The beautiful pool at Playacar Palace

The all-inclusive Palace Resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic have what you want…amazing rooms, fabulous nature, quality cuisine and stellar service.  Most welcome families, so they are a great choice for your multi-generational vacations or destination weddings, and when you stay at one, you can play at all!

Playa del Carmen margaritas

Cindy, margaritas and me!

One of my favorite all-inclusive resorts is Playacar Palace, located in Playa del Carmen, on the south side of the pier to Cozumel, about 1.25 hours from the Cancun airport.  It is an intimate resort, with just over 200 rooms, most with a spectacular ocean view.  The beach, wide and sugary white against the azure blue sky, is a beach stroller’s delight.  Heading north beyond the pier is the exciting nightlife and shopping on Fifth Avenue, along with numerous “perfect” margaritas.   Head south and you can walk quite a distance along-side gorgeous private homes before reaching more inclusive hotels and activity.

The rooms are spacious and quiet, with in-room Jacuzzis and fully-stocked bars.   Be sure to ask for a full balcony if you love to sit on one during the day, as some are French

"View from Playacar Palace room"

The View from my Room of Cozumel ferry pier

balconies.  I love the room-darkening shades, the large showers, and the minimalist design.  They created a very calming retreat.  One thing I wish for (and all I had to do was ask!) is that the sheet not be the duvet.  I love only a sheet to sleep with, and had to take the comforter out the first night.  But if you are like me, you usually check that out when you check in!

The staff here is amazing…they will get to know you and your preferences quickly, the sign of great service.  Evening meal choices are Asian, Italian, and Mexican, and sometimes a buffet by the pool.  I recently began juicing vegetables every morning, and the breakfast bar always had fresh juices of some kind.  Beet, carrot, melon…there are always three choices each day.  One afternoon, after missing my juice in the morning, I asked for a special concoction, and it was delivered with a smile and “A glass of energy just for you!”  They certainly delivered the WOW to me that day.

"Water Aerobics time"

Water Aerobics Time!

The pool swim-up bar is wonderful (I love that it becomes shaded in the afternoon), as is the energetic staff in charge of daily activities.   They have the usual…a great morning water aerobics, beach volleyball, water volleyball or polo, and even pool-side bingo and dance lessons.  The evening brings karaoke, fire shows, disco fun, and lots of opportunity to meet fellow guests and shake your booty.

And don’t forget you can play for FREE (well, for the price of the ferry ticket) by taking the ferry over to the Cozumel Palace.  This resort has snorkeling RIGHT BY THE POOL, as it is located directly on a reef and there is no beach.  I had the pleasure of visiting one day, and must say the pool is great, and the lunch buffet stellar.

As an adventure specialist, I highly suggest visiting during the whale shark season, June-September. See my blog about this amazing experience!  But any time of year you can add  Cozumel for diving and snorkeling, see Tulum, visit Xcaret or Xel Ha eco parks, or enjoy the fun (and very safe!) club scene in Playa del Carmen.  And right now if you stay 5-8 nights, you can get a $1500 per room resort credit to use on spa, golf, excursions, room upgrades, wedding collections, romantic dinners, and upgraded wine selections.  Oh, and you have probably heard about the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican.  Palace is planning more of those, so stay tuned!

"Playacar Beach"

Bobbie Strolling Towards the Hotel

Bobbie Murphy, Active Travel Pro