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Editor’s picks on where to stay in the Riviera Maya.
Riu Palace Mexico
Within walking distance to Playa del Carmen, this popular resort is one of six Riu Resorts in the gated community of Playacar. The resort was recently renovated and the new modern look is both upscale and relaxing. As a bonus, guests of Riu Palace Mexico have access to all of the Riu Resorts in Playacar. Golfers will enjoy the special guest rates at three courses: El Manglar, Grand Coral Riviera Maya and the nearby Playacar Golf Club.
Iberostar Paraíso Lindo
One of our favorite spots for families, this resort has six pools, an exceptional kids’ club, a wave pool and lazy river, an on-site golf course and a long stretch of beach. The resort’s colonial-style architecture adds to the charm, and the breathtaking views are unforgettable.
Barceló Maya Beach Resort
Another great choice for families, with an 18-hole mini-golf course, bowling alley and brand new FlowRider surf simulator, this resort sits on almost two miles of white sand beach. Book a Club Premium room and get great perks like free Wi-Fi and 24-hour free room service. Our favorite new room category is the swim-up suite, and if you want a little extra room, ask for a corner suite with twice the outside space!
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
While technically located just south of Cancún, Moon Palace is one of our favorite resorts. The expansive resort is divided into three sections: Sunrise, Nizuc, and Moon Grand. The essence of Moon Palace comes down to entertainment, from the FlowRider surf simulator to the awesome Wired Teen Lounge, and concerts by big-name artists such as Usher and Shakira. With their range of rooms from family suites to romantic honeymoon hideaways, this resort lives up to the saying that there’s something for everyone.
El Dorado Maroma by Karisma
This adults-only resort has a prime location next to Maroma Adventures on Punta Maroma Beach. Add to the mix the Wine Spectator award-winning cuisine, super-attentive service and all-suite luxury accommodations, and the results are divine. The inside scoop is that this resort is building Mexico’s first-ever over-water bungalows, set to open this year.
Excellence Riviera Cancún
Every feature of this adults-only oasis was designed to surprise and delight, from the two-story rooftop terrace suites to the spectacular ocean views from your bed. Speaking of surprises, there’s an Indian restaurant, Basmati, that earns top marks from guests, and all the lobster you can eat is included in the all-inclusive plan.
The Royal Playa del Carmen
Steps from vibrant Fifth Avenue, with access to all the shops and bars, The Royal strikes the perfect balance of relaxation and energy. The swim-up bar area next to the beach is always action-packed, and the quiet pool is an oasis of serenity. But The Royal’s most memorable feature is its “Service From the Heart” concept, where guests are made to feel like family.
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Along with rock-star treatment, guests at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya are spoiled by the coolest host on the Yucatán Peninsula, the Vibe Manager, who makes sure the music is smooth, the room is buzzing and the temperature is just right. We also love the unique protected beach, the great kids’ club for little ones, the super cool Music Lab for teens and adults, and the option to have a Fender guitar or mixing board in your room during your stay.
The Royal Suites Yucatán by Palladium
We love the combination of small-resort vibe with access to all the big-resort amenities. When you stay at the adults-only Royal Suites Yucatán, you get access to 13 additional restaurants and 26 bars at sister properties within the resort complex. And you can’t beat eight pools (including one with saltwater!), butler service and close proximity to Akumal.
Occidental Grand Xcaret
The obvious appeal of Occidental Grand Xcaret is its proximity to the spectacular eco-archaeological Xcaret Park. But the resort’s own wow factor should not be overlooked. Check out the brand new dolphinarium, plus archery, tennis and mini golf. Tip: to get the most from your stay, choose the Unlimited Xcaret Xperience package, which includes unlimited access to Xcaret Park along with upgraded hotel amenities and VIP treatment.
Generations Riviera Maya
Every room at Generations Riviera Maya is amazing: the first floor suites have swim-up access to the pool; the second through fourth floors have private plunge pools on the balconies; and floors five and six have the best sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea from their oversized balconies. Plus, every room comes with butler service. Add the Gourmet Inclusive experience, with incredible cuisine, a kids’ club supervised by certified professionals, and a secluded beach—well, you can see why this resort is one of our favorites.