Are you planning a trip to Mexico and wondering where to stay in Riviera Maya? You’ve come to the right guide!
As a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen, I’ve spent the last few years checking out the most beautiful hotels and resorts in Riviera Maya.
This exclusive beachfront region in Mexico is home to dreamy all-inclusive resorts, stunning boutique hotels, and fun family-friendly retreats.
But with so many amazing options to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to find the perfect place to stay in Riviera Maya.
In this post, I’m sharing a detailed guide on the best areas to stay in Riviera Maya and who each one is best suited for.
Plus, I’m sharing my top recommendations for the best Riviera Maya resorts and hotels in each one!
Ready to find out which of these best places to stay in Riviera Maya is right for you? Let’s get started!
What is Riviera Maya?
Before we begin, let’s start by answering the important question – What is Riviera Maya?
While not technically a town, the Riviera Maya is the name of the coastal resort district on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula that spans from Cancun all the way down to Tulum.
This stretch of beachfront spans for about 80 miles (131 km) and is home to dozens of hotels and resorts, private communities, and many different beach towns.
The biggest towns in Riviera Maya are Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum–although there are many smaller beach towns between them.
So, pretty much anything on the coastline from Cancun to Tulum is considered Riviera Maya, as well as the nearby islands of Isla Mujeres and Cozumel.
Generally speaking, Riviera Maya is a safe destination and perfect for those looking for a relaxing beach getaway.
Where to Stay in Riviera Maya: Top Picks
Where to Stay in Riviera Maya: Best Areas & Hotels
Here are the top 14 areas to stay in Riviera Maya, as well as who they’re best suited for and the best hotels in each one.
Most of these are beach towns but I’m also including some popular beach areas, private communities, and resort clusters.
💰 Riviera Maya Resorts Rate Guide
Use this rate guide as a very rough estimate of what you can expect to pay at these Riviera Maya top resorts. Rates can change drastically depending on the hotel’s availability and time of year!
$ = <$200 USD per night
$$ = $200-$400 USD per night
$$$ = $400-$600 USD per night
$$$$ = $600 USD+ per night
1. CANCUN: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Nightlife
Cancun is one of Mexico’s original beach destinations offering everything from beautiful beaches to modern shopping malls to high-end restaurants.
And with a population of around 1 million people, Cancun feels like a bustling big city when compared to other laid-back beach towns in Riviera Maya.
But Cancun is also widely known for its world-class nightlife–making it the perfect area to stay in Riviera Maya for those that want to party and be in the heart of the action.
With many swanky nightclubs, lively bars, and rowdy beach parties, Cancun’s Hotel Zone (Zone Hotelera) is the perfect party destination.
This beachfront district is one of the most popular places to stay in Cancun and home to some of the most famous clubs and bars, lively restaurants, and all-inclusive hotels and resorts.
And even if you don’t like to party, there are still plenty of places to relax along Cancun’s gorgeous beachfront or at the large resort pools.
🍺 Related Reading: What’s the legal drinking age in Mexico?
Where to Stay in Cancun
If you’re wondering where to stay in Cancun, consider the following options:
📍 Hyatt Ziva Cancun ($$$$)
Located on a beautiful strip of beachfront at the north end of the Hotel Zone, Hyatt Ziva Cancun offers a relaxing beachfront escape while still close enough to the action.
At this all inclusive luxury resort, guests can enjoy 2 swimming pools and beach cabanas, as well as fun activities such as tequila tastings, theater shows, water sports, and a microbrewery.
Plus, guest rooms feature spa bathrooms with rain showers, soaking tubs, bath robes, and slippers. And an oceanfront spa with massages, body treatments, and hydrotherapy is also available.
📍 Nizuc Resort & Spa ($$$$)
Some guest rooms have private pools, spacious terraces, lush tropical gardens, and free-standing soaking tubs.
And guests can enjoy a private beach, numerous infinity pools, 6 on-site restaurants and bars, and a luxury spa.
Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun is an all-inclusive family-friendly beachfront hotel in the Hotel Zone featuring airy suites with private balconies.
