Search
Share
Sasha Savinov By
Posted 27 Oct, 2019 | One Comment
Posted in: Mexico, Travel Blogs

In this guide, we’ll take a look at where to stay in Playa del Carmen, including the various neighborhoods as well as some of the best Playa del Carmen resorts and hotels. 

Located just about an hour drive from the Cancun Airport, Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico. This beach town is famous for its pedestrian-only 5th Avenue, which is home to a wide array of shopping, dining, and nightlife options. (Learn how to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen in our Cancun airport transportation guide).

There are several beaches in town and many more that are just a short trip away. If you’re looking for sun and sand, you’ve come to the right place! If you need some more excitement, this is a great place to go scuba diving or snorkeling. Other adventure activities include SUP (stand up paddleboarding) and skydiving. There are plenty of things to do in Playa del Carmen to keep you busy.

My wife and I just spent six weeks living in Playa del Carmen as a digital nomad, mostly so we could see our favorite band play a 3-night show at a nearby resort. During our stay, I scouted out the different neighborhoods that are popular with visitors and put together this list of where to stay in Playa del Carmen, including the best areas, resorts and hotels to help you plan the perfect trip to this fun beach town.

where to stay in playa del carmen

Where To Stay in Playa del Carmen: Best Neighborhoods

A good thing about planning a trip to Playa del Carmen is that it’s a pretty small city. Most of the best hotels in Playa del Carmen are located between the highway and the beach — stretching from the Playacar neighborhood in the south up to Colosio. 

Here’s a quick guide to the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen:

Playacar

The area known as Playacar is an upscale gated community. It’s home to a world-class golf course as well as several Playa del Carmen resorts. This is still primarily a residential area and a popular place for expats to call home.

This neighborhood is divided into two phases. Phase one is mostly homes, but there are a few hotels here as well. Over in phase two you’ll find the high-end Hard Rock Golf Club as well as some of the top Playa del Carmen resorts. 

Playacar is a very safe place to stay and is a favorite among families. There’s a security checkpoint at the main entrance as well as plenty of security guards patrolling the area. It’s also a much quieter place to stay than other parts of the city.

One interesting thing about Playacar is that there are actually some Mayan ruins right on the beach here. They’re nothing spectacular like Chichen Itza but they’re fun to visit on a walk up the beach.

The Playacar neighborhood does feel a bit cut off from the rest of town, but that’s a draw for some people. It’s far away enough from the madness of 5th Avenue but close enough to where it’s still easily accessible if you feel like checking it out. If you’re wondering where to stay in Playa del Carmen that’s quiet, this is it.

playa del carmen playacar neighbourhood

Centro

Once you get out of Playacar and go past the airport, you’ve arrived in Centro. This neighborhood goes from the beach up to the freeway and north to Constituyentes Avenue. 

As the name would suggest, this is the center of Playa del Carmen. Here you’ll find the main ADO bus station, the ferry pier to Cozumel, and the collectivo vans that run up and down the coast. That makes Centro the best place to stay in Playa del Carmen for easy access to other points of interest in the area.

The scenic Los Fundadores Park is also located here in Centro. Here you’ll find the stunning Portal Maya sculpture and the colorful Playa del Carmen sign that’s a favorite spot for photos. You can also catch the amazing Dance of the Flyers here, as well as Mayan dance performances. 

This is also where the city’s famous 5th Avenue – commonly known as La Quinta – begins. This pedestrian-only street is packed full of shops, restaurants, tour offices, and bars and it is always busy. Taking a stroll along La Quinta is one of the most popular things to do here. 

Centro is where you’ll find some of the best shopping, dining, and nightlife options in Playa del Carmen. This part of town has several supermarkets including Mega and Walmart. It’s got plenty of tasty street food as well as all kinds of restaurants. For when you want to party, Calle 12 is where you’ll find the city’s famous nightclubs. 

Since it’s the main tourist area, Centro is home to plenty of great Playa del Carmen hotels. There are a few all-inclusive resorts on the beach and there are several excellent boutique hotels and B&Bs as well.  

where to stay in playa del carmen

Gonzalo Guerrero

This neighborhood is basically just an extension of Centro. It has the same east/west borders of the ocean and freeway and runs from Constituyentes Avenue to Calle 38. 

