PAPAYA PLAYA PROJECT, Tulum, Mexico | Tulum is well established as a go-to destination for boho sun-kissed luxe. And now Design Hotels' Papaya Playa Project on the Yucatan Peninsula is taking things one step further — get away from it all in an eco-designed treehouse set in pristine jungle by the Caribbean Sea. The visionary founder Emilio Heredia calls Papaya Playa Project 'primitive sophistication' and his reverence for the environment is inspiring on prime land that international five-star all-inclusives would kill for. [Find out more about their sustainability and social responsibility.]

papaya playa project

Sprawled over a 900-metre stretch of coastline this boutique eco resort celebrates nature amid rustic charm. Like the resort’s 85 casitas and cabañas, the new treehouse has been ecologically built with indigenous materials and age-old Mayan construction techniques. Recycled wood mingles, white macramé detailing – the structure has a simple but special charm. Climb up to the terrace and gasp at the 360-degree views over lush Quintana Roo jungle and the waves of those jade waters. 

Sustainability means life for future generations and integrity for the current one. Elevating the structure encourages the growth of jungle plants around the treehouse and ensures the building does not interfere with nature. We wanted to show the utmost respect to all the wildlife living in the jungle when building the treehouse.

Emilio Heredia, has put sustainability high on the agenda ever since he moved to Tulum. Driven by his passion and discipline for spiritual and personal development, Papaya Playa Project has been set up more as a community than anything else. The project prioritises solar energy, water treatment and recycling, gardening and plantations, local sourcing, fairtrade, responsible construction, material recycling, and community involvement to reach their sustainability and social responsibility objectives. It is managed using measurable and accountable standards and their goal is a totally sustainable project that is of true benefit to the region and community, promote a holistic and spiritual life, and consciously accept responsibility for nature and their community.