If the thought of pristine beaches, stunning blue seas, jungle landscapes, and ancient Mayan ruins all sound like the perfect vacation, then the Riviera Maya is calling you. Stretching for hundreds of miles south of Cancun, this region is home to a huge array of hotels and resorts — many with amazing all-inclusive perks. However, not all Riviera Maya all-inclusive resorts are created equal. Oyster investigators have visited more than 250 hotels in the region, from Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos to Tulum and Akumal and selected the 15 best Riviera Maya all-inclusive resorts right now. Read on for our picks.
Royal Hideaway Playacar adults-only all-inclusive is an elegant property outside of Playa del Carmen where the focus is on luxury. The rooms and facilities are spread over beautifully manicured grounds that lead out to a gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach, though guests looking for more privacy may prefer lounging at one of the six pools. Royal Hideaway Playacar dining options are particularly outstanding, with everything from Japanese and Thai fare at Azia to theater dinners staged at Club Royale. Rooms are chic —the hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World consortium, after all — with marble bathrooms equipped with jetted tubs and furnished terraces or balconies. If you really want to spoil yourself, Royal Hideaway Playacar also has two- and three-story suites with whirlpools.
Travelers seeking luxurious touches and amazing food, but may be vacationing with their kids, should look no further than Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Sitting on over 80 acres skirting a 1,000-foot-long stretch of white sand, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a sprawling luxury property that's one of the most sophisticated options in the Riviera Maya. Suites are spread across three buildings, one of which is adults-only. Each building has its own pools, restaurants, and fitness centers. Other high-end perks include an acclaimed spa and butler service, and non-motorized sports — all of which are included in Grand Velas Riviera Maya's prices.
Situated in Akumal —between Playa del Carmen and Tulum — UNICO 20 87 Hotel Riviera Maya is a chic all-inclusive resort that attracts couples looking for a solid mix of activities and quiet relaxation. There's plenty to do here, from fitness classes to food tastings, but most of the activity happens during the day, save for evening parties held a few times a week. Rooms are elegant, with neutral, earthy decor and four-poster beds, and some feature swim-up pool access to one of the resort’s three pools. Dining options include four restaurants offering everything from Japanese food to local Yucatan fare, all with a casual dress code with few restrictions. UNICO's Unlimited Inclusions package is a nice upgrade that includes scuba diving experiences, a variety of spa treatments, and unlimited golf. The resort is about 75 minutes south of the Cancun airport by car.
With its lagoon beach and stunning landscapes, the upscale Hotel Xcaret Mexico feels like a small village, with 900 rooms spread across five self-contained casas. Its location next to the Xcaret eco-park and near other popular activity parks such as Xplor and Xel-Ha make it a good base for families with kids and active travelers. While the rates here are on the high side, all parks and tours are included in the Hotel Xcaret all-inclusive package deals, adding plenty of value. That said, there's also plenty to do within the resort's expansive grounds, from luxuriating at the elegant spa to taking advantage of the waterslides at the kids' pool (or dropping the children off for a day of organized activities at the off at the kids' club). Dining here is top-notch, with everything from a buffet restaurant designed to resemble a Mexican market to a tasting menu run by a Michelin-starred chef. And while the facilities and parks are perhaps this property's biggest draw, the rooms are lovely, too, and come in a variety of configurations, from swim-up suites to River Suite categories with jungle-inspired views.
Set along a pretty stretch of white sand, Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is an adults-only all-inclusive that’s particularly appealing because of its great wining and dining options. The cellar here features some 200 vintages and the restaurants offer everything from teppanyaki to French cuisine; you can even arrange romantic dinners on the beach. Many Secrets Maroma guests are couples, some on their honeymoon, others in town for destination weddings, and there’s plenty here to encourage romance, from a spa with beach-facing treatment cabanas to elegant rooms with private balconies or swim-up pool access. In fact, Secrets Maroma is one of our favorite hotels with swim-up suites in the world.
Situated within the El Dorado Royale, El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort that offers a quieter, more upscale ambience than the main resort. Rooms are romantic, with hot tubs for two, and some have infinity plunge pools or swim-up pool access. Property features include a spa with traditional Mayan treatments and a number of pools, some with swim-up bars, and a variety of restaurants, some a la carte.
A great choice for couples in search of an all-inclusive stay near Playa del Carmen, the adults-only Blue Diamond Luxury Boutique Hotel offers beautiful suites and casitas. The resort is designed to feel like its tucked away in a jungle, albeit one with direct access to a gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach, and there are plenty of meandering pathways throughout the grounds. Rooms here are modern and opulent, with elegantly minimalistic decor and all have outdoor tubs or even private pools. Other stand-out features include an elegant spa with steam and sauna facilities and a variety of chic, but not overly formal restaurants, none of which require reservations. While some guests might bemoan the lack of live entertainment, it’s the perfect fit for this quiet, relaxation-focused resort.
