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Playa del Carmen is one of the hot spots on the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline in Mexico. It’s home to countless postcard-perfect stretches of sand framed by enticing turquoise waters, while impressive Mayan ruins and beautiful cenotes can be found nearby. If you’re hoping to make the most of your time here, consider a stay at one of the town’s top all-inclusive resorts, enjoying a wealth of things to do right on site and easy access to outside exploits as well.
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The Royal Hideaway offers a more intimate experience as one of the smaller resorts in the Playacar neighborhood, allowing guests to enjoy unique perks like fresh fruit upon arrival and exclusive concierge service. An adults-only property, it boasts a fantastic beachfront location a short drive from the shopping on Fifth Avenue and well-appointed villa-style accommodation that include traditional Mexican decor, as well as a private terrace or balcony. Providing an especially tranquil escape, guests can also take advantage of a decadent full-service spa with a wide range of treatments, multiple swimming pools and high-quality cuisine. A wealth of water sports is offered as well, including kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.
The Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is a great choice for families as one of the top family-friendly, all-inclusive resorts on the Yucatan Peninsula. Described by Fodor as a “Vegas-meets-cruise ship environment,” it lies directly on the dazzling Caribbean Sea and provides access to a beautiful white sandy beach. Extra-spacious rooms include marble floors, flat-screen televisions and stocked minibars as well as extras for the kids like Play Station. The property hosts 14 restaurants and 11 bars, with everything from burritos to Argentinian-style steaks and sushi, as well as a water park-like pool area with a pirate ship playground and swim-up bar.
The Grand Velas Riviera Maya offers the ultimate in luxuries, including a gorgeous beach, for all types of travelers. If you’re looking for a more serene, child-free experience, choose the Grand Class Adults Only (16 years and older are permitted) section which features 90 suites that include hot tubs. The Ambassador Family Friendly area includes 195 large suites with private terraces and bathrooms with Jacuzzis, located near the Kids’ Club and Teens’ Club, while the Zen Grand Natural View section contains 254 suites that offer koi fish pond views. The property also offers an onsite spa providing ancient healing rituals and restaurants that serve chef-inspired fare. Activities include scuba diving, kayak tours, swimming with dolphins, golf and yoga.
Barcelo Maya Palace is an upscale property that sits on a stunning powdery white sand beach that frames brilliant azure waters just minutes south of Playa del Carmen. The smallest and most opulent of the three Barcelo properties, its 756 rooms are surrounded by gorgeous pools and beautifully maintained grounds. Dining options include everything from traditional Mexican cuisine to international delights like French and Brazilian at six different restaurants, all of which provide views of the glistening expanse of the Caribbean. By day guests can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and windsurfing, and after dark, live shows at the Monte Alban Theater or Jaguar’s Nightclub.
Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is a fantastic place to hang out with palapas, cabanas and sunbeds spread across pristine white sands edging inviting blue-green waters on one side and lush tropical gardens on the other. An adult-only resort, the over 400 rooms include private balconies, four-poster canopy beds and separate sitting area. Swim-up suites are offered on the ground floor. When it comes to dining, the property hosts a tasty buffet and multiple top-notch options like French fare and Japanese teppanyaki, a wine cellar with more than 200 different vintages, and, for an extra fee, romantic dinners for two on the sand. Activity offerings are many too, from dance lessons and water aerobics to windsurfing and scuba diving. Couples’ treatments are provided in private outdoor cabanas on the beach.
The Fives Azul Beach Resort Playa Del Carmen, by Karisma is a favorite with families and couples alike. This large, luxury all-inclusive sits on an inviting white sand beach and includes 14 restaurants and 9 bars. It also offers a wealth of activities on and out of the water, including snorkeling among colorful reef fish, diving and swimming with dolphins, as well as beach volleyball, archery, rock climbing and even Spanish lessons. There are five swimming pools, kids’ play areas and all sorts of kid-friendly and adult-friendly entertainment options. The huge rooms and suites come with as many as three bedrooms, most of which include whirlpools, while the Sky Suites offer private terraces with outdoor living and dining areas.
This Fairmont resort sits along a luxurious stretch of powdery white sands just north of Playa del Carmen, tucked within 240 acres of tropical forest. The guest rooms and suites all feature tropical-inspired decor, large soaking tubs and high-end toiletries. The property is adjacent to the PGA Championship El Camaleón golf course, making it popular with golfers, but it offers plenty to do of its own, with the world-class Willow Stream Spa, three onsite restaurants and a variety of excursions and activities included in rates. Enjoy guided catamaran tours, use of snorkeling gear, stand-up paddle boards, boogie boards, sand toys and beach balls as well as beach competitions, games and volleyball. Kids from 4 through 12 can look forward to spending their days making origami souvenirs or pinatas.
The Hilton Playa del Carmen boasts a downtown location with easy access to area bars, shops and restaurants along Fifth Avenue and the beach. This adults-only resort overlooks the Caribbean and features more than 500 all-suite accommodations, including beachfront and swim-up suites. All of the spacious suites are outfitted with private terraces, patios or balconies and two-person Jacuzzis. Enjoy lounging around the tranquil relaxation pool or swimming in the Olympic-sized lap pool, kayaking, rooftop tennis, snorkeling and more. There are 10 restaurants and bars serving international cuisine along with 24-hour room service.