How to Find the Perfect Hotel for You! Our Recommended Hotel List Riviera Maya Edition

The Best Hotels in Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum and between!

Hotels in the Rivera Maya Mexico

Riviera Maya Hotels

It may be a daunting task at first to sort through the hundreds of beautiful photos of hotels and then have to pick just one for your very important vacation. There are actually thousands of hotel rooms and hundreds of hotels available to you in every type of accommodation as well. Then there is where in the Riviera Maya you want to be, from Cancun to Tulum or somewhere in between. We are putting together this guide to make it easier for you.

How to narrow the search for a Riviera Maya Hotel

You can ask yourself these questions that will help you narrow your search for a hotel in the Rivera Maya.

  • 1. What type of hotel do you want? All inclusive, boutique hotel, or basic hotel to sleep at?
  • 2. Do you want to spend all the time at the hotel or do you want to be close to activities or attractions?
  • 3. How far do you want to be from the airport?

How we came up with this list of Riviera Maya Hotels

We talked to hotel industry insiders, hotel booking companies, visited hotels and talked to guest to bring you this guide to help you select the perfect hotel for your vacation. Below we divided the Rivera Maya into Cancun hotels, Riviera Maya hotels, Playa Del Carmen hotels and Tulum hotel. Each section is also broken down to where you might want to stay.

We do recommend clicking the link to here on the side of the page because not only do we like using them, we feel it offers our readers a good search tool for narrowing down where you would like your hotel and what price range among other options you can choose from. They also offer promotions and special rates, so we want to pass this on to you. Clicking on the link helps support this site and helps bring all the free information to you, so we thank you in advance.

Cancun Hotels

Cancun is basically divided into two parts, the Downtown and the Hotel Zone. The really only reason to stay downtown is if you are catching a bus in the morning or are really on a tight budget. If you stay, there you will not have beach access unless you take a bus to the Hotel Zone. You can walk to restaurants and take public busses or taxis to shopping but other than that the downtown area is not tourist destination. It is more of a city built to support the Hotel Zone. It is where locals live, and suppliers have stores. Our recommendations in the downtown are Mallorca Hotel and Suites and the Hotel Plaza Caribe Cancun. We recommend these because if you are staying downtown, you will most likely want to walk places and also take the local busses or take the ADO bus to other parts of the Peninsula.  

Riviera Maya Hotels

See the purple area at the top of the map? We labeled this an emerging zone because this coastline has been pretty much undeveloped. There are a few hotels starting to pop up there. If you like being close to Cancun but a little more remote and off in your own place, check out this area. In this area we highly recommend the Excellence Playa Mujeres all inclusive resort. It is for adults only. The Excellence resorts chain all get good reviews by us and they offer high end feel but with a comfortable atmosphere.

Where to stay in Cancun’s Hotel Zone

The Hotel Zone can be divided into four areas so you can narrow down your search.

The yellow area is the where you find older hotels which tend to be cheaper and the beaches are not as large or nice. It an still offer a nice time and value. You do have access to the ferries that go to Isla Mujeres and the Pirate boat dinner cruise leaves from this area.  So if you want to be in the hotel zone and are looking for a budget hotel, this area is good to look at. In this area we recommend Barceló Costa Cancun all inclusive hotel, Riu Palace Peninsula all inclusive hotel, and for a more budget options, the Hotel Casa Maya, especially when it is on sale at

The orange area is the club zone and main shopping area of the Hotel Zone. It is the main part of the of the zone where it feels a little like a city. There are clubs like Coco Bongo, Mandala and Palazzo where you can dance all night. This area is good if you are going to party or take spring break in Cancun because you can walk to your hotel and not have to take expensive taxis back and forth. In this area we recommend the Riu Palace Las Americas all inclusive hotel, Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort and Spa, and for the more budget minded Aloft which offers a really modern clean hotel for a good value.