The hotel also boasts 5 restaurants and 4 bars, as well as a luxury spa, and a kids club to keep kids entertained.
Plus, there’s an outdoor swimming pool with waterfalls, sun beds, and relaxation areas.
2. COSTA MUJERES: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Modern Luxury
Costa Mujeres is a new area of resort development just north of Cancun.
This strip of beachfront is home to some of the newest and most modern hotels in Riviera Maya, making it perfect for those looking for a luxurious vacation.
These hotels offer world-class service and amenities, and are perfect for those looking to relax and escape the spring break crowds.
If you still want to be close to the liveliness of Cancun’s Hotel Zone but prefer something more quiet and peaceful, then Costa Mujeres is a great option.
Where to Stay in Costa Mujeres
If you’re wondering where to stay in Costa Mujeres, consider the following options:
📍 Dreams Playa Mujeres ($$$$)
Situated on a tranquil stretch of Costa Mujeres Beach, Dreams Playa Mujeres is an upscale all-inclusive hotel.
This sprawling resort features chic suites with balconies and terraces–some with ocean views and swim-out pools.
Guests can also enjoy a private beach area, a luxury spa, fitness center, infinity pools, poolside bars, waterslides, and a kids pool.
📍 Atelier Playa Mujeres ($$$)
Atelier Playa Mujeres is one of Cancun’s newest adults-only all inclusive resorts in Costa Mujeres.
An all suites resort, the hotel’s contemporary design is inspired by art with its marble and wood accents and luxury guest room amenities.
Plus, guests will never run out of amazing places to eat at the hotel’s 24 restaurants and bars.
📍 TRS Coral Hotel ($$$)
TRS Coral Hotel in Cancun is an all inclusive, adults only hotel that boasts a luxurious and ultra-modern aesthetic.
With 469 suites, each with its own balcony or furnished terrace, the TRS Coral Hotel provides VIP treatment and exclusive access to the beach.
Guests can enjoy access to 7 restaurants and 18 bars (including a 24 hour sports bar), as well as an exclusive swimming pool, spa and gym.
3. ISLA MUJERES: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for an Island Escape
Meaning “Island of Women”, Isla Mujeres is the most beautiful island located just off the shore of Cancun and can be reached by a short ferry ride.
With limited nightlife, it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for an island escape and want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Cancun.
The island’s crystal clear water, white-sand beaches, and tropical palm trees make Isla Mujeres a natural paradise that’s easy to explore on foot or by golf cart.
The main highlight on Isla Mujeres is Playa Norte (North Beach), which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
You’ll definitely want to stay on Playa Norte for the best beach access!
Plus, Isla Mujeres has plenty of charming restaurants and shops to explore, and visitors can participate in adventurous Isla Mujeres activities like diving, snorkeling, and boat excursions.
Or take a stroll through Punta Sur, the southernmost point of the island that is home to a sculpture park and spectacular views.
Where to Stay in Isla Mujeres
If you’re wondering where to stay in Isla Mujeres, consider the following options:
📍 Mia Reef Isla Mujeres ($$)
Located at the end of the famous Playa Norte, Mia Reef Isla Mujeres is connected to the island by a short dock, making it feel like a private island.
Considered one of the best all inclusive resorts in Isla Mujeres, Mia Reef offers ocean view guest rooms and suites, as well as a swimming pool with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
Casa del Jaguar Beach Hotel is a new, boutique luxury property with an unbeatable location right in the middle of Playa Norte and just steps away from the ocean and the lively downtown area.
The modern beachfront resort offers everything you could want for a relaxing and enjoyable stay, including the Guru on-site restaurant serving international and Mexican cuisine.
Guests at Casa del Jaguar can also enjoy an outdoor swimming pool and bar, a sun terrace, and complimentary beach beds at the on-site beach club.
📍 Hotel Belo Isla Mujeres ($)
Hotel Belo Isla Mujeres is a beautiful hotel and beachfront property located on the west side of the island with modern and stylish accommodations.
More quiet and peaceful than Playa Norte, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy all that Isla Mujeres has to offer.
