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Playa del Carmen

Photo of Playa del Carmen

About Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen has a great central spot on the Riviera Maya, about 70kms south of Cancún 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!

The Best Places to Stay in Playa del Carmen

For a Beach Break

  • The Thompson Playa del Carmen is a chic beach property with 120 contemporary, minimalist rooms with large terraces and epic views. Their Mexican restaurant is right by the beach, but there’s also a hip rooftop bar serving memorable cocktails.
  • Playa del Carmen’s Viceroy Riviera Maya is a a stunning collection of 41 rooms and villas surrounded by tropical forest and white sand. The restaurant specialises in exceptional seafood and there’s a fantastic Mayan spa. Great if you want to relax on the beach or try every watersport under the sun.
  • Kin Sol Soleil, just up the road from Play del Carmen in Puerto Morelos, is a tranquil property right against a white, sandy beach. There are just ten rooms with a Mexican feel, contemporary art and antique furniture, There’s also a stunning pool.

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 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 everything you need to get married.

On a budget

  • Casa Ticul is a relatively new adult's only, 20 bedroom boutique 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 £50 per night.
  • Some of the Hotel La Semilla's nine rooms start 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.
  • Be Playa is a chic boutique property with contemporary rooms with wood floors, hot tubs and excellent views. There’s also a rooftop pool, a hip bar and a creative seafood restaurant.

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

Best Hotels in Playa del Carmen

  • Casa Ticul 20 rooms from $57

    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.

    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
    Check prices
  • BE Playa 23 rooms from $130

    Playa del Carmen

    A chic boutique property in Mexico's beach resort town of Playa del Carmen. Contemporary rooms feature crisp white linen, clean lines, wooden floors and the best have hot tubs with a view. A rooftop pool, hip bar and creative seafood restaurant really make this hotel stand out.

    Beach Life  -  Boasting a rooftop pool, seafood restaurant and located just minutes beach.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
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  • Hotel La Semilla 9 rooms from $145

    Playa del Carmen (Gonzalo Guerrero)

    The adult-only Hotel La Semilla is located in the coastal town of Playa del Carmen, just 200 metres from the beach. With romantic rustic accommodation, furnished in a shabby-chic style. Enjoy splendid buffet breakfasts each morning and relax in the terrace with a drink! Intimate and boutique.

    Beach Life  -  Hotel La Semilla is a stunning beach-chic property right on the coast so you can spend your days lounging on the beach
    Romantic Break  -  Beautiful accommodation, divine cuisine and long sunset walks on the beach -the ideal romantic getaway
    Sights nearby  -  The historic Muyil Mayan and Xelha archeological sites are a must-visit
    Diving  -  There are plenty of local companies who organise scuba diving tours
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
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  • Soho Playa 23 rooms from $180

    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.

    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
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  • Thompson Playa del Carmen 119 rooms from $237

    Playa del Carmen

    A chic beach property with a youthful energy. Contemporary rooms are minimalist in style with epic views, large terraces and luxurious bathrooms. Dine on Mexican cuisine by the beach or on the hip roof terrace. The bar is also on point and serves superb cocktails. A beach haven.

    Beach Life  -  A stunning beach, lively nightlife scene and plenty of sunshine. The perfect Mexican experience.
    Diving  -  The nearby island of Cozumel offers excellent scuba diving opportunities.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the Mayan remain in the ruined city of Coba.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Andaz Mayakoba 214 rooms from $292

    Playa del Carmen (Playa del Carmen-Solidaridad)

    A slick beach side property offering contemporary style in a truly tropical setting. The Andaz stamp assures quality and this property does not disappoint. Cleanly designed rooms make the most of the epic sea views. A handful of restaurant will keep everyone happy and the activities are boundless.

    Total relaxation  -  A 'has it all' property placed on a gorgeous stretch of beach.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the majestic archaeological ruins at Chichen Itza and Tulum.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet
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  • Viceroy Riviera Maya 41 rooms from $398

    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.

    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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