10 Top-Rated Resorts in Playa del Carmen
Author Meagan Drillinger spends several months each year in Mexico, visiting towns, cities, and resorts throughout the country.
Playa del Carmen has exploded from a sleepy, boutique beachfront destination to one of the top Caribbean getaways. Though certainly more of a city than Cancun's Hotel Zone, Playa del Carmen still combines the powdery, white sand beaches and warm, gentle aquamarine water of the Caribbean, giving travelers a "best of both worlds" experience of city and beach.
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. Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Accommodation: Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Cushioned between mangrove forest and the Caribbean Sea, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is truly one of the best resorts in Playa del Carmen, if not all of Mexico. The AAA Five Diamond resort is a luxury beach destination through and through. Part of the exclusive Mayakoba complex (which includes three other luxury resorts), Banyan Tree Mayakoba blends a minimalist chic design with a decidedly tropical vibe.
Rooms at Banyan Tree Mayakoba consist of villas and suites, many of which have their own private pools. Some rooms overlook the lush mangrove lagoon, where it's not uncommon to catch sightings of beautiful wildlife like birds, fish, or turtles. Other rooms are beachfront with direct access to the powdery, soft sand. Even more impressive are the residences, which offer even more space if groups or families are traveling together.
The sprawling grounds have many places to play or to seek tranquility. Banyan Tree Spa is one of the highlights of this resort, with a long menu of treatments that are performed by Thai-trained therapists.
Banyan Tree is a Thai-based brand, and there are Thai touches throughout, including the signature restaurant, Saffron, which is a must. Book a table that overlooks the lagoon for an outdoor dining experience that is beyond romantic. Bug spray is a must, though.
Other dining options include Italian restaurant, Cello, and Oriente, which serves breakfast and lunch. Tomahawk Open Fire Latin Grill is the resort's steakhouse, while La Copa serves Mexican cuisine. Guests of the resort have access to the other restaurants at the other three hotels, as well.
Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juárez KM 298 Riviera Maya, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
2. Royal Hideaway Playacar
Accommodation: 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
3. Fairmont Mayakoba
Accommodation: 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
4. Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa
Accommodation: Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa
Note: Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa closed temporarily for renovations, and set a reopening date for late May 2023.
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
5. Gran Velas Riviera Maya
Accommodation: Grand 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
6. Newport House Playa Del Carmen
Accommodation: 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
7. Hotel Xcaret Mexico
Accommodation: 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
8. Rosewood Mayakoba
Accommodation: 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
9. Playacar Palace
Accommodation: 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
10. Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Accommodation: Hotel Riu Palace Mexico
Facing a pretty stretch of beach in Playa del Carmen, the Riu Palace Mexico is located on a residential estate that includes four other properties by the same brand. The Riu Palace is the most luxurious of the resorts within this complex, and its guests have access to the other resorts, but they do not have access to this property, giving it a more exclusive vibe.
An all-inclusive property, Riu Palace is family friendly and offers a range of rooms and suites, including options if you are traveling with kids. Other child-focused amenities include a kids' club with its own swimming pool, babysitting (for a fee), and opportunities to book family-focused excursions.
There are a number of different dining options on-site cooking up everything from Japanese to Mexican and Italian. Other amenities include multiple swimming pools, a gym, tennis courts, and a spa. There is often live entertainment at night.
Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 1, Condominio Playacar, Playa del Carmen
Best Time to Visit Resorts in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - Historical Climate Averages
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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.