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- Best Overall: Grand Velas Riviera Maya – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Try three different mini-resorts within the property: one for families, one for romance, and one for zen relaxation."
- Best for Romance: Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Nightly entertainment includes theme parties, live performances, and movies under the stars."
- Best for Luxury: Royal Hideaway Playacar – See Rates at TripAdvisor "In terms of amenities, there are six decadent pools, a spa, a fitness center, and many adventure and tons of water activities."
- Best for Singles: Hilton Playa del Carmen – See Rates at TripAdvisor "There is both a swim-up bar and a tequileria, a cigar club, snorkeling, tennis, cooking classes and live music at this adults-only resort."
- Most Eco-friendly: Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla – See Rates at TripAdvisor "There is a weekly eco-friendly class on the beach in which you can learn about the hotel’s conservation efforts to preserve the natural ecosystem."
- Best for Families: Hotel Xcaret – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Parents can relax in style in one of the 21 spa cabins nestled in natural rock in the jungle."
- Best for Golf: Fairmont Mayakoba – See Rates at TripAdvisor "There are fairways lined with sand dunes and mangroves, and it's all right on the edge of the Caribbean Sea."
- Best Spa: Hotel Blue Diamond Riviera Maya – See Rates at TripAdvisor "A 25,000-square-foot spa as the resort's centerpiece, and it mixes local Mayan philosophy with Asian healing."
Best Overall: Grand Velas Riviera Maya
The Grand Velas Riviera Maya offers three specialized all-inclusive experiences at different mini-resorts within the property: one for families, one for romance, and one for zen relaxation.
The Zen Experience offers 254 suites that are tucked into the jungle for ultimate relaxation, just a short shuttle ride from the main resort. There is a koi pond and two gourmet restaurants. No matter which experience you choose, you’ll have access to the holistic spa, where you can get a 50-minute massage for each night’s stay, or treatments like a citrus body wrap.
The family deal gives access to the Grand Velas Kids' Club for kids four to 12 to enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling, movies, board games, and video games. The adjacent Teens' Club is for ages 13 to 18 and comes with video games, a sound system, disco floor and lights, karaoke and bar with teen-friendly drinks and snacks.
For a more relaxing experience, try the Grand Class Romance deal, choosing from 90 intimate beachfront suites with plunge pools from which to watch the sunset. Grand Class Romance suites come with a private balcony as well and allow access to three different restaurants: Piaf for Parisian cuisine such as roasted duck breast, Bistro for French food like smoke-marinated ribeye steak, and Cocina de Autor for Mexican and Caribbean meals including lamb with honey and masala chai.
Each all-inclusive experience comes with one of the hotel’s luxury suites that feature includes suites that features a Jacuzzi tub, sitting areas and homey amenities along with ocean views from a private terrace. Snorkeling equipment, kayaks, and boogie boards are also available for beach-side fun.
Best for Romance: Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Whether for a destination wedding, honeymoon, or just a couple’s escape, Secrets Maroma Beach knows romance. Touting a AAA Five-Diamond rating on one of the most pristine beaches in Mexico, the hotel offers romantic activities every day from fine dining to live, nightly entertainment, to cocktail classes and dance lessons.
Relax in either of the two swimming pools or the whirlpool, or be more active with activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, mini-golf, tennis, beach and pool volleyball, archery, yoga, or fishing.
Nightly entertainment includes theme parties, live performances, and movies under the stars. The 1,200 square-foot Preferred Honeymoon Suite has a King bed, walk-in closet, private terrace, hydro tub for two, and either an exterior soaking tub on the top floor or swim-out access on the ground floor.
There is limitless access to gourmet dining with no reservations required, and you can dine at eight different restaurants, with highlights like Portofino for Italian cuisine, and Seaside Grill on the beach for fresh-caught seafood.
There are also unlimited top-shelf spirits, natural fruit juices, and soft drinks. The resort’s six different bars provide ample opportunity for you to relax and unwind with a romantic drink, perhaps at Desires, a music lounge, or Showtime, the theater bar.