The red area is where you are going to find the best beaches. Wide white sandy beaches with turquoise waters.  This is generally thought of as the best area to stay in. You are not to far from everything the Hotel Zone has to offer and you have the great beaches. There are a lot of hotels here but here is what we have narrowed down for you. Le Blanc Spa Resort all inclusive hotel which is perfect for the young and fashionable, Grand Park Royal Cancun all inclusive hotel, Hyatt Zilara Cancun all inclusive hotel, Beach Palace Resort all inclusive hotel, Club Melia at Grand Melia, The Ritz-Carlton Cancun, Secrets the Vine Cancun, Hard Rock Cancun all inclusive, and Iberostar Cancun all inclusive hotel.

The green area is a little more quiet. This area is near El Rey Archeological ruins and the Mayan Museum. Also there is a water park on this end of the Hotel Zone. You have good beaches here but if you are wanting to go out a lot or downtown for shopping then you are going to have to travel more. From here it can take about 25 minuets to get downtown. We recommend in this area GR Solaris Cancun and Spa all inclusive hotel, Sun Palace couples only all inclusive hotel, and Nizuc Resort and Spa.

For any of the above hotel that you are interested in you can check prices by clicking below.


Hotels Along the Riviera Maya

This area is everything between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen and between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. In these two areas of the Mayan Riviera there are larger all inclusive hotels.  The hotels in these areas are meant to have everything you want in a vacation and resort. You can find some world class accommodation here. There are only sight differences between the orange area and the red area. The orange area is closer to the airport so you will get to your resort about 20-40 minutes faster and not have to leave as soon to go to the airport. The red area has been developed more recently and in general has newer hotels. The red zone is a little closer to most attractions. So, if you are planning on going to Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xcaret, Coba ruins, Tulum, Sian Kaan or Chichen Itza then you are closer and might have the opportunity to do more things outside of the hotel.

Riviera Maya hotel map

Hotels between Cancun and Puerto Morelos

In the orange area we recommend you look into Moon Palace Golf and Spa all inclusive hotel because it gets great reviews, Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun all inclusive is good because it is more on the budget end but still with quality, and Desire Resort and Spa for couples all inclusive because it offers more privacy and real romance for couples on that special vacation, Iberostar Paraiso Maya all inclusive because they have a lot to offer in this large resort, Iberostar Grand Paraiso Hotel all inclusive because it is good for travelers that might like more luxury and golf without a younger crowd, Secrets Moroma Beach Riviera Cancun because it has once of the nicest beaches, El Dorado Moroma also because of the beautiful beach.

It is a shame there are so many good hotels to choose from in the orange area but it does cover a lot of coast. We hope we helped narrow it down for you. Perhaps when you look at the link on the side they can help narrow it down by photos and other things you are looking for in your vacation hotel.

Hotels between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum

In the red area which runs from the south of Playa Del Carmen to Tulum we recommend Occidental Grand Xcaret all inclusive hotel especially if you are going to visit some of the eco parks, they are right next door, Hard Rock Riviera Maya because it is fun for youthful people and has a lot of activities within the resort to keep you busy, Barceló Colonial Maya all-inclusive hotel, Barceló Maya Tropical all-inclusive hotel, Barceló Maya Palace all-inclusive hotel, Barceló Maya Beach all-inclusive hotel because Barceló has a good reputation and keeps standards high. Even right across the highway there are local cenotes you can visit. We like the large resorts here because there is so much to do. Grand Palladium is great for  young families and gets a high rating from us. Grand Sirenis has a grand feel in size and some of the best snorkeling right off the beach.  The last hotel in this area for a recommendation is Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa all inclusive. This hotel has beautiful beaches, good value and is close to visit Tulum and Xel-Ha eco park.

If you are interested in any of these hotels you can check the prices below on the “Check Price Now” button.


Playa Del Carmen Hotels

Playa del Carmen hotel mapPlaya Del Carmen has slowly become one of everyone’s favorite places to visit while in the Mayan Riviera. To Americans it was always Cancun as the place to go to but this is slowly changing as word gets out. Europeans and South Americans have discovered Playa Del Carmen and have already passed the word around that this place is a mix of laid back, chic, entertainment and beaches. It truly has become an international destination for tourist and of residents.

