The Best Luxury Hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The 12 Best Luxury Hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Despite being perfectly located on the white sands of the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is all too often overlooked in favor of Cancun, its better-known neighbor to the north. But if you’re looking for a laid-back beach holiday – without the hassle of being in a super-touristy destination – then Playa del Carmen is the place for you.

Take a stroll along Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) when you first arrive. After that, take in a little culture at the Frida Kahlo Museum, have your first frozen margarita at Señor Frogs, then head down to the beach and take in the views. You can spend endless days lazing under shady palapas, paddleboarding or kayaking along the coast, or just soaking up the sun around your all-inclusive resort’s infinity pool.

In Playa del Carmen, you can also choose a more active vacation. Explore underground rivers, jump into cenotes (freshwater sinkholes), or have a wild day out at Xcaret Park. You can visit the turtles at Akumal Beach, snorkel the coral reefs off Cozumel Island, and day trip to the Maya ruins at Chichen Itza, Tulum, or Coba. And, of course, there’s the nightlife – Playa del Carmen never disappoints on this front!

If you’re planning a trip to the Riviera Maya, then keep reading as we explain exactly where to stay in Playa del Carmen. 

Where to stay in Playa del Carmen

Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Best Luxury Hotels

Playa del Carmen is one of Mexico’s fastest-growing cities, but it’s still compact enough for you to easily navigate on foot, particularly if you’re staying in one of the popular tourist areas. The city’s laid-back grid plan extends along the white sand beaches of the Caribbean Sea, where you’ll find endless beachfront resorts overlooking turquoise waters.

If you want to be in the heart of the action, you’ll want to pick a hotel along Quinta Avenida. On Playa del Carmen’s most famous street (which is mostly pedestrianized), you’ll find bars, restaurants, cafes, museums, and shopping malls. 

You’ll also find sleek complexes that are home to plush condos and boutique hotels, the type of hotel that sets Playa del Carmen apart from the oversized resorts in Cancun. These downtown hotels have rooftop infinity pools and sushi bars, and every home comfort you could ever need. 

At the northern end of Quinta Avenida, you’ll find some of the best resorts in Playa del Carmen. Brand names like the Hyatt and Hilton overlook popular beaches like Playa Mamitas, while further north, luxury villas and spa hotels are hidden away in the lesser-developed rainforest overlooking Playa Xcalacoco. 

And to the south of Quinta Avenida, the quiet beaches of Playacar offer a peaceful retreat from downtown, while the fun all-inclusives by Xcaret Park are perfect for families. To help you plan your next vacation, here are the 12 best hotels in Playa del Carmen for a boutique-style stay!

The 12 Best Luxury Hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

1. Mahekal Beach Resort

Unique Hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Mahekal Beach Resort
Photos: Mahekal Beach Resort

One of the best hotels in Playa del Carmen is, without a doubt, the Mahekal Beach Resort. Overlooking the main beachfront in the city (right next to Mamita’s Beach Club), this five-star resort offers chic luxury infused with the spirit of the Maya.

You’ll be staying in a toned-down casita, with a straw roof and whitewashed walls creating a natural sense of place in the lush tropical gardens. Luxury rooms have tons of space, hammocks swing from the balconies, and the Maya-style architecture is beautiful. You can book standalone one- or two-bedroom Haciendas on the beachfront for added privacy or book the magnificent ocean view Beach Houses if you’re traveling as a larger party.

The rustic look of the accommodation hides luxurious interiors, organic toiletries, and sumptuous bedding. You can relax on the beach in the shade of a palapa, take a dip in the pool, or enjoy a massage in the Maya spa. The Mahekal Beach Resort is also all-inclusive, so you can order endless juices or cocktails at the Agave Bar (try the chili margarita) and cold cervezas at Itzi Pool Bar.

Down at the beach, Sandbox at Fuego serves up romantic dining experiences, complete with fine wines and lobster, while you dip your toes in the sea. Fuego Restaurante y Cantina is located in an open-sided “Tulum-style” beach shack, where you’ll feel the sand between your toes as you sit back on an antique wooden chair and order flame-grilled dishes created by Executive Chef Nerey. 

2. The Reef 28

Unique Playa del Carmen Hotels: The Reef 28
Photos: The Reef 28

If you’re looking for an adults-only hotel, then The Reef 28 is one of the coolest boutique hotels in Playa del Carmen. Overlooking the beach, just steps away from Avenida Quinta, you’ll love how the only room type at this five-star hotel is a suite!

There are 16 Master Suites and 104 Junior Suites located within a classic Playa del Carmen apartment complex that’s been kitted out to the max with amenities. This isn’t your traditional Mexican resort, but instead, The Reef 28 draws on Playa del Carmen’s condo culture rather than the brash Hotel Zone mindset you find in Cancun. 