The Gonzalo Guerrero neighborhood is where you’ll find Playa Mamitas. This beach is popular with both locals and tourists alike and is usually packed on weekends. There’s also another pier here that runs ferries over to Cozumel.

If you want to get some exercise to counteract all those tacos and cervezas, you can head to the stadium. There’s a running track here as well as a few basketball and tennis courts. Evolve Gym has a location in this area and they sell both day and week passes to accommodate visitors.

La Quinta still runs through this part of town and starts to get a little quieter as you head north. You won’t find the offensively loud clubs here, but you will find some great restaurants and bars. 

As this is still very much in the tourist bubble, you can find a ton of different options for accommodation here. This is where you’ll find some of the best hotels in Playa del Carmen. 

☞ SEE ALSO: Complete Guide to Travelling Playa del Carmen

Zazil-Ha

This is a really small neighborhood that only runs a couple of blocks from north-south (Calle 38 to CTM Avenue). It has the same beach/freeway borders as Centro and Gonzalo Guerrero. 

Zazil-Ha is a more local neighborhood than the others, and is a top choice among expats and digital nomads in Playa del Carmen. Here you’ll find a few daytime beach clubs, tons of great local restaurants, and a few chilled out bars. 

Things really start to mellow out on La Quinta in this part of town. By the time you reach CTM Avenue, there isn’t much going on. It actually becomes a bike path here, so it’s a great place to go for a ride or a jog. 

Zazil-Ha is really small but still has quite a few options for hotels in Playa del Carmen. This area is good for people who want to be close to all the action but not right in the middle of it. My wife and I stayed here for our six weeks in Playa del Carmen and I’m really happy with that choice.

☞ SEE ALSO: Top Things To Do in Tulum You Don’t Want To Miss!

Colosio/Nicte-Ha

After Zazil-Ha, the next neighborhood you arrive in is Colosio. This is a very large area, stretching all the way from CTM Avenue up to Calle 110. It’s primarily residential, but there are plenty of options for accommodation close to the beach.

For those who prefer a bit of peace and quiet on their vacation, the small Nicte-Ha neighborhood is a good choice. It’s located just past Colosio and has a few cool options for Playa del Carmen hotels.

Beyond these areas, it’s hard to say that you’re really even in Playa del Carmen anymore. Sure, many of the all-inclusive resorts located further up the coast (and down past Playacar, for that matter) may advertise as being in Playa del Carmen, but they’re all pretty far from the action. 

Best Playa del Carmen Hotels and Resorts in Playacar

Iberostar Tucan

  • Neighborhood: Playacar
  • Rated: 9.0 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $215

This all-inclusive resort in Playacar is a great choice for those looking to have a relaxing beach holiday. All your meals and drinks are included here, and you can choose from five different restaurants. This is definitely one of the best Playa del Carmen resorts. It’s also a Green Globe certified property thanks to their ambitious “Think Green” program. 

Days here can be spent lounging by their huge outdoor pool or on the beach, where they have plenty of umbrellas and sun loungers. If you’re traveling with little ones, you’ll be happy to hear that they have a fun kids club here as well. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

iberostar tucan hotels in playa del carmen

Luxury House B&B

  • Neighborhood: Playacar
  • Rated: 9.6 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $45

For those who like to feel at home on vacation, Luxury House B&B is the place to be in Playacar. This lovely bed & breakfast gets rave reviews from travelers who especially adore the hosts, who are said to be incredibly helpful and friendly.

They have several options for rooms to accommodate 2-4 people. Many of the rooms also have a nice terrace that’s perfect for chilling out on. There’s also a large outdoor pool here and it’s just a short walk to the beach. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

luxury house b&b

Casa Almendra

  • Neighborhood: Playacar
  • Rated: 9.0 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $75

If you’re wondering where to stay in Playa del Carmen that’s near the beach, but don’t want to pay a fortune for it, Casa Almendra is a solid choice. This quaint B&B only has four rooms, so it’s a good choice for those who prefer to be away from crowds.

