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Hotel Lunata 2.5

Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located right on the Fifth Avenue in the heart of Playa del Carmen
  • Two-minute walk around the corner to the beach
  • 10 intimate rooms and suites in a boutique, hacienda-style building
  • Mexican tilework, terraces or balconies, and pebbled showers come standard
  • Free, simple breakfasts in the garden palapa behind the hotel
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and in the rooms

Cons

  • Street noise from Fifth Avenue can be loud during high season
  • No features beyond free breakfast
  • Children under 10 are not allowed (a pro for many)

Bottom Line

This 10-room value hotel has been a mainstay in downtown Playa del Carmen since first opening in August of 1999. It's a boutique destination, with rustic woodwork, painted tile accents, antique paintings and knick-knacks, and a hacienda-style building with lots of colonial charm. The rooms are small and quaint, some with terraces, and there's a quiet garden behind the property. There, a palapa serves as the venue for simple, free simple breakfasts, but aside from a rooftop sun terrace there are no other features. Rooms facing Fifth Avenue can catch a bit of noise, and there’s some aging in some of the bathrooms, but the prices are comparable with other boutiques in the area, such as the Posada Mariposa. Keep in mind kids under 10 aren't allowed here.

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Scene

A colonial boutique hotel with a garden in the heart of central Playa del Carmen

Just a few minutes away from the beach, Lunata is an intimate, adult-only boutique that's popular with the honeymoon, anniversary, and birthday crowd -- with good reason. An hacienda motif runs throughout the hotel, and the only thing that can disrupt the atmosphere is the sometimes blaring music and noise from the surrounding clubs, restaurants, and crowds of Fifth Avenue out front of the hotel. The main entryway leads into a domed-ceiling entryway lined with hand-crafted souvenirs for sale by the owners. Brown adobe floors start in the entry and run throughout the property. Talavera tiles are used to charming effect, and there are iron balconies and timber ceilings overhead. As guests pass the flagstone arched reception window and make their way up to the first floor, terraces look out over the gardens. Given its location in the heart of Playa del Carmen, the hotel strives for a quaint and calm vibe, mostly with success. Most guests here are couples, drawn by the intimate atmosphere and undeniable romance of the place, and children must be older than 10 to stay here.

Location

On Fifth Avenue in downtown Playa del Carmen, a two-minute walk to the beach

The Hotel Lunata is set on Fifth Avenue, right in the center of Playa del Carmen's tourist heart. There are countless bars, restaurants, nightclubs, shops, and boutiques in almost every direction from here, though that does mean a bit of noise in some parts of the hotel. The beach is just around the corner, a two-minute walk from the property. It's a 10-minute walk to Founder's Park, which hosts live entertainment and market stalls, and is adjacent to the ferry to Cozumel. It's about an hour-long drive to Tulum for famous beaches, boho style, and Mayan ruins, while Chichen Itza is a two-hour drive away for those wanting even more history. The closest airport is in Cancun, an hour away by car.

Rooms

Charming rooms with colonial, rustic details plus balconies or terraces

Lunata only has 10 rooms, though all are undeniably charming. The hacienda style of the hotel continues into the rooms, with bright talavera tiles, natural stone, and rustic hardwood furniture all making them feel particularly quaint. What isn't done in warm wood and white is covered in bright hues like blue, yellow, and orange, giving everything just enough personality without feeling overdone. Wood-beam ceilings further the effect, as do subtle details like the artsy arrangements of miniature pottery in wall nooks. 

There are two Standard Rooms with queen-size beds; six Deluxe Rooms with king-size beds; and two Junior Suites that have matrimonial beds. Four of the rooms have a garden terrace -- these are arguably the better rooms -- while six of the rooms have views out over the Fifth Avenue from a small balcony. Unfortunately, the latter can pick up some exterior noise. All of the rooms have safes, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and a table-and-chair set -- some have additional seating. Daily bottled water is supplied for free and all rooms are air-conditioned and include free Wi-Fi.

The bathrooms have painted tile trims around the mirrors, wooden countertops with space for storage, and walk-in showers with pebble floors and adobe tile walls. The fixtures are a bit aged, and we spotted some grout that could use a bit of TLC, but everything is mostly in great shape. The owner’s own brand of oatmeal-based soaps and shampoos are provided, a welcome touch.

Features

Garden sitting area, free breakfasts, and free Wi-Fi

Hotel Lunata is a small boutique without a lot of fluff. As such, features are limited. The garden is a lovely find in this part of town -- which can be hectic -- and it serves as a sitting area with plenty of shade and space. There's also palapa with long, wooden tables. Breakfast is served here daily and included in room rates. It's a simple affair that includes eggs, toast, beans, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. A rooftop sun terrace serves as an additional place to relax. Airport service for an additional fee is offered, as well as per-kilogram laundry services. Ironing boards and irons are available at the front desk upon request. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property and works well. 

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Address

Avenida 5 between Calle 6 and 8, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico

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