Suites provide king-size beds, rain showers, and spacious living areas, as well as stunning balcony views of the beach or the city. The mini-bar is replenished daily, and if you upgrade to the Master Suite, you’ll be able to sit back in your private hot tub with a glass of fine wine.

The Reef 28 is an “optional all-inclusive,” which means you can choose from the bed and breakfast package or go all out and book the all-inclusive package. Either way, you’ll want to make use of the hotel’s spa and rooftop, where DJs play daily as you sip margaritas in the infinity pool. 

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3. Palmaia, The House of Aia

Best Hotels in Playa del Carmen: Palmaia, The House of Aia
Photos: Palmaia, The House of Aia

The Palmaia offers secluded luxury on the pristine beaches to the south of Playa del Carmen, where you can escape the hustle and bustle of Quinta Avenida while still being within easy reach of all the best sights.

This five-star wellness retreat overlooks the soft sands of Playacar, where the focus of your stay will be nature, personal well-being, and revitalization. As part of your all-inclusive package, you’ll not only be dining on a la carte dishes created by Michelin-trained chefs, but you’ll have access to holistic activities, daily yoga sessions, meditations, ancestral treatments inspired by Maya culture, and much, much more. 

This unique all-inclusive is sustainable, too, and the focus here is on plant-based cuisine. Each of the hotel’s five restaurants is certified “cruelty-free,” with extensive vegetarian and vegan menus – so carnivores will need to look elsewhere.

During your stay, you’re encouraged to explore by bicycle where possible. Explore the hotel grounds, and you’ll find that the spa is built around a cenote, while Temazcal ceremonies are the perfect antidote to a hectic lifestyle. 

Oceanfront rooms offer marvelous opportunities to watch the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea, but we highly recommend upgrading to a swim-up suite to really embrace your wellness vacation!

4. Fairmont Mayakoba

Best Playa del Carmen Hotels: Fairmont Mayakoba
Photos: Fairmont Mayakoba

The Fairmont Mayakoba is one of the most luxurious beachfront resorts in Playa del Carmen. Perfectly situated on the quiet, lesser-developed coast to the north of the city, this five-star hotel is surrounded by acres of serene tropical rainforest that opens out onto soft, white sands. 

You’ll feel as if you’ve been spirited away into the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula when you stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba, except, of course, you’ve got everything you could ever dream of on hand too. The 401 luxury rooms are all interconnected by freshwater lagoons, waterways, and swimming pools, while rustic palapas provide shade along the Caribbean Sea. 

Rooms are inspired by Maya heritage, and many of the buildings are built using sustainable materials like bamboo and local timbers. Bathrooms feature Le Labo Rose 31 amenities, while private terraces and balconies provide wonderful views of the resort.

Spend your days teeing off at the Greg Norman-designed golf course, selecting your own herbs from the botanical garden and getting herb-infused treatments at the Fairmont Spa, and enjoying activities like sailing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling right off the beach.

The culinary choices at Fairmont Mayakoba are seemingly endless. Tauro is an American-style steakhouse, Hix Bar serves handcrafted cocktails, and the Trattoria menu wouldn’t be out of place in central Rome. La Playita serves lunch and dinner on the beach, there’s a Korean Beach BBQ, and you can order endless dishes and drinks direct to your suite!

5. Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Boutique Hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Hotel Xcaret Mexico
Photos: Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Hotel Xcaret Mexico is a world of fun because this unique Playa del Carmen hotel is located right next to Xcaret Park. This isn’t just an all-inclusive resort; this is Riviera Maya’s first “all-fun inclusive” resort (and yes, they have trademarked that slogan!).

But what does “all-fun inclusive” really mean? The concept includes all of the standard all-you-can-eat buffets and all-you-can-drink bars that you expect from an all-inclusive, but on top of this, you also get unlimited access to the Xcaret group’s plethora of theme parks and shows, plus free airport transfers – that’s the fun part!

This means you can explore the Maya world at Xcaret Park, jump into the cenotes at Xel-Ha, ride the ziplines at Xplor, ride the traditional trajineras boats through Xochimilco, and so much more. As if that wasn’t enough, this five-star resort has its own infinity pools and hot tubs, it’s set around a network of lazy rivers and lagoons, and there are jungle trails to hike and paddleboards to ride.

Hotel Xcaret Mexico leads right onto an exclusive beachfront, where you can order margaritas all day long at the beach bar. The Muluk Spa & Wellness Center hosts a hydrotherapy circuit, luxury rooms are inspired by Maya culture and history, and there are no less than 11 restaurants and cafes to choose from, including HA’, which offers a 9-course tasting menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Carlos Gaytan. 

To say this is one of the most unique hotels in Playa del Carmen is an understatement!

