The Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Playa del Carmen
An hour south of Cancun, away from the urban beach sprawl and frenetic nightlife, is the region's sophisticated sister, Playa del Carmen. Once a sleepy, hammock-laden fishing village, Playa del Carmen has blossomed in the last decade as a boho-chic paradise, where travelers in straw fedoras bask under thatched palapas, sipping cocktails in coconuts while feasting on fresh ceviche. It's one of Mexico's most luxurious destinations on the Riviera Maya coast.
The town of Playa del Carmen isn't just sugary-white beachfront. Its popularity has attracted a clutch of upscale restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. At night, the humid air mixes with the aroma of sizzling street meat and the sounds of salsa, hip hop, and rock music. Of course, those aforementioned beaches are some of the most beautiful and quiet in the Yucatan, many fringed by pockets of mangrove forest.
Travelers will also find that Playa del Carmen is a great entryway to Cozumel, thanks to a fast ferry service that runs all day. Not quite as remote and exclusive as Tulum to the south, Playa del Carmen has plenty of party punch—but you won't spiral into any Spring Break flashbacks.
The all-inclusive resorts in and around Playa del Carmen range from ultra-romantic retreats with rooftop plunge pools and overwater bungalows to family-friendly escapes that are some of the best properties in all of Mexico. Whether you're seeking the ultimate spa getaway or a casual beach vacation, every all-inclusive property on this list promises to take the guesswork out of planning a vacation. No matter how many coconut drinks you order, your vacation won't end in sticker shock.
Here are our picks for the best Playa del Carmen all-inclusive resorts.
El Dorado Royale
The sprawling adults-only El Dorado Royale is one of the crown jewels in the Karisma Hotels empire. Spread across a gorgeous stretch of secluded beach, the resort boasts gorgeous suites, eight bars, seven restaurants, a spa, and six swimming pools. Karisma is also known for its Gourmet Inclusive concept, which raises the bar on dining at all-inclusive resorts (we're talking 24-hour room service and fresh vegetables and herbs grown on-site). For something even more exclusive, consider the El Dorado Casitas Royale, a hotel-within-a-hotel at the El Dorado Royale.
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla
Nestled between both a private bay as well as bustling Fifth Avenue in downtown Playa del Carmen, this adults-only resort leaves little to be desired. All rooms have balconies or terraces, and many in the higher categories have direct pool access. In addition to 14 restaurants and 16 bars, this property has a sweeping Yhi Spa just shy of 20,000-square-feet, where yoga, pilates, and spinning classes are included with your stay.
The Royal Playa del Carmen
What sets this adults-only all-inclusive by Playa Resorts apart from other properties in the area is the all-suite accommodations. Every guest enjoys private balconies with hammocks and whirlpool tubs, and many find themselves in swim-up suites or those set directly on the beach. Other highlights include seven restaurants and a tequileria with such rare bottles as an 1800 blanco tequila from Jalisco and a 1921 blend from Guadalajara. Be sure to experience the hydrotherapy and Temazcal steam bath at the SPAzul spa.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
There’s all-inclusive luxury, and then there is Grand Velas—arguably one of the most exclusive and indulgent resorts in Mexico. Just a short taxi ride from downtown Playa del Carmen, this family-friendly possesses a generous stretch of beachfront, mangroves, and cenotes. But the 539-suite property (each at least 1,100-square-feet in size with plunge pools) works hard to appeal to couples, too. There's private butler service, resort activities like kayaking and scuba diving, ambitious restaurants turning out masterpieces of molecular gastronomy, and one of the largest spas in the country.
Azul Fives by Karisma
Another resort by Karisma, Azul Fives promises to please every member of your party. From sandy beaches to swim-up bars, four restaurants, live entertainment, shopping, and a whole menu of activities designed specifically for kids and teens, boredom is strictly prohibited. Rooms are a sophisticated mix of mahogany and marble, and the resort is a short ride from downtown Playa.
Live Aqua Boutique Resort
Live Aqua Boutique Resort is a rare all-inclusive hotel that fuses resort relaxation with a decidedly downtown atmosphere. By day, guests lounge poolside at the hotel’s rooftop terrace, where there is also a sushi restaurant, bar, and lounge—all of which overlook the rooftops of Playa and the sea. At night, the terrace transforms into a veritable club.
Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
For pure romance, travelers should reserve a room at Secrets Maroma Beach. Sparks will fly at the adults-only resort, which has 412 suites, each with a private terrace or balcony, and in-suite whirlpool for two. Seven gourmet restaurants round out the dining options, but Secrets Maroma also offers a Sip, Savor & See program, allowing guests to enjoy dinner, drinks, or live entertainment at neighboring resorts. Should you choose to remain on property, Secrets is known for its Unlimited-Luxury promise: endless dining, top-shelf spirits, 24-hour room and concierge services, wait service by the pool and beach, all activities, and nightly entertainment are included in your stay.
El Dorado Maroma
This intimate resort, also by Karisma, is on one of the most attractive stretches of white sand beach in Riviera Maya. Guests are dispersed between 128 rooms, six restaurants, and four bars. El Dorado Maroma is also one of the only resorts in Mexico to offer overwater bungalows. These 30 palafitos opened in September and have ocean views, glass-bottom floors, direct ladder access to the ocean, outdoor showers, private infinity pools, indoor Jacuzzis, and decks furnished with lounge chairs. An overwater restaurant and spa will complete the experience.
Tucked in the exclusive residential community of Playacar—a short walk down the beach from downtown Playa del Carmen—is Playacar Palace. Stay in one of 201 luxury suites, each with double whirlpool tubs and 24-hour room service. But it’s the little extra luxury touches that put this all-inclusive resort over the top, like its red wine upon arrival and in-room CHI hair products and styling tools (it's worthwhile to splurge on the ocean view). There are three restaurants and four bars, as well as an outdoor pool with a kids section.
Hotel Blue Diamond Riviera Maya
This adults-only wellness resort sits on 36 acres of tropical jungle, and guests can choose between various suites (some with rooftop terraces and rooftop infinity pools) and beachfront casitas. The spa is a playground for pampering, with more than 25,000-square-feet of space and a menu that blends Mayan and Asian techniques. Included in each stay is one Mayan Temazcal session, as well as complimentary access to the spa’s hydrotherapy facilities. For a special treat, request the 24-hour champagne breakfast, which is available for an additional fee.
Valentin Imperial Maya
Lounge white daybeds under rustic thatch-roofed palapas while gazing out at the Caribbean Sea at Hotel Valentin. An adults-only resort that sits on a stretch of beach named Playa del Secreto, there are 524 junior suites and 16 suites, and visitors have access to concierge services, 24-hour beverage services, and a pillow menu. Seven a la carte restaurants include Italian, French, Japanese, Indonesia, and Mexican, though there's also a steakhouse and seafood grill.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
As far as Iberostar resorts go, the Grand Collection is one of the brand's premier properties. This spa hotel near Playa del Carmen is a beach enclave with individual and honeymoon suites and seemingly endless water sports. Choose from 310 suites, including 120 sea-facing or 180 Grand Suites overlooking the gardens. There are also 10 villas and two Presidential Suites for extra-large parties (and extra-large wallets).