The hotel also offers complimentary greens fees at three nearby golf courses: the 72-par El Tinto Golf Course, the 18-hole Nick Price designed Grand Coral Riviera Maya Golf Course, and the Greg Norman-designed El Mayakoba Golf Course.
Best for Luxury: Royal Hideaway Playacar
The Royal Hideaway Playacar is known as one of the most detailed and lavish resorts in Playa Del Carmen. With 201 stunning adults-only rooms surrounded by sumptuous gardens, each accommodation comes with cable TV and free Wi-Fi. The most luxurious room, the 1,614 square-foot private villa Presidential Suite, comes with its own dining and living room has mahogany furniture, a hot tub, large LED television, and Apple docking stations. Bathrooms come stocked with either L’Occitane or Bulgari toiletries.
You’ll have access to a private concierge and can interact directly with the acclaimed chef at the Chef’s Table at Ventanas Restaurant, where you’ll be able to dine on unique and creative á la carte dishes. The hotel features five additional restaurants with a la carte options, such as Azia for Japanese and Thai food, or Spices for fresh seafood with Mexican flavors.
In terms of amenities, there are six decadent pools, a spa, a fitness center, and many adventure and water activities like sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing, fishing, water aerobics, and kayaking. A variety of facials, massages, aromatherapy and body wrap treatments can be arranged at the spa, such as beach-side massages, vitamin C skin therapies, and deep skin cleansing.
Best for Singles: Hilton Playa del Carmen
The Hilton Playa del Carmen is just steps from the bustling Fifth Avenue that runs through the center of town, so you’ll have no problem entertaining yourself here or meeting other singles. With markets, homemade local cuisine, and pulsating nightclubs, Fifth Avenue is the most exciting street in all of Playa del Carmen.
At the resort, however, there is both a swim-up bar and a tequileria, a cigar club, snorkeling, tennis, cooking classes and live music at this adults-only resort. On top of that, Zumba and other dance classes are a fun, casual way to meet other guests, and you can explore some of the coral reefs off the Mexican coast with beginner scuba lessons.
The hotel only has suites, all with either a private balcony or terrace and whirlpool tubs, and some rooms are either swim-up or have a beachfront walkout. Wi-Fi is also provided, and rooms come with a pillow menu and plush robes so you can get the exact comfort you need.
For the ultimate in relaxation, a deep tissue massage at the soothing SPAzul can melt any ache or pain.
Seven gourmet restaurants mean you’ll never get bored with the food choices, and there are unlimited drinks on-site to make social activities livelier. Head to Asiana for Asian fusion food, or go to Trade Winds for a refreshing cocktail.
Most Eco-friendly: Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla
On a private bay with pristine beaches and a well-preserved mangrove coastline, the Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla lives up to its name. One of the benefits of a stay here is that the hotel is focused on sustainability with the natural surroundings, and there is a weekly eco-friendly class on the beach in which you can learn about the hotel’s conservation efforts to preserve the natural ecosystem.
The resort’s stress-free environment has two full-time staff members dedicated specifically to your enjoyment of the resort, from aromatherapy experiences, to music, to lighting. Activities include volleyball, stretching, Pilates, spinning, meditation, water aerobics, and water volleyball.
If you need to recover after a night out, the 19,267-square-foot YHI Spa should do the trick. It’s a full-service beauty salon with fourteen massage cabins and wet and dry saunas. There, you can get a hot stone massage or hydrotherapy treatment, before stepping into the beauty salon for a haircut or pedicure.
Since the resort is adults-only, there are ample ways to try some of the best alcohol in the region, and the hotel offers tequila sampling workshops and wine-tasting events. Indeed, there is no lack of food and drink, with 14 world-class restaurants and 16 bars. Try Mexican food at the award-winning Fuego, or if you’re in the mood for Italian trattoria-style cuisine, try Olio, which sits next to one of the resort’s largest pools.
All rooms at the resort have balconies or terraces that provide vistas of the dense tropical surroundings. The suites come with rainfall showers and deep soaking tubs, so you can rest and recover in the comfort of your own room.