The hotel also offers two swimming pools–an oceanfront main pool overlooking the small beach and a rooftop infinity pool with in-water lounge beds.
You can read my full Hotel Belo Isla Mujeres review for all the details!
4. PUERTO MORELOS: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Families
If you’re looking for a quiet place to stay in Riviera Maya with your family, look no further than Puerto Morelos.
This small beach town and fishing village has many family-friendly resorts, making it the best place to stay in Riviera Maya with kids.
It’s even home to the newest Nickelodeon Resort–offering the ultimate kids getaway.
Even if you don’t want to go all out at Nickelodeon, there are many family-friendly resorts in the area offering robust kids clubs.
These kids programs typically offer fun activities, local crafts, game rooms, and water sports to keep kids entertained. And some resorts even have waterparks on-site!
Overall, Puerto Morelos is much quieter than nearby beach towns and has limited nightlife, which makes it one of the best places to stay in Riviera Maya for families.
Where to Stay in Puerto Morelos
If you’re wondering where to stay in Puerto Morelos, consider the following options:
📍 Nickelodeon Resort Riviera Maya ($$$)
The all-new Nickelodeon Resort Riviera Maya is a premium all inclusive resort designed specifically for families, with a playful Nickelodeon twist.
You’ll be able to see regular appearances by some of your favorite children’s TV characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
As one of the best family resorts in Playa del Carmen with a water park, kids will love the 6-acre Aqua Nick® Water Park with over 20 slides. Plus, don’t miss out on the signature green Slime! experiences!
📍 Dreams Jade ($$$)
Situated on a private beach, Dreams Jade Resort and Spa is a luxury complex offering an all inclusive and family friendly retreat in Puerto Morelos.
The resort offers 3 outdoor pools and swim-up bars, 8 restaurants, a hydrotherapy spa, on-site tennis school, and beach water sports like kayaking and snorkeling.
📍 Dreams Sapphire ($$$)
Dreams Sapphire Resort & Spa is a luxurious all inclusive beachfront hotel in Puerto Morelos. The resort’s newly renovated rooms offer private balconies or terraces with stunning views of the ocean.
The unique swim-out rooms are perfect for couples or those who want to enjoy the water without leaving their room.
And for families, the resort offers a thrilling water park with large water slides and a kids splash pool.
5. PUNTA MAROMA: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Exclusivity
Punta Maroma (Maroma Beach) is an exclusive beach that is home to some of the best resorts in Riviera Maya Mexico and is known for its pristine beaches.
There aren’t many public beach access points at Punta Maroma, which makes it the perfect place to stay in Riviera Maya if you’re looking to escape the crowds.
With a very flat and wide beachfront area, Playa Maroma is a stunningly gorgeous beach and has even been voted as one of the best beaches in the world.
This exclusive area is ideal for those looking for a bit more privacy and a peaceful and relaxing getaway.
In addition, Punta Maroma is also where you’ll find the famous Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma, which are the only true overwater bungalows in Mexico.
Where to Stay in Punta Maroma
If you’re wondering where to stay in Punta Maroma, consider the following options:
📍 Palafitos Overwater Bungalows ($$$$)
The only true overwater bungalows in Mexico, Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma offers a luxurious stay on the beautiful Maroma Beach.
The property’s 30 overwater bungalows feature private decks and access to an infinity pool or glass-bottom floor for marine life viewing. You’ll also have direct ladder access to the ocean and private butler service.
If you’ve been dreaming of visiting the Maldives or Bora Bora, consider the Palafitos Overwater Bungalows for a unique and luxurious bungalow experience closer to home.
The resort offers 13 outdoor pools, 7 different restaurants, as well as a coffee shop.
In addition, the suite accommodations have hot tubs, marble baths, furnished terraces, and minibars.
📍 Catalonia Playa Maroma ($$)
Catalonia Playa Maroma is a great choice for a more budget-friendly option on Maroma Beach. This beachfront Riviera Maya all inclusive hotel offers simple yet comfortable accommodations.
