Fodor's Expert Review Paradisus Playa del Carmen

Av. 5 and Calle 112, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, 77719, Mexico, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo 77710, Mexico See on Map

Set in an astonishing private bay, Paradisus Playa del Carmen is actually two resorts into one. There is Paradisus La Esmeralda, which is family friendly and kids’-oriented, and Paradisus La Perla, which is adult-only and brings an extra level of luxury and service to the table. Both hotels are all-inclusive and both offer the option to book an upgraded program.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The beach is quite narrow and the depending on the season there could be lots of seaweed in the sea.


There is a wide variety of rooms and suites to choose from both resorts, but they all have one thing in common: a sophisticated décor and top-notch amenities. La Esmeralda rooms come in a more neutral setting with a combination of beiges, whites and brown elements, while La Perla suites offer a bolder style on shades of gray and white, and aquarium headboards (bold, right?). There are rooms with whirlpools on the terrace and swim-up suites too.

To make the most of the outstanding amenities of a resort like this one, the upgraded Family Concierge or Royal Service packages are options to be considered.


The bathrooms are exquisitely designed, each with its own personality and space distribution. They all offer ample space and stylish bathtubs, most come with double bathroom sink, and luxury toiletries. Some La Perla bathrooms include sensory tubs and rainfall showers, while La Esmeralda ones come with bathrobes and slippers for kids too.


Both lobbies are extraordinary on its design which is decisively made-to-impress. Wide areas of modern architecture and stylized carpets, where light and colors play important roles. These welcome lounges are as glamorous as they come, with a bar at hand and plenty of sitting areas including some double loungers to wait and enjoy a drink, while lying down and reading a book.


While the pools at La Esmeralda come with pirate ships, water slides and music for kids, the pools at La Perla are quiet and stylish. Upgraded programs include private pools in each hotel with upgraded amenities like Balinese shaded beds. There are swim-up bars, hot tubs and partially-submerged sun loungers.


The YHI Spa provides its ample list of services to both resorts with its fourteen massage cabins and beauty salon. The thermal circuit includes hydro massage, plunge pools and wet and dry sauna. Aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and other fancy-named therapies are all available at this 8,503 square foot Spa.


A large and modern Fitness Center, also shared by both hotels, offers a good diversity of cardio and strength equipment. For the traditionalists like me, there is also a free weight area. An all-around pleasant training experience.


There are 14 restaurants available, however some are adults-only and others reserved for Royal Service or Family Concierge packages. Anyway, diversity is the name of the day and design is outstanding in most restaurants. Award-winning Mole serves delicious dishes of contemporary Mexican cuisine, while Vento offers an interesting mix of Turkish, Moroccan, Greek and Lebanese cuisines.


There are rooftop terrace bars, a tequila bar, a sake bar, sexy adults-only bars, wine cellar and martini bars, swim-up bars, bars with music and even a coffee corner. If you have a drinking problem, this is no place for you.


Getting Around

The Paradisus Hotels have a truly incredible location, just at the boundaries of the bustling part of Playa del Carmen. Everything you might wish to see in downtown is within walking distance, and at the same time, it’s not so noisy and crowded as it can get in other places. It’s just a 45-minute drive from Cancun International Airport (CUN) and a short drive from any other attraction in the area.


The Paradisus hotels have probably the best restaurants in town, but you cannot stay in Playa del Carmen and not visit one of its famous eateries. Piola (25-minute walk) is a place where they believe that food and drinks are much more than nourishment and liquids and will go far and beyond to make you feel…happy. If you want to try something less Mexican, try the best Greek restaurant in town, Milos (25-minute walk).


Want to feel this famous Playa del Carmen vibe? Go to El Club de la Cerveza (8-minute drive) to see people passing by and to have the best craft beer in town. If you are looking for an upscale beach bar experience, you have no other options but the famous Zenzi Bar (14-minute drive) where everyone feels like a boho-chic star.


Because La Perla is sexy and bold, while La Esmeralda goes the extra mile to impress the kids, without downgrading the level of luxury and style. We love the aquarium headboards and just couldn’t get over them.


On the beach


Phones: 984-877–3900;984-877-3939

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