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Best hotels in Riviera Maya and Cancun

Riviera Maya and Cancun are two of the most popular vacation destinations in Mexico, and for good reason. Both offer stunning beaches, lush jungles, ancient Mayan ruins, and vibrant culture. However, there are some key differences between the two destinations that may make one a better fit for you than the other.

Riviera Maya is a more laid-back and relaxed vacation destination than Cancun. It is perfect for travelers who are looking for a nature-focused vacation with a mix of culture and adventure. Riviera Maya is also a great choice for families, as there are a number of family-friendly resorts and activities in the area.

Cancun is a more lively and bustling vacation destination than Riviera Maya. It is perfect for travelers who are looking for a fun-filled vacation with plenty of nightlife and entertainment options. Cancun is also a popular destination for spring breakers and honeymooners.

riviera maya mexico

Grand Velas All-Inclusive Resort

Grand Velas is an expansive all-inclusive resort located in Riviera Maya along the stunning Caribbean coast of Mexico, offering a distinctive twist on the typical resort experience. At Grand Velas, guests are presented with an impressive array of choices among its 500+ suites, thoughtfully categorized into three distinct ambiences: relaxation, romance, or family-friendly.

In the romantic suites, couples can look forward to the luxury of private plunge pools, oceanfront terraces with captivating views of turquoise waters, and an ambiance of utmost privacy. The relaxation suites, known as the Zen Grand Ambiance, offer a tranquil haven nestled within a lush jungle sanctuary apart from the main resort, overlooking a serene Koi fish pond and a sparkling swimming pool.

Meanwhile, the family-friendly accommodations cater to younger guests with access to a dedicated teen and kids club, a wide range of water sports, swimming pools, and all the delightful amenities associated with a beachfront resort. Families traveling with selective eaters will appreciate the convenience of the on-site Italian restaurant, which specializes in family-style meals and hearty pasta dishes.

Fora Perks:

Credit for food and beverages

Daily breakfast for two guests per bedroom

Potential upgrades and extended check-in/check-out times, subject to availability.

Hotel Esencia

Hotel Esencia holds a fascinating history as the former private vacation residence of an European elite who desired a secluded retreat on one of Riviera Maya's most exquisite beaches. It's easy to understand her longing for a slice of paradise. Today, this 50-acre estate has been gracefully transformed into the splendid Hotel Esencia, an enchanting boutique hotel offering access to a private beach, inviting heated pools, and a serene organic spa. Distinguished by its intimate atmosphere, unlike larger resorts with over 500 rooms, Hotel Esencia boasts a boutique charm with a collection of just 45 suites and three villas available for guests. Notably, the hotel is situated on Xpu-Ha Bay, a cherished nesting site for sea turtles every year, offering the unique opportunity to witness this natural wonder from your private oceanfront terrace.

Fora Perks:

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability

Daily Breakfast for 2

Food & Beverage or Spa Credit 

Chablé Maroma, Riviera Maya

Chablé Maroma, a prestigious five-star resort often celebrated as one of the finest hotels in the Riviera Maya region, distinguishes itself with its intimate scale in comparison to some of the larger all-inclusive resorts that line the coastline. This deliberate choice at Chablé Maroma imparts an unmistakable sense of personalization, ensuring that each room and every experience is thoughtfully crafted to cater to the unique needs of its guests.

Nestled along the shores of Playa del Carmen, this beachfront gem elevates its allure with a wealth of experiences that pay homage to Mexico's rich culture and the storied heritage of the Mayan civilization. For instance, culinary enthusiasts can partake in cooking classes that offer a delightful connection with local grandmothers, allowing them to try their hand at crafting traditional Mexican dishes. For those seeking adventure, captivating excursions to nearby cenotes reveal the extraordinary beauty of these natural wonders, regarded as sacred by the Mayan people.

For active explorers, a range of day trips beckons, offering opportunities to kayak or snorkel among the nearby reefs. Meanwhile, a visit to the iconic Mayan ruins of the Riviera Maya is an essential pilgrimage for anyone embarking on a journey through Mexico's cultural treasures.

Fora Perks:

Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability

Daily Breakfast for 2

$100 Resort Credit 

Nizuc Resort & Spa

Nizuc Resort & Spa is an award-winning luxury resort in Cancun found on the secluded Punta Nizuc. A mere 15-minutes drive from Cancun International Airport, this paradisical resort sits in Cancun’s hotel zone and is flanked by wild mangroves, verdant jungle and private beaches on all sides. With over 200 suites and villas scattered across the 29-acre property, nearly every room offers stellar ocean views.

For foodies, this Cancun hotel has a whopping six on-site restaurants, each offering world-class cuisine ( from Mexican to Asian to Mediterranean fare).
If you want to indulge in some nightlife, a Havana-inspired cigar lounge and oceanfront bar serves up delectable cocktails throughout the day and evening. And for those traveling with
little ones, Nizuc Resort & Spa is both a family-friendly and dog-friendly hotel.

Fora Perks:

$100 resort / hotel credit.

Daily breakfast.

Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Etereo, Auberge Resorts Collection

As a member of the esteemed Auberge Resorts Collection, Etéreo stands as one of the latest additions to the opulent ensemble of luxury hotels gracing the Riviera Maya's coastline. The name aptly encapsulates the essence of this distinguished establishment. It takes immense pride in its mission to provide respite from the rigors of daily life, allowing guests to reconnect with the wonders of nature.

Drawing inspiration from ancient Mayan philosophies, Etéreo's core values are centered around delivering superlative gastronomy, breathtaking vistas of the ocean, and meaningful encounters with both nature and local culture. The suites offered here are a testament to luxury living, boasting sweeping panoramas of the Caribbean Sea, private balconies and terraces, rejuvenating hot tubs, refreshing plunge pools, and even the dedicated service of a personal butler.

Beyond the sheer allure of the well-appointed rooms and the mesmerizing beachfront scenery, what truly sets Etéreo apart as one of the premier hotels is its exceptional array of experiences, thoughtfully curated to pay homage to Mexico's vibrant heritage. Anticipate a diverse range of activities, including captivating day excursions to nearby Tulum, immersive Mesoamerican storytelling sessions, reverential gratitude ceremonies dedicated to the cenotes, and spiritual rituals centered on healing. Furthermore, guests can partake in family snorkeling adventures, engage in children's club activities, and even tee off at a scenic golf course.

Fora Perks:

$100 resort / hotel credit.

$35 daily breakfast credit.

Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.