A guide to Mexico’s best resorts.
Mexico has become known for its impressive array of incredible vacation destinations. From the beaches of Cancun to the mountains of Oaxaca, there is a place for everyone here. For those leisure travelers who like to just be beamed into the resort and sit back and relax, Mexico is full of top-end all-inclusive options. So whether you want to get out into nature, live in luxury, or party with other adults, there is a resort for you.
There is something to be said for traveling to resorts. For some people, resorts are the only way to travel. For others, like myself in my younger days, they were something to be avoided at all costs — and my reputation would have been ruined if I so much as stepped into one. But that started to change last year when my wife and I visited Temptation Cancun.
While I can say that I was technically in Mexico, it sure didn’t look like it. Resorts are walled-off enclaves of somewhere else — they are reserves of leisure, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes when you travel you’re on a mission to find out what’s going on, to learn about the culture, to collect stories that would make the person sitting across from you at the bar table say, “What the F!?!” But sometimes you just want to hang out, relax, and have everything done for you. Resorts are like travel without the work, and sometimes you just want to focus on other things and have fun times, eat good food, and gaze upon beautiful views without obstruction.
The following are the top five resorts that Mexico has to offer:
Best all-round resort: Rosewood Mayakoba
You can take a ferry from Cozumel to Playa Del Carmen and move right into Tripadvisor’s #1 resort in Mexico. For many years, Rosewood Mayakoba has been offering top of the line amenities and a true luxury experience for their guests. Its architecture is second to none, featuring Yucatan limestone and regional wood, and its location is that incredible spot where vibrant jungle meets pristine beach. This 129-suite resort offers incredible private terraces, pools, butler service, seven restaurants and bars, and service unlike anything else in its class. And if you have the extra cash, we hear the spa is incredible. This is the kind of place where you can just sit back and enjoy life on the beach, but if you’re feeling a little energetic you can head to the nearby golf course, or go biking or book a snorkeling trip.
Best adults-only resort: Temptation Cancun
Mexico has many top adults-only resorts, such as Desire Pearl and Desire Rivera Maya, but our personal favorite has to be Temptation Cancun. This adults-only, top-optional, all inclusive, 430-room resort sits right on the beach at the apex of Cancun’s hotel zone. Temptation Cancun touts itself as a “playground for grown-ups,” and we can’t argue with this. As soon as you enter it’s like you’ve stepped into another world, with architecture designed by Karim Rashid, the place looks like something the 2020s were going to look like in the 1970s. That is to say, other-worldly. The restaurants here also top-notch, with a steakhouse, seafood restaurant, Asian bistro, an Italian joint, a restaurant serving aphrodisiacs, as well as places for more standard Mexican and American fare. But the real attraction of Temptation Cancun is what they call the “sexy pool.” This is where the action happens during the day, and there’s plenty of games and activities for guests to engage in … as well as a long swim-up bar serving those all-inclusive drinks. At night is when things heat up, with huge themed parties that hundreds of guests attend. For the adventurous, this place is where it’s at.
Best resort for those looking to get away: Hotel Esencia
The 50-acre Hotel Esencia is the resort to go to for people looking to get out into nature on their vacation. Sitting to the south of Playa del Carmen in Tulum, this resort is thoroughly removed from the mania of the rest of the world. It’s a place to come, enjoy the scenery, and relax.
The design of the Hotel Esencia are different than most resort — it is extremely minimalistic, allowing you to focus on the nature which surrounds you rather than the building itself. But on the inside, the place is pure luxury: expect all the high-tech offerings of the 21st century.
What we really loved was the fact that some rooms have their own private terraces and pools, providing you with some much-desired privacy — especially if you’re there with a romantic partner.
There are three delicious restaurants here, offering the best fares of Mexico as well as a mix of international cuisine.
While Tulum itself isn’t our favorite place in the world, we definitely think that staying in a resort is your best bet when visiting.
Best luxury resort: Las Ventanas al Paraiso
For those willing to lay down some real cash for an impeccable experience, Las Ventanas al Paraiso is the resort for you. Located in a lush, isolated location outside of Los Cabos, this resort approaches some travelers’ idea of paradise, and is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. While the resort isn’t specifically for couples, it does offer then a range of amenities that go above and beyond that of most others, such as an entire contingent of staff dedicated to the romantic pursuits of its guests, including spa treatments, romantic dinners, and salsa dance lessons. Las Ventanas al Paraiso also goes out in the extras category, offering their guests personal butlers and high-end shampoos and soaps. Each room come with adobe fireplaces and private patios with telescopes. There is also an elite golf course nearby, if that’s your thing.
Best budget resort: The Explorean Kohunlich
A very different option than the other options on this list, the Explorean Kuhunlich isn’t a beach resort. Instead, it’s a remote getaway an hour away from Chetumal, right near Belize. So there’s no ocean, no sand, no scantly clad sunbathers lounging around like beached seals. Instead, this is a place that’s in the jungle and is full of wildlife — colorful birds, fascinating reptiles, and playful monkeys. The heart of this resort is its infinity pool which has a view over the jungle canopy. Even the restaurant is something of the jungle, as it doesn’t have any walls and is covered with a palapa roof. When you’ve had enough of laying on a hammock in a rainforest, rent a bicycle and go visit the nearby Mayan ruins. To put it simply, this resort is a little different than what you’d expect from a resort and, in the world of travel where everything can seem so monotonous, different is often good.