Everyone loves Playa del Carmen. It is one of Mexico’s top destinations and has everything you are looking for in your tropical beach vacation. Just 45 minutes down the coast from the crowded Cancun beachfront, you will find a more reserved vibe with white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea with the jungle just behind. 

Set in the heart of the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen was once a fishing village known as Xaman Há and has been transformed into a cosmopolitan beach town with world-class culinary options and almost any activity you can think of to do on the water, beach, or in the jungle. Of course, with all of the very best of land and sea, you have some of the most exquisite hotels in Mexico. Here are our top 5 hotels in the tropical paradise.  

1 — Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen

aerial view of the hotel along the white sand beach and turquoise water with green lawns and palm tress
Photo: Courtesy of Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen

An all-inclusive resort nested between the Yucatán jungle and the Caribbean Sea, Grand Velas Riviera Maya goes above and beyond the luxury experience. From a host of renowned chefs preparing gourmet cuisine to revitalizing holistic spa treatments and everything in between, you can take comfort in knowing that you will find what you seek at this resort.

Highlights—award-winning spa, 3 unique all-inclusive luxury experiences, excursions to underwater caves or Mayan ruins, every activity or service you can think of for a wellness retreat to a family vacation and everything in between 

For more information see: rivieramaya.grandvelas.com

2 — Banyan Tree Mayakoba

on the internal canal of the hotel facing the centerpiece tree with a small boat to the left in front of the green plants along the waters edge of the hotel facade
Photo: Courtesy of Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Founded with the core value of driving sustainable development, Banyan Tree Mayakoba carries this concept through its blend of Asian hospitality and Mexican passion into a 5-star resort. Here, where the focus is nature, you can immerse yourself in an ecosystem that boasts indigenous fish, bird species, and all of the tropical flora and fauna that you can experience where the jungle meets the beach in charming Riviera Maya.

Highlights—new beach club, extensive spa offerings, numerous restaurants, championship golf course, private beach, freshwater canals, multiple pools, fitness center, tennis courts, kids club, meetings & events, weddings, sustainability initiatives

For more information see: banyantree.com/en/mexico/mayakoba

3 — Viceroy Riviera Maya

aerial view of the hotel along the beach and turquoise sea with green lawns and palm tress and pool
Photo: Courtesy of Viceroy Riviera Maya

An enchanting location supported by the rainforest of the Riviera Maya behind and the turquoise Caribbean water in front, Viceroy Riviera Maya is a luxury resort that offers the often-needed seclusion in one of its 41 private villas. Here in the lush jungle, you can relax and immerse yourself in nature’s backyard, enjoy the full-service spa, as well as the perfect beach vacation backdrop. 

Highlights—spa, private plunge pools, re-designed restaurant, new pool deck and cabanas, overwater hammocks, diving, windsurfing, meetings & events, weddings 

For more information see: viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/riviera-maya

4 —Mahekal Beach Resort

aerial view of the hotel thatched roofs nestled between palm trees next to the pool
Photo: Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort

Located on the largest stretch of beach in Playa del Carmen, Mahekal Beach Resort is a dreamy place for all who want to get away, explore, and experience authentic Mexican hospitality. Uniquely designed, this resort has outdoor pathways with lush gardens and open-air venues that you will feel like you are always outside in nature no matter the activity.

Highlights—tranquil pools, exquisite dining, luxury accommodations from beach houses to treehouses, unique layout of outdoor pathways, open-air restaurants and venues, any water activity you could imagine including touring ‘cenotes’, in-town beachfront for boutique shopping

For more information see: mahekalbeachresort.com

5 — Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

aerial view of the hotel surrounded by jungle and a canal alongside the pool and hotel houses
Photo: Courtesy of Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya represents the very best of modern Mexico in all its amazing attributes of colors, art, cuisine, and more. Located within the Mayakoba community and inspired by nature with open layouts, this resort’s location set on the aqua blue Caribbean Sea has been recognized as the #1 resort in Mexico by Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards 2020 and rightfully so.  

Highlights—curator program, paddle boarding, kite surfing, yoga, pools, spa, numerous dining choices, golf & school, events, weddings

For more information see: mayakoba.com/hotels/andaz-mayakoba/

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