Playacar Hotels

We can divide Playa Del Carmen into three areas. The red area is the private development neighborhood known as Playacar. This large area at the south end of Playa Del Carmen has some of the best beaches because they are wide and not too crowded. There are two parts to Playacar, Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 is smaller and has only a few small hotels and then there are private homes for rent. Phase 2 is a large loop with the large all inclusive hotels along the beach front. This area can be good for the best of both worlds. You are close to the downtown but can come back to your semi private area and all inclusive hotel. It is a 70 peso taxi one way into town or if you want to you can actually walk on paved sidewalks into town. In this area we recommend Riu Palace Mexico all inclusive hotel, Riu Yucatan all inclusive hotel, Riu Tequila all inclusive hotel, Royal Hideaway Playacar all inclusive hotel, Riu Palace Riviera Maya all inclusive hotel, all of these hotels offer good value for what you get.

Hotels in the downtown of Playa Del Carmen

The orange area is the downtown. This is where you can find lively bars, great restaurants and the famous 5th Avenue with about 20 blocks of shops and restaurants. This area offers more boutique/trendy hotels and budget hotels. It really runs the whole range of hotels except all inclusive. If you don’t want to sit on a beach all day and want to be able to go for a walk or visit a roof top club for live music, then this area is good for you. There are a lot of hotels to choose from in the center of Playa Del Carmen, so we will try to narrow it down a little for you.  Mehekal Beach Resort because it is in its own green world tucked near the beach in Playa Del Carmen and retain some of the small cabin-by-the-beach feel, and the Maya Village Condo Hotel and Beach Club because its 17 condos are on the beach near the center of Playa with lush plants hanging off the building. The Grand Hyatt is a new modern hotel that is not all inclusive but gives you a resort feeling but you still get to take advantage of Playa’s great restaurants. 

Hotels just north of Playa Del Carmen

The yellow area is just north of Playa Del Carmen. the city is moving this direction, and it does not seem that far away. There are some great all-inclusive hotels here that offer the availability to take a taxi or hotel shuttle into Playa Del Carmen for a night on the town if you like. In this area we recommend all three of the Mayakoba hotels-Banyan Tree-Fairmount-Rosewood because they are exceptionally designed and you can find which one fits your budget, and our absolute most favorite if you can afford it, Grand Velas Riviera Maya all inclusive. from the moment you enter the property until you leave unwillingly to go home you will be pampered in ultimate luxury. Make sure you look at the photos on the link on the side of the page because these hotels are truly amazing looking.

Le Reve Hotel is a smaller hotel with just 25 rooms. It is like a boutique hotel on the beach. You can get a much better value in the center of Playa at a boutique hotel for the price. The difference is beach front. If it is worth $80-100USD extra a night to be on the beach, then you might like to stay here. Otherwise being in Playa with easy access to so many restaurants is going to be a much better value.

If you are interested in any of the above hotels and want to check prices, click on the “Check Price” link below.


Hotels in Tulum

Tulum has become the new hotspot for tourist. You might not be ready for the more remote spot but others sure are. Tulum is two basic areas. The downtown and the “Hotel Zone” as it is lightly called now or you can just say along the beach.

Tulum Hotel map

Downtown Tulum Hotels to look at

The downtown is a small area and just a few years ago it was a dusty side of the highway. It is developing into a formal town but still is not a destination more tourist was to spend all their time. It is dotted with interesting restaurants and creative people doing some start-ups among the concrete block houses of locals. Most people choose a hotel in the downtown  if they are only stopping for a day or two and are looking for more of a budget accommodation.

Our hotel recommendations for downtown Tulum are(listed in order of price): Maison Tulum-Very Tulum in design and good value. Green Tulum-Tulum vibe and nice pool to relax by. Villas H2O– modern clean design with a few extras for you to enjoy your stay.

