Mahekal Beach Resort dates back 50 years, when a local Mexican family built six palapas for backpackers to rent on the beach. Each year, the family put all the profits back into the property and expanded it to what it is today. And now, unlike most of the high rise hotels in the area, the resort is only as high as its palm trees—giving it a relaxing feel. And while it’s quiet and restful, it’s located just minutes away from the bustling town of Playa Del Carmen.

These days, the resort has taken lux up a notch: It boasts 196 individual palapa- style bungalows, private plunge pools, outdoor showers and plenty of soft, sandy beaches. There’s no TV, no loud music, no “scene”—instead it has a Swiss Family Robinson-vibe that makes it exclusive and relaxing. The Mayan-inspired spa is soothing in design and features 100 per- cent organic, local, home-grown products, complete with Zen Garden. There are four pools on property, plus a seaside Jacuzzi. Of course, for those who want to explore the nightlight of Playa Del Carmen, the famous Fifth Avenue—with its bustling bars, diverse restaurant scene and plenty of shops—is easy to access as well.