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If you're looking for a romantic beach escape, why not jet to a place that has all the makings of a honeymoon-worthy getaway: sun, sand, surf, delicious local cuisine, interesting cultural sites, and, most importantly, potent cocktails. When vacationing south of the border, expect very, very leisurely days; your most important decision will probably be whether to lounge by the pool or the ocean. This is why a Mexican honeymoon is the perfect post-wedding stress buster. Where you go will largely depend on where you're coming from: Pacific Coast retreats in Los Cabos, Punta Mita, and Baja tend to be easier for couples based on the West Coast or in southwestern states like Texas, while East Coasters will find it quick and easy getting to the Caribbean-fronting Riviera Maya, home to popular towns like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Mérida. For those who prefer a more off-the-beaten-path getaway, try San Miguel de Allende or Puebla, both of which are overflowing with local culture and now boast top-notch hotels.
Get ready to pack your best bikinis and say sí to one of these Mexican beach destinations.
Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort
Mexico meets the Mediterranean at this exclusive retreat overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Each room features unique accents like a terra-cotta fireplace, tricked out telescope, and welcome bottle of tequila (plus butler service). If you're looking to splurge, book the 28,000-square-foot Ty Warner mansion, which sits directly on the water’s edge and comes complete with a personal chef.
Viceroy Riviera Maya
This adults-only haven, which opened in 2012, quickly became a honeymoon favorite, thanks to 41 rustic-chic villas, a superb staff, and holistic spa where the resident shaman will bless you upon request before your massage. The property was renovated in 2016 and included updates like a new event palapa and expanded pier, perfect for a secluded dinner under the stars prepared by an Enrique Olvera-trained chef.
The ecological enclave of Mayakoba, on the Riviera Maya, has a number of glossy resorts—but this one takes the cake. The décor is Insta-worthy (Yucatán limestone and renewable wood fill indoor spaces). The spa is set on its own island overlooking the lagoon (book a Mayan-influenced treatment, like the Cenote Temazcal Purification). The food is deliciously indulgent (order the Pacifico battered shrimp tacos by the pool). And the rooms, outfitted with glass doors and private plunge pools, are so cozy you may never want to leave.
Hotel San Cristóbal
This is the first swanky retreat to open in Todos Santos, a laid-back surfers' haven on the Baja Peninsula. It's conveniently located on the beach at Punta Lobos—adjacent to where local fisherman bring their catch of the day. What does this mean for honeymooners? Legit sea-to-table meals, since the chefs stop by the dock each afternoon to pick the fish that's served for dinner each night.
Celebs from Emily Ratajkowski to Lupita Nyong'o flock to this 50-acre Riviera Maya gem, formerly owned by an Italian duchess. That's because it's the epitome of laid-back cool: Think crisp, all-white rooms, a blissfully quiet pool, a mile long (nearly private) white-sand beach, and tailor-made spa programs that include a private Jacuzzi session.
Expect to be treated like a celeb at this ultra-luxe retreat. Private butlers will organize thrill-seeking activities like skydiving, scuba diving, snorkeling, and deep sea fishing, then follow it up with a poolside foot massage. Afterward, go for a dip in the ocean on the resort's swimmable beach, a rarity in Cabo, followed by an astronomer-led stargazing session in the Baja Desert.
NIZUC Resort & Spa
You'd never expect such a chic resort just 10 minutes by car from Cancún International Airport, but book a stay here and you'll find a quiet, honeymoon-worthy enclave. Not only does it have the only ESPA Spa in Mexico, but it also boasts six top-notch restaurants (serving everything from classic Peruvian to Asian fusion) and a non-cheesy swim-up bar—all the easier to sip your 12 p.m. margarita. (We won't judge.)
The Cape, a Thompson Hotel
Since it's 2015 debut, this Cabo San Lucas stunner has attracted honeymooners the world over with its pristine white-sand beaches (including the renowned surfers’ paradise Monuments Beach) and 161 gorg guest rooms (all with unobstructed views of the Sea of Cortez and Cabo's famed El Arco). During the day, take your pick among the two pools—one, infinity-style with swim-up bar, the other, built from a natural rock formation. At night, post up at the sixth-floor lounge—the only rooftop bar in Cabo.
UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya
This area has lots of adults-only all-inclusives, but the UNICO 20°87° raises the bar with its whimsical interiors (done by hot New York and San Francisco-based design firm AvroKO), butler service (called "local hosts"), and innovative menus (crafted by acclaimed chef Xavier Perez Stone).
This estate south of Puerto Vallarta has four suites, three private villas, and 10 casitas, set on a private beach adjacent to a 30,000-acre nature preserve. Go horseback riding and fishing, watch sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach, and take Instas in the enormous, colorfully tiled pool.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
Set on the tip of the Riviera Nayarit, this 177-room beachfront resort is the perfect home base for incredible surf, indulgent poolside spa treatments, alfresco meals (courtesy of celebrity chef Richard Sandoval), and cocktails aplenty. (The bar has more than 150 types of tequila.)
Palafitos at El Dorado Maroma
The first overwater bungalows in Mexico opened at this top-rated all-inclusive on the Riviera Maya. Each of the 30 palafitos is surrounded by the bright turquoise Caribbean waters and features a private infinity pool, glass-bottom floors, outdoor shower, and ladder directly into the ocean. And in case you don't want to leave this stunning "resort-within-a-resort," there's an overwater restaurant and spa exclusively for palafitos guests.
Esperanza, an Auberge Resort
Every room has heart-stopping views of the Sea of Cortez—and either a private balcony or an infinity-edge hot tub (sweet). Order platters of local seafood at Cocina del Mar for lunch and then lounge by the tiered pool, where attendants will swing by with homemade tamarind, coconut, or hibiscus-flavored paletas (popsicles).
Chablé Resort & Spa
If the beach isn't your thing, head inland on the famed Yucatán Peninsula, where you'll find this five-star resort (near the historic city of Mérida). While each of the 40 villas is done up in a contemporary style (and tucked away among flora and fauna, so no one will see you skinny dip in your private plunge pool), the main building is a resorted 19th-century hacienda, giving you a look into the elegance of Mexico's past. The spa, meanwhile, offers a totally new idea—it's built at the foot of a cenote, an underground waterhole sacred in the local culture.
You could say that the May 2017 opening of this luxe 78-room city hotel put Puebla on the honeymoon map. The colonial-era city, located southeast of Mexico City, is known for its authentic local culture, rich architecture, ceramic art traditions, and deep culinary roots (it's the birthplace of mole poblano). Rosewood Puebla showcases all of that through its distinct design (set in four historic stone buildings that surround an interior courtyard) and activities like cooking classes with executive chef Jonathan Alvarado (including a trip to local food markets), visit to a 200-year-old tile factory, and Mexican wine tastings.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Every freestanding villa at this überglam oasis is done up with handcrafted Mayan furnishings and a private pool. The food is top-notch, too: Dishes at Cello are inspired by northern Italy, while Saffron serves Thai classics. (Also book a special private-dining evening in La Cava, inside the hotel's wine cellar). But if you're in the mood for something distinctly Mexican, don't worry—you can still find plentiful, perfectly salted margaritas by the pool.
Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada
San Miguel de Allende is climbing the bucket-list ladder for travelers who seek authentic local experiences. And that's front and center at this center city grande dame, made up of six Spanish colonial mansions. Each of the 37 bright and airy rooms mixes historic and modern furnishings with unique accents made by local artisans like talavera-tiled floors, hand-stenciled walls, and copper bathtubs. But outside is where you want to be in this charming cultural capital, so step out into the central courtyard, filled with climbing bougainvillea, and lie by the picture-perfect pool overlooking the city and mountains.
Waldorf Astoria The Resort at Pedregal
To get to this 113-room, Mediterranean-style resort, you have to enter through a 1,000-foot-long tunnel carved into a cliff. As if that wasn't enough drama, just take a look at the plunge pools hanging off private ocean-view terraces or the Champagne Terrace built into the rocks above the beach.
Le Blanc Spa Resort
This lavish adults-only all-inclusive resort is the most celebrated hospitality feat in Cancún. And given the property's mission of complete transcendence and oasis-like atmosphere, its not too difficult to understand why. Personal butler service, gourmet dining, holistic treatments at the state-of-the-art spa—this hotel definitely ticks all of our boxes.