By Elena Sanitate
The sun twinkles on the turquoise waters of Tulum Beach. The scent of coconut suntan lotion fills the air.
Nestled in the southern tip of the Riviera Maya, Gitano Beach has become Mexico’s most vibrant beach bar destination. Gitano is the creation of the epicurean pioneer and hit-maker James Gardner, who decided to open the doors of one of the most incredible beach bars in Tulum, in the Yucatan.
James defines himself as an innovator and entrepreneur. He started his career in London as a strategist and technology professional, and in 1994, he moved to NYC, where he became a Wall Street algorithmic trading leader. But the waves were calling, and he had to answer. He decided to create a home-away-from-home in Tulum with the Group Gitano, which quickly became a global brand having five locations in Mexico, NYC, and Miami, with more to be announced.
Introduced in February 2021, Gitano Beach is Tulum’s only private beach club. It is surrounded by the stunning Mayan-ruin-studded Parque Nacional, featuring a rustic design with particular attention to outdoor spaces.
Guests at Gitano Beach Bar are immediately welcomed into an international Gypset locale where tropical atmospheres, local flavors, and gypsy vibes blend to perfection. The name Gitano is the Spanish word for “gypsy,” suggesting a bohemian, free spirit, laid-back vibe.
Now imagine soft white sands under your feet, the turquoise Yucatan waters, palm trees flowing in the breeze, and good old tropical vibes. That’s what Gitano is all about. The minimalist white and black striped tipis shield the sand loungers and bamboo benches, while under the palapa, the international menu is cooked on an open fire with a wood-burning oven, grill, and comal.
Gitano’s incredible success is undoubtedly due to its trendy vibes perfectly balanced with an eco-friendly mindset. The zero-waste cocktails made with burnt pineapple and salvaged lime husks; the locally-grown seasonal fruits, and herbs; or Gitano’s support for public beach cleaning initiatives are just the tip of the iceberg.
Gitano’s cuisine captures the essence of who they are: free spirits, wanderers, and wonderers. Their menu is a hymn to bohemian, diverse, inclusive, conscious, and creative gastronomic culture. Unique and savory flavors are served and styled to tease even the most sophisticated palates, thanks to Chef Alexandros Gkoutsi who left Mykonos to create a perfect Mexican menu with a Mediterranean twist. Signature dishes range from hummus and tzatziki to Cochinita Pibil Tacos – roasted pork, red onion, habanero, chimichurri, and salsa verde – and Lebanese Chicken Kebab.
The signature cocktails are addictively delicious. Try the Kisses in the Car, with mezcal, rum, passion fruit, and tangerine habanero, or the cheekily named Gipsy Disco 75 Cocktail, which features vodka, rose prosecco, elderflower, and lime for a quick pit stop before dancing the night away.
When the sun sets, the music rises up in the sky. The DJ starts spinning at 10 pm, and the soundtrack is an eclectic blend of drum-forward world music meeting classic disco masterpieces. Check their beats and most-loved playlist on their Spotify and SoundCloud for a beach party vibe.
They say life at the beach is different, that time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We’ll certainly drink to that at Gitano Beach!