The Best Eco-Hotels in Playa del Carmen

Enjoy the spectacular natural wonders of the Riviera Maya at Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya
Enjoy the spectacular natural wonders of the Riviera Maya at Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya | Courtesy of Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya / Expedia

Playa del Carmen is a young, small city in Mexico, surrounded by the best of the spectacular natural surroundings of the Riviera Maya. The beautiful views and the abundance of nature here have captured the attention of resorts, which are now working to support the conservation of the flora and fauna of the area. From relaxed casual hotels to luxurious complexes, check out our guide to the top 10 eco-hotels.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya - All Inclusive

Eco Hotel
4.8/5 (667 Reviews)
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Grand Velas Riviera Maya | © Grand Velas Riviera Maya / Flcikr
You don’t have to sacrifice luxury for sustainability at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, an upscale all-inclusive resort nestled amid 206 acres of jungle. The resort is split into three separate complexes – two family-friendly, the other adults-only – and each area has a different ambience. The resort’s commitment to the environment is on full display, from the locally-sourced ingredients used at each of the eight restaurants to the on-site water recycling plant. More than 18,000 trees were replanted following the hotel’s construction and there are ongoing programs to protect the local wildlife.
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Playa Canek Beachfront Eco Hotel

Eco Hotel
Map View
Skip straight from your suite to the golden sands at this charming surf-style eco-hotel in Tulum. There are palm-thatched rooms dotted along the shoreline, with interiors featuring pops of color and handcrafted furnishings. Fall asleep listening to waves lapping and wake up to top sea views from the comfort of your bed. Further your state of relaxation with a mojito at Playa Canek’s lowkey restaurant, or the yoga and meditation classes in the light-filled studio are equally as delicious.

The Green Village Boutique Hotel

Eco Hotel
Map View
This quirky spot in downtown Playa del Carmen, which is part hotel, part hostel, has somewhat of a jungle feel with palms scattered throughout and chunky pieces of driftwood furniture. If you’re looking for a central spot, the Green Village ticks the box. It is just a few blocks from the beach and a short stroll to Playa’s Fifth Avenue, which is home to dozens of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Start your day with a fresh juice from the on-site vegetarian bistro, or whip up your own creations in the communal kitchen, where you’re sure to meet other like-minded travelers.

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort

Resort, Eco Hotel, Hotel
3.9/5 (930 Reviews)
Sandos Caracol Hotel | © Hugo Cadavez / Flickr

Immerse yourself in nature and ancient Mayan history at this unique all-inclusive resort. The hotel is enveloped by lush jungle and there’s a beach on the doorstep. Stays include nature tours and excursions with some of the most popular being the bike tour and an opportunity to swim in a sinkhole. You’ll also get free access to an impressive waterpark, complete with dozens of water slides designed for thrillseekers of all ages. Replenish your energy with a trip to one of the resort’s restaurants, which serve up traditional and international cuisine.

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El Dorado Royale

Resort, Eco Hotel, Spa Hotel
4.5/5 (35 Reviews)
El Dorado Royale green house | Courtesy of Karisma Resorts de México.

Luxury has a feel-good factor at El Dorado Royale, with sustainability taking top priority at the palm-thatched resort. Each salubrious suite comes with an energy-saving air conditioning unite that helps reduce power consumption by 50 percent and there is an on-site water recycling facility. Vegetables served in the smart restaurants come from the hotel’s 70,000 square-foot hydroponic greenhouse and the sea turtle conservation program is another impressive achievement, with more than 12,000 turtle eggs saved from peril.

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Hacienda Tres Rios

Resort, Eco Hotel, Garden Hotel
Bag exclusive access to the Tres Ríos Nature Park in the Riviera Maya with a stay at Hacienda Tres Rios. During your vacation, you will have the opportunity to navigate the 326-acre park which includes three distinct ecosystems: jungle, mangrove forests, and coastal dunes. Named after its freshwater rivers, the park also includes 10 crystalline cenotes, more than 90 species of animals, and 120 species of plants. Hacienda Tres Rios makes for a very comfortable spot to explore from, with the all-inclusive hotel boasting an impressive spread of amenities including fine dining restaurants and a classy spa.
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Itaka Glamping

Eco Hotel
2/5 (2 Reviews)
Itaka Glamping | Courtesy of Itaka Glamping.

Find your zen at this charming glamping site, with cabana-style rooms set amid jungle and manicured gardens. Each tented room features a double bed, with quirky Mexican-inspired artwork. For a unique experience, book the ‘bubble tent’. The inflatable tent has a transparent roof so you can look up at the night sky. There is also a loft apartment in the main building for those who don’t fancy sleeping outside. Facilities include a swimming pool and communal kitchen area. Bikes are also free to use, and the beach is a four-minute pedal away.

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Mahékal Beach Resort

Resort, Eco Hotel, Garden Hotel
4.6/5 (954 Reviews)
Mahekal Beach Front Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort / Expedia

Blending in with its leafy surrounding, Mahékal Beach resort has a relaxed atmosphere that will quickly get you in vacation mode. Choose between the barefoot elegance of the hotel’s beach houses, high-end suites, and peaceful treehouses surrounded by lush green foliage. There are several open-air bars and restaurants and Las Olas, located next to the swimming pool, is a guest favorite with ceviche, yucca chips, and stuffed poblano peppers among the temptations.

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  • Viceroy Riviera Maya

    Resort, Eco Hotel
    4.9/5 (53 Reviews)
    Viceroy Beach Front Villa | Courtesy of Viceroy Riviera Maya

    Paradise awaits at this top-rated resort, which scores top marks for its first-class service and beach location. There are 41 secluded villas set amid the foliage, each with private plunge pools, sunbathing decks, and outdoor showers. Kick-off your vacation with a trip to the stunning spa, where massage tables are set next to waterfalls. Treatments feature local and indigenous ingredients as part of the hotel’s sustainability pledge. This promise extends to the restaurants, where innovative Mexican dishes are crafted from locally-grown produce.

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    Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya

    Resort, Eco Hotel
    4.7/5 (450 Reviews)

    When this resort was built, the environment was taken into consideration, and the 401 guest rooms are set back from the beach to have less impact on the local wildlife. During your stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba, you’re surrounded by nature, with the ocean and jungle to explore. There is also a lagoon snaking around the luxury property and boat tours allow you to spot different species of birds and reptiles. Learn more about the flora and fauna on a guided nature walk and don’t miss the opportunity to snorkel around the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest reef in the world.

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    Maya del Carmen

    Eco Hotel
    3.5/5 (235 Reviews)

    If you’re looking for a slice of peace and quiet and friendly service, travelers give this spot a thumbs up. The hotel is only one block away from the Playa del Carmen’s lively Fifth Avenue but it is enveloped by lush gardens giving it a secluded feel. Rooms are simply furnished with cute touches including mosaic tiling in the bathrooms and shell lamp shades. They also include small kitchenettes and living areas. There is air conditioning, or you can cool off in the hotel’s swimming pool.

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    El Dorado Maroma

    Resort, Eco Hotel, Hotel
    4.4/5 (152 Reviews)
    Uploaded by admin

    This dreamy adults-only resort sits on one of the top ten beaches of the world, as voted by the Travel Channel. Here you will find luxurious overwater villas, so you can feel at one with the sea from dawn to dusk. The spa also features overwater, open-air treatment rooms, with the waves acting as your soundtrack. This sophisticated resort prides itself on taking care of the environment, with wildlife conservation programs, energy-saving technologies, and water recycling in place.

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    Kylie Madry contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on March 31, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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