Best Neighborhoods & Hotels • Expert Vagabond
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Plan your Mexico trip with my advice for the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen (hotels, budget hostels, and resorts) for each unique neighborhood around the city!
Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, the Mexican city of Playa Del Carmen was once just a small ferry port for people on their way to the island of Cozumel.
Over the years it grew into a popular beach town in its own right due to a beautiful coastline, tasty Mexican cuisine, sunny weather, and central location along the “Riviera Maya” route.
Playa Del Carmen became a cheaper and less-busy option to Cancun – exploding in popularity in recent years.
Visitors can explore nearby Maya ruins, swim in underground rock pools called “cenotes”, or go scuba diving to see one of the largest reefs in the world.
For those planning a visit and wondering about the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen, I’ve put together this free guide to the city’s best neighborhoods and accommodation options!
Best Places To Stay In Playa Del Carmen
When it comes to finding a place to stay in Playa del Carmen, all-inclusive resorts are typical, however, there are many other accommodation options like smaller hotels and guesthouses if you want to save money.
It’s important to book Play del Carmen hotels early to get the best deals.
Especially if you plan to visit during the winter high season, when finding a good place to stay can be much more difficult.
In this guide, I’ll cover everything from budget backpacker hostels to luxury Playa del Carmen resorts, vacation rentals, local guesthouses, and more — you’ll learn exactly where to stay in Playa del Carmen to have a great time.
Best Neighborhoods In Playa Del Carmen
El Centro “Downtown” Playa
For the typical tourist experience of Playa Del Carmen, El Centro (downtown) is the place for you. This is where all the action is. Stay right on (or close by) La Quinta 5th Avenue for easy walking access to great restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. This is the beating heart of the city.
The North End
North of Avenida Constituyentes is where the city has been growing, and it’s a little more “trendy”. There are more condos and vacation rentals up here than hotels. It’s a bit quieter than El Centro too — but still easily within walking distance to all the nightlife and action on 5th Avenue.
Playacar is a residential development just South of Playa del Carmen. It’s split into two “Phases”. Playacar Phase 1 is quieter and more local, with just a few hotels (but some excellent beaches). Playacar Phase 2 is home to a variety of hotels, golf courses, an aviary park, and shopping centers targeted at tourists.
Luxury Resort Area
This area has a handful of luxury resorts for travelers with larger budgets. There are four Mayakoba resorts up here, as well as the Grand Velas. It’s not really walkable from here into the city center, so you’d need to take a taxi or shuttle bus.
Where To Stay In Playa Del Carmen
Most people prefer to stay near Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue walking street because that’s where all the action is. There are a variety of accommodation styles when it comes to finding a place to stay. The following list showcases some of the best options no matter what your budget — from Backpacker to Baller.
Cheap Hostels In Playa Del Carmen
Hostal MX (El Centro)
Located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, Hostal MX is right next to shopping, dining, nightclubs and the beaches. They have access to hammocks, a hot tub, good local transport and free wi-fi. A great place to stay if you’re trying to save money!
Yak Hostel (El Centro)
The Yak Hostel offers a free breakfast to all its guests, with a bathroom for every bedroom and even a charming little book exchange. It’s a simple but pleasant place to stay, close to the beach, and just around the corner from some of Playa del Carmen’s best nightclubs.
Selina Hostel (El Centro)
One of the best things about Selina Hostel is its social atmosphere, including a great outdoor pool area (often with good parties), bar, lounge, and a restaurant with a shared kitchen. The hostel rents out bikes too.
Budget Hotels In Playa Del Carmen
Hotel 52 (The North End)
Hotel 52 is located right in the center of Playa del Carmen with fun decorative touches from the owner, including a rooftop pool and great beach views. They offer massage services and are completely smoke-free for the health-conscious!
Hacienda Real del Caribe (El Centro)
One of my favorite places to stay in Playa del Carmen, it has a very tranquil atmosphere that really lets you escape the noise of downtown. The ornate hotel balconies frame a central swimming pool located right in the middle of the courtyard.
Fiesta Inn Playa del Carmen (The North End)
Despite being a budget hotel, Fiesta Inn has all the luxuries you might expect from a higher-priced place, including air conditioning in every bedroom and private showers. A shuttle to and from the airport is also very convenient.
Mid-Range Hotels In Playa Del Carmen
Reina Roja (El Centro)
Looking for a romantic hotel in Playa del Carmen? Reina Roja is for adults only. Enjoy your free welcome cocktail before settling into one of their very quirky themed rooms or relax in the rooftop pool. Keep an eye out for the creepy mannequins too!
Magic Blue Boutique Hotel (El Centro)
The Magic Blue has a great swimming pool and garden area, along with in-house massage services, and a selection of gourmet restaurants. You get excellent value for your money, with a perfect location only one block away from 5th Avenue.
Hotel Morgana (El Centro)
Hotel Morgana features 20 rooms designed to reflect Mexican history and culture. Every room is completely unique and the furniture is custom-made. They also have a rooftop terrace with pool and solarium, along with a local crafts gallery featuring Mexican artworks.
Luxury Hotels & Resorts In Playa del Carmen
Fairmont Mayakoba (Luxury Resort Area)
A 5-star all-inclusive resort, Fairmont Mayakoba gives each party their own private terrace, access to water sports and bicycle rentals. This resort is one for the luxury-hunters, with every bedroom kitted out with everything from a flat-screen TV to free toiletries. Staff can welcome you in any language, and the on-site restaurant caters to all manner of dietary requirements.
Thompson Hotel (El Centro)
The Thompson is located right on 5th Avenue, known for their great outdoor terrace infinity pool parties. All rooms have jet bathtubs and many have private terraces with Jacuzzis. Guests get free beach access through their sister property located only two blocks away. This hotel is pet-friendly too!
Hilton Playa Del Carmen (El Centro)
The Hilton Playa del Carmen is one of the top hotels in the city. Located right on the beachfront, with every room offering either an ocean or a garden view. The Hilton has a hot tub placed in every room, along with a great sound system, and a premium minibar.
Vacation Rentals In Playa Del Carmen
So I’ve covered a bunch of different great places to stay in Playa del Carmen, however, hotels aren’t always the best deal out there. Especially if you’re part of a large group.
Choosing to stay in a vacation rental apartment is a great alternative to hotels, and might even save you money. They offer more space, better amenities, a kitchen, and give you a feeling of home.
I’ve rented from Bric Vacation Rentals before and had a great expereince. They have options for all budgets.
Enjoy Your Trip To Playa!
So there you go, my roundup of the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen while on vacation.
Playa del Carmen is a perfect place to base yourself in Mexico, and each day will bring something new and entertaining to your trip – whether you prefer a relaxing holiday or a hefty dose of adventure. ★
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I hope you enjoyed my guide on where to stay in Playa Del Carmen! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:
Have any questions about where to stay in Playa Del Carmen? Are you planning a trip to Mexico? Drop me a message in the comments below!