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6. Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen

Cool Playa del Carmen Hotels: Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen
Photos: Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen

If you love the classic all-inclusive lifestyle, then Secrets Moxche is one of the best hotels in Playa del Carmen for you. This gorgeous five-star resort is set around a central, palm-lined swimming pool featuring swim-up bars and connecting rivers, while there’s another, more secluded swimming pool on the rooftop. 

Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen offers its guests “unlimited luxury,” which includes gourmet cuisine at the resort’s 11 distinct restaurants. Allora cooks up beautiful Italian dishes, Bamboo serves Southeast Asian specialties by the lagoon, and Dos Almos offers a high-end Mexican menu complete with tequila and mezcal tastings.

You’ll love the Spa by Pevonia, too, where you can relax in whirlpools after a massage or hydrotherapy treatment. The best suites at Secrets Moxche feature private plunge pools as well, while even the lead-in rooms offer beautiful seaside views from private balconies and terraces. This resort is located just north of Playa del Carmen, where you can walk right onto the soft and secluded sands of Playa Punta Esmeralda, one of the best beaches on the Riviera Maya. 

7. The Fives Downtown Hotel & Residences

Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen, Mexico: The Fives Downtown Hotel & Residences
Photos: The Fives Downtown Hotel & Residences

Live your best condo life with a stay at The Fives Downtown Hotel & Residences. This gorgeous apartment block is home to five-star suites and residences designed for the Hilton’s upscale Curio Collection, and you’ll love the blend of homey touches and extravagant amenities that make this one of the best boutique hotels in Playa del Carmen.

Residences here are quirky and colorful, with modern decor that’s decadently inspired by the art deco of the 1930s but which sits firmly in the 21st century. Bright pink and purple chairs deck out spacious lounge areas, while the larger suites have dining tables, kitchenettes, and mezzanine floors. 

All of the rooms at The Fives Downtown Hotel & Residences offer private terraces and balconies, but only the Presidential Suites have private infinity pools overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Don’t worry too much if the Presidential Suite is already sold out, though, because all guests have access to the magnificent rooftop swimming pool and hot tub on the top floor sun deck. 

8. Viceroy Riviera Maya, a Luxury Villa Resort

Cool Playa del Carmen Hotels: Viceroy Riviera Maya, a Luxury Villa Resort
Photos: Viceroy Riviera Maya, a Luxury Villa Resort

One of the best Playa del Carmen hotels is the Viceroy Riviera Maya, a five-star property located on the Playa Xcalacoco beachfront to the north of Centro. This secluded part of the coastline is home to rainforest and white sands, and you’ll love how you can stroll out of your private, standalone villa and straight into the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea. 

Book fast, though, because there are only 41 of these boutique standalone villas available to book at the Viceroy Riviera Maya. You’ll be living a life of luxury with a private sun deck, outdoor showers, and a personal plunge pool for you to enjoy at leisure. 

Your plush villa, designed in the traditional Maya style with whitewashed walls and palm-lined rafters, looks wonderfully rustic on the outside. Step inside, and you’ll love the wooden headboards, teak furniture, and Egyptian cotton linens. 

As if a private plunge pool wasn’t enough, the Viceroy Riviera Maya also features a public pool deck, complete with hammocks, cabanas, and a fully-stocked poolside bar. The hotel’s chefs organize culinary experiences throughout the week, including Guacamole & Margarita Lessons and Tequila & Ceviche Tastings. The Coral Restaurant + Bar offers seafood and sea views, and La Marea Restaurant serves Mexican cuisine in a fine dining setting. 

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9. Mvngata Beach Hotel

Boutique Hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Mvngata Beach Hotel
Photos: Mvngata Beach Hotel

Playa Xcalacoco is home to some of the best hotels in Playa del Carmen, including the excellent Mvngata Beach Hotel. This five-star beachfront property has it all, including a rooftop infinity pool and bar where you can sip mezcal cocktails as the sun sets. 

But Mvngata Beach Hotel is a rarity on the Riviera Maya. This isn’t a huge resort complex, but quite the opposite. With just 23 boutique rooms overlooking the Caribbean Sea, this luxury hotel can truly offer personalized service during your stay. 

And you’ll love the boutique rooms. With wicker furniture, private ocean or jungle-view terraces, and decor that’s clearly inspired by the tropical setting, you’ll feel as if you’re on vacation from the moment you check in. Enjoy an early morning swim in the sea, stroll along the white sands of Playa Xcalacoco, or wind down at the Mvngata Spa.

