Best hotels in Playa de Carmen?

Old Jun 5th, 2014, 04:15 AM
  #1  
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Best hotels in Playa de Carmen?

We are Aussies visiting Playa late September/early October. We are after a "Mexican" style hotel on the beach with a nice atmosphere and pool, in the mid-high price range. We want to be in the hustle and bustle, I've read that the 'all incl' hotels are in gated areas, separate from the rest. We want to experience the culture, food and nightlife, so would really like a hotel close to all the action.
Thanks
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 07:01 AM
  #2  
KVR
 
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Check out LocoGringo.com for small boutique hotels on and around 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. I have stayed at Playa Palms and I would not recommend. There is no restaurant/bar on site, but it is within walking distance to many on 5th Avenue.

https://www.locogringo.com/property-...20del%20Carmen

The beach in front of 5th Avenue really isn't all that great. Many locals tie their fishing boats up, so people don't swim there.

There are 2 AI resorts within a 5 minute walk of 5th Avenue; The Royal Playa del Carmen, which is an excellent 4* adults only property and highly recommended and their sister resort across the street; The Gran Porto Real, which is family friendly. We found the food at the Royal Playa del Carmen better than anything located on 5th Avenue.

Another recommended hotel is the Mahekal Beach Resort. Little casitas directly on the beach. They do not offer TV, phones, or other electronic/hookups. Breakfast and either lunch or dinner is included.

Also check out Le Reve, Petit Lafitte, and Las Palapas.

The September/October time frame in smack in the middle of hurricane season, so buy the insurance in which you can cancel for any reason.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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On the beach with a pool is a difficult combination in PDC. A few I have stayed at:

Playa Maya. playamaya.com/ A long time favorite, great staff, nice rooms fabulous restaurant right on the beach but a tiny pool. They are undergoing renovations at the moment so may not be available for your time frame.

Playa Palms. www.playapalms.com Also right on the beach, a really nice pool and large comfortable rooms. They bill as a condo but they are a hotel in all regards EXCEPT there is no onsite restaurant or bar. I like this option because you can bring your own cooler/ beverages and food and not be obligated to buy from the hotel bar. There are plenty of options for eating and drinking right next door on the beach and certainly plenty of options further afield. Some people do not like the fact there is no food service at all and you are forced to either eat all your meals off site or do a little shopping for some groceries. Personally I love a side trip to Mega but that's just me.

Sian Kaan www.hotelposadasiankaan.com While not directly on the beach it's about 10 steps up from a great stretch of beach and IMO one of the best beach bars in all of Playa, Wah Wah. This older hotel has a new set of rooms that are really nice. The grounds are beautiful and they do have a very nice sized pool. I loved my stay there. Opt for the delux rooms at the top of the new section, ocean views from there and location is perfectly central. Great complementary breakfast too!

Of the three I suggest, Sian Kaan is probably the cheapest but all fall in what I would call mid priced.

I want to plan a trip for about the same time, maybe our paths will cross!
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 08:07 AM
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Petit Lafitte is not in the hustle and bustle, you will not experience any nightlife there, as it is not near to any action. The beach is not that nice either. You have to walk someway up to find a place to enter the water. It is not in the mid to high price range. However you can rent a car or take a taxi to PDC.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 08:22 AM
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>

I think this is a little misleading. People swim all along the beach that parallels 5th. The fishing boats tie up in a small section just south of the Gran Porto, hardly the whole length of the beach.

