Riviera Maya

Hotels in Riviera Maya

There are countless places to stay along the Riviera Maya coastline. Riviera Maya hotels in Playa del Carmen and Cancun tend to be lavish barefoot affairs with excellent dining, spa treatments, and activities such as snorkeling; for more laid-back digs, head to Tulum. Most hotels in the Riviera Maya are all-inclusives, so be sure to read the fine print. Here, our shortlist of the best hotels in the Riviera Maya, all of which put you just steps from the area's hypnotic water.

The open-concept Hotel Hacienda Morelos is right on the shoreline, not far from the Crococun Zoo and Arrecife de Puerto Morelos National Park.
Villa Arqueologica Coba is in the style of a traditional hacienda and serves excellently prepared local ingredients at the on-site restaurant. 
Surrounded by a massive mangrove and jungle reserve, the Grand Velas is within walking distance of the shore.
The Viceroy, set between the beach and tropical forest, offers yoga classes on the beach and the on-site La Marea restaurant (tip: order the grouper with crab-bisque sauce).

Mexico’s Riviera Maya is known for its sprawling resorts, but the new, 27-room Acanto Boutique Hotel proves that low-key simplicity also has a place on the Yucatan peninsula.

Behind a stark urban façade, another world unwinds in slow motion, reminiscent of a scene from the Swiss Family Robinson: wood-and-thatch dwellings, screened by banana trees, form a quadrangle crisscrossed by rustic stairs and wood-railed balcony porches.

This eco-friendly boutique has 24 thatched-roof cabanas with thatched roofs and rustic designs that include East Asian hints such as Buddha statuettes and incense burners. Beds are draped with netting that serves the dual purpose of creating an airy feel while keeping out mosquitos.

The hotel's spartan-but-chic suites, many in two-story, thatched-roof units, are clean and elegant, with rustic furnishings made of tropical woods.

The infinity pool, meditation room, and thatched-roof palapas buildings give this small resort plenty of quiet, tropical touches. There are no televisions, telephones, or alarm clocks in the 10 rooms and suites.

The Banyan Tree, which opened in the lavish Mayakoba coastal development in March 2009, upped the opulence ante with 107 private stand-alone villas (the smallest is 3,150-plus square feet), complete with slate floors, Talavera earthenware sinks, and soaring glass skylights.

As the Riviera Maya’s first environmentally conscious golf-and-spa complex, the Fairmont Mayakoba is an eco-friendly alternative to the monolithic resorts clustered along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Situated on a sugary beach on Mexico's Riviera Maya coast, Excellence Riviera Cancun is styled after a classic Mediterranean resort: stucco, tile, and marble (though it does have Mayan paintings on the exterior). Suites have four-poster beds, marble baths, and two-person whirlpools.

Gran Bahia Principe Tulum is connected to four other resorts in the Riviera Maya area, and has tropical gardens and native fauna that are found in Mayan forests. The 858 guest rooms differ in size and proximity to the beach.

Five hotels on a white-sand beach, plus more than 37,000 square feet of pools and water-park features.

Suspended over a freshwater lagoon, the 18 suites are the perfect escape at Playa del Carmen’s most secluded resort. You’ll love the plunge pools and views of the lush mangroves.

Ana y Jose, named after its founding couple, has 24 spacious rooms placed throughout the lush property, which faces a quiet, white sand beach about four miles south of the fortressed Mayan ruins of Tulum.

The boutique property is the latest venture from the hip Micha brothers, who were behind the popular Hotel Deseo, also in bustling Playa del Carmen. This 15-room hideaway, just a block from the beach, forgoes the Deseo’s streamlined aesthetic for a rougher, more industrial look.

Mahekal Beach Resort, situated on the sun-dappled Riviera Maya in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, was formerly the Shangri-La Caribe, deriving its name from author James Hilton’s vision for utopia.