Chef Omar Martinez oversees the culinary prowess of the hotel’s kitchen staff, who serve up fresh food throughout the day. The Mvngata Rooftop has a laidback menu that includes crispy shrimp, tuna burgers, and ceviche. The Mvngata Beach Club serves burgers, wraps, and steaks on the sand, the Fire Moon Restaurant offers pizza and pasta in the evenings, and the Mvngata Kitchen prepares fusion Mexican dishes in a haute cuisine atmosphere. 

10. The Yucatan Resort Playa del Carmen

Cool Playa del Carmen Hotels: The Yucatan Resort Playa del Carmen
Photos: The Yucatan Resort Playa del Carmen

Escape the kids with a stay at The Yucatan Resort Playa del Carmen, a five-star hotel that’s exclusively reserved for adults only!

You couldn’t ask for a more convenient location because this boutique resort is perfectly situated at the northern end of Quinta Avenida. You’re just a short stroll away from the beach, while the bars, shops, cafes, and restaurants of Playa del Carmen’s most famous tourist street are right outside reception. 

This all-inclusive is more laid-back than most, and you’ll love the modern decor, the private balconies, and the super-comfy bedding featured in all of the luxury rooms. On the rooftop, you’ll find an open-air swimming pool and sundeck, offering great views over Playa del Carmen. 

Enjoy an a la carte breakfast at El Mural, where you’ll be surrounded by the colorful work of Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra. The rooftop bar, La Terraza, serves up hand-mixed cocktails, cold beers, smoothies, coffees, tostadas, and ceviche all through the day, and night, while the sushi chefs at Sakura Maru prepare endless sashimi for hungry guests. Upgrade to All-Inclusive Plus, and you can also dine at the nearby Hilton Playa del Carmen’s 13 restaurants as well. 

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11. Hilton Playa del Carmen

Boutique Hotels in Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Hilton Playa del Carmen
Photos: Hilton Playa del Carmen

Overlooking Playa Mamitas, the Hilton Playa del Carmen is an adults-only resort that you’re never going to forget. This is the traditional all-inclusive experience at its finest, and it’s the perfect opportunity to leave the kids behind and enjoy a serious vacation away from the rest of the world.

Inspired by the Greco-Roman architecture of the Mediterranean, this beautiful beachfront hotel has two spacious swimming pools leading down to the soft sands of the Caribbean Sea. Light colors and airy designs brighten up luxury suites, and you’ll love the views from your private terrace or balcony. Bathrooms are marbled, the bedding is plush, and the grandest suites even feature swim-up plunge pools.

There are no less than 13 restaurants at the Hilton Playa del Carmen, which means that you can dine or drink in a different venue every night of the week. Kalamata is a Mediterranean-inspired buffet restaurant serving grilled seafood and meats. Asiana has a menu of sushi, poke bowls, and ramen, while Rincon Mexicana serves Mexican-style tapas with ocean views. 

There’s a fine-dining Mexican restaurant, a Mexican buffet, a Caribbean bistro, and as much room service as you can order at the Hilton Playa del Carmen!

12. Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort

Unique Playa del Carmen Hotels: Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort
Photos: Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort

Few hotels in the world can match the majesty of the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort. This big-name brand has brought big-name luxury to Playa Mamitas, where you can stay in an adults-only resort with a sleek, contemporary design that features no less than three oceanfront swimming pools.

Lounge your day away in the infinity pool, enjoy the sweet shade of a beachfront palapa, or sit back with a room-service ceviche on your private balcony as you admire the ocean or mangrove views. The Cenote Spa channels the healing energy of traditional Maya treatments, and you can enjoy a couples massage, aromatherapy, or swim laps of the spa pool. 

Luxury rooms are as sleek as the architecture, and you’ll love sinking back into the signature Hyatt Grand Bed after sightseeing in Playa del Carmen. Upgrade, and you can sink back into the refreshing waters of a private hot tub or jump straight into the swim-up infinity pool! 

The Grill Playa del Carmen serves tacos and steaks with oceanfront views, while the Sushi ‘N’ Raw Bar is a fusion of Japanese and Caribbean flavors. La Cocina Restaurant and Terrace is the hotel’s signature diner, where Mexican-inspired cuisine is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a refined setting.

That completes our list of the 12 best Playa del Carmen hotels! Did we miss any cool luxury hotels in Playa del Carmen? Comment below so we can add them to the list!

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About the Author:

  • Richard Collett

    Richard is an award-winning travel writer based in Southwest England who’s addicted to traveling off the beaten track. He’s traveled to 75 countries and counting in search of intriguing stories, unusual destinations, and cultural curiosities.

    Richard loves traveling the long way round over land and sea, and you’ll find him visiting quirky micronations and breakaway territories as often as he’s found lounging on a beach (which is a lot).

    When he’s not writing for BBC Travel, National Geographic, or Lonely Planet, you can find Richard writing for the Wandering Wheatleys or updating his off-beat travel blog, Travel Tramp.

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