Hotel at a Glance: AAA Four Diamond Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe
At Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe, you’re just steps away from the legendary white-sand beaches of the Riviera Maya. It’s a nice spot to swim, kayak, or snorkel in turquoise waters or join a game of beach volleyball. You can also take a free introductory scuba lesson in the resort’s lagoon-style pools. The resort is part of the Barceló Maya Beach Resort complex, which consists of five all-inclusive hotels whose facilities guests can access.
- International dining: two buffets, one grill, and three a la carte restaurants that offer French, Brazilian, and Caribbean cuisine. Also includes access to other resorts, which offer six additional specialty restaurants.
- Late-night sips: The lobby bar serves drinks and snacks 24 hours a day.
- Pamper yourself with a massage or facial at the massive U-Spa.
- Upscale accommodations: Club premium rooms include perks such as 24-hour room service, priority reservations at specialty restaurants, WiFi, free local phone calls, snacks, exclusive concierge, and more. Room service is an additional fee for other room types, and all guests receive premium international drinks.
- Outdoor recreation: lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, and a professional soccer field with changing rooms
- Dance all night at the onsite nightclub, which serves domestic drinks until 2 a.m.
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, which docks about 1.5 miles from the hotel at the pier east of Calle 1. There are about a dozen dive shops on Cozumel, and they offer trips offshore to the reefs that Jacques Cousteau declared some of the world's most beautiful.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.