4.5-Star Tropical Retreat Minutes from Lively Playa del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen, set along Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, is popular for its nightclubs and international flavor; many establishments along the beach here are owned by Europeans and Canadians. Azul Fives Hotel is just a short trip from Playa’s eclectic beach scene, but the hotel occupies its own secluded stretch that is just a short walk from a quiet beach.
This four-night vacation from Vacation Express includes accommodations at Azul Fives and round-trip airfare from Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), New York (JFK), Chicago (MDW), Boston (BOS), Cincinnati (CVG), Indianapolis (IND), Louisville (SDF), Nashville (BNA), or New Orleans (MSY). You can choose between an all-inclusive package (all accommodations, meals, beverages, and alcohol included) or a European plan (accommodations and airfare only).
Azul Fives Hotel: Swim-Up Bars, Cabanas, and Fine Dining
Playa del Carmen’s shopping, restaurants, and nightlife are just a 10-minute drive away, but it’s understandable if you want to just hang at the hotel. Azul Fives Hotel has five fine-dining restaurants: Sea Olive serves Mediterranean fare, and Tsuki has sushi. At the 15,000-square-foot Vassa Spa, you can indulge in holistic massages and fresh-fruit or chocolate body wraps. Head to a beachside cabana to relax and take in the view.
The resort is also kid friendly. Azulitos Play House features trampolines, swings, slides, and arts-and-crafts projects. There are also beach-related activities, such as treasure hunts and seminars on refinancing sand-castle mortgages. Older kids, meanwhile, can busy themselves with video games in the arcade.
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 8 miles away 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.