Interview with Dalila-Hotel spa worker

What is it like to work and live in Playa Del Carmen?

Many of our readers have enjoyed getting a real look at what it is like to live and work in Playa Del Carmen. We have several articles about the life in Playa Del Carmen and the other side of things here when not on vacation. We hope you enjoy this interview.

How many years have you been in Playa Del Carmen? And where are you from?

I have been in Playa Del Carmen for three years and moved here from Mexico City.

Why did you move here?

One of my dreams was to live at the beach and to  live in an area with less pollution. I wanted a quiet life and a life with less stress.

What was the biggest surprise for you when you moved to Playa Del Carmen?

The biggest surprise for me was how people act with other people. In Mexico City people have a lot of stress and this effects how they treat other people. Many people live in Mexico city because of the schools and jobs. Here in Playa Del Carmen if you ask for directions people will actually show you where you need to go. I find people more friendly.

What type of job do you do here?

I work as a receptionist at a spa in a hotel.

What makes for a good hotel guest?

It is the vibe of the people. Even when people do not  tip it is the way they treat you that is important. I find people from Canada calm and understanding and find the to be some of the best guest..

What common misconceptions do you think  people have about the workers at the hotel?

People work really hard here and often speak more then one language. Everyone speaks Spanish sometimes Mayan with French, English  or another language. People come to Playa Del Carmen to archive dreams, support families. There are many misconceptions that people are lazy here but people work 6 days a week and are working hard to archive goals.

How do you live with the wage you make?

It is expensive to live in Playa Del Carmen. In Mexico city where I am from there are markets where you can find things much cheaper (meat cheese fruits). Here we have Walmart and Mega which are supposed to be cheap but are not. At the large hotels you can get meals included in your pay so I eat there once or twice a day depending on my schedule. It is a separate cafeteria for employees. I used to eat too many salads because of not having money. When I stated to work at a hotel that provided food, I gained 6 kilos (13 lbs) in four months.

What do you do on your day off?

I like to go to the beach, to the movies or read.

What goals or plans do you have?

I want to start a business and become a business woman in 5 years, maybe start a coffee shop.

What are some of your favorite places in Playa Del Carmen?

I like to go to Ah Cacao for coffee with friends, Tepoznieves for ice cream, and my favorite beach is in front of Playacar phase 1.

What is your best tip for tourist coming to Playa Del Carmen?

Don’t judge, first try. What that means is don’t judge things before you try it. There are a lot of people that give advice and they may be in a different country but you have come here and try things first to see for yourself. There are a lot of wrong ideas about Mexico that are not true and it is best to answer these things for yourself.

Thank you for talking with us Dalila and giving us a look inside your life here in Playa Del Carmen.


If you like getting an inside look at what it is like to work in Mexico you might enjoy reading our article “The secret life of the Mexican worker“.

sunrise Playa Del Carmen
People watching the sunrise from Constituyentes Avenue pier in Playa Del Carmen.