Tropical Paradise Dreams Come True at the 10 Best Beach Clubs in Cancun

By Kristin Busse, Cancún Local Expert

Like a scene from a movie set in a tropical paradise, these beach clubs in the Cancun area boast sand, sun, aqua blue waters, clear swimming pools, swings at the bar, beach beds, ice cold cerveza and fruity concoctions. Spending a day at a beach club is different from spending a day at your resort. Some of these settings provide a more relaxing beach experience, while some feature DJs and are trendy and hip. Since Cancun and the surrounding area have some of the best beaches in the world, what better place to live out your tropical dreams than a Cancun beach club?

What exactly is a beach club? It's a privately owned bar/restaurant open to the public that is, well, on the beach. Imagine Tom Cruise in Cocktail bartending in Jamaica. We're talking relaxing fun in the sun with music and cocktails.

The two most popular beach clubs in Cancun are The Beach Club at ME Cancun and Mandala Beach. There are many beach clubs on Isla Mujeres, a small, lazy island located off the coast of Cancun. Take the ferry over and spend the day at one. Tulum arguably has some of the most beautiful beaches not only Mexico, but in the world, and its bohemian beach clubs allow you to enjoy them to the fullest.

A day spent at one of these beach clubs is a day in paradise that you will fondly remember on a chilly winter day.

10. Kool Beach Club
Photo courtesy of Kool Beach Club Facebook

Kool Beach Club is well, one of the coolest places to spend the day in Playa del Carmen. Open since 1995 (formerly Playa Tukan), guests of Kool Beach Club enjoy lounge chairs and umbrellas, a swimming pool, a menu of international dishes and cocktails, a DJ and of course the white sand beach and turquoise blue Caribbean Sea. Kool Beach Club can be reserved for weddings, birthday celebrations, anniversaries or private events. Day passes include lounge chairs or beach beds, an umbrella and the price of the day pass towards food and drinks. Oh, and clean restrooms!

9. Akiin Beach Tulum
Photo courtesy of Akiin Beach Tulum

Tulum is a relaxed bohemian beach town located 2 hours south of Cancun by car. Imagine a spectacular white sand beach, the aqua blue Caribbean Sea and swaying palm trees straight out of your dreams. Now add tropical drinks and local fare to the picture and you're at rustic yet elegant Akiin Beach Club. Lounge on a beach bed and order refreshing drinks and gourmet Mexican and International food from their extensive menu. Feel good about your choice considering Akiin's commitment to protecting the environment. If you are engaged to be married consider Akiin for an unforgettable wedding on the beach.

8. El Paraiso Tulum Beach Club
Photo courtesy of Playa Paraiso Beach Club

Tulum boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Enjoy it fully only a kilometer from the Tulum Mayan ruins site at El Paraiso Tulum Hotel and Beach Club. Arrive at 9 am when they open and spend the day on a lounge chair, sun bed or a hammock. Order drinks and food from the bar/restaurant and enjoy happy hour at sunset. This is a perfect day! If you don't want to leave, you can also stay at El Paraiso in one of their 10 rooms which feature air conditioning, two double beds, private bathrooms, mosquito nets, plasma TV with satellite television, wireless internet access, hot and cold water and no electricity in the morning (Tulum is an eco-friendly destination).

7. Paradise Beach Cozumel
Photo courtesy of Paradise Beach Cozumel Facebook Page

Paradise Beach is a lot of fun for the whole family, whether you want to relax or play all day. If you feel like playing an 18 usd fun pass will give you unlimited time with tons of fun activities, including kayaks, snorkel gear, water trampolines, floating water mats, a bungee trampoline jump, water slides, floating climbing structures, and paddle boards. They have free internet and computers you can use at the bar and boutiques for shopping. Get a massage, a henna tattoo, or braids. If you feel like relaxing, take it easy at the swim-up pool bar or on a lounge chair. People, this is the king of all beach clubs.

6. La Playa Xpu-Ha
Photo courtesy of La Playa Xpu-Ha Facebook Page

This beach club is a well-kept secret located about 60 miles south of Cancun. You'll have to pay a local family a few pesos to lift the rope so that you can drive down the dirt road which leads to La Playa, but if you spend at least 12 USD per person they will refund your money when you leave. Features include showers, lockers, hammocks, beach umbrellas, a beach volleyball court, palapas, lounge chairs, and everyone's favorite, bar swings. The beach is located in a protected cove-like area so the water is quite calm. Saturdays and Sundays there is live music starting at 2:30 pm.

5. Luxury Beach Club
Photo courtesy of Luxury Beach Club Facebook

Luxury Beach Club is affiliated with the now closed Fenix Lounge, and is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Playa Norte or North Beach, on the tiny island of Isla Mujeres, off the coast of Cancun. Located on the corner of the northernmost point of the island, Luxury Beach Club offers a calm beach for swimming, the most amazing view of the turquoise Caribbean, and full menu that includes appetizers, salads, soups, snacks, tacos, ceviches and aguachiles, seafood and a full drink menu. Eat on your lounge chairs or in the bar/restaurant. Luxury Beach Club is a great place to hold a beach wedding and reception.

4. Zama Beach Club
Photo courtesy of Zama Beach Facebook Page

Zama is the most exclusive beach club on Isla Mujeres. The ambiance is relaxed yet elegant, with beach beds that invite you to spend the entire day lounging around and drinking fruity cocktails. Their restaurant features "island cuisine: a little AfroAntillean, a little Mexican and a little Mayan". Zama is also a yacht club and holds private events like weddings and banquets. If you don't care to swim in the azure waters of the Caribbean, slip into the infinity pool or one of their 3 Jaccuzis. There are nice restrooms and showers if you'd like to rinse off before heading back to your hotel.

3. Unico Beach
Photo courtesy of Unico Beach Facebook

Unico Beach is in the charming town of Puerto Morelos, which is located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. This fun beach club has swings at the bar and offers a full food and drink menu and live music in the afternoons Thursday through Sunday. Snorkeling tours, massages and a small shop are other available services. You can also get married at Unico Beach! They open each morning at 9:30 am. Ask what the minimum consumption amount is to avoid paying a fee for umbrellas and lounge chairs.

2. Mamita's Beach Club
Photo courtesy of Mamita's Beach Club Facebook Page

Playa del Carmen is home to many beach clubs, but the most popular one is Mamitas. Named for the owner's beloved grandmother, it has been open since 2000. After being destroyed by hurricane Wilma in 2005, this popular spot for both locals and tourists came back stronger than ever. Services include a full bar, a restaurant with an extensive international menu, a lounge/snack bar, massages, valet parking, a beach volleyball court and a boutique. Enjoy all this and more while relaxing on beach beds or lounge chairs on a white sand beach, listening to the latest music and gazing at the aqua blue Caribbean Sea. Mamitas is also known for hosting Djs and holding music events.

1. Mandala Beach
Photo courtesy of Cabana Beach Club Facebook Page

This is the official beach club of The City and Mandala, two of the most popular nightclubs in Cancun. It is also one of the few beach clubs that is open to the public in the Cancun Hotel Zone. There are waiters that serve food and drinks to the many beach beds and lounge chairs. There is also a fabulous view of one of Cancun's best beaches. During the day there is generally relaxed atmosphere (except maybe during Spring Break) and at night Mandala Beach holds very popular pool parties. It is very easy to arrive by bus or taxi and there is even a parking lot that is very inexpensive.