The Dreamers.

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Papaya Playa

The Mayans were a clever bunch. And whether or not you’re inclined to believe their calendar-related prophecies (we’ll soon discover who’s right), there’s no denying that they knew a thing or two about living well, in harmony with nature. The coastal town of Tulum, Mexico, was the location of one of the last Mayan cities, and it’s now home to a mystical dwelling of a different kind – born from the wanderlust-intoxicated minds behind Design Hotels. Swathed in tropical jungle along the virgin Caribbean coast and seasoned by beguiling sea breezes, Papaya Playa was created to be a communal playground for urban dwellers looking to re-establish their relationship with nature. A collaboration with hotelier Emilio Heredia, Papaya Playa comprises 85 rustic cabanas of varying degrees of luxury. Those in possession of a pretty penny can indulge in their own personal Casita – complete with a private terrace – while the more frugal can duke it out for the top bunk in one of the Jungle Cabanas. Fortunately, there are plenty of hammocks to go around, meaning that guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a suitable place for lounging. Simple fare cooked on an open grill and baked in a clay oven composes the menu, which also includes a list of sufficiently exotic cocktails for swilling in the sunshine. For those seeking more of a spiritual adventure, Papaya Playa also recently featured the PopUp Ashram, which integrated yoga and fitness classes and workshops, as well as in-depth explorations of the local Mayan wisdom.