Tulum Beach Hotels

The beach area is gorgeous and more undeveloped then most areas of the Riviera Maya. The orange area has more public beach access points which means there are more people on the beach especially in Sundays when more people have off and go to the beach. It is also more narrow between the beach and the beach access road so places are smaller here. The hotels tend to be smaller and there are very few services in the area so having a car might be nice to go out to eat. One interesting thing about this area is the fact that you can walk down the beach and see the back side of the Tulum Ruins. In this area we recommend Zenserenity Wellness Resort Tulum all inclusive because it is small but with amenities.

The red area is the most trendy area where you just might spot some celebrities. This area is low key but bohemian chic at the same time. You can find some small hotels with big design and cutting edge fashion all in the middle of quaint palm tree lined roads. This area is the most popular area of Tulum to be in. There are small cafes and restaurants but can be spread out. You will see many people biking around this idyllic part of paradise but having a car might come in handy as well. The father south you go the more trendy it gets. At the south end of this stretch of beach is the entrance to Sian Ka’an nature reserve.

Hotels will be more eco chic in this area  with little touches that make them special. It is really about the atmosphere in the area and beach that make this are so unique and popular.

We recommend in this area Azulik Hotel because the amazing design and setting of this hotel. Playa Azul Tulum because of the good reviews, Las Ranitas Eco Boutique Hotel because of the romantic setting and nice pool, The Beach Tulum because of the nice little touches that make it different.

If you are interested in any of the above hotels and want to know prices, just click the link below to see what the price is for when want to come.


We hope this guide has helped you get an overview of the entire area and will help narrow it down for you. If you read something that interest you why not check the current prices here so you can start making that vacation a reality. There are so many good hotels to choose from it can be hard to pick just one. We wish you the best vacation and hope you enjoy your stay in the Riviera Maya!

What is your favorite Riviera Maya Hotel? Got some tips for us? Let us know in the comments below.

About The Author


  1. Thanks for this hotel list, it sure helps narrow things down. Your tips on reserving in the Rivera Maya are good because so many booking sites list Playa Del Carmen as a large area. We want to stay close to Playa So we can walk into town and have dinner one or two time plus my wife loves to shop on 5th Avenue. One of these days we will stay in Playa once we get over staying at all inclusive hotels.

    • We are sure you saw the Playacar section in Playa Del Carmen for hotels. There is all inclusive hotels and you can take a taxi or walk into town. We hope you find a great hotel and if you have any questions, just post here or send us a message. Thanks for reading the site.

  2. Thanks for narrowing down the list of hotels. I really like your Playa Del Carmen hotel selection. I hope you wrote mote about them and do just a specific guide of great hotels to stay at.

  3. We have been staying at hotels between Playa Del Carmen and Cancun and we are looking to stay more south this time. Your guide is so helpful because there are so many hotels to choose from. The Barceló has been on our short list of hotels to stay at.

    • We are happy to be of help to you in your search for a great hotel to stay at in the Rivera Maya. If you do stay at one of the Barceló hotels you should have a good experience. They have good hotels and we have enjoyed visiting them. We hope your next vacation is great here and let us know your experience after, we would love to know how it was.

  4. Excellent article. I am planning on coming down in September and we have been looking over your site to pick a hotel. This list has helped us locate better where we want to stay and what hotels we want to look at. Keep up the good work with all the guides. See you in September! We cannot wait!

  5. Hi. I was looking over your hotel guide for Playa Del Carmen. Can you tell me if we stay in Playacar how far is it to walk downtown and how much is a taxi? We like the idea of being close to town but also at the all inclusive resort. Thanks

    • Hello Wonda
      Playacar is a great option to stay in because you do get the best of both worlds in Playa Del Carmen. All of the all inclusive hotels are in Phase 2 of Playacar and most of the hotels are a 20 minute walk to the downtown. This is an enjoyable walk on a sidewalk with palm trees and nice houses. You can always take a taxi one way and walk the other. A taxi from hailing on the street is supposed to be 90 pesos. It is more since Playacar is a private neighborhood and slower for taxis to get around. From the hotel it might be more since you are not hailing it on the street. Just ask before getting in, at least you know the base price. It will be best to pay in pesos. going into town will be a nice evening activity, there is so much to see on 5th Avenue and you can walk for 20 blocks and see a tone of shopping and dinning. You can search our shopping guides on our site so you can find the best stores. We hope you have a great time!