They cook up a delicious made to order breakfast for you to start your day here before hitting the beach. When you want to relax, you can enjoy their garden area with loungers and hammocks. Casa Almendra is definitely one of the best hotels in Playa del Carmen. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

casa almendra playa del carmen

Best Playa del Carmen Resorts and Hotels in Centro

The Fives Downtown Hotel and Residences

  • Neighborhood: Centro
  • Rated: 9.3 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $91

It’s really tough to beat the location of this place. Located just a few blocks from the ADO bus station and right around the corner from where all the colectivos hang out, staying here makes getting around a breeze. It’s definitely one of the most conveniently located hotels in Playa del Carmen. 

The highlight of the Fives, though, is definitely its amazing rooftop. It’s got two infinity pools and a jacuzzi as well as a full restaurant and bar. Our friends stayed here when they visited and we spent every day enjoying the rooftop. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

the fives playa del carmen

La Pasion Colonial Hotel Boutique

  • Neighborhood: Centro
  • Rated: 9.1 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $65

There are plenty of bland-looking hotels in Playa del Carmen, but this certainly isn’t one of them. La Pasion is a gorgeous hotel with a few different pools and hot tubs as well as a lovely garden area. A tasty breakfast is also included with your stay here.

This hotel is in a great location on 10th Avenue and Calle 10, so you can quickly walk to the beach and La Quinta. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

where to stay in playa del carmen la pasion

Antera Hotel & Residences

  • Neighborhood: Centro
  • Rated: 9.6 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $63

Antera is one of the most highly-rated Playa del Carmen hotels in Centro. They’ve got tons of options for rooms here, ranging from a Luxe Queen room up to a 2-bedroom suite with its own private rooftop and jacuzzi.

There are a couple of different pools to choose from here and with plenty of space to relax. Breakfast is also included in your stay here. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

antera hotel in playa del carmen

Best Playa del Carmen Resorts and Hotels in Gonzalo Guerrero

Hilton Playa del Carmen

  • Neighborhood: Gonzalo Guerrero
  • Rated: 9.3 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $300

When it comes to Playa del Carmen resorts, the beachfront Hilton is definitely one of the best. It’s located right on Mamitas Beach and has all the amenities you’ll need for an amazing stay. There are several pools and hot tubs, a full gym along with fitness classes, water sports, a spa, evening entertainment, and much more.

When choosing where to stay in Playa del Carmen, it’s important to think about the neighbourhood, but also the vibe of the hotel. If you’re a couple or a group of friends, you’ll be happy to know that this all-inclusive resort is adults-only. With seven different restaurants and five bars, you’ve got plenty of choices here! Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

playa del carmen resorts hilton

Mahekal Beach Resort

  • Neighborhood: Gonzalo Guerrero
  • Rated: 8.9 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $161

This place is definitely one of the most beautiful Playa del Carmen hotels. It has lovely palapa-style bungalows, some of which are set right on the beach and others in their lush garden. Designed to blend in with the surroundings, this is a great example of eco-tourism.

Mahekal is not an all-inclusive resort, but they do have options for meal packages when you book your stay. Guests can choose between several different bars and restaurants. The accommodation also offers pools, a fitness center, a spa, and even a dive shop. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

playa del carmen hotels mahekal

Quinta Margarita

  • Neighborhood: Gonzalo Guerrero
  • Rated: 9.5 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $39

This highly rated place advertises itself as a “boho chic hotel,” and you’ll see exactly why upon your arrival. It’s definitely one of the hippest hotels in Playa del Carmen.

A big highlight of this hotel is its beautiful pool area with sun loungers and hammocks. It’s the perfect spot to chill out after a day of exploring the Riviera Maya. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

quinta margarita hotels in playa del carmen

Best Playa del Carmen Hotels and Resorts in Zazil-Ha

IT Residences

  • Neighborhood: Zazil-Ha
  • Rated: 9.4 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $67

This luxury hotel is located a stone’s throw from the beach. It’s a beautifully designed building, and for under $100 a night it’s a great bargain.

You can choose to book just a room here or go for one of their 1 or 2-bedroom apartments. All guests get to enjoy their nice outdoor pool with plenty of loungers. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

it residences playa del carmen

Newport House Playa

  • Neighborhood: Zazil-Ha
  • Rated: 9.6 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $68

This is the top-ranked hotel on TripAdvisor that’s actually located in town and not a secluded all-inclusive Playa del Carmen resort. It’s a boutique apartment hotel with a sleek and modern design.

