Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Located on the beach and about 20 minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen (named for Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patron saint of Cancun) is a beautiful, charming resort town and the third largest city in Quintana Roo on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. About 70 km south of Cancun and 20 km west of Cozumel, it's centrally located in the center of the Mayan Riviera and is quickly becoming one of the most hip vacation spots (though more relaxing and less wild than Cancun). It used to be the home of the ancient Mayans and after that a small fishing village, but now Playa del Carmen -- or "Playa," as the locals call it -- is full of exciting nightclubs, popular restaurants, cute boutiques, and resort hotels that sit on lovely white sand beaches. Because many of the businesses are European-run, the rest of the town retains a hint of European flair. The main tourist thoroughfare of Playa is the cobblestone-lined, pedestrian street Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), but there are plenty of fun outdoor activities for visitors, too, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and sailing. The offshore reef is part of the second largest reef system in the world, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Rosewood Mayakoba is a gorgeous, peaceful retreat within the resort community of Playa Del Carmen, set on a mile-long stretch of beach. Though it features an extensive children's program, the resort largely attracts couples with its serene atmosphere, upscale restaurants, and spa. The 128 suites feature attractive contemporary decor -- picture clean lines, white walls, and rich woods -- as well as high-tech amenities and private outdoor plunge pools. They have an open-air vibe, with many floor-to-ceiling windows, and the overwater lagoon suites have swim-up access. Plus, suites include freebies such as Wi-Fi, fresh fruit, and bottled water. Seaweed debris along the beach keeps the Rosewood from being flawless (although they diligently attempt to keep it clean by sending staffers to rake it away), but otherwise this hotel is top-notch -- for guests willing to pay top dollar. Some may prefer the rooms at the Banyan Tree, but the spa is nicer here.