It is true that almost all of the beach tends to either disappear almost entirely or grow substantially depending on prevailing currents. The one stretch that is fairly constantly wide, beautiful and full of swimmers is between the ferry dock and @8th parallel to 5th ave, right by WahWah. (also north of the Royal pier @ Mamitas but then you have to put up with the thumpa-thumpa and over charging)
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 10:24 AM
  #6  
KVR
 
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To be more precise, check out Google maps satellite view. From the Grand Porto Real down past Playa Palms, fishing boats are consistently tied up. I have never seen anyone swimming in that area in all my trips. Lounging on the beach, yes. Swimming no.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pl...bdc270ecd0cce8

Go down towards and past Sr. Frogs. Nice beach area for swimming.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 02:11 PM
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Firstly, there are NO closed gate community hotels or condos in Playa, none whatsoever. Playa is open and free to anyone and everyone. Secondly, the rainy season starts in late May till early October. It is low season and you will have a terrific choice and better prices than high season. Suggesting a hotel can be a bit of a challenge depending on peoples tastes and expectations. This said, jette, gave out some excellent suggestions and is right on the button for everything mentioned. It is true that the beach in front of Playa Palma and Playa Maya is not the best, especially when you compare it to the beaches on your immediate right or left. I would not worry about beaches in Playa as you can walk for miles in either direction and enjoy the ocean front and everything else. Playa has grown so much that it is difficult to find the exact core now... The action takes place all along La Quinta (5th ave.) from calle 2 right up to calle 42. Whatever hotel you choose on or around these streets will give you access to all that Playa has to offer in regards to great food, nightlife and action all you want.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 05:21 PM
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Thank you all very much for your insight, it is really helpful to hear of everyone's experiences, especially when your on the other side of the world.
Hurricane Season?? Um....should I be worried? Will there still be sunshine?
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 10:22 PM
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There is always a chance of tropical storms and even hurricanes during the season. I have been going to Playa for years, every summer and fall, sometimes for weeks at a time, some years several times during hurricane season, and I have not been there for a hurricane yet. But it's a risk of booking that time of year. Watch the weather reports close to your departure date. Hurricanes do not pop up overnight, they give advanced warning and are tracked.

I agree with jette about the swimming from the beach in Playa. I have a condo a block from Coco beach (north end of Playa) and the beach and water there is wonderful for swimming. The boats are anchored further north, around Canibal Royal. We go to the beach clubs at Hotel Indigo, Zenzi, and and El Faro in h middle of Playa and the swimming there is great too. It's not true to say that people do not swim from the beaches in Playa. That is ridiculous. Many locals and tourists alike swim from the beaches in Playa. There are a few areas where fishing boats are anchored, and a few areas that are rocky, but those areas are a small part of great beaches in town.
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Old Jun 6th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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Well, I swim from the beach in Playa all the time. I do not venture south of Constituyentes all that often to swim but go north from Mamitas.
Mahekal is undergoing renovations and is not accepting reservations now but is suggesting reservations at Las Palapas next door.
Playacar is gated where a lot of the All Inclusives are located. If AI is not your cup of tea you could look at renting a house in Playacar on the beach. Playacar Palace is also on the beach there which is very nice but not very authentic. Playacar is a 10-15 minute walk to Playa del Carmen or very short taxi ride.
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Old Jun 6th, 2014, 11:08 PM
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Colokid, nice to see you here. I wonder if you are in Playa now? We are selling our condo, and have bought at Terrazas on 38th, under construction, a block from the beach, Long story. I hope all is well with you.
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Old Jun 7th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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I don't think the beach in the center of PDC is very nice, either (south of Constituyentes). The problem is there are not really a lot of great small local hotels right on the beach, I think there are only a couple. There are plenty within a few blocks of the beach, but not many right on it.

I don't go there in the Fall because it is hurricane season, that's just a known fact you should have checked out. If you are lucky, of course, you won't get one. I go at Thanksgiving, when it is pretty much past it. But I presume you could get some better hotel deals because of that. Even at end of November, rates are lower than in the peak holiday and winter/Spring season.

There are some AI that are not in these remote gated communities, if you want one. I think KVR mentioned the best choices in that regard.

I stay in a nice locally-run small to medium size hotel just a couple blocks west of the beach around Mamitas. It does have a small pool but doesn't sound as upscale as you want. It's the Riviera del Sol. They give you beach towels and a free pass to Mamitas beach club, it's only a couple blocks away. http://rivieradelsol.com/
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Old Jun 7th, 2014, 02:29 PM
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We haven't had a hurricane in 8 years, not to say we couldn't have one this year. Just saying.

