Set on a Mayan beach with nothing but miles of sand, surf and sun, La Zebra wears many hats: hotel, beach restaurant and funky bar.
Part of the Colibri Boutique Hotels group that includes El Pez, Mi Amor and Mezzanine, La Zebra has a sexy, relaxed vibe that invites you to succumb to sand gravity and just sip, dip and repeat. You will notice all ages around the restaurant and on the beach as this is a family-friendly establishment and there’s room enough for everyone. But that doesn’t hold La Zebra back from having a genuinely hip and happening beach bar.
The restaurant opens onto the back of the hotel and kind of tumbles gracefully on to the beach. Then, as a bonus, there’s a small standalone bar even closer to the ocean. That little beach bar is pretty lively, thanks to the cheerful and professional bar tenders. Take a few steps and you can bliss out on a quieter area on the beach. It’s not a place to rush but rather settle in and enjoy a spectacular beach vista.
What will you have?
Beer: Well-known Mexican staples such as Sol, Tecate, Superior and our pick, Bohemia, as well as a few local craft ales including Pescadores and Akumal at a premium price.
Cocktails: Tequila and mezcal are the spirits of choice here, whether in a handcrafted margarita, exotic cocktail or straight up. We counted 25 tequilas, from the bar rail El Jimador Reposado to Amor Mio Extra Anejo at roughly three times the price. The mescal list was even longer, with 30 plus brands available. Rum lovers need not despair as there are the traditional pina coladas, daquiris and mojitos. A decent wine selection is also available.
Food: The ‘Beach Menu’ at the little bar offers a satisfying selection of ceviches, quesadillas, tacos and salads. But the excellent main restaurant, offering an extensive lunch and dinner menu, is just steps away.
There are some Balinese-style beds on the beach for lounging if you have ordered food and drinks. The hotel staff didn’t seem to mind us using one for a post-lunch dip. But understandably, hotel guests would get first dibs on these. The daily happy hour features mezcal margaritas from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
We stopped in La Zebra for a drink and ended up returning every day during our Tulum vacation. Heck, we should have just stayed there, but then we wouldn’t have dragged ourselves away to see the many great offerings of Tulum.
This season (and last) the little bar on the beach has been run as a Mulberry Projects PopUp. Mulberry Projects owner Jasper Soffer brings his mixology expertise from New York and will be joined by guest bartenders from around the world who will be adding their unique takes on mezcal, tequila and rum cocktails with an exciting menu of fresh local ingredients. Sounds tempting.
La Zebra Restaurant and Bar
Tulum, Quintana Roo