chairs are paired with wooden tables, a cluster of oversized globe cane lights hang from the ceiling, and a display of red clay comales (the griddles used to make tortillas) decorate the wall.
The main menu, which features classics such as ceviche, tostadas and tacos, has been created by Jorge Vallejo, chef-owner of Mexico City’s Quintonil restaurant, but it’s talented chef William Saurina who is in charge of the kitchen. Ask him to surprise you and he’ll prepare a series of family-style sharing dishes (he calls it ‘honest food that respects traditional ingredients’) which could include mussels with tomato creole sauce, heritage tomato salad and blue tuna that has been marinated for 72-hours in kombu, followed by homemade mango ice-cream.
Dinner can also be served at wooden tables on the beach, where festoon lights are strung up between palm trees; afterwards, toast marshmallows around a firepit in the sand.
Although this is the perfect place to fly and flop, the big draw is the wildlife, so a half day boat trip exploring the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a must. With tropical rainforests, mangroves slicing through turquoise lagoons and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (it’s the second largest in the world, stretching from Cancun to Honduras), it’s no wonder this is home to all kinds of creatures, from the elusive jaguar to manatees and over 300 species of birds. On the boat trip, you’ll likely see dolphins on the way to San Juan (known as bird island) where frigates, brown pelicans and spoonbills nest in the trees, before turtle spotting and a swim on the reef.
Back at Casa Chable, there’s a small gym and nine-metre pool, Fat bikes for cycling the sandy track to the nearest fishing village, Punta Allen, plus help-yourself paddle boards and kayaks on the beach. Book a deep tissue and relaxing massages under the shade of a palm tree or on your terrace (a treatment room on the rooftop of the Casa Principal is imminent) to the sound of the waves. Sign up for sunrise yoga and sunset meditation to book-end the day. The hotel can also arrange pre-dinner mixology classes (focusing on mezcalita, say) and tequila tastings at the bar, while enthusiastic cooks can sit down for a demonstration on how to make ceviche three ways with the chef in the restaurant.
This is an easy-to-reach escape for blissful beach days and exploring the natural environment, where guests can zone out and reset.
BOOK IT: Double rooms from £592, including breakfast (excluding taxes). casachable.chablehotels.com