By Lila Battis
July 08, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Cala de Mar Resort &; Spa

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on Mar. 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

Not every beautiful resort town has it all. Sure, white-sand beaches are a prerequisite, but too often a jam-packed roster of activities and amenities eclipses all traces of the destination itself — the culture, the history, the nuances of cuisine. Tiki drinks may be a given, but a sense of place isn’t always as easy to find.

Not so for the properties on this year’s list of the top 25 resorts in Mexico. As diverse as these properties are, they all share a passion for supporting and showcasing the richness of their communities. Take No. 10 Montage Los Cabos: if you want to laze by the pool all day, attendants will ensure you never want for a margarita or a repositioned umbrella. Those who are itching to discover Baja more deeply can sign up for a spa treatment using local flora or book private excursions to meet with local artists in charming Todos Santos. It’s a similar story just across the Sea of Cortés at our No. 6 resort, W Punta de Mita. The insouciant spirit of the W brand is alive and well, but with splashy décor by makers from nearby Sayulita, design inspired by Huichol folk art, and offerings that include history and architecture tours of neighboring towns.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

This year, readers overwhelmingly sung the praises of Mexico’s Pacific coast, with nine of the top 10 winners situated on the country’s western shore. Some of our top 2020 properties will be familiar to frequent World’s Best readers: Last year’s first-place finisher, the Resort at Pedregal, was rebranded the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal and came in at No. 3 this time around. The always-impressive Rosewood Mayakoba held strong at second place — after all, a water-taxi room escort is a pretty incredible way to make an entrance. As for our blue-ribbon property? With its ocean-view adobe suites stacked along the rocky coast, it feels like Mexico’s answer to a Mediterranean beach getaway.

Read on for all 25 of this year’s best resort hotels in Mexico.

1. Cala de Mar Resort & Spa, Ixtapa

Credit: Courtesy of Cala de Mar Resort & Spa

Score: 96.69

More information: calademar.com

Honeymooners, look no further. Where other hotels might merely suggest romance, Cala de Mar may as well be singing it from the rooftops with a string quartet playing backup. There’s not a lackluster room in the mix: Each of the property’s 59 suites has a private terrace and a plunge pool overlooking the Pacific. The décor is light and laid-back, with furnishings of wood and woven cane and breezy white linens galore for a beachy, earthy vibe. A designated personal assistant is on hand to book you a romantic dinner à deux in a surprise location, set up a shaman-led temazcal ceremony, or simply weigh in on the best things to do in the area. It’s easy enough to fill your days on site with activities like yoga, meditation, and sitting poolside with paletas, but don’t sleep on the offerings that take you beyond the resort, including tours of the fishing village of Zihuatanejo, biking in the nature reserve, or cooking classes that kick off with a trip to the local market. Just make sure you’re back in time to take advantage of the daily happy hour — cold beers and chips and guacamole delivered to your room. It’s the universal indicator of true luxury: Casa de Mar may be over the top, but in paradise, guac is not extra.

2. Rosewood Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen

Credit: Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

Score: 96.05

More information: rosewoodhotels.com

3. Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas

Credit: Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

Score: 95.72

More information: waldorfastoria.com

4. Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, Mazatlán

Credit: Courtesy of Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

Score: 95.30

More information: pueblobonito.com

5. Viceroy Los Cabos, San José del Cabo

Credit: Courtesy of Viceroy Los Cabos

Score: 95.29

More information: viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

6. W Punta de Mita

Credit: Courtesy of W Punta de Mita

Score: 94.93

More information: whotels.com

7. Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, Cabo San Lucas

Credit: Courtesy of Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 94.84

More information: aubergeresorts.com

8. Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta

Credit: Courtesy of Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta

Score: 94.35

More information: vidanta.com

9. Vidanta Los Cabos

Credit: Courtesy of Vidanta Los Cabos

Score: 94.03

More information: vidanta.com

10. Montage Los Cabos

Credit: Courtesy of Montage Los Cabos

Score: 93.76

More information: montagehotels.com

11. The Ritz-Carlton Cancun

Credit: Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

Score: 93.76

More information: ritzcarlton.com

12. Chileno Bay Resort, Auberge Resorts Collection, Cabo San Lucas

Credit: Courtesy of Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 93.74

More information: aubergeresorts.com

13. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort, San José del Cabo

Credit: Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels

Score: 93.50

More information: rosewoodhotels.com

14. Nizuc Resort & Spa, Cancún

Credit: Courtesy of NIZUC Resort & Spa

Score: 93.26

More information: nizuc.com

15. One&Only Palmilla, San José del Cabo

Credit: Courtesy of One&Only Palmilla

Score: 93.07

More information: oneandonlyresorts.com

16. Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen

Credit: Courtesy of Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Score: 92.90

More information: grandvelas.com

17. Vidanta Riviera Maya

Credit: Courtesy of Vidanta Riviera Maya

Score: 92.62

More information: vidanta.com

18. JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

Credit: Courtesy of JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa

Score: 92.55

More information: marriott.com

19. Hacienda Encantada Resort & Residences, Los Cabos

Credit: Courtesy of Mexico Grand Hotels

Score: 92.52

More information: haciendaencantada.com

20. Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Playa del Carmen

Credit: Courtesy of Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Score: 92.35

More information: hotelxcaret.com

21. Mahekal Beach Resort, Playa del Carmen

Credit: Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort

Score: 92.34

More information: mahekalbeachresort.com

22. Grand Solmar Land's End Resort & Spa, Cabo San Lucas

Credit: Courtesy of Grand Solmar Land's End Resort & Spa

Score: 92.30

More information: solmar.com

23. Marquis Los Cabos, San José del Cabo

Credit: Courtesy of Marquis Los Cabos

Score: 92.19

More information: marquisloscabos.com

24. Valentin Imperial Maya, Playa del Carmen

Credit: Courtesy of Valentin Imperial Maya

Score: 92.00

More information: valentinmaya.com

25. St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

Credit: Courtesy of The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

Score: 91.47

More information: marriott.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.