Travel

Quintana Roo Hotels

Establishment neighborhood
Palafitos
Carretera Cancún-Tulum Km. 45, Riviera Maya
Taking a deep bow to the overwater bungalows of Bora Bora, Palafitos is a small resort-within-a-resort composed of stand-alone huts hovering over the cerulean Caribbean. Serviced by its own restaurant, spa, and stretch of white sand beach, you never have to leave the water. Should you wish to leave your bungalow, the sprawling El Dorado—part of Karisma, which is a Mexican owned-and-operated hotel group—offers additional restaurants, pools, and swim-up bars. If you book one a bungalow that faces the ocean, you get unobstructed views of the sea (including below, as stretches of the floor are transparent), your own floating pontoon that you can snorkel off of, indoor/outdoor showers, and all the trappings of a luxury hotel (butler service, beachside picnics, etc). The restaurant is excellent, offering multi-course small plate dinners with lots of gastronomic flourishes—this isn’t Mexican comfort food. While Palafitos is definitely a big draw for honeymooners and special occasion celebrators, its proximity to the Cancun airport makes this an easy choice for a quick weekend away, too.
Rosewood Mayakoba
Ctra. Federal, Playa del Carmen
Rosewood Mayakoba is a huge resort that’s very well run and well-manicured. You’re surrounded by water, with the Caribbean Sea on one side and freshwater lagoons on the other, which you traverse by boat to get around. (You can always get around by bike, which is popular with guests.) It’s hard to get a bad room as they’re all villas—private plunge pools, sun decks, and outdoor showers come with each. (They’re really spacious and great for friends traveling together.) If you want to hole up at the spa every day of your visit, you wouldn’t be blamed—it’s a totally special space, housed on a private island overlooking limestone lagoons and offering up an extensive menu of Mayan-influenced spa treatments and rituals. Come evening, be sure to book a spot at La Ceiba Garden & Kitchen—an 18-seat dining experience under a large Ceiba tree on the property’s 20,000-square foot garden where everyone from hotel guests and staff dine together on a menu crafted from locally-sourced produce and sip wines and tequilas from the region.
CasaSandra
Holbox Island
Since it's only about an hour's drive from Cancún, Holbox, a barrier island on the north edge of Yum Balam, is a brilliant option for people hoping to take advantage of plentiful direct flights, yet stay out of the Spring Break fray. Nestled up against the West-facing beach (which means sunsets over the ocean), CasaSandra is the best luxury location on the island, with a lovely restaurant and a private feel, even though you're walking distance from the town, which is blessedly free of tourists. The hotel offers a three-day couples' package that includes a private boat tour and romantic dinner on the beach for a romantic—but zero-planning—long weekend away. Quick tip for first-timers: Bring plenty of cash, since there are no banks on the island and ATMs are unreliable at best.
Rosewood Mayakoba
Carretera Federal, Playa del Carmen
\Rosewood Mayakoba is a huge resort that’s very well run and well-manicured. You’re surrounded by water, with the Caribbean Sea on one side and freshwater lagoons on the other, which you traverse by boat to get around. (You can always get around by bike, which is popular with guests.) It’s hard to get a bad room as they’re all villas—private plunge pools, sun decks, and outdoor showers come with each. (They’re really spacious and great for friends traveling together.) If you want to hole up at the spa every day of your visit, you wouldn’t be blamed—it’s a totally special space, housed on a private island overlooking limestone lagoons and offering up an extensive menu of Mayan-influenced spa treatments and rituals. Come evening, be sure to book a spot at La Ceiba Garden & Kitchen—an 18-seat dining experience under a large Ceiba tree on the property’s 20,000-square foot garden where everyone from hotel guests and staff dine together on a menu crafted from locally-sourced produce and sip wines and tequilas from the region.
Coqui Coqui Tulum (Closed)
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila, Tulum
There's lots to appeal about Tulum (including its off-the-power-grid quietness), and then there's an even bigger draw to Coqui Coqui. In keeping with the surroundings, it has a beautifully rustic aesthetic: Exposed concrete walls, contrasting animal hide tapestries, and the softest white linens draping the bed posts. The exterior looks like a cross between the nearby ruins in Tulum and a well-built sandcastle on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera surf. There are just seven rooms, so it’s quiet with candles only after dark. Their house branded natural hair and body products are stocked in the rooms (one of the owners, Nicolas, founded Coqui Coqui Perfumes). Meanwhile, their clean, simple cafeteria serves some of the best snapper ceviche in town, though there are other great restaurants up and down the beach.
You may also like