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T+L Reports: Mexico's Chic Shores

With its white-sand beaches and buzzing clubs, Playa del Carmen, some 35 miles south of Cancún on the Mayan Riviera, is emerging as the getaway of the moment. Frequently compared to South Beach in its early days, "Playa" is now cementing this reputation with the opening of its own Delano-style hotel. The 15-room Deseo- a two-minute walk from the sea- pays tribute to Philippe Starck's aesthetic. Clean white rooms have beige marble floors and theatrical curtains. A catwalk-worthy staff presides at the poolside bar, where guests recline on gigantic mattresses. Don't come for peace and quiet- this is a place where the house music never stops; it's even piped into guest rooms (although you can turn it off). But if you want to be on the cutting edge, Deseo should fulfill your desires. Deseo Hotel & Lounge, 5A Avda. and Calle 12, Playa del Carmen; 52-984/879-3620, fax 52-984/879-3621; doubles from $138.

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