Dining options include a variety of international restaurants, cafes, and pool-side food trucks.
And with multiple pools, a swim-up bar, and on-site spa, it’s the perfect place for an affordable and relaxing retreat.
6. MAYAKOBA: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Luxury Travelers
Mayakoba is a luxurious and exclusive community located just north of Playa del Carmen.
This entire area is home to the most exclusive luxury resorts in Riviera Maya, making it the most popular destination for luxury travelers and celebrities.
The Mayakoba community is connected by lush lagoons and coastal waterways–and many resorts even offer boat or gondola transportation to get around the expansive grounds.
While most of the resorts in Mayakoba are not all-inclusive, they all offer world-class dining experiences, top-notch amenities, and premier levels of service.
If you’re looking for the most luxurious vacation experience in Riviera Maya, Mayakoba offers the best hotels in Riviera Maya.
Where to Stay in Mayakoba
If you’re wondering where to stay in Mayakoba, consider the following options:
📍 Rosewood Mayakoba ($$$$)
Guests can also enjoy 6 outdoor pools, 8 restaurants and bars, and a luxury spa. And the resort’s newest Zapote bar is earning awards with its locally sourced hand-crafted cocktails.
Plus, being transported to your own private dock on the resort’s gondola boats is a one-of-a-kind experience.
📍 Andaz Mayakoba ($$$$)
Surrounded by lush vegetation and nature, Andaz Mayakoba resort offers two serene pools, 5 on-site restaurants, and a tranquil stretch of sandy beach for guests to enjoy.
Airy guest rooms feature beach or lagoon views while upgraded suites have their own pool.
The resort also offers stylish pool and beachfront seating areas, along with poolside food and drink service.
7. PLAYA DEL CARMEN: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Budget Travelers
Playa del Carmen is the best area to stay in Riviera Maya if you’re traveling on a budget and are looking for something that is not all-inclusive.
With so many different types of accommodations to choose from, this laid-back beach town has plenty of affordable options from beachfront resorts to Playa del Carmen boutique hotels to vacation rentals.
You’ll want to stay in Playa del Carmen’s downtown area (Centro) for the most walkability with easy access to public beaches. Plus, public transportation is easily available to explore other parts of the region.
And even if you’re not on a budget, there are plenty of beautiful Playa del Carmen beach hotels which will give you exclusive beach access but you’ll still be within walking distance to everything the town has to offer.
Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen
If you’re wondering where to stay in Playa del Carmen, consider the following options:
📍 Mahekal Beach Resort ($$)
With bungalow-style accommodations, private terraces, and personal hammocks, Mahekal Beach Resort exudes a bohemian vibe and offers an authentically Mexican experience.
The beachfront resort also has multiple pools and restaurants, boutiques, and a full-service spa.
And its beautifully landscaped grounds offer a serene tropical retreat while being still close enough to the liveliness of 5th Avenue.
📍 Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen ($$)
As one of the most modern hotels in Playa del Carmen, the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen has an impressive open air lobby, oceanfront infinity pools, and canopy lounge beds directly on the beach.
Accommodations include oceanfront rooms with balconies and some suites even have private plunge pools.
Guests can also enjoy multiple restaurants, a unique Cenote Spa, and state-of-the-art fitness center.
📍 Hotel La Semilla ($)
Set among the trendy jungle restaurants and bars on Playa del Carmen’s 38th Street, Hotel La Semilla is an upscale, bohemian bed and breakfast that’s just 2 blocks from the beach.
The chic, TV-free rooms feature vintage furniture, and some have wood-paneled or exposed-brick walls.
Breakfast is served in an open kitchen and dining area, and guests can also enjoy a relaxed tropical garden and rooftop terrace.
8. COZUMEL: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Diving
Located just off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean boasting white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters.
With its incredible coral reefs, it’s the perfect place to stay in Riviera Maya for scuba diving enthusiasts whether you are a beginner or advanced diver.
As part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (the second longest in the world), the island is home to many colorful coral reefs and marine life such as tropical fish, sea turtles, sting rays, and sharks.
