Playa del Carmen

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Playa del Carmen has a great central spot on the Mayan Riviera, about 70kms south of Cancun and just across the waves from Cozumel. It doesn't have the perfect waters of those resorts, or sand quite as soft and perfect as the beaches further north, but Playa del Carmen is hip. And packed with Europeans who know this is where to find the best boutique hotels and coolest shopping, bars and restaurants. Some of the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen are pretty chic.

But Playa del Carmen is so hip that it's actually OK to not care about your hipness and to just get on with enjoying the town's beautiful reefs and its excellent location in relation to Tulum, Coba and some of the Yucatán Peninsula's other prize destinations.

If you're here to see and be seen, hang out around the Quinta Avenida, or on any stretch of beach. This is an easy town to get around - you'll find a lot within walking distance and the main street is pedestrianised for most of the day. And if you're looking for a lively evening out you'll certainly find it here.

For those who want to do a bit more than relax it's definitely worth exploring Playa del Carmen's underwater world. Dive if you can, or snorkel if you don't fancy it, and you've a good chance of meeting sea turtles, giant eels, graceful rays and a rainbow of fish, all backed by some extraordinary corals.

Playa del Carmen is also about an hours drive from Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, a large area of protected forest and mangrove, with more amazing snorkelling opportunities and all sorts of exotic animals to spot.

The Yucatán Peninsula's cents, or flooded underwater caverns, are another unusual place to go exploring.

Playa del Carmen is also a great spot for fisher-folk, with many local restaurants very happy to 'serve up' your catch.

But make sure you plan your trip well ahead, the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen are busy year round!

Best Places to Stay in Playa del Carmen

For a special occasion

  • Tides Riviera Maya is a well secluded collection of 41 beautiful private villas surrounded by tropical forests - the only thing between you and the perfect white sand of the beach. As well as the beautiful beach this resort has private pools with beach views and an incredible spa which draws heavily on Mayan traditions. The restaurant is a fusion of Mediterranean and Mexican.
  • Maroma is a 64 room hotel sitting between one of Playa del Carmen's best beaches and the jungle. Maroma has amazing facilities including numerous pools, a beautiful spa and and access to yoga, snorkelling, diving, windsurfing kayaking, riding, fishing, surfing and getting married.

On a budget

  • Casa Ticul is a relatively new 19 bedroom hotel with traditional decor but all the mod. cons.. There's a small outdoor pool and you're well located for exploring town and the beach. Rooms start from less than £70 per night.
  • The Hotel La Semilla also has some of its nine rooms starting from less than £70 per night, but this is a more stripped-back and fashionable property, with well chosen flea-market furniture and no TVs.

For fun!

  • Deseo, in the centre of Playa del Carmen, caters perfectly to the young, cosmopolitan crowd, with a stylish rooftop pool and terrace bar, plus hammocks on all private balconies. It's also just two blocks from the sea.
  • Soho Playa is in just the right district, surrounded by cool bars, good shopping and a hip vibe - and all just a few steps from the beach. They help you get into the right frame of mind with yoga and meditation in the mornings.

Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Playa del Carmen for you?

  1. Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen,
  2. expand your search to include the best places to stay on the Riviera Maya,
  3. or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.
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The best hotels in Playa del Carmen

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  • Casa Ticul

    Playa del Carmen (LT 08 MZ 151 Col Zacil-Ha)

    Intimate, adult-only boutique hotel combines traditional looks with contemporary comforts. Bright rooms and the courtyard swimming pool make this an ideal place for exploring by day, and relaxing in the evening. Breakfast is served poolside and is the perfect way to start the day. Great beach spot.

    20 rooms from $57
    Romantic Break  -  An adults only hotel built for romance, the palatial suites come with private terraces and hot tubs.
    Swimming Pool  -  Small outdoor plunge pool
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only.
    Full of character
  • Hotel La Semilla

    Playa del Carmen

    This hotel offers a stripped-back, fashionable chic hotel experience with fantastically friendly service. Rooms are decorated with items bought from local flea-markets and TVs are deliberately not supplied to encourage a more adventurous kind of stay. For those looking for something a bit different.

    9 rooms from $110
    Restrictions on children  -  No children allowed
    Bicycles available  -  Bikes are free
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
  • Soho Playa

    Playa del Carmen (Quinta Roo)

    Urban hip hotel in cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Playa del Carmen, sprinkled with good restaurants. Close to the beach, with roof top pool. Start with early mooring yoga or meditation on the terrace with ocean views. Pretty colourful Mayan style rooms, with balconies and hammocks.

    23 rooms from $180
    Lively  -  The district has a cool vibe with trendy bars, restaurants, good shopping and plenty happening on the beach
    Restaurant  -  Bistro serving local and international dishes, seafood, Mango Guacamole and tasty salads, plus a detox menu
    Beach nearby  -  Mamita's Beach Club is a short walk form the hotel with a great atmosphere
    Beach Life
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
  • Viceroy Riviera Maya

    Playa del Carmen

    Stunning private villas surrounded by tropical forest and white sands. Watersports abound, delicious fresh fish restaurant, and fantastic Mayan spa to top it all off. A thrill for spa-junkies and beach seekers alike.

    41 rooms from $390
    Beach Life  -  Whether it's sitting sipping a cocktail on the white sands or kite surfing across the bay- this is a beach bums paradise!
    Private villas  -  Private luxury villas only.
    Swimming Pool  -  Pools looking on to beach
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Kiwi Collection, Fodors
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