Tropical Boutique Hotel near Beach and Trendy Fifth Avenue
By day, lively mariachi music emanates from Fifth Avenue—Playa del Carmen's tourist strip—as local vendors hawk handmade pottery. At night, electronic bass beats reverberate from hip nightclubs along the same street and native performers dazzle crowds with spinning fire sticks. Often a bustling scene, Fifth Avenue treats visitors to an appealing blend of the traditional and the trendy within walking distance of the Caribbean Sea.
In the midst of this nonstop activity, Kinbe Hotel possesses a similar duality. Fodor's praised the hotel as "an interesting fusion of Mayan and contemporary decor." A rustic adobe façade gives way to a sleek, modern interior, which subtly incorporates the landscape's two predominant features: the jungle and the ocean.
The pool features an onyx bridge and a waterfall that cascades down a three-story black wall. You can see the pool from the private balcony of the slick Rugiada room, which is bordered with tree-branch railings and features bold red and black accents. Alternatively, you can stay in the Moody room, which is set amid palmettos, cacti, banana trees, and tropical blooms in the garden area.
Feel free to lounge on the rooftop sun deck or take a jaunt to nearby Fifth Avenue. Although there are no restaurants at the hotel, the avenue is lined with taquerias and bistros. Ask the concierge about arranging in-room massages and special discounts at local beach clubs and restaurants.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico: Trendy Beach Area and Diving Destination
Just across the sea from the island of Cozumel, Playa del Carmen has been called "the hippest city in all of the Yucatán Peninsula" by Lonely Planet. The laid-back beach bars and cafés have a way of converting vacationers into expats, but Playa's most compelling draw might be its cenotes—cavernous sinkholes filled with turquoise pools. The water in the cenotes is crystal clear, particularly at the lily-pad-dotted Xlacah cenote, where you can snorkel among schools of colorful fish.
To the south, you'll find preserved ruins of pre-Columbian cities. Tulum's crumbling temples are situated above a dramatic ocean bluff, and Coba's enormous pyramid rises between two lagoons. For a fun day trip, hop aboard the ferry to Cozumel, where you'll find about a dozen dive shops offering trips to the reefs that Jacques Cousteau declared some of the world's most beautiful.
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