And even if you are not scuba certified, some of the best things to do in Cozumel are walking around the quaint town square, souvenir shopping, snorkeling tours, catamaran sails, and water sports.
Plus, the all inclusive resorts in Cozumel are generally more affordable than those you’ll find in Riviera Maya.
Where to Stay in Cozumel
If you’re wondering where to stay in Cozumel, consider the following options:
📍 Hotel B Unique Cozumel ($$)
Situated directly on the oceanfront, Hotel B Unique Cozumel is the trendiest hotel in Cozumel with the most modern accommodations.
Guests can relax on the stylish outdoor deck with an infinity pool and bar directly facing the ocean for incredible sea views.
You can read my full Hotel B Unique Cozumel review for all the details!
📍 Dreams Cozumel Cape ($$)
Dreams Cozumel Cape is Cozumel’s newest luxury resort that opened in July 2022.
This all-inclusive, family-friendly resort features 154 suites with balconies, a private beach and swimming pool, and plenty of activities for guests of all ages to enjoy.
Guests can also enjoy unlimited reservation-free dining and top-shelf drinks at any of the restaurants and bars throughout the resort.
📍 Cozumel Palace ($$)
Cozumel Palace Resort is a luxurious oceanfront Cozumel all inclusive resort that offers a luxury experience for families, couples, and scuba diving enthusiasts.
Accommodations at Cozumel Palace feature 24-hour room service, in-room double whirlpool tubs, and luxury bath products.
Not to mention in-room liquor dispensers with top-shelf liquors! 🍹
9. PLAYACAR: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Beaches on a Budget
Located just south of downtown Playa del Carmen, Playacar is the name of a private gated community that is primarily home to luxury homes and some of the best all inclusive resorts in Riviera Maya.
Playacar is not open to the public so you either need to live there or be staying at one of the Playacar resorts to gain access.
The beaches in Playacar are gorgeous and widespread, and are honestly some of the best you’ll find in Riviera Maya.
But what also makes this area so great is that the Playacar resorts have some of the most affordable prices of all-inclusive resorts in Riviera Maya.
This makes it a great place to stay in Riviera Maya for beaches on a budget for families, couples, or groups of friends.
These Playacar resorts are just a little bit more dated–but are still very nice, spacious, and comfortable with expansive pools and beautifully landscaped grounds.
And Playacar offers the best location on the beach while still being just a quick taxi ride away from the liveliness of downtown Playa del Carmen.
Where to Stay in Playacar
If you’re wondering where to stay in Playacar, consider the following options:
📍 Playacar Palace ($$)
Just steps away from 5th Avenue, Playacar Palace is the closest Playacar resort to downtown Playa del Carmen located just on the other side of the Cozumel ferry.
Playacar Palace offers 201 tastefully decorated suites with ocean views, whirlpool tubs, and in-room liquor dispensers.
Guests can also enjoy an oceanfront swimming pool and beachfront area.
📍 Riu Palace Riviera Maya ($$)
Recently refurbished in 2019, Riu Palace Riviera Maya is a Playacar all inclusive resort with direct access to the beach, 2 swimming pools, and a swim-up bar.
Guests also have access to the five other Riu hotels in the same complex (Lupita, Tequila, Playacar, Palace Mexico, and Yucatan), although the Riu Palace Riviera Maya is the nicest and most recently renovated.
📍 Palmaïa The House of AïA ($$$$)
Palmaïa – The House of AïA is an all-inclusive wellness retreat and hotel located in Playacar, just south of Playa del Carmen.
The stunning brand new hotel offers a unique experience that combines eco-consciousness, holistic wellness programs, a bohemian sensibility, and a focus on community.
Palmaïa – the House of AïA offers various wellness programs and personal growth practices such as yoga classes, meditation, cacao ceremonies, sound baths, and energy healing.
10. XCARET: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Adventure Parks
If you’re interested in visiting the best adventure parks in Riviera Maya, there’s no better place to stay than Xcaret destination.
Grupo Xcaret is the name of the company that owns and operates the most popular adventure parks in Riviera Maya, as well as three luxurious all-inclusive hotels.
