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Accommodations in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean

Travelers visiting the Mexican Caribbean are sure to find comfortable accommodations

Photo credit: © Carlos Sanchez Pereyra |
Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean Accommodations

Visiting Cancún, Cozumel, and the rest of the Mexican Caribbean can be a one-of-a-kind journey. Whether you long to camp out under the stars or prefer to be pampered, the perfect accommodations are waiting just for you.

Before you make final arrangements, be aware of the taxes associated with accommodations. Remember to factor in the 10 percent Value-Added Tax (VAT) and the 2 percent hospitality tax. Traveling in the off season, around September through mid-December, will save you up to 25 percent on lodgings.


...accommodations available in Cancun are so varied...


The Mexican Caribbean encompasses a vast expanse of land, though most of the tourism in this region centers around Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa de Carmen.  Because there is so much space to vacation in, those who know what to expect in each location will have an easier time choosing their accommodations. 

As one of the world's top tourist destinations, Cancun is a vacationers paradise.  Beaches, shopping, fine dining, and a huge variety of hotels can all be found in Cancun.  Not to mention its reputation as being a party mecca.  The types of accommodations available in Cancun are so varied, that any type of traveler can create the trip of their dreams here.  Some options include modern all-inclusive Holiday Inn Cancun Arenas and the budget-friendly Hotel Imperial las Perlas.

Playa del Carmen is located just south of Cancun, and is another resort city.  Playa, however, is much more laid back and relaxed than Cancun.  Many vacationers head to Playa del Carmen to get away from the big city, hectic vibe that is taking over the ever popular Cancun.  Playa is a great locale for lounging on beaches, scuba diving, and shopping.  In Playa del Carmen you may prefer a more relaxed villa, like Maya Villa Condo Hotel, but the aforementioned resort properties like Occidental Allegro Playacar are everywhere.

Mexico's largest island, and part of the Mexican Caribbean, is Cozumel.  This block of land is known for its scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities, and cave diving is a big fad here as well.  Here you will find everything from large resorts such as Sabor Cozumel Resort & Spa to the all suites Hacienda San Miguel, and even rental houses like Villa Santa Pillar. 

It is common for vacationers to book their travel package through an on-line vendor.  Keep in mind that some properties will list themselves as being located in a large city, when in fact that are miles away.  They do this so you will choose a hotel in a recognizable location.  Don't be fooled – double check with the hotel's web site or by calling personally to find out the address.

Types of Accommodations

The number and different type of accommodations in the Mexican Caribbean are endless, from your basic high-rise hotel to a villa, and of course the ever popular all-inclusive resorts


If you are looking to be pampered, you might enjoy spending several days at an all-inclusive resort where everything is included in one price. Or maybe a high-class resort would suit your needs? However, if you're traveling on a budget, or just aren't planning to spend much time in your room, consider a regular hotel, where you pay a set price each night just for the room, and you will be on your own for meals and activities. Hundreds of hotels exist in the Mexican Caribbean, from the resorts of Cancun (Cancun Caribe Park Royal Grand, Ocean Spa Hotel, and Royal Caribbean to name a few) to the inexpensive motels (Hotel Pelicano Inn in Playa del Carmen, for example), and quaint B&Bs in locales like Isla Mujeres (such as Villa la Bella). 

Condo & Villa Rentals

If you're looking for something a little more spacious, check out a rental villa or condo.  Rental properties in the Mexican Caribbean span from apartments and condos that feel like home (Casita Mavisu is a complex of villas in Quintana Roo; Villas Marlin is in Cancun; and there are many more throughout the region), to cottages  that make you feel as though you are living in a fairy tale.  Whatever type you choose, expect to find separate sleeping and living spaces, private bathrooms, and kitchenettes or full kitchens enabling you to discover local foods and cook some of your own meals on property.

Camping & Eco-Tourism

When it comes to eco-tourism, Tulum is your best bet for camping and eco-friendly properties.  None of the beaches are privately owned, so you're legally allowed to pitch a tent right on the beach before you go to sleep.  There are also several designated camp sites throughout the region.  Visit our guide to Camping and Eco-Tourism in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean to learn more.

Personal Considerations

When you're planning a trip to the Mexican Caribbean, there are a lot of factors to consider, especially if you are in charge of planning for a group.  What may be ideal for you, might not work for everyone else.

Party Size

When you are traveling with a large group, booking small hotel rooms may not work out very well. Instead, look into renting a villa or cabin that is large enough to accommodate your whole party.  Another options is to choose a hotel that specializes in suites like the Arrecifes Suites in Quintana Roo. 