Hi emd3 - we are in the process of selling ours - we'll be down at the end of the month to close. Not sure of next steps, just retired last week finally! Will you be there at the end of June? We're staying in Playacar just to get a little vacay in and not have to deal with buying groceries, etc. we're kind of looking at Tulum, Florida or Nevada. Hope we can catch up. You still have my phone?

FYI - Playacar is not a remote, gated community. I walk there from my condo daily on my rounds and I live by Mamitas.
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Old Jun 7th, 2014, 06:51 PM
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Colo, WOW!!! Retired! Congratulations!! FL, NV, and Tulum are many miles apart in all ways. I wont be around Playa in June, and I don't have your number or email any more.

Do you have my email? It's still the same. Would love to catch up. I wish I had known your condo was for sale-- I know someone who is looking for one just like yours. I hope you are doing well on the sale. Let me know if you need my email.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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No, just checked and I don't have it. Since you can't pm it here go over to that other playa site and pm SUZEQ.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 08:38 AM
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I don't think the fact that PDC hasn't had a hurricane in 8 years, or what was officially called a hurricane when reaching that point, means there can't be one this year. I don't know what all affects the chances of hurricanes each year (they are predicting 2014 will be a lighter than usual season, but I think they predicted last year would be worse than usual, and it wasn't). But there are always hurricanes in the Caribbean and Gulf area every year, even if they are downgraded to a depression or tropical storm or whatever when over PDC. Hurricane Ernesto hit the Yucutan peninsula in August 2012, for example, and I know there were hurricane warnings in Cozumel (even if it was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit PDC, that is going to be a very strong storm), and the eye of Rina in 2011 was only 100 miles from Cozumel.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 01:32 PM
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So I guess no one should go near the beaches from June through November. You might be there when a storm hits.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 02:58 PM
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Christina,
You are talking with people who actually live in Playa. I have been in a few tropical storms there but they were no big deal. I've also been through several hurricanes in other areas. As emd3 said, it's a long time to stay away and some of the best weather during those periods also. July is high season with lots of Europeans and Mexican families taking their vacations by the shore.

As for Riviera del Sol - very nice place but they are building a hotel on the next block right behind Kool that might be a noise factor.
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Old Jun 8th, 2014, 07:43 PM
  #19  
KVR
 
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"We haven't had a hurricane in 8 years". That is not a true statement. When we went to Playa in August 2007, we just missed Hurricane Dean by a few days. Even though we still got to make the trip lots of establishments were damaged, closed and unusable. For people who don't get to live in Playa and only get to vacation every so often, it's disappointing. We stopped going during that time period not only for that reason, but because it is too hot and humid.

Here is a good site reference for a list of hurricanes over the years.

http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/hurrarchive.asp

Though no one can accurately predict the weather and what it will be like during the week anyone chooses to visit a destination, it's good to advised people who may not know of the potential so that can make an informed decision. Even though it my not be a true hurricane, tropical storms can be disappointing to a vacation also especially if someone is getting a once in lifetime opportunity to visit. Buy the hurricane/trip insurance that you can cancel for any reason and not just if your flight is canceled or hotel is closed just to be on the safe side.

Even though you might swim at the beach in Playa, the area that I mentioned I would not and have never seen people swimming there either. Again, information for someone so they can make an informed decision on their hotel choice. If a great beach is really important to them, then they need to avoid the hotels in that specific area.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2014, 09:37 AM
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Last year we stayed at Luna Encantada condos, right on the beach in PDC. It's not a hotel, and doesn't have a restaurant, and other typical hotel services, but it does have a pool, is very comfortable, all rooms have terraces facing the beach, and it's located in the middle of everything. Lots of great restaurants in PDC, so no need for an AI as far as food is concerned. Units are individually owned, so some may have more of a Mexican flare than others. All have kitchens, provide bottle water, beach towels, etc. There are also lounge chairs and umbrellas available at the beach.
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