Xcaret hotels offer an “all fun-inclusive” concept where guests receive unlimited access to all of the Xcaret parks and tours, making it an incredible value for families.
The hotels are luxurious and slightly more expensive than other options in the area, but they offer an unbeatable experience for those who want to visit multiple parks during their stay.
The Xcaret parks are some of the best things to do in Riviera Maya and offer incredibly fun and unique adventure experiences for all ages.
These include ziplining, ATV adventures, natural water parks, snorkeling, underground rivers, cultural shows and so much more.
🦜 Read my full Xcaret parks guide to learn about all 8 adventure parks and what each one has to offer.
Where to Stay near Xcaret
If you’re wondering where to stay near Xcaret, consider the following options:
📍 Hotel Xcaret Mexico ($$$$)
As a 5-Diamond all-inclusive resort, Hotel Xcaret Mexico offers the ultimate luxury experience and is the best resort in Riviera Maya for families and adults.
Guests can enjoy glass infinity pools and stand up paddleboarding, as well as rivers, inlets, and unique beach areas.
The hotel’s biggest perk is that they have an “All-Fun Inclusive” concept, meaning guests have unlimited access and roundtrip transportation to all of the Xcaret parks and tours.
📍 Hotel Xcaret Arte ($$$$)
Hotel Xcaret Arte is the adult version of Hotel Xcaret, offering an adults-only luxury all-inclusive experience that is a homage to Mexican artists.
Each building is inspired by different “Casas” offering artist workshops for painting, textiles, pottery, and dance–among its other luxury amenities like relaxing pools, elevated gastronomy, and a natural rock spa.
You can read all about my experience in my Hotel Xcaret Arte review!
🆚 Related Reading: Hotel Xcaret Arte vs Hotel Xcaret Mexico: Which is better?
📍 La Casa de la Playa ($$$$)
The newest of the Xcaret hotels, La Casa de la Playa is a boutique adults-only resort with only 63 suites featuring colorful accents and natural wood materials.
The intimate retreat is one of the best hotels in Riviera Maya for adults looking for totally unique and exclusive experiences.
Guests can also take advantage of tailor-made experiences at the Xcaret parks that are not open to the general public.
11. PUERTO AVENTURAS: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Sailing
Puerto Aventuras is the perfect place to stay in Riviera Maya if you’re looking to do some boating or sailing.
The marina is also a quaint area for a stroll with many cute restaurants, shops, and ice cream parlors.
As a private gated community popular among expats and retirees, Puerto Aventuras offers a quiet and relaxing area to stay.
All inclusive resorts are also nearby if you’re looking for some extra amenities.
Where to Stay in Puerto Aventuras
If you’re wondering where to stay in Puerto Aventuras, consider the following options:
📍 Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya ($$$)
The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is a luxury all inclusive resort that’s designed with total musical immersion in mind.
With over 1,200 iconic guest rooms and ocean-view suites, nine restaurants, and a saltwater snorkeling area, this resort has everything you need for an unforgettable vacation.
And for the ultimate rock star experience, the resort even offers a Rock Star Suite and the Bret Michaels Rock Star Suite.
📍 Barcelo Maya Riviera ($$)
Located just south of Puerto Aventuras, Barcelo Maya Riviera is the newest resort in the Barcelo complex offering a modern adults-only experience.
The Barcelo resort complex offers endless options for restaurants and entertainment among its 6 different properties.
Guests can also enjoy a shopping center, bowling alley, 24-hour sports bar, 3 theaters, a nightclub, and the Ventura Fly and Ride adventure park and zipline circuit.
The Puerto Aventuras Hotel & Beach Club is an affordable place to stay right near the marina with laid-back guest rooms featuring balconies with private hot tubs and hammocks.
Other resort amenities include 3 restaurants and 2 bars, direct beach access, a 9-hole golf course, and 3 outdoor pools.
12. XPU-HA: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Couples
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway in Riviera Maya, look no further than Xpu-Ha, one of the best beaches in Riviera Maya.