If you are traveling with family, but in a smaller group, make sure to choose a location that is known for being family friendly.  Many resorts, especially in Cancun, have kids programs, babysitting services, and even water parks.  Sea Adventure Resort & Waterpark (formerly Blue Bay Club) is one property in Cancun that advertises itself as an all-inclusive, family-friendly resort -- and yes, it does have an on-site water park.

Adults traveling in groups, planning to party their vacation away, will probably want to choose an adults-only resort so they don't have to sensor themselves. One such resort is the Royal in Cancun Adults Only All-Inclusive. Likewise, couples looking for a romantic getaway would do best at an intimate inn or couples-only hotel like Playa Sonrisa in Xcalak (though be warned, this location is clothing optional). 


It is not uncommon for hotels to specialize in a particular area that they know will draw customers in.  For example, there are dive resorts throughout Cozumel, hotels with tennis courts will advertise to guests who can't miss a day on the courts, and golfers, anglers, and those who are looking for an active nightlife can find accommodations that suit their interests as well.  Costa de Cocos Resort in Xcalak is a full-service fishing and diving resort, where guests can purchase packages that include everything (even the trips out on the water) except for airfare. 

Length of Stay

The typical vacation to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean lasts for about a week.  People staying for this amount of time will often choose hotels because they are the easiest option.  If you're planning on an extended stay, however, a rental property will probably work best for you.  This way you will have more space to move about, and the opportunity to prepare your own meals.  Most condo properties, like Coral Maya in Quintana Roo encourage extended stays. 


The lodgings in Cancun and the rest of the Mexican Caribbean are rated on a star system that runs from zero to five.  Though many people assume that this has a lot to do with the price of your stay, the truth is that we have rated hotels, resorts, rental properties, and eco-lodges independently of price.  This means that after you have decided upon your budget, you can find an array of ratings within your price range.

One and Two Stars

No one is left out when it comes to accommodations in the Mexican Caribbean.  If you only can afford, or need, a small, modestly furnished room, with very few amenities (which will commonly result in a 1 Star rating), you'll find many properties that fit the bill.  In all honesty, not everyone needs pampering and luxury on their vacation.  Some travelers simply want a hotel where they can comfortably sleep at night, and leave their belongings during the day.  Hotel Pepita in the business district of Cozumel and Villa la Guacamaya in Xcalak fit the bill.  These places will typically cost between $30 and $80(USD) per night.

Hotels with 2 Star ratings offer what can be considered a "nice" experience at a reasonable price.  Examples include the boutique Casa El Pio on Isla Mujeres and Cabanas Tulum in Quintana Roo.  Few of these properties would stand out in the crowd, but they are often the ideal option for an enjoyable vacation on a reasonable budget.  Typically, a 2 Star facility will cost between $65 and $200(USD) per night.

Three Stars

Most vacationers feel most comfortable selecting a property that is rated at 3 Stars.  These properties are right in the middle of the rating system, so they are average, and sometimes better than average.  These hotels will likely have friendly service, comfortable rooms, and a few extras thrown in as a bonus.  You shouldn't expect luxury, but there are a few 3 Star properties where luxury is a priority.  Check out Dolores Alba in Merida, Hotel Banana in Playa del Carmen, and Playa la Media Luna on Isla Mujeres.  You plan on spending anywhere from $150 to $250(USD) for one of these properties.

Four Stars

Four Star properties are not quite the best-of-the-best, but they are close.  Fine amenities, impeccable service, cleanliness, and comfort are all par for the course when you choose a 4 Star hotel like the Westin Resort & Spa Cancun.  These hotels will cost a little more than the lower-starred, typically, and can cost up to $400(USD) a night.

Five Stars

Some vacationers won't bother taking a trip unless they can guarantee a stay in the lap of luxury.  Luckily, Cancun and the rest of the Mexican Caribbean have multitudes of 5 Star lodgings.  This means that everything is top of the line, from the service to the linens,.  The smallest details are considered and taken care of, and guests are the top priority.  Some of the best hotels in the Mexican Caribbean include El Taj Condo Hotel, Ritz-Carlton Cancun, Maroma Resort & Spa, and Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya.  Don't expect to spend less than $300(USD) when you stay at such a property.

Hotel Search

We also offer an advanced accommodations search tool, which allows you to search for hotels that match your preferences.  You can also search for hotels that have rooms available during your preferred travel dates.  And, you can use this tool to make your reservations.

No matter what the season, you're sure to find a host of acceptable accommodations along the Mexican Caribbean coastline.


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