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The heart of the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen boasts 75 miles of shoreline along the Caribbean, with seductive beaches, cenotes, and theme parks. Visitors can enjoy a highly walkable downtown with unspoiled sands just north, providing some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving. You’ll find many outstanding accommodation options to choose from, including some sprawling all-inclusive resorts, but if you’re looking for something more intimate and personal, consider one of these fabulous boutique hotels.
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Nestled in the Mayan rainforest on one of the most iconic stretches of white sandy beach, La Casa de la Playa is a luxury adults-only boutique hotel. Part of the Xcaret group of hotels, it’s an all-inclusive that provides unlimited access to exclusive activities and transportation to all parks of Grupo Xcaret. That includes everything from flying above the treetops on a zipline to snorkeling and descending to caves and underground rivers. There’s an infinity pool and posh spa on-site along with three high-end restaurants and four bars. The seriously upscale suites feature terraces with private pools and hammocks, SmarTVs, Nespresso machines, and 24/7 butler service.
La Pasión Hotel Boutique is located just across from the town square. It boasts a quieter atmosphere as compared to the majority of hotels, but you can be at the beach within 15 minutes on foot. There’s lots of greenery in the center of the property which surrounds the pool and a hot tub along with a spa are for treatments that can also be enjoyed in-room. Enticing indoor and outdoor spaces are ideal for lounging, and there are a variety of tastings that are serve-yourself featuring wine and tequila. The rooms all include flat-screen TVs and A/C, with Pool Plus rooms offering picturesque views and deep-soaking tubs.
The Palm at Playa is located in the heart of town, surrounded by local shops and eateries, although there are on-site restaurants serving tasty signature dishes too. The rooftop area is the highlight, with impressive views that look out toward Cozumel, a small spa with treatments focused on Mayan traditions, a modern gym, an infinity pool, and a hot tub. At the Roof Club bar, enjoy happy hours twice every day and on the weekends, it becomes a light-night club complete with DJs. Bike rentals are available when you want to explore and the front desk has complimentary beach towels for visiting its partner beach clubs.
Nestled in a rainforest setting, the Viceroy Riviera Maya offers rustic villas with lots of luxurious touches and private patios with heated plunge pools. Partially canopied beds with fine Egyptian linens, Italian linen bathrobes, and huge fluffy towels are all provided along with butler service, complete with romantic turndown service on the last night with items like incense, flickering lanterns, and rose petals. The beach is mostly made up of white powdery sands that edge clear turquoise waters, and the pool, surrounded by landscaped terraces, offers a sea view. A variety of dining options are available, including the open-air restaurant with casual dining on homemade, wood-fired pizzas during the day and local seafood and grilled steaks for dinner.
Located along Quinta Avenida, known for its many shops and eateries, Thompson Playa del Carmen is just a two-minute walk from the beach and guests enjoy access to its sister property’s beach club, Thompson Beach House. The rooftop is the highlight here, with an infinity pool, a swim-up bar, and magnificent views. There are sunbeds, in-water loungers, round padded beds, day beds, and private cabanas available for rent that include a gourmet minibar, bottle service, and waitstaff. Two restaurants are on-site, offering dining with a panoramic sea and city view. Live DJ sets make it a popular nightlife destination too. Rooms feature glass sliding doors that open to private furnished balconies. All have stocked minibars, flat-screen TVs, chic bathrooms, plush robes, and complimentary bottled water.
Located on a breathtaking 50-acre, Mediterranean-style estate between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Hotel Esencia sits on a two-mile stretch of white sandy-sand beach with clear blue waters and thatched cabanas. With few other hotels here, it’s never crowded. Bar service is available and snorkeling gear is complimentary. Other activities include swimming in the sea or one of the pools with family and adults-only options, fishing, and diving lessons. The organic spa is a highlight, with pampering treatments that include local ingredients along with cold water immersion pits, hot whirlpools, and Maya-style steam rooms. Dining is outstanding, featuring Mesoamerican fare made with fresh, local ingredients, while the rooms include many upscale amenities, some even have private plunge pools.
Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is an upscale boutique hotel that is tucked between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelo, boasting a gorgeous setting on pristine white sands in a jungle preserve. Carved out of a coconut grove, this top-rated Mexican resort has an exclusive vibe with three palm-fringed swimming pools and a destination spa with a menu of ancient Mayan rituals. Activities like snorkeling, diving, golfing, and touring Mayan sites can all be arranged while delicious dining starts with a generous free breakfast and can end with traditional Mexican dishes. The rooms and suites are open and airy with traditional Mexican decor and standard amenities that include 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, and minibars. Book an oceanfront one-bedroom and you’ll get a plunge pool.
Acanto offers an upscale retreat just off the hub of La Quinta Avenida. More of a self-catering option, it hosts spacious condo-style units, including two- and three-bedroom options, all with private outdoor spaces and kitchens. There is no restaurant on-site, but you’ll be steps away from many dining options while being able to prepare some of your own meals too. While it’s not beachfront, the beach is a long block away and there is a small landscaped pool right on-site. A spa is located next door and a fitness center is right around the corner.
Aventura is a friendly and chic hotel with a homey feel. It has two separate areas, one for adults-only and another for families, with an outstanding full-service restaurant that offers a free continental breakfast serving as the meeting point. There are two pools and a non-heated whirlpool, a yoga studio, a spa palapa, and a weekly market. The most unique features are the yoga classes, which are donation based, and the market with local vendors. Rooms have flat-screen TVs and minifridges. Some include a small terrace or balcony that overlooks the pool and gardens. Guests also enjoy access to beach clubs for sunbathing on the powdery white sands.
Hotel Le Reve hosts just over a dozen secluded rooms that overlook the lush jungle or the Caribbean. Located 15 minutes north of central Playa del Carmen, the uncrowded beach offers plenty of space for soaking up the sun and the sand with the tranquility unmatched. The infinity pool zig-zags down to the sea, providing a seamless transition while the dining is top-notch. Merlot Restaurant and Bar serves an a la carte breakfast along with lunch and dinner for foodie-worthy meals, including fresh grilled lobster. Cooking classes, a kids’ club, and a massage treatment area are all available too, while the variety of room options include units with two bedrooms, beachfront swim-up villas, and ocean view master suites.
Located just a few blocks from the beach in central Playa del Carmen, Be Playa is an adults-only boutique hotel with a rooftop that has a pool and snack bar where you can relax with a panoramic view over the city and the sea. Pool parties, DJ sets, and live music are all hosted here. The Sushi Club restaurant serves a tasty free breakfast, along with lunch and dinner options, including fresh sushi. There are lots of antiques throughout, while rooms feature ultra-comfy beds, free bottled water, flat-screen TVs, minibars, iPod docks, and balconies.
Located in the El Marlyn Azul area of Playa Del Carmen, a few miles from the center of town, Mvngata Boutique Hotel is an upscale boutique hotel that is jam-packed with facilities, complete with a beautiful palm tree-fringed private beach area. Enjoy drinks at the beach club or on the rooftop, both with spectacular views, or bliss out at the spa with a massage, facial, or traditional ritual that can be enjoyed in a beach palapa with the sounds of the waves. There are multiple dining options, including an oceanfront rooftop eatery, along with renowned DJs and expert mixologists who prepare personalized cocktails. The wide variety of room options all include butler service, minibars, and furnished outdoor space with hammocks and magnificent views.
Just a block from famous Fifth Avenue, a pedestrianized avenue with restaurants, bars, art galleries, boutiques, and shops selling handcrafted goods, Hacienda Paradise enjoys a quiet corner for relaxation with an outdoor pool, lush tropical gardens, and a spa. A health-conscious continental breakfast buffet is served every morning along with tasty lunches and dinners, enjoyed in a palapa next to the pool. Rooms are extra spacious and include minibars or minifridges, comfy beds, and free Wi-Fi. The Master Suite is a top pick with a large balcony, separate living room and bedroom with two flat-screen cable TVs, DVD players, and luxe bathrooms with whirlpool tubs.