The 10 Most Beautiful Resorts and Hotels in the Riviera Maya

See recent posts by Kyle Valenta

Mexico’s Riviera Maya is one of the prettiest places in the entire world. Think: Blue seas, white-sand beaches, jungles for miles, and underwater reefs that will take your breath away. Luckily, all of that natural beauty is matched by some truly stunning resorts and hotels. From world-famous luxury resorts like the Rosewood Mayakoba to boutique hideaways like La Valise in Tulum, beauty in this region comes in all shapes and sizes. We’re on the ground in the Riviera Maya year-round, and have found the 10 most jaw-droppingly beautiful resorts and hotels. Read on to find your perfect Riviera Maya getaway.

Before you pick your perfect resort, check out the 10 most luxurious beachfront resorts in Mexico as well.

Rosewood Mayakoba

Beach at the Rosewood Mayakoba
Beach at the Rosewood Mayakoba/Oyster

When it comes to stunning Riviera Maya resorts, it’s impossible to ignore the Rosewood Mayakoba. This property makes our best-of lists year after year, and with good reason. From the beautiful hidden-away setting to the impeccable service, it’s hard to top. The setting, though, is part of what makes the Rosewood Mayakoba one of the prettiest resorts in the region. Rooms are huge and come with private plunge pools, and some have their own docks at the resort’s lagoon. The mile of beach frontage means you’ll have plenty of space to find your own bit of solitude — and unbeatable sea views.

Hotel Esencia

Pool at the Esencia
Pool at the Esencia/Oyster

Once the estate of an Italian duchess, Hotel Esencia is now one of the most appealing, eye-catching, and high-end resorts in the Riviera Maya. About 20 minutes outside of busy Playa del Carmen, peace and quiet are what’s on the menu here. Oh, and incredibly beautiful style. Villas and suites are done up in a white-on-white palette that’s offset by gorgeous Mexican textiles. Many units come with perks including plunge pools or huge terraces. The spa is a stunner, and well worth a day of spoiling yourself. It’s also hard to argue with a day under a palapa along the beach, mezcal cocktail in hand, as the calm waves lap at the shore.


Kin Toh at the Azulik
Kin Toh at the Azulik/Oyster

If you’re seeking that unplugged Tulum-of-yore experience, but still want all of the beautiful bohemian style of modern-day Tulum, AZULIK should be on your list. The treehouse-style rooms are one-of-a-kind, tricked out in gorgeous hardwood and some feature perks like private plunge pools and hot tubs. In fact, nearly every space at AZULIK is a stunner, from the boutique crafted entirely out of local wood and palm fronds to maze-like wood-and-stone interiors at the beautiful spa and apothecary. You’re also right on Tulum’s beach, which is never hard to look at.

UNICO 20 87

The Main Pool at the UNICO 20 87 Hotel Riviera Maya
The Main Pool at the UNICO 20 87 Hotel Riviera Maya/Oyster

If you’re after an all-inclusive experience to go along with your beautiful resort setting, look no further than the adults-only UNICO 20 87. Perks are high-end, including the posh rooms tricked out with Nespresso machines, pillow menus, and aromatherapy. Swim-out rooms at UNICO 20 87 are, of course, some of the most popular picks. The style throughout the property is fresh and modern — clean lines are everywhere and contemporary Mexican design details add just enough local style. We also love the central pool complex, which leads directly to the beach and sea.

La Valise Tulum

Pool at the La Valise Tulum
Pool at the La Valise Tulum/Oyster

Tulum is one of those places that’s already so stunning on its own that it’s hard to top with a hotel. Many of the boutique properties that fill Tulum’s Hotel Zone certainly try, but few actually rise to the occasion. That’s where La Valise comes in. This tiny property — there are only nine rooms — is the definition of private. It’s outside of the busier stretch of the Hotel Zone, and its beach feels miraculously separate from the often buzzing coastline, shrouded on both sides by dense greenery. Rooms are the definition of perfectly bohemian (check out the jaw-dropping woodwork in the Master Suite if you don’t believe us), and the vibe is calm and quiet.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Aerial View of Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Aerial View of Banyan Tree Mayakoba/Oyster

Known around the world for chic hideaways, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba is no exception to its brand. The villas are massive (with up three bedrooms) and contemporary, and include luxe extras like huge rainfall showers and outdoor bathtubs, as well as private pools. You can expect equally pampering service whether you’re here for a private romantic retreat or a family getaway. Other features are numerous and beautiful, including the popular spa, pristine beach, and gorgeous pools.

Royal Hideaway Playacar

The Main Pool at Royal Hideaway Playacar
The Main Pool at Royal Hideaway Playacar/Oyster

If your tastes in design and decor skew more classic, the Royal Hideaway Playacar is the right place for you. Here, the rooms have a cozy beach-home vibe, where handsome furniture is offset by light colors and modern textiles to create a true oasis. The grounds themselves don’t disappoint either, with manicured gardens between the towering palm trees all around. Six swimming pools range in size, with some tucked away secretly in the jungle setting. That’s all to say nothing of top-shelf drinks, amazing dining options, and one of the prettiest stretches of beach in the Playa del Carmen area.

TRS Yucatan

Pool at the TRS Yucatan Hotel
Pool at the TRS Yucatan Hotel/Oyster

There’s really nothing more important than a beautiful pool when it comes to picking the right resort. Lucky for you, TRS Yucatan easily has the most stunning seaside pool in the entire region. Lined completely in marble, the three tiers spill and cascade down to the rocky shoreline, surrounded by lounge chairs. Servers cater to your every top-shelf drink need (we recommend a spicy margarita). But it doesn’t stop there. The beach club is on the other side of the massive Palladium Resorts property (of which the TRS Yucatan is the adults-only luxury option). However, a cool saltwater pool created by using local stone to wall off a section of the sea, makes for a fine replacement. What’s more? The upbeat, but tranquil vibe, spacious and chic rooms, and swanky dining and drinking scene all add to the wow factor.

Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Aerial Photography at Hotel Xcaret Mexico
Aerial Photography at Hotel Xcaret Mexico/Oyster

The most popular family resort on this list, Hotel Xcaret might not come to mind right away when you think of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful properties. However, you’d be wrong. Here, it’s all about the natural landscape. The Xcaret brand is famous for its outdoor adventures in the Riviera Maya, and the hotel brings all of that to life right on the property. A beautiful man-made lagoon lines the sea-facing side of the property, creating the perfect place for families to snorkel and explore without even leaving the property. Entrance to the Xcaret Adventure Parks is also included in rates. All of that aside, food and drink get high marks here, and the rooms are attractive and contemporary, with locally made decor.

Viceroy Riviera Maya

The Pool at the Viceroy Riviera Maya
The Pool at the Viceroy Riviera Maya/Oyster

The style-conscious Viceroy brand eschews its sometimes trendy style for a more rustic look in the Riviera Maya — and it pays off. The Viceroy Riviera Maya is a beautiful boutique resort that’s tailor-made for romantic getaways. There are only 41 villas here — each it’s own private little home with a beautifully crafted jungle-bungalow style that leads to a private tropical garden and pool. It all feels very exclusive, and creates a convincing experience away from the real world. But the beauty doesn’t stop there. The jungle grounds are stunning, the spa is excellent, and dining and drinking are top notch too.

Don’t Forget to Pack These Essentials on Your Riviera Maya Vacation:

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