If you are staying for a month or more, you may like to rent an apartment in Playa del Carmen.
There are many rental signs around town, so if you have the time you could absolutely find something yourself (a little Spanish would be helpful to communicate via phone). During low season, which is basically any time outside of December/January, it is relatively easy to find mid to long-term apartment rentals.
In high season, from December to February, it can quite difficult to find reasonably priced rentals.
Check the local trading post Andale for the best local deals on rentals. Listings are usually in Spanish, but relatively easy to understand. You can pick up printed copies of Andale around town too.
‘Airbnb’ can be a good resource for short-term rentals. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on price in low season.
Here are a few apartments in Playa del Carmen that I have personal experience with:
Location: Calle 32 in between 5th and 10 Avenue
Rates: Negotiable, depending on length of stay. Cheaper rates for long-term rentals.
Phone: +52 984 803 31 99
After living here for over a year, we can highly recommend Quinta Margarita. Firstly, the location doesn’t get much better. In the trendy northern end of town, surrounded by great cafes and restaurants, and just three blocks from Mamitas beach, it is quiet yet close enough to the action.
Secondly the owner, Offner is a fantastic landlord. Friendly, relaxed, fair and attentive, he responded to our every request promptly, despite being a very busy. There is a lavanderia (laundry) on site, which is very handy and a caretaker to maintain the outside areas so it is always spotlessly clean.
It has a locked security gate for safety, leafy gardens and nice communal areas. A small but lovely pool has recently been built on the rooftop with sun loungers and a grill for rooftop dinners.
Tyrhone and Offner, christening the new pool
Rooms are well equipped with kitchens, large bathrooms, wardrobes, table and chairs and some with sofas. We stayed in studio 101 on the ground floor which had the best wi-fi signal. Rooms are cleaned weekly by the staff who appreciate a small tip.
Better rates can be found for long leases, which includes water and gas, but not electricity which was US$40 per month in the hottest season (when we didn’t spare the A/C). We paid $620 per month on a one year lease, but that will probably go up in 2014 due to the addition of the pool.
For short-term rentals, and during high season over Christmas and new year, prices are much higher. Tell Offner Sarah and Ty sent you, let him know your budget and hopefully you can negotiate a good deal.
Address: Calle 20 and 5th Avenue
Rates: Two bedroom, two bathroom from $1000 per month
Contact: Lilliana, email@example.com
My Mum stayed in apartment 4 of the Mixteca building. It is right in the heart of town, a few blocks from the beach, on the second floor of the three story ‘Mixteca’ building, accessed by a winding wooden staircase.
She had a huge room with a King bed, flat screen TV, air conditioning and sofa. Her roommate took the smaller room with ensuite, which was still a good size with a double bed, closet, television and small balcony overlooking Fifth Avenue.
This is an excellent vacation rental, especially for those who like music, as there is a live music venue next door. The music shuts off by midnight, and up until then it actually creates a lively atmosphere which my Mum and her friend quite enjoyed. It is relatively quiet after hours considering the location, but if you want complete silence, this is probably not the place for you.
View from one of the balconies – great for people watching!
It has two balconies which are excellent for people watching and provided us with hours of entertainment. It has everything you need such as a fully serviceable kitchen, air conditioning, TVs in both bedrooms, a dining table, two small sofas, a washing machine and dryer, two bathrooms and a secure locked entrance. The building does have a small pool but it doesn’t get much sun so it’s not particularly inviting.
There is also a one bedroom apartment available in the same building, managed by the same agent.
Rate: From $65 per night
Location: Fifth Avenue, near Calle 14
My sister rented the studio at Sacbe Condos over the new year period and thoroughly enjoyed her stay (not to be confused with Villas Sacbe, a luxury property). The building has a lovely Mayan design, surrounded by trees, vines and even it’s own cenote (though unfortunately you can’t swim in it).
It is right in the heart of the action on Fifth Avenue, between Calle 12 and 14, but once inside the building it is surprisingly tranquil. There is a large ground floor terrace overlooking the cenote, plus a rooftop terrace with an ocean view which gets a nice breeze in the evening.
View from the roof terrace
The studio is extremely well equipped with A/C, a large fridge, coffee machine, microwave, television, DVD player, a very comfortable double bed and a large bathroom with towels. It has a large wooden desk, a built in sofa and a small but lovely balcony with a nice outlook. It also has a shared washer/dryer.
It’s a really nice little place, which can be booked through Elizabeth Aceves who I mention above. Elizabeth also manages the larger one bedroom apartment next door, though I didn’t see inside it.
Rate: $47 per night, or $600 per month
Location: In the Ejido, close to the Plaza Las Americas shopping mall
Rob and Kellie of Hungry Escapades travel blog found this great two bedroom home for rent on ‘Airbnb’. It is clean, well-equipped, and located in a tidy local neighbourhood in the Ejido, near the Plaza las Americas shopping mall.
They got a great deal considering they were in Playa over the busiest season, and were happy with the their find. It is about a ten minute drive from the center of town, which may be the only downside for some. The upside is that you are getting a large, freestanding home in a local area at a really good price.
Apparently the landlord was friendly and accommodating, so check out the listing for more information, and check out their post about the place here.
Rate: From US$700 per month
Location: Cnr Fifth Avenue and Avenida CTM
My friend from Canada, Amyris of Young 4 Ever Health, has stayed in these apartments a few times, and I have to say, I quite like them. I haven’t seen inside all the rooms and you do pay more for the more spacious and airy ones, but she recently stayed in apartment 18 and it was lovely. The website advertises this one for $1000 per month, but in low season it may be possible to negotiate a lower rate.
The smaller studios are advertised for $700 per month, and I believe the prices include utilities. Some rooms, but not all, have air conditioning.
My friend did mention a noisy bird from one of the neighbours houses nearby, but unfortunately dog/chicken/bird noises are pretty common in the more local neighbourhoods in Playa.
The location on Avenida CTM is good with some nice local eateries nearby and a great fruit, veg and juice store where you can buy fresh coconut water every day. I used to walk down there just for that!
It is a five minute walk to the beach and it is also very close to the new extension of Fifth Avenue which is great for morning walks.
They have a range of yoga, tai chi and martial arts classes here, as well as an excellent guided meditation on Tuesday nights. They also have a small restaurant on the ground floor, which means you have everything you need for a nice, affordable, Caribbean retreat! Hmm… I might have to book myself in there some time!