Where to stay in Riviera Maya – 11 best resorts

Mexico, Resort

Do you want to escape from the stress and routine of everyday life? Or do you want to take your partner on the adventure of a tropical paradise? Maybe you want to enjoy the comfort and the luxury of a world-class resort? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might want to consider booking one of the best resorts in Riviera Maya in Mexico. Riviera Maya is a beautiful region that stretches along the Caribbean coast of Mexico, from Cancun to Tulum.

It is known for its warm and sunny climate, rich and vibrant culture, and a lot of attractions and activities for all kinds of tourists. Whether you want to relax on the white sand beaches, swim in the turquoise water, explore the ancient ruins, or discover the natural wonders, you can find something that suits your taste and interest in Riviera Maya. However, if you want to experience an unforgettable vacation, there are a decent number of luxurious resorts that will satisfy all your needs and more. Here are the 11 best resorts in Riviera Maya:

Hotel Riu Palace Riviera Maya is an amazing 24-hour all-inclusive resort located on a private beach in Playacar, a gated community near Playa del Carmen. It is part of the Riu Palace category, which is the most elegant and sophisticated category of the Riu hotel chain. Therefore, this resort is perfect for a honeymoon or a relaxing vacation with your loved ones. The resort was recently renovated, and the new modern look is both upscale and trendy. As a bonus, guests of Riu Palace Mexico have access to all of the Riu Resorts in Playacar.

Riu Palace Riviera Maya
Image source: Booking.com

Golfers can enjoy the special guest rates at three courses: El Manglar, Grand Coral Riviera Maya, and the nearby Playacar Golf Club. Furthermore, it offers a wide range of activities and entertainment options for all ages, such as hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, yoga, shows, and live music. There are 460 guest rooms and suites, each with a fireplace, a balcony, and a whirlpool tub, as well as a variety of facilities and services, such as a spa, a fitness center, a golf course, and a restaurant.

One of our favorite spots in Riviera Maya is this popular 5-star family resort that has six pools, an exceptional kids’ club, a wave pool and lazy river, an on-site golf course, and a long stretch of beach. It promotes an eco-friendly vacation with a pool made from recycled materials and a StarCamp play area made from recycled plastic. Also, guests can explore the hotel’s mangroves, emphasizing their importance in combating climate change.

Iberostar Selection Paraiso Lindo
Image source: Booking.com

Iberostar Resort is the perfect place for those who have small kids. There are several themed restaurants and a lovely slide area with pools. But, there are also various activities for parents. For example, you can take Zumba classes with super good and strong teachers. The resort’s colonial-style architecture adds to the charm, and the breathtaking views are unforgettable.

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. Barcelo Maya is also a 5-star all-inclusive resort that offers themed restaurants, sports facilities, pools for adults and children, and a U-Spa for its guests. It is suitable for vacations with children, weddings, honeymoons, or even corporate events.

Barcelo Maya Beach Resort
Image source: Booking.com

Many guests praise the location of this resort. The sea has no seaweed, it is very calm, and there are no local sellers or annoying people. We recommend booking a Club Premium room and getting 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!

While technically located just south of Cancún, Moon Palace is one of our favorite resorts. It is a luxurious all-inclusive resort with over 2,000 rooms split between two sections, Nizuc and Sunrise, each with its own decor, design, amenities, and appeal. The resort offers a wide range of amenities, including a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, a dolphinarium area where guests can swim with dolphins, and a full-service spa and fitness center. Furthermore, there are over 20 restaurants and bars where you can taste delicious Mexican, Asian, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine.

Moon Palace Cancun
Image source: Booking.com

Worth mentioning is that Moon Palace is only a 15-minute drive from the airport, so it is the best option for those coming to Riviera Maya by plane. 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 its range of rooms from family suites to romantic honeymoon hideaways, this resort lives up to the saying that there is something for everyone.

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 resort has 157 suites, including 30 over-the-water bungalows, which are the first of their kind in Mexico. Furthermore, it is known for its breathtaking natural environment, which features a fabulous and astounding view of the ocean and beachfront.

