I can recommend the following hotels in Playa del Carmen from either my own personal experience or that of visiting family and friends.
I have listed the rates for low season, which is basically any time outside of the Christmas/New Year period and Easter. If you can travel outside of these times, please do, as rates double or sometimes triple over the peak season. Christmas/new year and early January is the busiest time of year, and in my opinion, not the best time to visit.
In low season, you may also be able to land a good monthly rate at a budget hotel.
BUDGET (Under $50 per night)
Location: Calle 26 and 5th Avenue
Rate: Around 500 Pesos ($40) per night
I have a friend who always stays here, and though I haven’t myself, I think it is a good value, well located little hotel. Rooms are basic, but large, have A/C and most have kitchenettes with a sink, coffee machine and refrigerator. In low season, rooms are advertised for 500 Pesos ($40), but I’ve heard you can get them cheaper either by email or in person.
The website isn’t great and advertised rates are higher than I know you can get them for, so it’s the sort of place to show up at or email to negotiate a rate.
We looked at one room for my Mum, which was a little dark, but otherwise clean and spacious. We didn’t see the others though. If you are someone who is out and about a lot, either at the beach or exploring around town and are looking for a good value, centrally located place to lay your head, I think it’s a great option.
Address: Calle 4 between 10th and 15th Avenue
Rate: Low season special from 450 Pesos per night (US$37). Monthly rates available.
Phone: +52 984 8730283
A friend of mine stayed here for a month in November, and was able to get a good monthly rate. It is located in the southern end of town on Calle 4, has a small restaurant and a pool in the courtyard. Casa Tucan is a good budget option, especially in the non-air conditioned cabana rooms. In the cooler months of November to February this may be okay, but be aware it gets very hot and humid in Playa over the summer months.
MID-RANGE ($50-$80 per night)
Location: Calle 28, in between 5th and 10th Avenida
Rate: Around US$65 per night.
Phone: +52 (984) 873-2005
My Mum stayed here for her first week in Playa del Carmen, and found it to be an excellent mid-range hotel in a fantastic location. Rooms are clean, with air conditioning, a small fridge and cable TV. The beds are large and comfortable and all rooms have a balcony (those overlooking the tropical gardens are the best).
It has a pool for a much-needed refreshing dip, a restaurant set under a thatched palapa for breakfast, and a night watchman for security in the evenings. Reception and cleaning staff are friendly and approachable. I have since recommended it to friends and they were also happy with their stay.
Address: Calle 26 between 5th and 10th Avenue
Rate: From $65 per night
My friend spent a month here in October and loved it. Luna Blue is a small hotel with a good reputation for friendly service. They have a lively bar area for those looking to socialize, with live music on Tuesday and Friday nights until 11pm.
Guests receive free beach club access to Mamitas beach club less than three blocks away.
Address: Calle 6 between 15th and 20th Avenue
Rate: Double room from $65
Run by a French Canadian, this hotel has a lovely big pool, an outdoor guest kitchen and clean rooms, some with balconies. My friend Patty stays here every year when she comes down from Canada and it has become a second home to her. Ask about monthly rates in low season.
Address: Calle 32 and 5th Avenue
Rate: $50-$60 per night
We spent our first ever night in Playa del Carmen here. It is on the same street we rented an apartment on. The location is excellent and rooms are simple but clean with air conditioning and cable TV. It has a small dipping pool in the internal courtyard, as well as a small restaurant where they serve a simple breakfast for $5.
Address: Fifth Avenue between Calle 38 and 40
Rate: From $70 per night
A friend of mine stayed at this lovely boutique hotel in a fantastic location. It is modern and clean with a small pool, one block from a beautiful beach and on the doorstep of great cafes and restaurants.
Guests receive free sun lounge and umbrella use at three different beach clubs nearby. A full breakfast is included, and the best news – a branch of my favourite cafe, Ah Cacao has recently opened opposite.
SPLURGE ($100 – $300 per night)
I have done freelance work with this company who manage five luxury condo hotels: Ela Taj, Porto Playa, Maya Villa and Villas Sacbe. I was lucky enough to stay at several of the properties as part of my work which are well-equipped and luxurious. They offer some good discounts of up to 45% in low season for booking of a week or more and can be a good option for groups, families, or a special couple’s getaway.
My favorites are El Taj Oceanfront (most condos have a private terrace with jacuzzi) and Porto Playa (which has a lovely elevated pool).
A stay at any Condo hotel includes free access to The Gym fitness center which has a wide variety of classes like yoga, salsa, spinning and tai chi and some special offers include breakfast at Indigo Beach Club or the stylish Imprevist restaurant.
Address: Fifth Avenue and Calle 8
Rate: From US$140
I came across this stylish, modern hotel when doing some research for a friend’s honeymoon. The design is minimalist and chic with clean lines, lots of white and splashes of bold colour. It has a lovely rooftop pool and bar area, where they host events and DJs. It would suit people who enjoy a bit of glamour and the odd party.
Address: On the beach between Calle 38 and 40
Rate: From US$195
One of my best friends stayed here on her honeymoon and loved it. It’s prime beach-front location means it is not cheap, but the view from thatched bungalows on the water may be worth it for a special treat. It’s located in the northern end of town, surrounded by great restaurants and cafes.