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9 Top-Rated Resorts in Playa del Carmen

Written by Freddy Sherman
Sep 12, 2019

Playa del Carmen is Mexico's boutique Caribbean resort destination, offering a more authentic experience than its larger neighbor, Cancun. It combines the powdery, white sand and warm, gentle aquamarine water of the Caribbean with the hospitality and flavors of Mexico.

Playa del Carmen has an excellent mix of resorts to fit every taste and budget. Some may prefer a large, all-inclusive resort like the Fairmont Mayakoba with so many things to see, do, and eat you may never want to leave the property. Other visitors like a more intimate, boutique experience like that found at the Belmond Maroma Resort with only 63 rooms and suites.

Most visitors to Playa del Carmen fly into Cancun (CUN), which is only 40 minutes away by car. Find the best place to stay when you arrive with our list of the top resorts in Playa del Carmen.

1. Royal Hideaway Playacar

Photo Source: Royal Hideaway Playacar

The Royal Playa Del Carmen is a large adults-only, all-inclusive beachfront resort. The resort's 200 rooms and suites are in 11 villa buildings located around a large pool deck, right next to the beach. They're very modern, with a classic style, and feature hardwood furniture, marble floors, and spa-like marble bathrooms.

All your non-motorized water sports and organized sports activities are included. This includes things like basketball, beach volleyball, and tennis. You can also try kayaking, windsurfing, or snorkeling-it's all included. Scuba diving and deep sea fishing excursions are also available at an extra fee.

There are six restaurants at the Royal Hideaway Playacar, most are buffet-style. You can also order room service 24 hours a day. Culinary upgrades like chef's table dining are also available. The resort even has a dinner theater with nightly entertainment.

Address: Lote Hotelero No. 6, Playa del Carmen 77710 Mexico

Accommodation: Royal Hideaway Playacar

2. Fairmont Mayakoba

Photo Source: Fairmont Mayakoba

The Fairmont Mayakoba is a luxurious, five-star beachfront family resort set within a 240-acre luxury development. One of only 16 resorts in the Caribbean to achieve the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award status, the Fairmont offers the complete luxury beach vacation experience. You can book your stay as all-inclusive or room only. There are 401 rooms and suites at the resort along with beach and lagoon-front casitas.

One of the big draws for the Fairmont is golf, the resort is next to the El Camaleon Golf Course, home of Mexico's only PGA TOUR event. Aside from golf, there are many things to do, starting with the beautiful beach. You can relax and enjoy the sun or try exploring the ocean in a kayak or sailing around on a catamaran. The Fairmont has a lot of nature trails, which can be explored on foot or on one of the resort's loaner BMW mountain bikes.

You might also spend the day at the Willow Stream Spa, one of the largest hotel spas in Playa del Carmen.

Dining options include three different restaurants. La Laguna offers classic Mexican cuisine. El Puerto showcases Latin/Asian fusion food, and Brisas is their oceanfront, fine-dining grill with ocean-to-table seafood.

Address: Carretera Federal Cancun | Km 298, Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

Accommodation: Fairmont Mayakoba

3. Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

Photo Source: Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

This luxury boutique resort is part of Belmond, the luxury hotel company formerly known as Orient Express. There are only 63 rooms and suites, ensuring each guest receives truly personal attention.

For fun, there are three different swimming pools, two tennis courts, and the full range of beach and water sports. The resort can also set up dive and other excursions, including unique things like cenote snorkeling. The Maroma is kid- and family-friendly, with kid's menus at the restaurants and a lot of activities. There's a Discovery Club play area with things to do and an Adventure Camp with all-day supervised activities (so mom and dad can get some alone time).

There are two main restaurants, El Restaurante serves homestyle Mexican food, and El Sol is an ocean grill with a Yucatan-specific menu. You can book your stay with an all-inclusive dining plan or as room only. Belmond Maroma also has an award-winning spa with a menu of treatments to soothe your skin, body, and mind.

Address: Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Km 51, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

Accommodation: Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

4. Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

Photo Source: Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

Although its name says Cancun, this all-inclusive, adults-only resort is in Playa del Carmen. There are 291 guest rooms and suites, all finished in a Mediterranean style. Each room has luxurious touches like a four-poster bed, a marble bathroom with a whirlpool tub and separate shower, and a furnished balcony or patio. There's even an unlimited (non-alcoholic) mini-bar in your suite, refreshed each day with an assortment of water, juices, and soda. Free Wi-Fi and unlimited phone calls to the U.S. and Canada are also included.

Secrets Capri Riviera offers guests all kinds of things to do, in addition to the usual list of beach and water fun. You can take a cooking class, learn Spanish, take a yoga or pilates class, do some archery or skeet shooting, play beach or pool volleyball, play tennis or soccer, and even learn to salsa dance. If all that wasn't enough, you get complimentary rounds of golf at a nearby club.

There are seven unique dining options at the resort, including a 24-hour café and 24-hour room service. There is also nightly entertainment, including musical performances and dancing. They also have movies under the stars, and group activities like karaoke night and talent shows.

Carretera Federal 387, Cancun Km. 299, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

Accommodation: Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun

5. Gran Velas Riviera Maya

Photo Source: Gran Velas Riviera Maya

This resort is the only all-inclusive family resort in the Caribbean to achieve AAA Five Diamond status. The all-suite resort offers three different all-inclusive experiences with three different types of accommodations, each of which is aimed at a different type of guest.

The Grand Class Experience is aimed at couples and offers a more luxurious, oceanfront vacation. The Ambassador Experience is great for families, as you get accommodations near the kid and teen clubs and also near the beach. The Zen Grand Experience is a more luxurious stay for families.

