If you haven’t heard of Kate Brien, well, maybe you just haven’t been looking down enough. We’re referring of course to Brien’s popular blog, View From The Topp, where she chronicles her outfit-of-the-day, with photos all cleverly taken from above (it’s incredibly addicting to look at!). Here, the sought-after fashion stylist shares tips + pics from her recent trip to the boho-chic destination of Tulum, Mexico.
Just back from:
Tulum Beach on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico.
How did you get there:
We flew on Delta from Los Angeles to Cancun and then had a car drive us an hour and a half from Cancun to Tulum.
Who did you go with:
My fiancé, David Kitz.
Any special reason you went:
We’re actually getting married in Tulum this coming November so we went to scout the location with our wedding planners, Bash Please. It also happened to be David’s birthday, so we kind of killed two birds with one stone.
How long did you go for:
Not long enough! 3 nights and barely 3 days.
Place where you stayed:
Ahau Tulum—a charming, rustic hotel made up of thatched roof palapas right on the beach.
Places you ate:
Our favorite restaurant in Tulum is El Tabano. They have the most amazing shrimp, which they cook so many different ways: lavender infused, tomato caramel, crispy coconut, habanero butter…it’s so good! We dream about El Tabano when we’re in LA so we made sure to eat multiple meals there this trip. We had lunch at Mateos (they have the best fish tacos!), and also had an amazing steak dinner at Casa Banana. We went to Posada Margherita for both breakfast and dinner—they make fresh pasta to order (seems weird to have pasta in Mexico, but oddly it’s not!). We also ventured into town for fruit paletas (popsicles) from Flor de Michoacan. Unfortunately, our other favorite restaurant, Hartwood, was closed for maintenance while we were there but I’d definitely suggest it to anyone traveling to Tulum. The octopus, cooked ‘a la plancha‘, is out of this world.
Local delicacy you feasted on:
A lot of fish and shrimp.
Cocktail you sipped:
Mezcal margaritas 🙂
Books you read:
Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, by J.D. Salinger
Games you played:
None, which is surprising since I’m a real board gamer!
Music you listened to:
Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles…
My daily uniform there was:
A bikini, sunglasses, and a tunic or Mexican dress as a cover-up.
Brand of luggage you traveled with:
I brought a Balenciaga canvas tote as my hand luggage and a little, black roller that David and I shared and carried on.
Did you over-pack or under-pack?—and what’s the 1 item you wish you’d brought and the 1 item you didn’t need?
I think I packed just right, for once. Hmmm, maybe I didn’t need three pairs of sunglasses.
Items you packed in your suitcase:
I packed a few dresses and tunics that could easily be taken from day-to-night: an Isabel Marant Etoile ‘Viola’ dress, a chambray linen tunic from this little shop called Chay on West Third in Los Angeles, an oversized blue and white striped shirt and a vintage, Mexican, embroidered dress. Then, to mix and match, I brought two vintage, Mexican, embroidered tops, vintage white Levi’s cut-off shorts, vintage JC Penny high-waisted jeans, a vintage white tee and a Jenni Kayne striped tee. For my feet I brought Soludos brown, perforated, leather espadrilles, Céline leather sandals, Stela 9 La Sandia slides, and Barneys red slides. And some nike leggings for morning yoga.
Beauty-essentials you packed:
The sun and salt water do wonders for my hair and skin so I tried to keep it light on the beauty products. I brought Earth Tu Face face wash and Embryolisse moisturizer for my skin, Goe Oil for my body and Nitesurf by Fleur de Regimes perfume as my scent. I packed Rodin hair oil and Rahua shampoo and conditioner for my hair. For makeup I brought Coola SPF 20 Rose Essence Tint, Cle de Peau concealer and Serge Lutens mascara.
Favorite place to shop and find local treasures:
I got embroidered Mexican dresses for my 10-year-old sister and my (soon-to-be) baby niece, and some handmade stuffed animals for my little nephew at a small shop in Tulum town. My favorite place to shop is Coqui Coqui’s ‘perfumery’ where we stocked up on tabaco-scented soap and candles, and a fringed, beach cover-up.
In the day we:
Our days started with a yoga class and breakfast on the sand, followed by sunbathing and swimming in the ocean. In the afternoon we’d walk along the beach to lunch and then take a long siesta.
And at night we:
Got massages and had romantic dinners.
Best part of the trip:
Probably our ‘couples massage’ at the spa at the Coqui Coqui on David’s birthday. The sun was going down as we entered the treatment room—a small, glass box on top of the hotel that overlooks the beach. We could hear the waves crashing throughout the entire massage.
First time visitors must:
Go to El Tabano!!!!
The #1 tip you’d give a friend that’s going:
Tulum is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been…but it’s definitely not fancy, so I’d leave the heels at home.
I loved it here because:
It’s just magical!
Kate Brien photographed in Tulum, Mexico