  6. We have been looking at hotels in Playa Del Carmen. Can you recommend a place that is good for kids that is not all inclusive? We are looking to be in the downtown area. We are hoping for a pool but don’t want to feel like we are stuck in the hotel room at night. Thanks

    • Hello. One good option is the Aventura Mexicana Hotel on 24th Street. It is in a good location, it is not all inclusive but they do have a meal plan at their restaurant if you want. There are two sides to the hotel, one adult and one for families. There also have a nice pool area on both sides. If you search on the website search box you can see photos in our article for this hotel. It is also central to many good restaurants. Check out that hotel and if you want other suggestions, just let us know.

  7. We are looking at the Grand Porto in the center of Playa Del Carmen for a Hotel. We have heard that the beach is not the best, how is it right now? Do you have nay other recommendations?

    • Hello Wilson. Thanks for checking out our article and asking us a question. We assume you have children because this is a children friendly hotel and the sister hotel is the Royal across the street. The beach is not that great to be honest. there have been erosion problems for sometime on the back side and then there is the seaweed that collects where the boats are. They have recently sandbagged the beach to prevent more erosion and this helps but it does not look picturesque. You could try the Hyatt which is in town and is kid friendly or look to the all inclusive resorts in Playacar. They have much nicer beaches there.

  8. Greetings! I am glad you included Barceló hotels. We have stayed there three years in a row and love it there. We have thought about switching it up a bit so we looked over the hotel list here. Good options but we still love Barceló.

  9. Hello. We are a group of 20 people are are planning on coming down to Playa Del Carmen and we are looking at hotels. Do you have any suggestions for large groups?

    • We do have some hotels to recommend to you but will ask you a few questions so we can give you the best recommendations to you. Are you wanting to be in the center of Playa Del Carmen? Do you prefer an all inclusive hotel or do you like a hotel? Do you have any young people in the group like kids? Let us know your groups prefernces and we can give you some great hotels to look at. You can email us or message us here the details.

  10. We were just going to book our trip to Tulum but saw the news yesterday with the guys evicting the hotels along the beach. It is hard to know what is going on but it is scary looking and shame on them for ruining it for tourism. That is part of the problem with Tulum, they think they have a chic paradise but there are still corrupt people and make it hard for tourist to know if they will have to leave their hotel in the middle of their trip and be kicked out. Shame shame.

  11. I am surprised at how some hotels are so expensive and some are very reasonable. We like to stay in the downtown of Playa Del Carmen. The artisan looks interesting as a small hotel close to the action.

  12. There are so many hotels to choose from in the Rivera Maya. Thanks for narrowning it down.This is a good list to choose from.

  13. We are so excited to find your hotel guide because we are trying to pick a nice all inclusive in Cancun and want to stay at a hotel with a good beach. Thanks for helping us.

  14. There are so many hotels in the Cancun Hotel Zone to choose from. I am glad you narrowed it down some. Last time I was there we saw some old hotels that did not look fun to stay in and you don’t see then looking like that online. So definitely some to stay away from.

  15. We like staying between Tulum and Playa because you are close to Xcaret and Xel Ha. The hotels there have good beaches and there are some of the best hotels in the Riviera Maya.

  16. This is a good list of hotels to go by for the downtown of Playa Del Carmen. We always stay at Aventura Mexicana Hotel. It has great access to the restaurants and the staff is really nice there too.

  17. I was wondering what the best beaches were for Cancun because we want to stay at a hotel with the best ocean front. Good thing we found your article and post here. thanks

  18. The Banyan Tree at Mayakoba is one of the best hotels in the Riviera Maya. It has a beautiful landscape and great villas you rent. It is not all on the beach but you have access to both the beach and pools which is nice. I think it also has some of the most professional staff to.

  19. The hotel websites alays say they are in Playa Del Carmen but many are outside. It is good to show where the hotels are in the Rivera Maya. Some hotel websites do not even have the map on them.

  20. We like that has apartment also and guest houses. We clicked on it through your site and glad we found some non hotel bookings available.

