Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen is a popular beach destination located roughly 45 minutes south of Cancun. Here you will find beautiful white sand beaches, vibrant nightlife, great shopping and amazing food.  The caveat, however, is you need to know where to look. Playa can feel overwhelming and touristy at times but if you plan ahead and research, you will find that it has a lot to offer.

Playa Del Carmen is a popular beach destination located roughly 45 minutes south of Cancun. Here you will find beautiful white sand beaches, vibrant nightlife, great shopping and amazing food.  The caveat, however, is you need to know where to look. Playa can feel overwhelming and touristy at times but if you plan ahead and research, you will find that it has a lot to offer.

EAT

There are an endless amount of restaurants throughout the city. If you are looking for an intimate dining experience, try the highly rated Oh lala. It was by far the best meal I had in Playa. It is a quaint restaurant with lovely service and excellent food. Make your reservation in advance as they tend to book up. If you desire more of a scene, Almirante Pech (pictured above) serves modern seafood in a lively environment. The restaurant's design and ambiance sets it apart from other restaurants in Playa. Another gem, that I must mention, is Kaxapa Factory, a casual and extremely affordable restaurant that serves Venezuelan cuisine. Although it is off the beaten path, I must say their service might be the friendliest I've ever had! I recommend dropping by for lunch.

There are an endless amount of restaurants throughout the city. If you are looking for an intimate dining experience, try the highly rated Oh lala. It was by far the best meal I had in Playa. It is a quaint restaurant with lovely service and excellent food. Make your reservation in advance as they tend to book up. If you desire more of a scene, Almirante Pech (pictured above) serves modern seafood in a lively environment. The restaurant's design and ambiance sets it apart from other restaurants in Playa. Another gem, that I must mention, is Kaxapa Factory, a casual and extremely affordable restaurant that serves Venezuelan cuisine. Although it is off the beaten path, I must say their service might be the friendliest I've ever had! I recommend dropping by for lunch.

STAY

Playa del Carmen's Grand Hyatt  is a stunning beachfront property located on Mamitas Beach. Although it exudes a sense of calm and tranquility, it is in the middle of all the action. Contemporary design coupled with Mayan inspired elements, a flowing infinity pool (directly on the beach) and endless amenities make the Grand Hyatt a perfect option for those who prefer to stay at a luxury resort.

Playa del Carmen's Grand Hyatt  is a stunning beachfront property located on Mamitas Beach. Although it exudes a sense of calm and tranquility, it is in the middle of all the action. Contemporary design coupled with Mayan inspired elements, a flowing infinity pool (directly on the beach) and endless amenities make the Grand Hyatt a perfect option for those who prefer to stay at a luxury resort.

The 300+ room property boasts several world class dining options as well as a Cenote inspired spa. If the Grand Hyatt is not your choice of accommodation, definitely stop in for a drink or bite. The scale and design of the hotel is quite impressive.

The 300+ room property boasts several world class dining options as well as a Cenote inspired spa. If the Grand Hyatt is not your choice of accommodation, definitely stop in for a drink or bite. The scale and design of the hotel is quite impressive.

If you prefer more of a laid-back vibe, then the garden style oasis, La Semilla,  should be your home away from home in Playa. It is located in the quiet but trendy Calle 38 neighborhood, hidden away from the touristy part of town.

If you prefer more of a laid-back vibe, then the garden style oasis, La Semilla,  should be your home away from home in Playa. It is located in the quiet but trendy Calle 38 neighborhood, hidden away from the touristy part of town.

With a total of nine rooms the ambiance is very peaceful and the staff, warm and attentive. Most of the furniture and objects have been hand picked from flea markets and Haciendas throughout Mexico. You will find something new and charming around every corner. The design and thoughtfulness of La Semilla is refreshing and unexpected.

With a total of nine rooms the ambiance is very peaceful and the staff, warm and attentive. Most of the furniture and objects have been hand picked from flea markets and Haciendas throughout Mexico. You will find something new and charming around every corner. The design and thoughtfulness of La Semilla is refreshing and unexpected.

In the morning enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the garden with a lovely complimentary breakfast spread of pastries, fresh fruit and granola. Spend some time relaxing in one of the many hammocks, lay out on the roof deck, enjoy a glass of wine or explore the neighborhood. Also take advantage of the complimentary beach cruisers during your stay. They are available for you to bicycle freely around town.

In the morning enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the garden with a lovely complimentary breakfast spread of pastries, fresh fruit and granola. Spend some time relaxing in one of the many hammocks, lay out on the roof deck, enjoy a glass of wine or explore the neighborhood. Also take advantage of the complimentary beach cruisers during your stay. They are available for you to bicycle freely around town.

As I am writing this, I am dreaming about going back. I found La Semillia to be the perfect place to decompress and unwind. In fact, I felt so at home, I never wanted to leave.

As I am writing this, I am dreaming about going back. I found La Semillia to be the perfect place to decompress and unwind. In fact, I felt so at home, I never wanted to leave.

Something to note, La Semillia is not located on the beach. However, it is only a few short blocks away. They have an agreement with a beach club nearby.  For a small fee you can use their amenities (chairs, umbrellas, pool) or walk on further down the beach and choose a different club as there are quite a few. Some are very laid back and others have loud techno music and bottle service.

Something to note, La Semillia is not located on the beach. However, it is only a few short blocks away. They have an agreement with a beach club nearby.  For a small fee you can use their amenities (chairs, umbrellas, pool) or walk on further down the beach and choose a different club as there are quite a few. Some are very laid back and others have loud techno music and bottle service.

NIGHTLIFE

As with everything, there is a ton of nightlife in Playa. Depending on your taste there really is something for everyone. A couple of the places we visited were sophisticated and were filled with people from Mexico City and Guadalajara. I really enjoyed La Santanera (photo above). It is a multilevel "late night" club with music in different rooms and levels. Each had its own style and energy. I would highly recommend checking it out. Diabilto Cha Cha Cha is great place to grab drinks and experiment with mezcal. If you are looking for something more casual and want to relax on the beach and listen to live music in the sand then visit Fusion Beach Bar. Fusion is very laidback and the night that we went there was a fun fire show. (see below).

As with everything, there is a ton of nightlife in Playa. Depending on your taste there really is something for everyone. A couple of the places we visited were sophisticated and were filled with people from Mexico City and Guadalajara. I really enjoyed La Santanera (photo above). It is a multilevel "late night" club with music in different rooms and levels. Each had its own style and energy. I would highly recommend checking it out. Diabilto Cha Cha Cha is great place to grab drinks and experiment with mezcal. If you are looking for something more casual and want to relax on the beach and listen to live music in the sand then visit Fusion Beach Bar. Fusion is very laidback and the night that we went there was a fun fire show. (see below).

I really enjoyed my time in Playa del Carmen. It is a place of contrast, ranging from boho chic to high-end luxury and over the top touristy places. You can find time to relax or stay out until the sun rises!