The Riviera Maya Resorts in Mexico

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After sharing with you all my wonderful experiences in Mexico’s Playa del Carmen and the beauty of the Mexican people I met during this trip, I hope it served to inspire a visit there.

Now, in this post, I want to share a few lodging options that Riviera Maya has available to help make that planning process a little easier.

The beauty of Riviera Maya is that it considers all types of travelers in the facilities they have available for stays, so whether you are looking for luxury, economy, romantic, or adventure – chances are there will be a place for you.

First I will start by mentioning not the hotels I actually stayed at but have heard about nonetheless because of the accolades surrounding them.

The Grand Velas All Suites & Spa ResortRiviera Maya was recognized and award a Conde Nast Johansens “Excellence Award 2010” i the category of Best Hotel with Spa in Mexico and Central America.

Riviera Maya restaurant Yaxche received an International Star Diamond Award for it unique blend of Mayan and Mexican cuisine and was the first restaurant in the destination to received this award. Another recipeient of this award was The Royal Playa del Carmen, which also received the Gem Diamond Award.

Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa was named the Best Family Hotel by travel by the package website Thomas Cook North America.

Maroma Resort and Spa has been named the “World’s Best Place to Stay” every year since 2004 by Conde Nast Traveler Gold List.

That’s not a complete list of the award winning resorts in the area. In fact, in 2010 alone of the fourteen hotels in Mexico awarded with AAA Diamond Awards for excellence in every facet of operation, six of them were in the Riviera Maya area.

I did stay at the Barcelo Maya Resort, a large all-inclusive luxury hotel which itself has a long list of awards under its belt and is made up of 5-all-inclusive resorts at different price points.

The Barcelo Maya Beach, where I stayed specifically is perfect for couples and families. The benefits of a large hotel such as this one is that you can really choose to be a part of the crowd or if not, still have plenty of areas of privacy and solitude to relax and enjoy the surrounding area.

The Barcelo Maya Beach is located surrounded by a beautiful beach and lush natural park. I encourage you to watch a sunrise from the beach, the pastel colors that dominate the sky are breathtaking. Equally so, are the star-filled nights which you can also enjoy from one of the many terraces located on their multiple lounges areas, the beach, or your room.

The room I stayed in spacious, comfortable and beautiful. It offered both a sitting area (inside and out) with a work station and bedroom, as well as spectacular views of the beach area.

The staff is impeccable in the way they deliver service and tend to costumer needs. And for those who wish to leave the resort, concierge can offer and arrange a long list of activities (as mentioned in my article here) that will satisfy your adventurous spirit.

Kids will enjoy the spectacular swimming pool area designed solely with them in mind. I briefly contemplated sliding down a few of these myself, it looked so fun!  The pool is a major central point of the hotel as well, with private lounge areas as well as a bar. They also have a performance stage area where they often host evening shows and concerts. I took advantage of their fitness center which had an airy feel to it due to the large windows and space of the facility.

I also got to tour Hacienda Tres Rios, another all-inclusive Riviera Maya resort, but with a completely different feel than the first. This resort has a major theme which is felt throughout around sustainability. Not to say that other resorts aren’t concerned with the ecology and protection of their environment (as a matter of fact it is one of the foremost things on their minds), but in this resort it is felt the most because of its location and exclusive access to 326 acres of Tres Rios Nature Park.

As a matter of fact, one of the packages offered by Hacienda Tres Rios – their Endless Luxury plan – offers unlimited access to three natural rivers, ten water springs (cenotes) and exuberant mangrove forests. As someone who had the opportunity to experience some of Riviera maya’s forests, rivers, and even jungle terrain, I promise you, this is worth checking out.

All Riviera Maya resorts offers vacation packages, or plans to meet the any budget and traveler’s expectations. The vary in price and can be purchased at the time of scheduling your reservation.

I really like the Hacienda Tres Rios resort because of it size. Not quite as large as first, to me it felt like a great place for families with little ones in tow. It offers many activities for kids and teens, including kid’s clubs and events, and though they are still finalizing construction around the resort, it just has cozy, intimate feel to it that I really enjoyed in my brief time there.

All resorts have the space to facilitate weddings, conferences and other events.

I am sure that you can find a resort that fits your needs and budget in Riviera Maya and I hope this post helps get you started. Regardless of what resort you choose, I really encourage you to get out and explore the area. It is through these excursions and off-the-resort trips that you really get to see the area, experience some of the Mayan culture, and connect with locals – all of which serves to further compliment what I assure you will be an unforgettable Mexican adventure.

For more information on Barcelo Maya Beach, please visit

For more information on Hacienda Tres Rios, please visit

All photography is copyright and property of May not be used without permission of owner.

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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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2 Responses to The Riviera Maya Resorts in Mexico

  1. Cheri Head says:

    This is a nice review of some of the resorts of our beautiful Riviera Maya. But you forgot to mention that there are also hundreds of smaller boutique hotels located right in the town of Playa del Carmen that provide not only a safe, comfortable and friendly vacation, but more of an authentic experience than you'll find in a giant walled-in resort. There is a whole world to experience in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya besides besides the giant hotels.

    • Carol Cain says:

      Thanks for sharing Cheri! I agree that, in general, smaller hotels can provide a much more intimate, personal touch that big resorts often just can't because of their size. I hope to return to Riviera Maya too, experience them, and share that with my readers. Thanks again for your comment!

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