The most chic option of the five resorts comprising the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya complex, the adults-only TRS Yucatan Hotel offers guests a huge range of activities, from a hydrotherapy spa to a host of daytime and evening activities not to mention a several TRS-only dining and drinking options. Guests at TRS Yucatan also score access to CHIC Cabaret with their stay, where you'll be treated to a multi-course gourmet meal alongside a wild cabaret show. While the beach is closer to the Grand Palladium properties, TRS has a saltwater pool that's actually built into its rocky shoreline and is filled with natural seawater — as well as a stunning multi-level seaside freshwater pool that buzzes all day long. Rooms are bright and contemporary, with marble floors and stylish accents: some even have their own private pools.
Right on a white-sand beach, just north of Puerto Morelos, Excellence Riviera Cancun is an enormous adults-only all-inclusive resort that caters to couples who want to stay busy. You'll find six pools, five hot tubs, a spa with beachfront treatment huts, a huge fitness center, and even a jogging trail. On-site activities abound here, with everything from Spanish lessons to private yacht excursions, and there are over 20 bars and restaurants, with no reservations required. And while guests at this busy all-inclusive may end up spending most of their time taking advantage of the extensive facilities, the rooms aren't too shabby either, with marble bathrooms and jetted tubs. Some suites even feature private rooftop plunge pools.
Zoetry Paraiso de La Bonita is an intimate boutique resort that’s best suited for couples looking for a romantic all-inclusive resort or honeymoon option on the Mayan Riviera. The suites here are elegant, with Mediterranean-inspired decor, and some have their own outdoor plunge pools. Both the beach and pool areas have double-wide lounge chairs, ideal for vacationing couples. Zoetry Paraiso Bonito dining options here are generous and the all-inclusive package is designed for romance: it includes welcome bottles of tequila, a bottle of bubbly every day, and even a one-hour sunset sailing trip aboard a catamaran.
Heaven at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is the adult-only wing of the sprawling Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya and features a similar rock-n-roll aesthetic found at Hard Rocks around the world. The ambience is fun and casual, and reservations are never required at the four on-site restaurants. Other property features include four pools and a man-made lagoon beach along with a nightclub for evening entertainment. All of the rooms here feature jetted tubs and balconies, many of which look out over the sea.
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is a great family-friendly all-inclusive resort that features direct access to a pretty white-sand beach. Kid-friendly features here are numerous, and include a pirate ship playground and kids' club (though adults shouldn't be worried as the resort has its share of bars as well as a pretty spa). Even the most affordable rooms here include marble floors and sensory soaking tubs. You can expect a wide range of dining and drinking options, including a buffet, steaks, Mexican, and sushi. The Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda Family Concierge program offers access to private pools, a tricked out club lounge, and expedited service and is available as an upgrade.
Situated a short walk from downtown Playa del Carmen, right next to the Cozumel Island ferry, the Playacar Palace is an upscale all-inclusive offers stylish rooms with Carribbean Sea views and extensive facilities for kids and adults alike. While many guests head straight to the beach, there’s plenty to do right on the property, from playing water polo to taking in one of the nightly shows. The beachside pools are also particularly nice. Guests also get access to the 18-hole golf course next door and there are free shuttles to nearby Palace properties, where Playacar Palace can take advantage of additional facilities.
Overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is a modern mega-resort featuring more restaurants, pools, and activities than most guests could possibly fit into one vacation. This family-friendly all-inclusive features 11 pools, some with swim-up bars, along with a splash park, a kids' club, a teen's club, and a generous all-inclusive package, with 24-hour room service, 12 bars, and nine restaurants; the Japanese restaurant, Zen, is a big hit, with its teppanyaki show. Rooms here are upscale, with marble floors, whirlpool tubs, and terraces or balconies. Guests opting for the Royalton Diamond Club get extras such as butler services and access to an exclusive lounge. As an alternative to the Diamond Club, there’s the Hideaway At Royalton Riviera Cancun, an adults-only resort-within-a-resort concept that offers its own exclusive adults-only perks as well as swim-up rooms.
You didn't think we'd leave every party resort in the Riviera Maya off of this list, did you? The Breathless Riviera Cancun is all about a good time, and expects the same of its guests. This all-inclusive adult-only resort attracts a young and party loving crowd. You'll find three outdoor pools here -- one of which is topless -- and a giant whirlpool that's host to Champagne and foam parties. Go-go dancers and a 24-hour DJ ensure that things rarely, if ever, calm down. Partying aside, there are plenty of activities and events offered at Breathless. However, it's the nine bars that see the most action here, and include premium alcohol and tips.