Destination Design: Riviera Maya + Tulum

By Kate Riley April 1, 2021

The destination design series slipped my mind in March so it’s back for April, and this month’s feature is the Riviera Maya on the east coast of Mexico. I visited a few years ago with a cousin, she invited me to stay with her in the Grand Sirenes resort and it was a blissful experience. Although it was a 90 minute journey by van from Cancun airport, once you arrive in the region you understand why so many people love to visit the Riviera Maya.

Tulum is a hotspot right now even during Covid, drawing influencers and investors for its desirable beaches, bars, and weather. Builders have taken extra steps to use indigenous materials in construction of the resorts, villas, and homes. Inside and out you’ll spy a lot of wood, woven materials, plaster and stone. Structures are often constructed of concrete due to climate and pests.

Like the last destination design feature of the Amalfi Coast, here are a few takeaways from browsing the various vacation rentals and boutique hotels that draw people to the Riviera Maya.


Add woven textiles above the bed as an alternative to art.

source: airbnb


Make a statement on a patio with patterned tile. Add a bamboo bar with unique cube shelving.

hotel tiki tiki


Get creative with materials.

source: airbnb



  Branches make beautiful staircase railings.

zorba cinco



A colorful rug brightens any space.

casa alaya



Weathered tree stumps always make great end tables.

casa arena


Create a dimensional wall with various sizes and depths of timber.

casa malca



Add colorful yarn tassels to woven light fixtures.

cn traveler



Stripped branches make stunning privacy walls.

source: airbnb


Create relaxing seating by blurring the lines between bench and walls.

zorba uno


Stone walls make timeless backdrops.

 una vida


A hammock is always a good idea.

the beach – tulum



More destination design features coming later this year. :)


  1. I love the Riviera Maya, I’ve been 4 times now and these pictures so make me want to go again. It’s such a happy place and super stylish too.

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