4.5-Star Luxury All-Inclusive Resort in Sunny Playa del Carmen
At Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda, every luxury junior suite is splashed in sunlight from glass doors that lead to a private terrace. The view here is endless—and so are the luxuries. There are bottomless premium, brand-name drinks for the taking, all meals and snacks are included, and various daytime classes and nightly entertainment come standard with your stay. The property also offers an exclusive family-concierge service for vacationing families. These perks helped Paradisus win a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2013 award.
There are 11 restaurants and 10 bars on site. Try sushi and Asian fusion at Bana or elegant à la carte Mexican cuisine at Mole, and creative sake cocktails at Toji or tequila and mescal at Blue Agave. At night, the party shifts to Gabi Club, where you can enjoy drinking and dancing on the beach.
There’s plenty to do during the day for adults and kids, from Pilates, tango, and snorkeling lessons to arts-and-crafts workshops. Stop and relax at any of four pools, which are tailored for both families and adults—one lagoon-style pool features a swim-up bar. Massages and spa treatments are always available at the spa and health club, too. Click here to check out the full range of services and facilities.
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 4 km 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.