Mexico Coast and Country

Mexico is so much more than tequila, fajitas and sombreros. With a diversity of landscapes, languages, cuisines and indigenous culture, its capital Mexico City, the second largest on earth, is also its vibrant, mad beating heart, with a wealth of historical sites and museums, fantastic restaurants and an exciting arts scene. Mexico City is surrounded by beautiful old towns like Puebla and great weekend retreats like Valle de Bravo, while in the south Chiapas is a lush rainforest state dotted with Mayan ruins and breathtaking scenery and the famous Yucatan peninsula offers picture-perfect beaches and world-class resorts for those in search of sun, sea and sand. The hotel scene was dominated until recently by the big chains in resorts like Cancun but the last ten years has seen a decided shift towards more sophisticated offerings with a handful of hoteliers dominating the design hotel market. Whether you choose to stay in a contemporary hotel, an exclusive beach resort or a small hotel with a cultural mission one thing is certain: this fascinating and generous country will not disappoint. The order by which the hotels are listed bears no reflection on our preference.

  • Casa Na Bolom 16 rooms from CA$71

    San Cristobal de las Casas

    A charming boutique hotel and museum of Lacandon people (to whom the proceeds go). A treasure trove of indigenous art, artefacts and handicrafts. Each unique bedroom has a fireplace. Dinner is served at the enormous dinning table under lampshades made of old hats!

    Local markets  -  Explore San Cristóbal and its fascinating markets where you can purchase beautiful handicrafts.
    Great walks  -  Take a guided tour of mountain villages, where you’ll visit indigenous churches and homes.
    Full of character
    House party feel  -  Be prepared to meet people.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Fodors
    Check prices
  • Deseo 12 rooms from CA$175

    Playa del Carmen, NOT TO SHOW

    Stylish seaside hotel in the heart of town in Playa del Carmen. Its lively location and outstanding terrace with swimming pool and bar make it a refuge for those young and cosmopolitan.

    Sit-out Terrace  -  Fabulous decked terrace with lively bar and swimming pool.
    Swimming Pool  -  Rooftop Pool
    City Style
    Restrictions on children  -  No children.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection
    Hotel Website
  • Basico 12 rooms

    Playa del Carmen, NOT TO SHOW

    Inventive contemporary design and excellent seafood just steps from the ocean on the Playa del Carmen. Neon pink lamps, white concrete walls, floating beds, and swimming pools made from old trucker tires - decoration with humour. A young and fun place to stay.

    Lively area  -  Steps from the ocean on the Playa del Carmen.
    City Style
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet
    Check prices
  • Viceroy Riviera Maya 41 rooms from CA$516

    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
    Check prices
  • Hotel Secreto 12 rooms from CA$448

    Isla Mujeres

    One of Isla's only luxury boutique hotels. A hidden gem with infinity pool overlooking its own private beach. The chic modern rooms boast floor to ceiling windows and original artworks. The new bar serves up dangerously good Margaritas.

    Total relaxation  -  A sleepy tropical island with a laid back charm, spend your days sunbathing, swimming with dolphins or snorkelling the reefs.
    Sights nearby  -  The hotel can arrange scooter rentals and tours of the island.
    Swimming Pool  -  Infinity pool with spectacular sea views.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors
    Check prices
  • Mezzanine 9 rooms from CA$259


    Trendy barefoot luxury with a secluded beach and tropical gardens. Relax in airy suites and rooms with breathtaking sea views. Enjoy cocktails on the sun terrace or in dappled shade on bean bags. Great water sports and activities on offer. A place to relax in style. Adults only.

    Honeymoons  -  Secluded suites boasting Jacuzzis and balconies facing the Caribbean and surrounded by lush jungle and miles unspoilt beaches.
    Eco break  -  Environmentally sound, the hotel operates on solar energy, generators, and recycled rainwater.
    Diving  -  The reefs just off Tulum’s white sand beaches are home to grouper, small reef sharks and numerous colorful fish
    Local markets  -  Check out the local crafts in Tulum, artisans work with clay, wood, and handmade textiles to create treasures.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Tablet
    Check prices
  • Maroma 63 rooms from CA$620

    Riviera Maya, NOT TO SHOW

    A secluded oasis hotel with beautiful beach and outstanding facilities. This luxury resort is perfect for honeymoons, beach life, and endless pampering. Enjoy tropical relaxation at one of the three hotel pools or explore the area and the many activities on offer.

