Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Located on the beach and about 15 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.
With just 41 private villas, the Viceroy Riviera Maya attracts couples looking for a quiet, romantic retreat. The rustic-luxe villas -- with thatched roofs, partially canopied beds, and updated amenities such as large flat-screen TVs -- all have their own plunge pools, outdoor showers, and hammocks. They also all have bug spray. The Viceroy is all about relaxation; the restaurants are casual but upscale, the spa features outdoor treatment rooms and a steam room, and the serene pool overlooks the ocean and the seven-mile stretch of white-sand beach. Though families do come, the resort provides very few family-friendly amenities (there is no kids' club) so families may consider the still peaceful but family-friendly Rosewood Mayakoba, just a few minutes away.