Looking for a quick getaway with your love before or after the big day? Whether you need a little R&R from all the planning or are planning the mini-moon of your dreams, look no further than chic Playa del Carmen on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, the perfect getaway to splash and play or sun and spa. Or, why not both?
Just 45 minutes south of Cancun International Airport, Playa del Carmen is a double win: With so many direct flights to the region, getting here is a breeze — and yet you're worlds away from the mega-resorts (and collegiate crowd) of Cancun.
Playa, as the town is affectionally called, has more activities on offer than you could ever pack into three days, but this isn't the trip that you try to do it all. An ideal itinerary would be anchored by three nights at one of the area's spectacular resorts with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the stunning beaches, the warm, gentle waters of the Caribbean Sea, and resort amenities. Perhaps a spa treatment or two?
Choose one day for an adventurous day trip: The picturesque Mayan ruins of Tulum are less than an hour south and World Heritage Site Chicen Itza is two hours inland. A day trip to Cozumel, an easy ferry ride from Playa del Carmen, offers abundant opportunities for snorkeling, world-class diving, and other water sports.
About those resorts: From all-inclusive to eco-chic to ultra-luxurious, the area has options aplenty. Here, a few suggestions:
Photo: Courtesy of Fairmont Mayakoba
Mayakoba, an eco-resort enclave located north of Playa's downtown, is a study conservation and luxury. Three truly special hotels share 240 acres of tropical forest, mangroves, lagoons, waterways and a pristine Caribbean shoreline: Fairmont Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Mayakoba and the ultra-luxurious Rosewood Mayakoba. Spa lovers should consider the Spa Sanctuary Villas at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, which come with unlimited spa treatments within the privacy of your own retreat.
Photo: Courtesy of the Viceroy Riviera Maya
The Viceroy Riviera Maya is an intimate, all-villa luxury resort just north of downtown Playa. Every villa features an outdoor terrace and a private outdoor shower; many have private plunge pools, as well. Amenities include a soap concierge, a Shaman-in-residence and Mayan-inspired spa treatments.
Photo: Courtesy of GrandVelas Riviera Maya
For the ultimate all-inclusive experience, consider Royal Hideaway Playacar or Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, two adults-only retreats that are walking distance from downtown. The Grand Class suites at GrandVelas Riviera Maya, a lush resort complex 10 minutes south of downtown, are located within an adults-only oasis literally on the beach.
Photo: Courtesy of Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen
Playa's newest hotel, the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, is located on the beach in the center of all the action downtown. Many oceanfront suites have heated plunge pools, and all suites have access to the Grand Club lounge with concierge service, complimentary continental breakfast, evening cocktails, and hors d'oeuvres daily.