No beach vacation in Mexico is ever really complete unless you get out and explore the surrounding areas, and that is especially true when you travel to the Riviera Maya! Starting just south of Cancun and continuing along Mexico’s only Caribbean coast for more than 80 miles, this incredible part of the world is home to ancient Mayan ruins, spectacular freshwater cenotes, world-class golf courses and some of the world’s very best diving and snorkeling, with the world’s second largest barrier reef located just offshore…
In short, the Riviera Maya offers easy access to many truly unique activities that you simply can’t find anywhere else in the world, so it’s important that your hotel serves as a welcoming home base, where you can relax, recharge and get ready for the next exciting adventure or lazy day at the beach. Here are some of the best boutique hotels in the Riviera Maya, where you can unwind and enjoy everything this area has to offer.
1. The Fives Downtown Hotel & Residences, Playa del Carmen
As part of the prestigious Curio Collection by Hilton, The Fives in downtown Playa del Carmen is definitely one of the Riviera Maya’s coolest boutique hotels. Situated just moments from the clear turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean Sea and steps from the exciting Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida in Spanish) shopping, dining and entertainment district, which is one of the world’s longest pedestrian-only thoroughfares. With only 90 guest rooms, The Fives Downtown Hotel & Residences offers a more intimate, elegant, upscale vibe, creating a real oasis for guests to enjoy that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the area’s larger big-box and all-inclusive resorts.
2. Hotel Esencia, Xpu-Ha
The ultra-luxe former estate of an Italian Duchess, Hotel Escencia is located on the idyllic Xpu-Ha (pronounced sh’pu ha) beach, which lies in the heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya just south of Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras, but just north of Akumal and Tulum. With just 29 rooms on 50 sprawling acres, the property has a very private, exclusive vibe, and careful attention to detail in every aspect of the hotel operations, from the service to the décor. Vogue UK listed it as One of the Most Instagrammable Hotels in the World. The rooms are set in two-story buildings tucked amid the lush jungle landscape, boasting an upscale, contemporary vibe with high-end amenities, a spa and a restaurant on site.
3. The Beach Tulum
No list of the best boutique hotels in the Riviera Maya would be complete without mentioning The Beach Tulum, which is a small property with just 28 guest suites. The main attraction here is that every single one of them offers direct, unfettered access to the best beach in the world, but the hotel pool also has star power of its own, and was named one of the best in the region by Fodor’s! A stylish, adults-only beachfront hotel, The Beach Tulum also offers a spa, gym and two delicious on-site dining options, as well as a nice variety of handcrafted smoothies, energy drinks and cocktails beachfront at Ziggy’s Beach Club.
4. Jashita Hotel
This boutique hotel has a public pool, a children’s pool and a pool just for adults, making it a great choice for families with kids. Located between Akumal and Tulum, Jashita is an eco-conscious luxurious property that is known for giving careful attention to the details that matter most to travelers. The beach here at Soliman Bay is quiet, clean and secluded, while the guest suites have a chic, modern flair and the small, 30-room setting gives a personalized, authentic feel to the property.
5. Thompson Beach House, Playa del Carmen
This intimate, oceanfront boutique resort in Playa del Carmen offers easy access to all the action along Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), in an exclusive, contemporary setting featuring an intimate, bohemian vibe. The mid-century style is complemented by the personalized service in the property’s serene Beach House and exciting nightlife can be found on the rooftop at CATCH. The on-site restaurant serves up fire grilled seafood, fresh ceviche and world-class cocktails, while a 24-hour fitness center, rooftop pool, complimentary bicycles, paddleboards, watersports and yoga on the beach round out the impressive list of guest offerings at this exclusive boutique hotel.
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