I discovered this back street hotel when I’d neglected to book a room in advance in Tulum, and hit upon the best bargain I’ve found in this area. A tall beige tower with a blue butterfly (mariposa) serves as a landmark as you wind through a couple of back streets off Avenida Tulum at the south end of town and cheery restaurant in front implies you’ve found a hidden treasure. The seven "apartment" rooms have full kitchens, dining areas, and a backyard patio or balcony; regular rooms have small fridges, and all have somewhat noisy A/C. You can’t call the decor boring; my room had bright fuchsia walls and a bright floral shower curtain straight out of the ’60s. Others have pretty stenciled flowers and butterflies over the bed, and bright Mexican textiles prevail. Best of all, the family owners are absolutely delightful. Rates are typically less than those listed above and there’s usually a website discount. I paid $50 for a double room and decided to skip the pricey beach hotels for the rest of my stay. 

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Note: Credit cards not accepted.