Best Hotels in Playa del Carmen

From Boutique to All-Inclusive: Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels

Playa del Carmen is a charming beach town located about one hour south of Cancun. What was once a fishing village and port to travel to the island of Cozumel is now a bustling tourist destination. "Playa", as locals affectionately call it, hasn't lost its bohemian feel. The international visitors and residents make it a place unlike any other, with restaurants that serve food from all over the globe, shopping, cafes, entertainment, activities and hotels of every size to fit every budget.

For those with a big budget that are looking for a relaxing vacation. Luxury all-inclusive AAA Five Diamond resorts like Rosewood Mayakoba and Grand Velas Riviera Maya are the best of the best.

Other all-inclusives like Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Maya, and The Royal Playa del Carmen are a little bit more accessible as far as price, but still offer a spectacular upscale vacation experience.

If you prefer a more intimate experience, Playa is home to many boutique hotels, some of which offer kitchenettes, a swimming pool and breakfast. Hotel La Semilla, D'Angelos 5th Avenue, Suites Corazon, La Pasion Boutique Hotel are some of the standouts. Staying in a smaller hotel gives visitors the chance to dine in area restaurants

If you're really pinching pennies, a hostel like The Yak is the perfect choice for a stay in Playa del Carmen.


People simply love The Royal Playa del Carmen. It's one of Playa's most popular adult only all-inclusive resorts. You might not want to leave the room, which features garden or ocean views, private balconies or terraces, Jacuzzi for two, pillow menu, large LCD TV with satellite programming, complimentary WiFi, plush bathrobes and slippers, BOSE sound system, bathrooms with luxury amenities and aromatherapy bath menu, a fully-stocked premium mini bar and scheduled housekeeping and turndown service. If you do leave, you'll enjoy fine dining experiences at multiple restaurants and bars, 24 hour room service, an Olympic sized swimming pool that overlooks the Caribbean and endless cocktails and activities.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: People love The Royal Playa del Carmen and return over and over.

Read more about The Royal Playa del Carmen All Inclusive Spa & Resort →

It wouldn't be Playa del Carmen if there weren't hostels. Hostels aren't for light sleepers or those who want a lot of privacy, but they are great for budget travelers who want to meet people. The Yak is located just one block from the ADO bus terminal and Coco Bongo. The Yak provides WiFi, air-conditioning (8 pm-11 am), two full kitchens, breakfast, activities and private and shared rooms for its guests. Private rooms have their own showers. Visitors love the rooftop chilling room and the bar, a great place to start a night on the town in Playa. The partying inside stops at 12 am so the guests who want to can sleep.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: The Yak is safe, very economical and very centrally located.

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When a resort has the AAA Five Diamond endorsement, you know it's the best of the best. Grand Velas Riviera Maya is located just north of Playa del Carmen. This family-friendly resort's motto is "Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare". The cuisine and service at Grand Velas is impeccable. There are three sections, ocean facing Grand Class, just for adults, Ambassador, situated around the main pool with an ocean view, and Zen, which is located in the lush jungle. A shuttle runs between the sections. All guest rooms are suites which feature private terraces, plunge pools, whirlpool tubs, 42" plasma TVs, WiFi and 24-hour room service.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a AAA Five Diamond resort, which means it's the best of the best.

Read more about Grand Velas Riviera Maya - All Inclusive →


Secrets Maroma is a favorite of couples. This adult-only all-inclusive resort is located in the Riviera Maya north of Playa del Carmen. There are things you can always depend on at a Secret's resort, guest rooms with lots of amenities, endless activities, good food and service and a relaxing vacation. Secrets Maroma has the added bonus of resting on what has been named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world; Playa Maroma. Don't plan on waiting in line when you check in, as this is done at private desks. You won't have to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve loungers either, as there are plenty and bonus, they're actually comfortable.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: Secrets Maroma Beach has everything a guest could ask for and is located on a spectacular beach.