Best for Families: Hotel Xcaret
Many families come to the Playa del Carmen area specifically to visit the adventure parks, which offer thrills like zip-lining and water slides. Hotel Xcaret is the ideal choice for accommodation because it includes unlimited access to the parks Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xenses, Xoximilco, and Xenotes and Xichén Tours. There is even transportation provided every thirty minutes to and from the hotel, and also to and from the hotel to the parks Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego and Xenses.
Families with older children should try to stay in the Swim Up Garden rooms that have direct access to a pool, and come with a relaxing hammock, a Jacuzzi, and a balcony.
The resort shines when it comes to Sunday Brunch, with over 70 gourmet specialties, live music, and kids’ activities. Kids will also love the Bistro food at Cantina Los Faroles, while parents will enjoy the Michelin-starred Mexican cuisine of Ha’.
Parents can relax in style in one of the 21 spa cabins nestled in natural rock in the jungle. One of the most popular treatments is the hydrotherapy ritual, a circuit that includes a dip in a Jacuzzi, a recreational pool, a sauna, a steam room, a cold-water tub, and a hot-water tub.
Best for Golf: Fairmont Mayakoba
Fairmont Mayakoba’s 240 acres and plentiful pools and ocean space are sure to impress, but it’s the golf that is the main attraction here. Enthusiasts of all skill levels can take on the 18-hole par 72 El Camaleón golf course with over 7,000 yards all designed by golf legend Greg Norman. There are fairways lined with sand dunes and mangroves, hazards such as four cenotes and crystal-clear lagoons, and greens right on the edge of the Caribbean Sea.
All golf carts are equipped with advanced GPS yardage and golfer assistance systems. Golfers can keep score electronically, monitor scores in other groups and even order food and beverages from their cart, thanks to the state-of-the-art equipment available.
The Mayakoba is home to the first and only Jim McLean Golf School in Mexico, which has a three-bay SuperStation. Students benefit from the latest technology in golf analysis computer software as well as highly personalized instruction programs.
While parents golf, kids can play in the Discovery Club Adventure Camp, where kids aged five to 11 can learn about the Mayan jungle, and the animals and plant life within it through fun arts and crafts projects.
If you’ve done enough golfing, there are plentiful activities at the resort, including a runner’s club, kitesurfing, and catamaran tours, so you’ll never be bored. Guests can also participate in a daily happy hour, and the resort’s Willow Stream Spa offers hot stone massages and facials.
Fairmont Mayakoba’s 401 guest rooms – including 34 suites – are set back from the sea and intertwine harmoniously with the forest and lagoons that speckle the property. The hotel is rated as a AAA 5-Diamond resort, and rooms live up to that esteem, with all rooms including elegant furnishings, a full refreshment center, and flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms have luxurious soaking tubs for you to relax and recover after a day at the links.
Best Spa: Hotel Blue Diamond Riviera Maya
Built along riverways, a Mayan Cenote and the Caribbean Sea, the Blue Diamond has 128 suites constructed from limestone and wood, all featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. Suites come with either a private terrace, an ocean-view rooftop deck with sun chairs, or a private pool, while more luxurious beachfront casitas have a rooftop infinity pool.
The resort has a 25,000 square-foot spa as its centerpiece, mixing local Mayan philosophy with Asian healing practices. Choose from manicures, pedicures, aromatherapy, body scrubs, wraps, and massages, or just hang out and lounge in the sauna or outdoor relaxation pool. For a bit more activity, yoga is offered, as is a fitness center with kinesis equipment. For the ultimate in relaxation and for a touch of local culture, you should definitely request the Temazcal ceremony where you will be guided through a heated massage by a traditional shaman.
With four restaurants and two bars, you won’t run out of dining options soon. Try Aguamarina Restaurant for á la carte international cuisine or Ceviche for a tapas bar experience.
Complimentary classes include wine tastings, cooking classes, and Spanish lessons, and horseback riding and helicopter tours are available at an additional charge. You’ll receive one free scuba or snorkel lesson and one dive or snorkel tour.