The Gran Velas Riviera Maya is right on the beach, about five minutes from the downtown Playa del Carmen area. At the beach, snorkeling, kayaks, and boogie boards are all provided for you. Other gear and equipment can be rented.

There are five signature restaurants to choose from plus a beachfront buffet. The restaurants each offer a different type of cuisine including French, Mexican, Italian, Asian (mainly Chinese), and Japanese (sushi). A tip: make reservations for your desired specialty restaurants immediately on arrival, as space can fill up quickly. Also, most of the restaurants, except the Azul buffet, have dress codes in the evening, so pack accordingly.

Carretera Cancun Tulum Km 62, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

Accommodation: Grand Velas Riviera Maya

6. Newport House Playa Del Carmen

Photo Source: Newport House Playa Del Carmen

If you're willing to forego a beachfront location, you can find some incredible deals on very upscale accommodations in the Riviera Maya. The Newport House Playa del Carmen is a few blocks from the beach and is a combination condo and boutique hotel.

There are 15 apartments that really feel residential. Each is very stylish and unique, with cool touches like custom handmade furniture and original photographic prints by a local photographer. These are luxury units with full modern kitchens, central air, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and two smart TVs. Some units even have washers and dryers. The Newport House has a rooftop pool with day beds providing an excellent location to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

It's a great place to stay for visitors who want to explore the town of Playa del Carmen, as you're only a block from the shopping and dining of the 5th Avenue area. You can borrow beach cruiser bikes to get there or to the beach (or rent longboard skateboards). They will supply all the beach toys you need, and the white sands of Coco Beach are about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Guests get access to the Canibal Royale beach club there.

Address: 10 Avenida Norte | Manzana 141, Lote 1, Colonia Zazil-Ha, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

Accommodation: Newport House Playa del Carmen

7. Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Photo Source: Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Perhaps the ultimate all-inclusive family resort in the Riviera Maya, the Hotel Xcaret Mexico is part of the X-world. There are multiple nature parks, eco-adventures, theme parks, and tourist attractions, all part of the same company (Grupo Xcaret), and all with names beginning with "X."

A stay at this all-inclusive resort gets you free access to all the various nature parks and attractions. The parks are Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xoximilco, and Xenses. You can get deluxe tours at their two tourist attractions, Xenotes (cenote tour) and Xichen (Chichen Itza and Mayan ruins tour), with round-trip transportation included. The all-inclusive package at Hotel Xcaret is so complete, it even covers airport transportation.

The hotel is all-suite, and the views vary between beach, jungle, pool, and ocean. The accommodations have a modern, Mexican style with beautiful spa bathrooms. The hotel has lagoons running through the property, and you can kayak or stand up paddleboard around them. The resort also has several swimming pools and its own stretch of semi-private beach.

There are 10 different dining options offering various cuisines from around the globe. All the dining is overseen by Carlos Gaytan, Mexico's first chef to receive a Michelin star.

Address: Road Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km. 282, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

Accommodation: Hotel Xcaret Mexico

8. Rosewood Mayakoba

Photo Source: Rosewood Mayakoba

Another luxury hotel in the Mayakoba luxury development, the Rosewood focuses on delivering a unique, personal vacation experience for every guest. The all-suite accommodations are in pavilion-like structures, set around winding lagoons. Each modern suite has a private plunge pool of some type, along with oversized terraces and an outdoor shower. Many have little docks, so you can take boats around the resort via the system of lagoons. The resort also has very luxurious private residences for rent, also located along the lagoons.

There are six different dining environments, each offering a unique perspective on a certain cuisine. There's even an outdoor Mayan restaurant using traditional cooking techniques and only locally sourced ingredients.

The Rosewood has a very luxurious spa, focused on wellness. An Ayurveda program is also available. The nearby private beach offers all kinds of water sports, as well as a beach club with lounging and dining areas. You might want to play a round of golf on the championship golf course, which is part of the Mayakoba development. There's also an excellent children's program of activities.

Address: Ctra. Federal Cancun, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

Accommodation: Rosewood Mayakoba

9. Playacar Palace

Photo Source: Playacar Palace

This popular beachfront resort is in the heart of Playa del Carmen near the Cozumel ferry dock. There are 201 rooms and suites, with a very modern, chic design. Each room has marble floors, smart TVs, a marble bathroom with a whirlpool tub, and premium bath amenities. Go for one of the walk-out suites, beachfront accommodations that allow you to walk out of your room onto the sand. The smoke-free resort also gives you free high-speed, in-room Wi-Fi and free phone calls to the U.S. and Canada.

The beach is wide, with soft white sand and warm water. Any and all non-motorized beach activities and the gear needed are all included. Things like water hammocks, snorkeling gear, rafts, SUPs, kayaks, and more. Other things like Jet Skis can be rented at the beach.

Dining options at Playacar Palace include Cafe Del Mar, the resort's buffet restaurant, which is open all day; Momo serves teppanyaki; and Bocelli has an Italian menu. There's an active nightlife scene at the resort with nightly entertainment and dancing.

As a guest of a Palace resort, you get complimentary access to six other Riviera Maya Palace resorts and all their facilities. Those resorts are Moon Palace Cancun, Beach Palace, Sun Palace, Cozumel Palace, or Isla Mujeres. A good use of this would be to take the ferry to Cozumel for the day, where you could hang out at Cozumel Palace (use the beach and eat).

Address: Bahia Del Espiritu Santo, Playa del Carmen 77710 Mexico

Accommodation: Playacar Palace

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Things to Do: If you are looking for things to do off the beach and away from the resorts, have a look through our list of day trips from Playa del Carmen. Some of the highlights in include Chichen Itza, Tulum, cenotes, and maybe a visit to nearby Cancun.

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