STAY Break in the beds, beach and ballroom at Hyatt Playa del Carmen, opening June 2017. The 314-key midcentury-meets-Maya property is steps from both Mamitas Beach and downtown nightlife. The architecture draws inspiration from the regional geography, especially in the spa, built to resemble a local cenote (natural underground reservoir). Rooms from $185; weddings from $3,300. When a resort hires big names like Todd Fiscus and Hilda Espino to oversee its redesign, you know it’s primed for weddings. At Mahekal Beach Resort, meandering paths lead to 122 thatch-roof bungalows. Other enticements: a seaside Jacuzzi, two restaurants, three bars, ping-pong, billiards and, of course, a sandy shore where you can exchange vows.
Rooms from $205; weddings from $2,300. Adults-only Viceroy Riviera Maya off ers six spots to say I do, including the beach, a garden and an alfresco oceanfront bar and grill. Or, if your jungle love cannot be tamed, opt for the rainforest palapa. Turndown here is a cut above: A soap concierge delivers and slices off organic bath bars in the scent of your choosing. Rooms from $315 (seasonal special); weddings from $199 per person. A 20-minute drive from the city is Mayakoba, comprising a golf course, 500 species of fl ora and fauna (from orchids to ocelots), and mangrove-lined natural canals that connect three high-end hotels (our pick: Mexi-Asian Banyan Tree, which off ers pool villas with private terraces).
In spring 2015, Mayakoba unveiled El Pueblito, evoking a colonial town plaza of boutiques, eateries, a bandstand and a white wedding chapel. Banyan Tree rooms from $549; weddings from $325 per person. PLAY The Snorkel Shop off ers reef and river tours, while Scuba Playa organizes all-day dives to Playa’s reefs and along Cozumel’s famed walls. Take your ensuing appetite out for gourmet Maya munchies like fajitas in sour orange sauce at Yaxch©. Playa Del Carmen Connect plans custom fi nal fl ings, whether your vision is a bachelor bar crawl, a womenonly wine tasting or a co-ed Coco Bongo dance-off . FIESTA For a unique union, gather guests at Xcaret, a 200-acre eco theme park whose event spaces range from a neoclassical Catholic chapel (with its altar in a sinkhole!) to legit archaeological sites and natural rock pools. Or turn up the heat at Kool Beach Club with luminarias and DJ-spun beats.
This sleepy ex-coconut plantation is a rising star thanks to its fl ourishing coral reefs and calm waters, which present both scrumptious seafood (try Cueva del Pescador restaurant) and opportunities to swim with sea turtles during the April-toOctober nesting season. New lodgings are under construction, so rent a lavish hacienda like Villa Valhalla or Bellamar for festivities all under one roof. Another option: Speed 10 minutes north to Hotel Esencia; once a private retreat for an Italian duchess, the 29- room resort now hosts weddings on secluded Xpu-Ha Beach and glowing reception dinners by the pool.
The Best Hotel in Riviera Maya Photo Gallery
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