    Back to Nature  -  Set on the fringes of 200 acres of jungle and coconut plantations on one of the most beautiful beaches in mexico- utter bliss!
    Total relaxation  -  Indulge in traditional Mayan healing techniques at the spa, or sip cocktails under a palapa overlooking the sea.
    Diving  -  PADI courses are available on the reef as well as cave diving in local cenotes, natural sinkholes.
    Birdwatching  -  Visit Contoy Island - an uninhabited island which is now a protected bird sanctuary.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection, Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check prices
  • Casa Oaxaca 7 rooms from CA$220


    This Colonial manor turned boutique hotel is only five minutes from the action and offers a courtyard pool, a restaurant and bar. Cool comfortable rooms are adorned with local art. Enjoy the nouvelle Mexican cuisine surrounded by contemporary art works. A truly remarkable experience.

    Foodies  -  Chef Alejandro Ruíz has crafted two spectacular nouvelle Mexican cuisine restaurants around organic, fresh & local ingrediants.
    Local exploring  -  Oaxaca is famed as Mexicos artistic centre, learn more on one of the hotels tours of local artisan studios.
    Cooking classes  -  For a totally unique experience join the market tour and cooking class with one of Casa Oaxaca’s chefs- unbeatable!
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the beautiful cloisters of former monastery Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Fodors
    Check prices
  • Las Bugambilias 8 rooms from CA$117


    A characterful family-run bed and breakfast in arty Oaxaca. The three buildings are uniquely decorated with bright colours, Mexican art and plenty of charm. With large comfortable rooms and a rooftop terrace overlooking the city. Yummy communal breakfast adds to the family vibes.

    Value chic  -  Fantastic value for money from this characterful and charming spot, full of quirky Mexican art and family vibes.
    Eco break  -  Eco-tourism hotel, members of ConservAgua, a program that promotes the sustainable use of natural resources.
    Cooking classes  -  Chef Pilar Cabrera runs the nextdoor Casa de los Sabores Cooking School, learn to master Mexicos inventive and exciting cuisine.
    Sights nearby  -  Check out the famous Zapotec sites at nearby Monte Albán, Mitla and Yagul, the Cabreras will happily arrange tours.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
    Check prices
  • Villa@Merida 7 rooms from CA$181

    Merida, NOT TO SHOW

    Elegant 19th Century mansion renovation with colonial undertones. Tropical courtyards with fountains, vibrant rooms with four poster beds, arched verandas. A palatial city break.

    City Style
    Spa  -  In-room treatments.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor Pool
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • Hacienda San José 15 rooms from CA$270

    Tixkokob-Tekanto, DUPLICATE

    This lovingly restored 18th-century hacienda in the jungle is the perfect romantic hideaway. Stunning rooms and villas feature cool tile floors, tropical hardwood furnishings and private plunge pools. Lush tropical gardens, hammocks and spa complete the picture. A garden of Eden.

    Eco break  -  They grow their own produce plus the owners run the World Haciendas Foundation, supporting henequen rope-making communities.
    Romantic Break  -  Book the Mayan Villa, with king-sized 'hammock bed', a private pool and candlite dinner under the stars.
    Total relaxation  -  Spend a lazy day lounging by the pool, being pampered in the spa or snoozing in your hammock.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a Chauffeur-driven trip to the breathtaking archaological and historic sites such as Chichin Itza and Izamal.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Kiwi Collection
    Check prices
  • Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya

    Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, NOT TO SHOW

    Tropical forest hideaway by picture postacard beach

    Check prices
  • Casa Ticul 20 rooms from CA$222

    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

Written by Simone Topolski

posted Friday, 12th February 2010