The first variables to consider when planning your getaway is what kind of environment will make your vacation a satisfying one. Are you yearning for a quiet beach setting or a happening destination that has international cuisine and nightclubs? Perhaps you want something in between – a mix of quiet beach spots with some reliable restaurants. Maybe what you’re looking for is a cultural experience at a destination that is mostly frequented by locals or the convenience of an all-inclusive hotel that can provide you with all your needs. Fortunately, regardless what your requirements are, the Riviera Maya has a town and hotel for you.
For those of you who want a mix of local culture with the conveniences of quality restaurants and a few bars, Puerto Morelos is our first stop. This seaside fishing town has grown rapidly in the past few years, but it still retains a classic Mexican pueblo flavor, and much of the businesses are still owned by Mexicans whose family history goes back to the founders of the town. Only twenty minutes from the Cancun airport, Puerto Morelos has both convenience and beach-side relaxation. There are many hotels to choose from in this town, for a variety of budgets and tastes, but the undeniable, all-around best hotel in this area is Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa. This hotel is on a lovely beach at the north end of Puerto Morelos, includes one of the best spas in Quintana Roo, and provides premium quality, all-inclusive, products (liquor, food, room amenities). This is also the only all-inclusive hotel included here.
Many of you will require a livelier environment to get the most out of your vacation. If that’s the case, then, of course, you should stay in Playa del Carmen. This is by far the most sophisticated setting along the Mexican Caribbean. Here, there are two hotels that are completely distinctive – both from one another and from any other hotel in town. Coincidentally, these hotels are across the street from each other. The first, Reina Roja, is an architectural work of art with a fine restaurant, metropolitan bar scene, and luxuriant theme rooms. The other, Hotel Aventura Mexicana, is a refined, classic hotel, with world class service and amenities – including a restaurant with one of Playa’s finest chefs and a small spa with massage therapists that are worth making the trip just to see them. Both of these hotels are just off of the main avenue (5th), but it is the quieter part of 5th Avenue. Thus, you get to get away from it all while being in the midst of it all.
If relaxing beach time is what you’re needing, then head farther south to Akumal, Soliman Bay, or Tulum. Akumal is the best choice in the Mexican Caribbean for snorkeling, and it offers fully equipped condo-hotels, such as Hacienda de la Tortuga – which has everything you need to make yourself at home in front of its pristine bays. It sits above one of the best restaurants in Quintana Roo, La Lunita.
The second beach destination worth traveling to from afar is Soliman Bay. This is a small, exclusive and tranquil community of villas and a new gem of a hotel: Jashita Hotel, which has a restaurant that serves international cuisine, offers luxury rooms and suites with loads of amenities, and provides a quiet, stylish, and romantic setting in which to escape your worries.
The third beach setting, Tulum, has mostly cabin-like palapas that are set in an international bohemian community. If comparing setting and amenities, three hotels stand out from the rest. Playa Mambo is one of the smallest, quietest hotel in Tulum. It has an accommodating staff, comfortable palapas with porches, in front of the sea, on a powdery, white beach. Azulik has rustic cabins on stilts overlooking a dramatic seascape, decks with wooden bath tubs, and all the comforts you can think of that don’t include electricity and internet in your room. The last hotel, Sueños, has an excellent staff, creatively-designed buildings, and a good restaurant.