Most beach resorts are designed to appeal to as many people as possible—which usually ends up meaning that they offend few, but leave a lasting impression on almost no one. The cookie-cutter, design-by-committee tropes—turquoise wall-to-wall carpeting, hibiscus stock photos hanging above the bed—have been around so long that they feel almost inevitable. At Habitas Tulum, a boutique hotel that just opened in the hippie-chic Mexican town, that dated resort notion has been turned on its head. The new beach vacation is fresh-pressed, locally sourced, and Instagram-friendly. It’s not for everyone, but that’s part of the point: It’s a hotel for young, stylish millennials who want to get out of their comfort zone but stay relatively comfortable, and who care more about the experience they get out of a place than they do about any particular amenity.

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