  21. We are looking for the best all inclusive adult hotel in the Cancun Hotel Zone. What ones do you suggest?

    • Hello Matt. There are some good all inclusive adult only hotels in Cancun. The Temptations Resort is one and the Grand Oasis Sens is the other. Both of these are good choices and are of upper quality.

  22. I am regular reader, how are you everybody there. We just stayed at Paradisus hotel in Playa del Carmen. That place is like the kings castle. Amazing open air hallways and restaurants. The only thing I don’t like the city outside with poor neighborhood.

  23. We found a good hotel in the site. Thanks for the deals you posted on the website We got 30% off and the hotel we wanted in Playacar. We want to go on some tours and walk on night into Playa del Carmen to see 5th Avenue.

  24. We made the mistake one year to get a hotel in the Riviera Maya that was listed as Playa Del Carmen. It was between Tulum and Playa. We spent a lot on taxis going into Playa del Carmen. This year we will follow your advise and make sure we get a hotel in Playa or Playacar.

  25. We love staying at the Bahia Pricipe hotel near Tulum. We don’t have a long flight to get to Cancun so we don’t mind the transfer. It is close to Xel Ha and a great base for seeing some of the ruin sites.

  26. We are glad you have Aventuras Mexicana Hotel on your list. We love staying there each time we are in Playa del Carmen. The hotel is so central and we like the food option either all inclusive or a la cart. The service is always good too.

  27. We just stayed at the Palm hotel in Playa Del Carmen. It was beyond what we expected. Big rooms, nice showers and awesome roof with pool! We spent most days on the roof rather then going to the beach. No need to pay for a beach club and we got to swim with great views. We would tell other people to stay here that want to have a great time in Playa Del Carmen.

  28. Playacar for sure is a great area to stay in because you can walk into Playa Del Carmen. We like the setting and remote feeling but still have access to the city.

  29. Good point about checking the location of if a hotel is in Playa Del Carmen or not. We booked on and it had the hotel listed as if it was in Playa. We checked in and it was on the north side and we needed a taxi to go into town each time. We spend about $75 on taxis going places. It was a hassle. So next time we will definetly stay in the downtown of Playa Del Carmen.

  30. We just stayed at the all inclusive Belmond resort. It is small scale with about 60 rooms. It was supposed to be one of the smaller luxury hotels in the Riviera Maya. We say it was all inclusive because you really don’t have a choice because there is only one restaurant you can go to up near the highway if you don’t want to eat the over priced food at the hotel. The “luxury” of this hotel is the semi remote location and small scale. But we found it to be sort of average and the food and beverage was not good at all. Very overpriced and even prices in dollars. Maybe people don’t know they are getting ripped off because they don’t have anything to compare to. We travel all around Mexico and the Riviera Maya and found this hotel to be lacking in many ways.

  31. Hello, we used your guide to narrow our hotel search down. It was overwhelming this year because we wanted to book everything ourselves. We did not want a travel agent booking out vacation because they make more money off one hotel booking over another. Your honest appraisal of hotels helped a lot. Thanks.

  32. We stay at the Aventura Mexican and find that the staff is always the same there. That is a good sign of a hotel when management must be good. It is central and has large decent rooms. It is not super modern but just what we need for our vacation in Playa del Carmen and a beautiful garden.

  33. My partner and I absolutely love your website. We are looking at the Sandos Hotel in Playacar. What do you think of that hotel?

    • Hello Shelby. We recently were at the Sandos in Playacar section of Playa Del Carmen. The hotel is getting some remodeling now. This is a basic resort that needs some serious remodeling. the rooms are basic as well. Where this hotel is more promising is the fact it has a nice beach and is at the far end of Playa Del Carmen. We however think there are better options in Playacar then this hotel.

  34. Hello. We’ve gone to Mexico a number of times and found your guide to be spot on and insightful. Personally we love the Riu chain and agree with the comments about the Riu Yucatan and Riu Palace Mexico. We are leaving in 6 days and staying at Gran Porto. Only real negative we heard was about the beach so we are prepared for that but love being able to go onto 5th and explore when we feel like it. May try Aventura Mexican for our next adventure. Thanks!