This dreamy stretch of sand is perfect for couples, with its beautiful secluded beaches and modern adults-only all inclusive resorts.
Plus, the natural beauty of the turquoise Caribbean Sea is simply unbeatable–Xpu-Ha is actually my favorite beach in all of Riviera Maya!
And with its lush jungle surroundings, it’s the perfect place for a quiet escape whether it’s with your significant other or a group of adult friends.
Where to Stay near Xpu-Ha
If you’re wondering where to stay near Xpu-Ha, consider the following options:
📍 Hotel Esencia ($$$$)
Originally built as a retreat for an Italian duchess, Hotel Esencia is a high-end boutique luxury hotel.
Located on Riviera Maya’s dreamy Xpu-Ha beach, this intimate seaside retreat features jungle suites and villas. It was even rated by Forbes as one of the few 5-star hotels in the world.
The property’s minimalistic Mexican design elements are simply stunning and it’s been known to be frequented by celebrity guests.
📍 Hotel Unico 20°87° Riviera Maya ($$$)
With three pools and a private beach, as well as an on-site spa and wellness center, it offers guests an elevated luxury experience.
If I had to choose the best place to stay in Riviera Maya for adults, Hotel Unico 20°87° would be my top pick!
You can read my full Hotel Unico 20°87° Riviera Maya review for all the details!
📍 Catalonia Royal Tulum ($$)
Catalonia Royal Tulum is an adults only all inclusive resort that is more budget friendly than some of the other options in Xpu-Ha.
The smaller size of the resort means that it never feels too crowded, and there are still plenty of dining and drinking options with 6 restaurants and 3 bars.
And if you’re looking to relax, the resort’s spa, 4 hot tubs, and outdoor pool with sun beds are perfect for a leisurely getaway.
13. AKUMAL: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Snorkeling
Akumal is a small beach town located in the Riviera Maya that is known for its abundance of sea turtles.
There are so many sea turtles in Akumal Bay that you go snorkeling with them right off the beach, making it the perfect area to stay for those that love snorkeling and sea life.
However, when visiting or snorkeling at Akumal, it’s very important to do so responsibly in order to preserve the natural habitat and preserve the endangered sea turtle population.
Akumal is also home to some wonderful beaches and all inclusive resorts where you can relax and enjoy the Caribbean sun without having to worry about planning meals or activities.
If you’re looking for an area where you can enjoy both amazing snorkeling and stunning beaches, Akumal is the best place in Riviera Maya to stay.
Where to Stay in Akumal
If you’re wondering where to stay in Akumal, consider the following options:
📍 Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya ($$$)
The Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya is one of the newest all inclusive resorts in Riviera Maya.
This eco-chic resort offers 735 rooms and suites, 13 restaurants and bars, and 8 resort pools.
Plus, the Family Zone features a kids water park, while the luxury spa can be found at the Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya sister property.
📍 Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya ($$$)
Situated on Akumal Beach, the all-inclusive Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya offers sophisticated tropical-themed suites with terraces or balconies and upgraded suites even have direct pool access.
Aside from its private beach, guests can also enjoy 3 outdoor pools, poolside cafes and swim-up bars, a spa, and tennis court.
Plus, as one of the best Riviera Maya resorts with swim up rooms, you can even upgrade to a swim up suite for pool access directly from your room.
📍 Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal ($$$)
The Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal resort is a beautiful all inclusive resort located in Akumal, Riviera Maya.
With 758 rooms, 7 restaurants, 3 pools, a spa, golf course, and children’s water park, there’s plenty to keep the entire family entertained.
And if you want to explore even more, you can access the facilities and restaurants of the other Bahia Principe resorts in the same complex.
14. TULUM: Best Area to Stay in Riviera Maya for Adults
Tulum is a beautiful but expensive Riviera Maya destination that is widely known for its eco-chic bohemian vibe, attracting yoga enthusiasts, spiritual seekers, and luxury travelers.
While it’s not the most family-friendly destination, Tulum is one of the best places to stay in Riviera Maya for adults looking to enjoy a relaxed vacation with plenty of sunshine and incredible untouched beaches.
