Playa (as it’s known locally) is found in the state of Quintana Roo, in the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya area. Mexico. Here you can hang out at famous beach clubs, swim with turtles in the warm Caribbean Sea, take a trip to the Mayan ruins of Tulum and visit the many shops, art galleries, restaurants, bars and nightclubs lined along la Quinta Avenida. Playa del Carmen was once a quiet fishing village, now it’s a party town, but one that is very family-friendly, with unspoilt beaches and top-notch resorts.
Aloft Playa del Carmen
Just metres from Fifth Avenue, you’ll find Aloft Playa del Carmen, a 167-bedroom hotel designed for the urban traveller seeking innovative future focussed facilities. The decor here is minimalist, with nods to the indigenous culture via textures and colours. A roof terrace has two infinity pools with colourful floating sunloungers and seating spaces, and a bar set beneath a pergola. It’s all very chic, yet with a fun and playful vibe. Guests can drink and dine at W XYZ bar, Re:mix lounge and the Nook restaurant and grab food to go at Re:fuel. The hotel also offers workspaces for digital nomads, a Camp Aloft kids’ program, entertainment and pet-friendly amenities.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Located in Mayakoba, between Playa del Carmen and Cancun (around 15 minutes to the lively hotspots), the Banyan Tree is spread across jungle, lagoon and beachside areas. Enter through the AAA Five-Diamond resort’s pagoda, a first taste of the Asian – Mayan design fusion. Made up of unique villas complemented by handcrafted Mexican furniture, guests enjoy private pools, outdoor bathtubs and a dedicated butler. Experience hydrothermal wellness at the award-winning spa with ‘The Rainforest’ hydrotherapy circuit. Take a romantic mangrove boat tour, bike ride (up to two are available per villa) and enjoy meals in eight different locations. It’s a great option for families, with a kids’ club, babysitting service, nursery and kids’ pool.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Peek across to the island of Cozumel from this immaculate resort in Playa del Carmen. Grand Velas has 531 rooms, six themed restaurants, two gyms and seven bars. Expect manicured lawns, high-end boutiques, perfectly tended sands and gleaming marble surfaces. The decor by Melín Castro Ardavín, is neutral, with mahogany furnishings, expansive walk-in showers and large terraces overlooking the ocean. Whether travelling as a family, or in need of some child-free time, it’s all possible here. There’s a kids’ club, but also a whole area of the resort reserved for over 18s, and a serene spa for some much-needed r&r.