    • Thank you for your comments Cathy. We hope you have a great time down in Playa Del Carmen this vacation. Staying at the Porto is convenient for walking out to 5th Avenue. Also the pier is a popular place to watch the sunrise if you are an early riser.

  35. I should of read your guide before coming to Playa Del Carmen. We stayed at Sandos Playacar which is not on your hotel list. It was “ok” but I mean after you wait a year for vacation you can get let down by this place. There was a lot of construction going on and the rooms are just concrete apartment blocks. Not very special. We will look over your list carefully next year for sure.

  36. We have found that in Cancun the hotels can look nice online but there is a lot of difference in the prices and quality. Don’t just shop by price because some of them just get you in and feed you basic food. If you care about what you eat and like more quality be sure to look carefully are reviews.

  37. Very nice article. I am glad to see you have Azulik Hotel in Tulum on the list. It was an amazing place to stay and I want to go back so bad.

  38. We are coming to Playa spring 2018. We are interested in Iberostar Quetzal/ Tucan. What are your thoughts on these two? The Iberostar Lindo was also a choice. We have a large group age 7 to 65. Thanks Love this site!

    • Hello Sherry
      The two hotels share the facilities and are just about the same. You might have seen our video with Lori who we are working with, she is a resort expert and at the hotels all the time. She can answer questions and help book places. Sometimes she is able to get deals or promotions for our readers. Here is the article with her email and contact if you want to ask further questions or even know about other resorts. There are about 100! between Tulum and Cancun.

  39. Does anybody know if riu tequila do day passes? We are coming to playa del carmen for 4 months and staying in an apartment. My sister and husband have booked to stay in riu tequila and we would like to spend a day there with them. Love this web site I have saved loads off it and has been the best planning tool for our stay. 1 month until we get there!

    • Hello Kathy

      We thank you for reading the site. We do think they do day passes at Riu Tequila. We think it is $65 USD a day. That is usually from 9 or 10 am until 5pm. You will have to check at the time because rates and availability change based on occupancy. If they are full you can always just go to the beach in front of Playacar with them. Or you might all go to a rooftop pool in Playa for a fun outing. We are going to be writing about a few that are cool and cheaper then the day pass.

  40. Where exactly is Hacienda Tres Rios in Playa del Carmen – Riviera Maya and what’s your thoughts of this all inclusive meaning is it close to everything. Also can you let us know what color zone would this be? Thanks for your help.

    • Hello

      The Hacienda Tres Rios would be just at the north end of the yellow circle on Playa Del Carmen hotels. This hotel is along the highway so everything would need to be reached by a car or taxi. Tours that you book will pick you up or they offer transportation options, like Xcaret does. Most people don’t realize that most of the all inclusive hotels are just along the highway. You cannot walk to anywhere and taxis are not the cheapest since it is a far distance. If you want to come to Playa Del Carmen to walk around one night or go out for dinner, a taxi will cost about $50 round trip. This is why some people like the all inclusives in Playacar section because it is still connected to Playa Del Carmen. If you only want to take some tours and they can pick you up there, then it is fine to stay there at Hacienda Tres Rios.

  41. We are planning on staying at The Fives Luxury Hotel & Residences, can you tell me where on these maps it would be located? All I know is it is in Playa deal Carmen, but not sure where. What is your opinion on this hotel?

    • This is just north of Playa Del Caren. It is outside the city. It is hard to know where hotels are when they have a generic location like “Playa Del Carmen”. It is a nice hotel. with a more quiet beach. It is a taxi ride of about 15 minuets into town. So don’t expect to walk anywhere. We also suggest not getting involved in buying a vacation timeshare club or whatever they call it there. Otherwise, enjoy your stay there. They have added some new restaurants and action there that has added life there.

  42. I have been visiting PDC since 1992 and witnessed the evolution from a small town to a vibrant city. My first night was spent in a beach palapa near the Blue Parrot. My last visit was spent at La Pasion Boutique. This is an exceptionally run hotel with a great location and wonderful rooftop bar.
    Thanks for running such an informative site.

