An adults-only oasis in Playa del Carmen
Flanked by swaying palm trees and nestled along a private bay with pristine beaches and ecologically preserved mangrove coasts sits Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, a private, all-inclusive, adults-only oasis about 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport.
Although many come for the privacy and ultra-relaxing ambiance, it’s the lovely rooms (complete with rain showers and deep soaking tubs), proximity to the mysterious ruins of Tulum and Chichèn Itzá, as well as the warm, welcoming service that has guests yearning to return.
You won’t find any small, cramped rooms at La Perla — the resort is made up of suites, all of which come with balconies, terraces or floor-to-ceiling windows to provide sweeping views of the palm-lined pool or thatched-roof garden huts. Among the 393 guest rooms, there are 60 swim-up suites that connect privately to the sparkling pool.
The Junior Level Suites, which are 570 square feet, come in four categories — the standard Junior Suite, the Swim Up Suite, the Royal Service Junior Suite and the Royal Service Luxury Junior Suite. In addition to more amenities, the Royal Service level suites come with personal butlers. A little larger at 646 square feet, the One Bedroom Suites boast private 194-square-foot terraces overlooking the gardens, pool or bay. The One Bedroom Master Suite has a staggering 250-square-foot terrace outfitted with a whirlpool, modern furnishings and an exclusive swim-up entrance to the pool.
For those looking for the lap of luxury, the 1,539-square-foot, Two Bedroom Master Suites feature two private terraces, four flat-screen TVs, two terraces with whirlpools and a kitchenette.
The fare at Paradisus La Perla is anything but typical of what you’d find at an all-inclusive, with 16 bars and 14 distinct restaurants serving a vast array of dishes ranging from contemporary Mexican to modern Asian cuisine. Try Fuego for a taste of Latin fusion. You’ll encounter fresh seafood and meat, along with tropical produce in dishes like a red tuna tiradito, a Peruvian variant of ceviche; sesame-seed-crusted salmon with passion fruit sauce and onion chutney; and tacu tacu, a rice-and-beans specialty with flank steak and bitter banana.
For something more global, enjoy gourmet fare at Bana. Whether you’re noshing on elegantly plated sushi (served both Eastern and Western style), spicy plated octopus or fused noodle dishes, the trendy collection of low-hanging chandeliers and modern wood-paneled walls offer a Zen ambiance.
The most exclusive restaurant on property, Passion, has acclaimed chef Martín Berasategui at the helm, serving up his take of traditional and signature Basque-French dishes. Unlike the other restaurants, the dress code is stricter and the ambiance supremely elegant.
Unwind after dinner or before at the futuristically designed Gabi Club Bar, which overlooks the lush tropical forests surrounding the beaches of Playa del Carmen. Soak in the views in the white, illuminated chairs or lounge on the one of the cabanas decorated with multi-hued flood lights. The resort has 16 bars to choose from, but this is our pick for its lovely beachside atmosphere.
Spanning more than 19,000 square feet, the YHI Spa and Fitness Club is an oasis itself, with a vast selection of services. The space includes a full-service beauty salon, 16 massage cabins, wet and dry saunas, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a studio for group classes and more.
The life-enriching experiences at the Playa del Carmen resort provide you with an extra level of cultural immersion and include tango dance lessons, tequila tastings, eco-friendly classes on sustainable tourism and tours showcasing the area’s famous mangroves, flora and fauna.
The Yucatan Peninsula is home to some of Mexico’s most famous architectural and historical destinations, including Tulum, Chichén Itzá and Cobá. The luxury resort provides daily excursions to these Mayan ruins so you can experience the area’s incredible history. To get outdoors, opt for a tour of the preserved mangrove coastline, which is nestled right along the bay of Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla.