Coral Grill at Viceroy Riviera Maya (Brad A. Johnson)
Truly great Mexican food is oddly difficult to find in Playa del Carmen, the hub of Mexico’s beautiful Riviera Maya. You can find a great (or at least very good) Italian restaurant on nearly every corner and inside most hotels (a story on that coming soon). But Mexican? The good stuff’s here, but the best places aren’t so obvious. These are the Top 10. Continue reading →
The Riviera Maya boasts more destination spas per square mile—plus a better beach—than anywhere else in Mexico. And nestled among the meandering lagoons of Mayakoba, ensconced on its own miniature island, the 17,000-square-foot Sense Spa at Rosewood(rooms from $590; massage from $145) was the region’s first luxury game-changer (with authentic wood-fired stone temazcal), surpassed only by its Asian-inspired next-door neighbor,Banyan Tree(rooms from $565; massage from $160), whose therapists train for 300 hours at the company’s flagship in Phuket, Thailand.
On the boutique tip of the scale, Orient-Express’ 65-room, white-walled, palapa-topped Maroma(rooms from $765; massage from $125) has created an utterly chic, tropical utopia at its Kinan Spa. While on the other, more colossal scale of things, the all-inclusive and truly exquisite Grand Velas(rooms from $570; massage from $178, gratuity included) delivers a surprisingly intimate escape at its 89,000-square-foot, jungle-wrapped sanctuary, which revolves around a must-see-it-to-believe-it vitality pool and temperature-controlled chambers for indulging in therapeutic clay, shaved ice or fragrant steam. And the 8,600-square-foot spa at the 88-room Ceiba del Mar (à la carte from $219; all-inclusive from $303; massage from $100) even offers an all-inclusive spa deal that allows as many treatments as you can possibly squeeze into your sangria-soaked itinerary.
Rates given are for a 50- or 60-minute, full-body massage, except at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, where massages start at a minimum of 90 minutes.