A laid-back fishing village, Puerto Morelos is located just 45 minutes south of Cancun. The sunny destination has public beaches, excellent snorkeling in the area’s shallow reefs, and still plenty of restaurants and bars to accommodate tourists. Though many of the resorts will cost a pretty plenty, a majority are all-inclusive for food, drinks, and on-site activities. To be sure you’re getting the best bang-for-your-buck, a team of Oyster investigators visited the properties to see how they stacked up against the competition. Here are our expert picks for hotels offering the best value in Puerto Morelos, Riviera Maya.
This stunning, all-suite luxury property in Puerto Morelos has 103 incredibly spacious rooms with huge balconies or patios. Though many have full kitchens, there is only one on-site restaurant, El Faro, which serves international and Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- but the menu can get repetitive, especially for those on the all-inclusive plan. There are three beautiful pools, including one for children and one for adults that has a swim-up bar. The beach is superior to many in the area, with soft white sand, calm waters, and a lack of seaweed. The hotel offers free parking and Wi-Fi, and has an excellent on-site gym, but the tiny spa is a bit of a letdown.
The 496-room Now Sapphire is a sprawling complex directly on a white-sand beach outside Puerto Morelos. The property features the standard Cancun resort amenities -- free non-motorized water sports, a wide array of dining options, a pleasant spa with various treatment options, and an impressive pool. Suites are massive (starting at 520 square feet) and feature elegant, contemporary decor, marble floors, and up-to-date amenities such as flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. However, it’s far from tourist attractions, and Wi-Fi fees can leave guests feeling nickel-and-dimed.
Perhaps the most luxurious of the Dreams hotels in southern Mexico, this 486-room resort attracts families with its numerouspools, kids' club, daily activities, and white-sand beach with calm waters. But couples will not feel out of place, as the attractive, airy guest rooms are downright romantic. Teak wood and marble floors create an ambience of understated elegance, and the massive bathrooms (all with separate showers and Jacuzzi tubs) are a real treat. Plus, the indoor/outdoorspa has small plunge pools, Jacuzzis, and numerous treatment rooms.
The Ocean Coral & Turquesa is an expansive 585-room resort in the heart of the Riviera Maya. Contemporary rooms have red accents and whimsical touches along with amenities such as balconies, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. Recreation options include a kids' club, scuba diving, tennis, and many non-motorized water sports. The spacious beach and four outdoor poolsoffer plenty of space to relax, although lounge chairs can sometimes be difficult to snag. All-inclusive packages include six restaurant choices and a cozy coffee shop. The pool bar is a hit for nightlife, but light sleepers will want to request a room away from the action. For the ultimate experience, privilege status includes premium alcohol, restaurant reservations, and access to a separate beach area.