    • Thank you Tom for your comments and your mention of this hotel. We are working on visiting more hotels to give people an idea of what is available here.

  43. Thanks for this helpful list of hotels. Is there one hotel more than others in Playa del Carmen or nearby that has a good atmosphere and activities for teens aged 12-15? Also, how is the ocean temperature in December? Warm enough to swim comfortably?

    • Hello Monique

      The water in December is warm and tourist swim year round. Although locals tend to take two or three months off from serious swimming. A hotel for kids that you have might like the Gran Hyatt because they have game rooms and activities inside as well as the pool. If you are looking for a more budget option, there are some on 10th Avenue that have pools and are non frills but good location. Hotels like Hacienda Paradise and Aventura Mexicana.

  44. We are coming in August and staying at the Allegro Playacar, is this a nice resort and does it have a nice beach? I have never been to this area and wanted something in Playacar.

    • Hello Tina

      We have not been to this resort but we do get comments from readers about this resort. Most people say it is middle of the road. The beach is nice as is with most of Playacar phase 2. So you cannot go wrong there as far as the beach.

  45. We are staying at the Sandos Playa Del Carmen. I saw where you were critical of it. do you know if improvements have been made? I would like my 1st visit to Mexico to be awesome and after looking at their website, my expectations were pretty high.

    • It has been a while since we were there and the renovations that were taking place should be done by now. For the first time visitor you should have a good time there. It should be noted that it is at the far south end of Playacar so it is not really possible to walk into Playa to walk around 5th Avenue. So you will need a taxi. There are about 100 resorts in the Riviera Maya so you have lots of options. This should give your a good feel for Mexico and then next time you might want to explore some of the other resorts as well.

    • Many of our readers really like the Viva Wyndham. It is separate from the downtown but close enough to walk or take a taxi into town. The beach is nice in front of Playacar. This is also not the cheap end of resorts. Most of our readers that like this hotel are couples in their later 40’s to 60’s.

  46. Thank you for the vast amount of useful information in your website! I was wondering if you had any opinions of the Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla AI resort. My friends and I are deciding between that one and your recommended Royal Hideaway Playacar.

    Thanks again!

    • Hello Sam

      We do have some thoughts. Royal Hideaway is nice and is under new management so the quality has gone down some. The Royal Hideaway is more for people 40-55 who prefer a quieter resort. This resort is about equal distance from the center of Playa but a little easier and nicer drive to the center in taxi or long walk. The beach is usually better here as well.
      Paradisus is a newer and nicer resort with better restaurant options. The beach often has seaweed because the bay it is on. The surrounding area is not that nice since it is in a local area but there are big walls and you cannot see out of the resort. The pools are nice and the crowd is a little younger and energetic.

  47. Do you have any info about the Reef Coco Beach hotel? Your website is so helpful and I can’t wait to finally visit Mexico!

    • Hello Gen

      We have been past this hotel many times but have not stayed there. It does get more European and eastern European guest. It is a smaller and more tranquil hotel on the edge of the downtown. The beach is ok but the beaches in Playacar are much better. Since this is a smaller hotel there will not be much for entertainment or a large food selection. This should be reflected in a lower price. That are just some of our thoughts.

    • It is not really known as anything particularly gay friendly about it. Most large resorts are very family friendly. With large resort though there are a mix of people and often a small groups of gays.

  48. Hello, we are looking at a 5 night stay at the Royal Hideaway for Christmas with 2 adult sons, ages 26 and 24. Wondering if the vibe would be too mature for them? My husband and I don’t want crazy busy, but we do want it to be fun for them, as that is why we are choosing all inclusive. Any thoughts? Additional suggestions?

    • Hello Cindy

      This hotel does get young people but there is not much of entertainment focused at them and they might want to go into Playa to go to Coco Bongo or bars. The Riu Hotels in Playacar are more youthful. HardRock Riviera Maya is has something for everyone but is not in Playa. That is some guidance we can offer.

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