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The Five Most Luxe Resorts In Mexico For Your Winter Vacation

Whether you’re looking to find total relaxation, fun in the sun or a few quiet moments away from kids, this hotel short list has you covered.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya Mexico
Cabanas around the Zen Grand Pool at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen

Best for: Activity Addicts

Visitors won’t ever have to leave this all-inclusive resort—which has a variety of water activities, like snorkeling, scuba-diving, kayak tours, kite-surfing and swimming with dolphins—but they might want to, since the Mayan Ruins are only a short drive away. For those who prefer to just kick back, there’s an award-winning spa, which incorporates Mayan traditions into massage treatments and facials. (Try the signature hydrotherapy ritual, the Riviera Maya Water Journey.) Parents are particularly well cared for: There’s a “baby concierge,” who will stock suites with essentials like infant bath tubs, bouncers, cribs, bottles, bottle warmers and high chairs for no additional cost. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old can take part in the Grand Velas Kids Club, with daily activities. From $393 per person, per night for adults ($100 per child between 4 and 16 years), which includes all meals, premium brand beverages, 24-hour room service, and kids club attendance.

Cuixmala Mexico Room
Cuixmala is a leader in sustainability. Photo: Michael Gilbreath

Cuixmala, Jalisco

Best for: Environmental Enthusiasts

Cuixmala’s 25,000 acres of stunning mountains, lagoons, and beaches are a conservationist’s dream. Guests can get up close to the region’s wildlife by going on guided horseback rides alongside herds of zebra or by volunteering with the hotel’s Turtle Protection Program, working with local biologists to release baby sea turtles back to the wild. And the Cuixmala school runs a program to educate local kids about sustainability. Larger groups can spread out in two-bedroom casitas or four-bedroom luxury villas staffed with a chef and dedicated butler. And in addition to the environmental initiatives, there are tons of classic vacation distractions, like snorkeling, surfing, ocean kayaking, beach volleyball and cruises along Mexico’s Pacific coast aboard a 47-foot crewed sailboat. From $500 per night.

PapayaCasaPalapa Mexico Tulum
One of the serene, elegantly-appointed cabanas at the Papaya Playa Project in Tulum.

Papaya Playa Project, Tulum

Best for: A mix of fun in the sun and serious relaxation

This boho-chic resort on the beach is a great choice for those who are looking to unwind, thanks to daily yoga classes and a top-notch spa with treatments held in palapas overlooking the ocean. The watersports and kite boarding center makes it easy to get out onto the waves, with stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and kite surfing, or ask the hotel’s tour center to arrange private excursions, with focuses like photography, snorkeling and diving. For a night of dancing, PPP’s Beach Club hosts live music and tunes spun by DJs late into the evening. Visitors can opt for their own private cabanas, or groups of up to 10 can rent out the hotel’s ocean-front house, Casa Palapa, which features a private pool and outdoor grill and can include personal chef service.; From $180 per night

PlayaViva Mexico Pool
The boutique, all-inclusive Playa Viva sits on nearly 200 acres along a private beach. Photo: Steven Keller

Playa Viva, Juluchuca

Best for: A restorative Retreat

This eco-friendly boutique hotel is perfect for travelers looking to connect with nature and themselves—daily, open-air yoga classes are a part of the all-inclusive stay, with a Holistic Host tailoring programs to each guest’s experience and fitness level. Organic meals are served family-style for breakfast, lunch and dinner, making it easy to socialize with other guests and the hotel’s staff, who make visitors feel like family. Visitors should be sure to check Playa Viva’s workshop schedule—the beginning of 2016 features week-long workshops on topics ranging from yoga and meditation to women’s empowerment. End each day in the hotel’s new Treehouse rooms, built into the palm trees six feet in the air, with unobstructed views of the ocean. All-inclusive rates from $365, which includes all meals, all non-alcoholic beverages and transfers to and from the airport.

FourSeasons Mexico Golf Course
One of two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses at The Four Seasons resort in Punta Mita

The Four Seasons, Punta Mita

Best for: Guys or Girls Trips

At this luxury resort on Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, golf fans can swing their clubs on two Jack Nicklaus-designed courses, surfers can hit Punta Mita’s best breaks, and dive enthusiasts can opt for excursions with the popular scuba program. Food and drink lovers should sign up for the hotel’s new Tequila Tour, which takes guests to the family-run Jose Cuervo
distillery via private helicopter for a sommelier-led tour and tequila-making demonstration, lunch prepared by a private chef and a trip to the reserve vault to sip the company’s best aged tequila straight from the barrel. Groups can also arrange for a day charter aboard the hotel’s luxury yacht or sign up for the new “Hook & Cook” excursion, which includes diving lessons, a boat ride out to Bahia de Bandera to learn to catch octopus and a chef-led cooking class on ceviche. From $500 per night;








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