Newport House is a great choice for those who like to feel a bit more at home, as you’ll have a living room and kitchen in your place here. Add in their awesome rooftop pool with plenty of sun loungers, and you’ve got one of the best hotels in Playa del Carmen. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

newport house where to stay in playa del carmen

Hotel Morgana

  • Neighborhood: Zazil-Ha
  • Rated: 9.3 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $55

Wondering where to stay in Playa del Carmen that has a unique character? Hotel Morgana is an excellent choice. Each of the 20 rooms are different — with their own distinct furniture and art reflecting Mexican culture and history. It’s definitely one of the coolest Playa del Carmen hotels around!

There’s also a rooftop terrace here with a pool and a bar/restaurant. Breakfast is included in the price of your stay. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

hotels in playa del carmen morgana

Best Playa del Carmen Hotels and Resorts in Nicte-Ha

Itaka Glamping

  • Neighborhood: Nicte-Ha
  • Rated: 8.1 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $14

The only reason I included the tiny Nicte-Ha neighborhood in this guide is because of Itaka Glamping. This unique eco-friendly place has cabanas and lofts to choose from. It’s certainly one of the coolest hotels in Playa del Carmen!

It may be a bit far from the center of town, but that’s part of its appeal. It’s nice to be away from the madness of 5th Avenue and all its noise. If you want to head to town, they have free bikes you can use. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

itaka glamping best hotels playa del carmen

Mareazul

  • Neighborhood: Nicte-Ha
  • Rated: 8.3 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $91

This condo-hotel is one of the best places to stay in Playa del Carmen for those looking for some quality R&R on their trip. The accommodations here are 1 and 2-bedroom apartments, many of which even have their own little pool. Even if you don’t land one of these rooms, there are several large pools on the property.

The beach is just steps away here, and it’s one of the nicer and quieter sections of beach in Playa del Carmen. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

mareazul

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort

  • Neighborhood: On the coast just north of Nicte-Ha
  • Rated: 8.3 on Booking.com
  • Rooms from: $493 (For 3 Nights)

This place is pretty far out of town, but it’s worth mentioning in this list of the top Playa del Carmen resorts and hotels. This gorgeous resort is the perfect place to disconnect with the modern world and reconnect with nature.

You’ll never be bored here, as the resort features a full water park, tons of adventure activities, nightly entertainment, and so much more. They have lots of great eco-friendly initiatives going on here, including their mini-farm where they’re rescued dozens of animals. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.

sandos caracol playa del carmen

Enjoy Your Stay in Playa del Carmen!

As you can see, there are plenty of amazing Playa del Carmen hotels to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a boutique hotel with a rooftop pool, an all-inclusive resort on the beach, or even a unique glamping experience, you can find it here.

Wherever you decide to stay in Playa del Carmen, be sure to get out of your hotel and explore the town a bit. Take a walk on La Quinta, hit the beach, eat some street tacos, watch the performances in the park, and enjoy all that this fun town has to offer.

Have you been to Playa del Carmen and have a good hotel recommendation? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Like This Article? Pin it!

beach hammock with text overlay where to stay in playa del carmenhighlights of playa del carmen with text overlay the best places to stayplaya del carmen with text overlay the best places to stay

 

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!

Share this -

Sasha Savinov

Written by

Sasha is regular contributor to Goats On The Road. He’s also an English teacher, language student, blogger, and video producer. He and his wife run Grateful Gypsies, where they write about life abroad, long term travel, and live music. Follow Sasha on his website, social media accounts below and on YouTube.

Connect with Sasha Savinov -

You may also like...

how to make money for travel 101 travel jobs to make money on the road
Travel Jobs Open Book

Want To Travel More?

We can help!

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and we’ll send you our 101 Ways To Earn Money For Travel eBook for Free, plus we’ll send you a series of emails to show you how to earn money and travel in a financially sustainable way.

FREE DOWNLOAD

One thought on “Where To Stay in Playa del Carmen: Neighbourhood & Hotel Guide

  1. Load all Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I want to...