El Dorado Maroma
Image source: TripAdvisor

El Dorado Maroma is perfect for those who want a quiet vacation away from big and crowded resorts and pools. There are a few restaurants and bars where you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We loved Mia (the Italian) and the Caribbean restaurants. Papitos on the beach has a wonderful view and great meals for breakfast. Of course, every night ends in Rick’s Bar!

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 is an Indian restaurant, Basmati, which earns top marks from guests, and all the lobster you can eat is included in the all-inclusive plan. Excellence Riviera Cancun is a luxury adults-only resort, so it is perfect for couples who prefer peaceful vacations.

Excellence Riviera Cancun
Image source: TripAdvisor

The resort has six meandering pools that wind through its grounds, and guests have unlimited access to eight international restaurants and ten bars. The check-in process is a spectacular sight to be seen, with a bellhop on hand to take your bags, doors that automatically open, and a glass of bubbly to greet you. Worth mentioning is that Excellence Riviera Cancun is eco-friendly and tries not to offer plastic products.

Steps from vibrant Fifth Avenue, with access to all the shops and bars, The Hilton 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 most memorable feature is its “Service From the Heart” concept, where guests are made to feel like family. There are a total of 513 luxurious, all-suite accommodations with garden or ocean views, hot tub, LED TV with satellite channels, complimentary Wi-Fi, plush bathrobes and slippers, BOSE sound system, bathrooms with luxury amenities, a fully-stocked premium mini bar and turndown service.

Hilton Playa del Carmen
Image source: Booking.com

Furthermore, the resort features 7 specialty restaurants serving Mexican, Asian, and Mediterranean and International dishes. You can try plenty of different activities while on vacation. For example, you can swim in an Olympic-sized lap pool, or just enjoy the moment in a tranquil relaxation pool. There is also a large fitness center and rooftop tennis court.

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 hotel is divided into two sections: Heaven for adults only and Hacienda for families. Each section has its own pools, beach areas, restaurants, and bars.

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Image source: Booking.com

The most unique feature of Hard Rock Hotel is a Rock Spa that offers a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, hydrotherapy, and even a Rhythm and Motion massage that synchronizes music and vibrations with the therapist’s movements. There is also a Rock Shop that sells merchandise and memorabilia from famous rock bands and artists, such as T-shirts, hats, pins, and guitars. For those coming with kids, there is an unmissable stop called Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club that provides entertainment and activities for children aged 4 to 12, such as games, crafts, movies, and music lessons.

We love the combination of a 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!), 24-hour butler service, and close proximity to Akumal. But, the most praised feature is that all suites have garden views and a hydromassage bath, as well as a living area and a sofa bed.

The Royal Suites Yucatan
Image source: Booking.com

 The Royal Suites Yucatan also has a Zentropía Palladium Spa & Wellness which features exercise equipment, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, and vapor baths. You can spend your free time in a reading lounge, covered theatre, handcrafts market, shopping center, Internet café, or bookstore. For those who want an active vacation, there are a bunch of activities like volleyball, archery, soccer, tennis, basketball, paddle ball courts, rifle, and archery ranges. The resort will also organize scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, and catamaran trips for you.

The obvious appeal of Occidental Grand Xcaret is its proximity to the spectacular eco-archaeological Xcaret Park which is home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, coati, iguanas, and other animals. But the resort’s own wow factor should not be overlooked. Check out the brand-new dolphinarium, plus archery, tennis, and mini golf. 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.

Occidental Grand Xcaret
Image source: Booking.com

The resort offers 11 restaurants and 10 bars, including a disco for those who want to have fun at night. There are also 7 swimming pools, a private cove with soft white sand and tropical palm trees, and riverbed formations. Guests can choose between 765 rooms and suites, all of which have a terrace or balcony and are surrounded by beautiful jungle gardens.

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.

Generations Riviera Maya
Image source: TripAdvisor

 Worth mentioning is that this resort has five onsite restaurants serving Asian cuisine, Mexican dishes, and Italian food. Furthermore, guests can use two swimming pools, two bars, and one spa. There is even a family lounge and amenities for babies. A unique and recommended activity you can have is horseback riding. All guests ages 18 and over are welcome to use the facilities at the adults-only El Dorado Casitas Royale and El Dorado Royale, by Karisma, which are located next door.

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