Playa Del Carmen is a Mexican coastal resort town on the Riviera Maya, approximately one hour south of Cancun. In my opinion, you come here to plant yourself alongside the Caribbean Sea to swim, sip cocktails, soak in the sun, and do not much more. For those of you who dare get restless after a leisurely day of swimming in warm, turquoise waters and lounging by the pool, you can hit Quinta Avenida. The long, pedestrian road is jam-packed with restaurants, shops, and bars. It especially comes to life at night once everyone recovers from a day of seaside laziness. Playa Del Carmen is a perfect destination to unwind, and guiltlessly do nothing but linger in your swimsuit as the day goes by.
There are many excursions you can book when in the area; like a day visit to Cozumel, sunset sails, snorkeling, etc. Yet, based on my travel experiences, you'll want to book a stay at The Grand Hyatt and never step foot off the property. You can choose from a multitude of infinity pools to lounge by or just walk a few steps to connect with the sea. The onsite restaurants are quite impressive, the staff caters to the guests' every whim, and frankly, this seaside resort is stunning. There are entertaining events held throughout the day like aquatic Zumba or an evening traditional Mayan ritual dance. There is an arcade, a full-service spa, a gift shop, three fantastic restaurants, and a cafe. Mostly, there is an ambiance of ultimate relaxation as the design of the hotel is soothing at every corner. This is an unpretentious luxury hotel where you come to escape and be well-pampered.
The rooms are clean and well-appointed with especially spacious closets and bathrooms. Sitting on the large, well-furnished balconies while hearing the waves crashing is pure bliss.
Their buffet breakfast is the best. Not only will you dine by the sea, but you will encounter a spread of food like nothing you've seen before. There is an entire cereal bar with a variety of freshly baked bread, seasonal fruits, granola, yogurts, and a waffle station. Then there is a whole hot food station with salmon, ravioli, hashbrowns, breakfast meats, frijoles, eggs, and a scrumptious chilaquiles station. There is a taco station. There's even a station for six or seven homemade salsas ranging from mild to super hot. If this isn't enough for even the most glutenous, there is also a spread of delicious assorted pastries, cheeses, salads, cold-cut meats, lox, and spreads. La Cocina's breakfast is truly a breakfast for champions.
Often times pool menus are "eh" but not at the Grand Hyatt. Each umbrella gets a snazzy call button attached to it so that food and drinks can be ordered at the push of a button. Their nachos are a must. You'll also love their Caprese sandwiches, Mexican salad, fried cauliflower, and smoothies. If these items don't strike your fancy you can choose from burgers, quesadillas, BLTs, ceviches, wraps, etc. The hotel really supports every craving and most importantly, they make it really easy, and tempting, to stay put by the pool.
The Grill at 1 26
The menu here specializes in Italian dishes, sushi, and steaks. An interesting combo indeed yet somehow they pull it off perfectly. Everything is presented beautifully and from appetizers to desserts, you'll be more than happy that you ate here from start to finish.
Sushi N Raw
The sushi rolls and poke bowls served here are surprisingly tasty. I'm not a big fan of sushi abroad but I can confidently recommend that you dine here for really fresh seafood with surrounding striking views.
This open-aired bar is friendly and inviting. It's definitely a worthwhile stop for post-dinner drinks.
I don't have much else to share about Playa Del Carmen. Honestly, it was impossible to pull me away from the pool and the ocean. Ok, except for once when I got a thirty-minute massage for $30 USD in a nearby outdoor hut with the ocean breeze hugging my body and house music pumping the air. While writing this, I almost feel like this article is more of an ad for the Grand Hyatt but rest assured that I have not been compensated for this post in any way. I am sure other blogs offer more interesting insights about what to do and see while visiting this part of the Riviera Maya. Based on my traveling expertise, specifically throughout the region, I strongly suggest you visit for three or four nights, stay at the Grand Hyatt and do nothing but indulge your every desire. There's something special to be said about flying to a destination to decompress and stare into the bluest skies and waters all day long with nothing scheduled on your calendar to distract you from the stillness.