The Best Resorts to Book in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

The Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen is surrounded by lush nature
The Fairmont Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen is surrounded by lush nature | Courtesy of Fairmont Mayakoba / Expedia.com

Let loose on the lively Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen, or never step out of your luxury resort, for a truly off-the-map experience. These are the best resorts in Playa del Carmen in Mexico.

Vacation resorts are often less about the location and more about the state of mind. With dozen resorts dotted along the coast of the Riviera Maya, it can be hard to differentiate between one all-inclusive hotel and another. That’s why we’ve done the work for you, compiling this list of the top resorts in Playa del Carmen.

1. Fairmont Mayakoba

Resort

A private pool and balcony at Fairmont Mayakoba, looking out to the white sand beach, turquoise ocean, and palm trees
Courtesy of Fairmont Mayakoba / Expedia.com
The Mayakoba complex, housing four resorts, sits about 15 minutes north of Downtown Playa – perfect if you’re looking for a close-to-the-action-but-not-too-close stay. Of the four resorts, the Fairmont Mayakoba appeals most to gourmands: pick up a black sapote fruit bowl for breakfast, nosh on a few tacos de castacán(fried pork belly) between surf sessions, or wrap up the day with a Cuban cigar and a few drinks topped with honey harvested on site from non-stinging melipona bees.

2. Rosewood Mayakoba

Resort, Eco Hotel, Hotel

Seating and sunbeds, an outdoor pool and a view of the river and greenery at Rosewood Mayakoba
Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba / Expedia.com

On the other side of the lagoon, Rosewood Mayakoba has a lusher, more sequestered feel. You’ll arrive at your room by gondola, though the resort itself is easily navigable. There are nature trails, bicycles for rent and daily ecotours of the marsh. The menu isn’t lacking either, with lobster omelets, seafood-birria (Mexican beef stew) ramen and huevos rancheros con manchamanteles (literally meaning “tablecloth stainer”, a dish made with assorted meats, fruits and chili peppers) on offer. You can take the relaxation back home with you, too, after a few self-love lessons from the resort’s resident shaman.

3. Viceroy Riviera Maya

Resort, Villa

A pool, shaded seating and a view of the Caribbean and palm trees at Viceroy Riviera Maya
Courtesy of Viceroy Riviera Maya / Expedia
The plush villas at the Viceroy make the resort experience intimate, each coming with its own plunge pool and patio (decked out with hand-carved stone tables and hand-woven crochet hammocks). The resort’s soap concierge (yes, that’s a real job title) will slice up cut-to-order bars in your favorite scents. Your pooch can be treated to its own portable pet palapa and poolside snacks, courtesy of the resort chefs.

4. Royal Hideaway Playacar

Resort

A bed, TV and seating in a hotel room at Royal Hideaway Playacar
Courtesy of Royal Hideaway Playacar / Expedia.com
The Royal Hideaway Playacar is truly meant for royals – and adults only – with colonial-style rooms and European touches that are fit for a king. With hidden garden pools and nine-course meals, you’ll feel right at home in your short-term personal palace, all without worrying about beating the crowds for a prime beachside spot.

5. Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Hotel

A view of the Hotel Xcaret Mexico complex, with trees around it and the turquoise ocean in front
Courtesy of Hotel Xcaret Mexico / Expedia.com

The mother of all resorts, Hotel Xcaret Mexico is part of what is (arguably) the most well-known theme park/waterpark in the whole country: Xcaret. Meaning “small inlet”, Xcaret (pronounced eeksh-ka-ret) is like the animal kingdom of Mexico: it boasts an aquarium, an aviary, a zip line and even torch-lit jungle rides in an all-terrain vehicle. Hotel Xcaret Mexico is the only resort that has unfettered access to all of the parks at Xcaret, 24/7 adrenaline-pumping adventure included.

6. Andaz Mayakoba

Hotel

Sunbeds and palm trees at the outdoor pool at Andaz Mayakoba, with a view of the ocean
Courtesy of Andaz Mayakoba / Expedia.com

Another Mayakoba option, Hyatt’s Andaz hotel feels like it could be the Rosewood’s younger brother: not quite as flashy, but still appealing to a hip crowd. Nature is front and center from the moment you step into the Andaz Mayakoba, such as in a lobby designed like the open-mouthed cenotes that populate the region. The resort offers private boat tours of the lagoon, as well as canoes for rent for exploring on your own. A small team of trained hawks is employed to keep seagulls from swooping down on your shoreside snack.

7. The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences

Resort

A hot tub and an outdoor table set for dining on a rooftop terrace at the Fives Beach Hotel & Residences
Courtesy of The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences / Expedia.com

Variety is on the menu at the Fives, which counts 11 restaurants, five bars and a reggae-inspired Marley Coffee bar – though the Koh Thai restaurant steals the show, with a 15ft (5m) Buddha, seating in a pagoda next to a koi pond, and classics such as pad thai and tom kha kai (coconut soup) on offer. Suites have full-service kitchens of their own and include up to three bedrooms, perfect for big families. Kids can stay busy at the climbing gym or soccer field, while parents have exclusive access to the spa and Nikkei-style Japanese-Peruvian restaurant.

8. Paradisus Playa del Carmen

Resort, Hotel

The restaurant, lit up at night, at Paradisus Playa del Carmen
Courtesy of Paradisus Playa del Carmen / Expedia.com

At the Paradisus Playa del Carmen, you can choose to do a little bit of everything or nothing at all. The resort rotates through offerings such as cooking classes, dance lessons and tequila tastings. The Paradisus was formerly split into two sister resorts – La Perla and La Esmeralda – until July 2020. Now, this paradise on Earth offers two levels of service instead, with the Reserve being a premium option including an exclusive pool, restaurants and 24/7 butler service.

9. Occidental at Xcaret Destination

Resort

An aerial view of the turquoise water and trees surrounding Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Courtesy of Occidental at Xcaret Destination / Expedia.com

Maybe, the kids want to wild out at the Xcaret, and, perhaps, you just want to get a good night’s rest. We get it, and that’s where the Occidental at Xcaret Destination comes in. While still connected to the nature park by gondola, the Occidental is a respite from all the action advertised at Xcaret. The hotel’s construction was quite a feat, incorporating elements from the environment, such as massive open spaces and trees jutting through the interiors. Plenty of nature is nearby, too, including monkeys, iguanas and the raccoon-like coati.

10. Ocean Riviera Paradise

Resort

A balcony with a table and chairs next to an outdoor pool at Ocean Riviera Paradise
Courtesy of Ocean Riviera Paradise / Expedia

This massive resort complex somehow manages to do it all, cramming in almost 1,000 hotel rooms, 11 bars, 10 restaurants, five pools, a waterpark and a bowling alley under the Ocean Riviera Paradise roof. The resort is split into four sections: the Daisy for families with kids, El Beso for grown-ups only, Eden for prime beach access and Privilege for VIP travelers. Despite its enormity, the Ocean Riviera Paradise rooms still feel contemporary and bright – think four-poster beds, wood-beamed ceilings and groovy tile floors.

Visiting Playa del Carmen on a budget? Check out the best hotels to book in Playa del Carmen for every traveler, bookable with Culture Trip.

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