The New York expat and co-owner of Tulum’s Hartwood, alongside chef (and partner) Eric Werner, gave us her insider’s guide to the seaside Mexican town — plus, the recipe to her favorite bohemian cocktail, too.

I came to Tulum because…

Of the natural beauty and simplicity that you experience when you come here. I really craved experiencing a different lifestyle other than city life. One of my favorite films is the original Blue Lagoon with Brooke Shields. Being stranded on an island, living under a thatched roof, cutting down coconuts and spearfishing your dinner was like a secret fantasy of mine.

And what keeps me here….

Well, it’s very different when you’re on vacation vs. living and working in Tulum. We work really hard in Paradise! But I love the co-existence of really hard work amidst amazing surroundings. There is definitely a quality of life here that matches one’s efforts.

A typical day in Tulum involves…

Waking early to sunrise, drinking a fresh squeezed juice, yoga, a quick swim in the ocean. Lunch. A cocktail. More beach, maybe read a book or two, or just fall asleep under the sun. Go for another swim. Another cocktail…. You get the idea!

And a typical night…

Watch the sunset. You typically find yourself going to bed earlier here due to the sun, heat and being active so early. So when night comes you simply want a great dinner, cocktails and maybe follow that with a walk on the beach. The sky is amazing at night. You can see every constellation!

Favorite beach snack…

You can’t go wrong with the classics: guacamole and salsa. I call it a beauty snack because avocado and tomatoes are excellent for healing sun-drenched skin!

The must-have specialty at Hartwood that visitors must try…

Pork ribs and our whole fish. Our menu is small and items change daily, but these two items have become staples on the menu.

To live the bohemian lifestyle, you need…

Not much. But the following items are always in my bag: sunscreen, sunglasses, a lightweight pareo, espadrille slip-ons, bathing suit, bottle of water and a little bit of cash. Oh, and don’t underestimate the hammock. I have a large one hanging in my living room — it’s by far more comfortable than any sofa!

First-time visitors to Tulum must…

Visit a cenote. They are very characteristic of the Yucatan — Mayans believed them to be gateways to the afterlife.

What you get in Tulum that you can’t get anywhere else…

The Tulum experience. It’s a culmination of things, places and people. I can’t say or explain it. You’d have to come and experience it for yourself. Tulum is a funny place. The only place I traveled to with the desire to keep returning.

A secret only a local would know…

Siestas are essential.

Morocha Recipe

This is one of our house drinks that I just can’t stop drinking!
The name is Spanish slang when referring to a brunette chick.

3 oz mezcal joven
7 oz fresh papaya juice
3 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
Splash of lime
Slice of orange garnish, dipped in coffee grinds

Shake ingredients and serve in a 16 oz glass with ice.

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