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This condo-style hotel is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen on the quieter part of 5th Avenue, just steps from dining, shopping and nightlife. Owned and operated by a Mexican family, there is a pool on the property, and guests get free umbrellas and lounge chairs at Mamita's Beach Club. Kids 12 and under stay free and cribs are available. Most rooms have a fully equipped kitchen and some have a washer and dryer. The WiFi is good and included in your stay. The staff is very helpful with restaurant and other recommendations and guests feel safe as the property has a night guard and is very secure.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: D'Angelos 5th Avenue is a hotel but the fully equipped rooms feel more like condominiums.

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This adults-only resort is located north of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya. This is the nicest of all the Iberostar resorts located in the same complex. The food is very good quality for an all-inclusive resort and the service is excellent as well. Guests love the huge pool that overlooks the Caribbean and is surrounded by hot tubs and has a swim-up pool bar. There are loads of daily and nightly activities. The totally live nightly shows (at many resorts the music and/or voices are recorded) is a highlight. Rooms have all the amenities that travelers are looking for and butlers are available.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso has everything you'd want in an all-inclusive resort.

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Hotel La Semilla, a small B&B, is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen yet is surrounded by lush jungle, cenotes and a Mayan ruin. The hotel only has nine rooms. Most of the furnishings were purchased in Mexican flea markets and haciendas in the nearby state of Yucatan, which gives the place character and charm. All rooms have complementary WiFi, air-conditioning, a safe and toiletries. There are no televisions in the rooms. Breakfast is served daily from 7:30 to 10:30 am at the beautiful "cocina (kitchen) loft". There are two shared areas, a garden and a terrace, where guests can relax. The beach is only a short walk away.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: Hotel La Semilla is a stylish, intimate boutique hotel just steps from the beach.

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The Fives Azul Beach Resort Playa del Carmen
Photo courtesy of The Fives Azul Beach Resort

The Fives Azul Beach Resort is a beautiful oasis on the outskirts of Playa del Carmen, where comfortable guest rooms, creative restaurants and bars, daily and nightly entertainment, complimentary WiFi throughout the property and a lush natural environment all combine to become a wonderful vacation. There are many ways to feel at home staying in one of the 635 residences at The Fives. Guests can book with Gourmet Inclusive Experience or European plan, they can become members of the vacation club, or they can invest in partial or full ownership of a unit. Couples, families or groups of friends will all enjoy The Fives, which also offers a wide white sand beach, swimming pools, a kids, club, a gym (open 24 hours), and the Vassa Spa.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: The Fives Azul Beach Resort offers various ways to stay, from a visit with the all-inclusive plan to full ownership of one of its residences.

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Rosewood Mayakoba is located in the Riviera Maya, just north of Playa del Carmen. This isn't your run-of-the-mill all-inclusive resort. Everything about Rosewood Mayakoba says luxury and distinction. In this all suite resort, bungalows and villas are surrounded by canals, mangroves and jungle. Guests are transported to their rooms on small boats. Available activities include golf, (El Camaleón was the first golf course to host an official PGA TOUR event in Mexico) kayaking, sailing, snorkeling and beach soccer and volleyball. Need something? Ask your butler. The food is spectacular, the spa, otherworldly. There are continuous complimentary indulgences throughout the day. This is a AAA Five Diamond resort which really says it all.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: Rosewood Mayakoba is a AAA Five Diamond resort. That says it all.

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Playacar Palace All Inclusive
Photo courtesy of Palace Resorts

Playacar Palace is part of the Palace Resorts family and is located in Playacar, a quiet, upscale private neighborhood in Playa del Carmen. This small but complete all-inclusive resort sits on a perfect white sand beach and features fully-stocked rooms with an in-room hot tub and minibar, three restaurants, a kids club, a swim-up bar and daily and nightly activities. The food, both in the buffet and a la carte restaurants is delicious, and there is always a large variety of dishes to choose from, including vegetarian options. There is a children's menu available in the a la carte restaurants and 24 hour room service as well. Playacar Palace is an excellent choice for the perfect family beach vacation.

Recommended for Playa del Carmen's Best Hotels because: Playacar Palace is all-inclusive resort perfection. Palace Resorts knows their business.

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Meet Kristin Busse

After vacationing in Mexico many times, Kristin decided to move to Cancun "for a year". That was in 2001.

Kristin grew-up in Michigan and studied Communications at Michigan State University....  More About Kristin