Tulum is also known for its party scene with its beachfront EDM music festivals and high-end full moon parties, making Tulum the perfect choice for an adult getaway for couples or groups of friends.
But even if you’re not into the party scene, there is much to be enjoyed in Tulum with its jungle restaurants, designer boutiques, and tropical cafes.
Where to Stay in Tulum
If you’re wondering where to stay in Tulum, consider the following options:
📍 La Valise Tulum ($$$)
Located on Tulum Beach, La Valise Tulum offers breathtaking beach and jungle landscapes on both sides of the Tulum beach road.
The luxury rooms at La Valise Tulum exude a simple and airy style, creating an atmosphere that transports you to an exotic paradise.
But the hotel’s most iconic feature is its rolling beds, which allow you to seamlessly glide your bed along built-in tracks to your outdoor balcony.
📍 Papaya Playa Project ($$$$)
Papaya Playa Project is your quintessential Tulum hotel with casitas, villas, and cabanas that blend right into the jungle.
With over 70 guest rooms, the hotel offers a “barefoot luxury” experience featuring accommodations with ocean views and private pools.
The hotel also offers weekly wellness programs such as yoga, meditative concerts, ecstatic movement, and curated menus.
📍 Hotel Bardo ($)
Located in the downtown area of Tulum, Hotel Bardo is a new adults only hotel that offers 30 loft-style villa accommodations with private plunge pools, dining areas, and pillowtop beds.
The hotel also features a restaurant, outdoor pool, and full-service spa offering deep tissue and hot stone massages.
Best Places to Stay in Riviera Maya Map
Here is the Riviera Maya location of each of these best areas conveniently pinned to a map for easy trip planning.
When figuring out where to stay near Riviera Maya, use this as a tool to map out the hotel’s location and proximity to Cancun International Airport and any desired attractions.
Visiting Riviera Maya, Mexico: FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Riviera Maya:
The best areas to stay in Riviera Maya are Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum for the convenience of being in a larger beach town and having access to restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.
For quieter areas, consider staying in smaller beach towns in Riviera Maya such as Puerto Morelos, Akumal, or Puerto Aventuras. Or for the most beautiful beaches, consider staying at an all inclusive resort near Playa Xpu-Ha or Punta Maroma.
Playa del Carmen is a resort town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Riviera Maya is not a town but the name of the coastal resort district that spans from Cancun all the way down to Tulum. So Playa del Carmen is considered to be part of Riviera Maya.
The high season in Riviera Maya runs from December to February, when the weather is dry and less humid, making it a more enjoyable experience.
But with warm temperatures all year round, there never really is a bad time to visit Riviera Maya. While the rainy hurricane season runs from May-October, it’s common for storms to pass quickly and there will still be plenty of sun.
Consider visiting Riviera Maya on the shoulder months of high season (October/November and March/April) for great weather but fewer crowds.
Yes, the Mayan Riviera is the same as Riviera Maya, although Riviera Maya is the most popular way of referring to the region.
Yes, the ocean in Riviera Maya is swimmable all year round. Most beaches in Riviera Maya have powder white sand, calm waters, and gentle waves.
Some areas are rockier than others but the majority of Riviera Maya beaches are very swimmable.
Conclusion: Where to Stay in Riviera Maya Mexico
Mexico’s Riviera Maya region is home to many fabulous beachfront hotels and resorts as well as ancient ruins and archeological sites, stunning beaches, and incredible cenotes.
If you’re thinking of visiting Mexico soon, I hope this list of the 14 best areas to stay in Riviera Maya was helpful in planning your accommodations.
These unique Riviera Maya destinations offer the chance to stay at some of the best hotels in Mexico–providing everything from relaxation to adventure to nightlife.
You really can’t go wrong with any of them but do take some time to consider your wish list and what type of vacation you’re looking for.
And if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, Catalonia Playa Maroma is a simple all-inclusive hotel with an incredible beach.
But no matter which area or hotel you choose, you will no doubt have an unforgettable time enjoying everything the region has to offer.