Mayan Riviera Hotels

Mayan Riviera hotels don't rise up high above the landscape like in Cancun. Tucked within ecological preserves they are surrounded by lush gardens and in some of them you can even find local fauna like spidermonkeys and coatimundis. Free flowing infinity pools with cascades and playing areas for your kids, international designer golf courses, gourmet restaurants and luxury Spas to pamper you with endless relaxation are among their many amenities.

Needles to say competition is fierce. Like a bunch of politicians all Mayan Riviera hotels will try to seduce you with the finest pristine beaches where "my sand is softer and more powdery than my neighbor's", chefs-de-cuisine are preparing the most delicate gourmet dishes to caress your taste buds and the courteous staff attends to your every whim. Unparalleled personal attention is probably only matched by your therapist.

So what is the best Mayan Riviera hotel?

I can't really tell for there are so many of them! Imagine, the Riviera Maya has about 32,000 hotel rooms available at the time of this writing. Everything from prestigious luxury hotels and resorts to cozy Caribbean guesthouses for smaller budgets. I'm sure one of them will appeal to you! You'll find friendly Mexican hospitality and an abundance of features for every wallet. Is this to be your family vacation? Go for one of the 4 or 5 - star resorts with a good kid's club where your children 'll be entertained and you can rejuvenate at the hotel Spa. Want to hit the greens? Then check if there's any tee-time included, are lessons available for you and/or your children? There are several Adults Only accommodations, including some All-inclusive. If you want to go beyond that we have a few clothing optional resorts.

Are you looking for out-of-the-ordinary?

Check out our Boutique beach hotels if you want something special.


One aspect you want to take into consideration when choosing a Riviera Maya hotel is its location. The Riviera is a 60 mile (100 km) strip along the Caribbean coast to the south of Cancun. Playa del Carmen is about halfway, meaning many resorts are located at some distance of either Cancun or Playa del Carmen. So you might consider the distances.

If you choose, let's say, a resort near Akumal or Tulum that means your 30 or 40 min. away from Playa del Carmen. That's not too far and most resorts offer transportation, but if you happen to like the buzz of a funky town right at your doorstep and be able to get out of your hotel without having to travel then I suggest you consider one of the Playacar hotels. They are within walking distance of Playa's famous 5th Avenue. If on the contrary you want to completely decompress, you'll be better off at one of the Riviera hotels.

Tulum and Akumal

Choosing a resort at Akumal or Tulum means more time from and to the airport. This inconvenience will of course be more than compensated by the beautiful beaches at this particular stretch of the Mayan Riviera. Within a few years a secondary airport should be operational at or nearby Tulum.

You may also consider going on some organized tour to visit the ancient Mayan ruins. In that case, driving distance from the Akumal/Tulum hotels to top attractions like Coba and Chichen Itza is far less than from one of the hotels North of Playa del Carmen. The difference is in the pick-up time from your hotel. That can be considerable between the first and the last hotel on a list of 7 or 8 and wether or not you have to pass Playa del Carmen traffic lights.

Beach, Playa Del Carmen, Yucatan, Mexico, North America
Beach, Playa Del Carmen, Yucatan, Mexico, North America Photographic Print
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Where's the beach?

My advice is to check up-front the condition of the beach at the Mayan Riviera hotel of your choice. Believe me, there are beautiful, world-class beaches along the Riviera, the kind that gets honors in travel magazines. The question is wether your hotel is on it or how much of it is left. Hurricane Wilma namely has sucked these soft white sands up in the air and the erosion does the rest. Or the beach has 'moved' to the hotel nextdoor and you'll find yourself hitting bedrock! Better check first than be disappointed later. Personally I've had some guests who told me they had switched hotels because the one they had originally booked hardly had any beach left.

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