Recommend August 2011 - (Page 28)

PlAYA dEl CARMEn mexico mexico Laid-back breakfast at La Tortuga Hotel & Spa. C ciara lavelle onsite review june 2011 Cancun is known for its sprawling all-inclusive properties, many of them large resorts that come with an equally large price tag. But head to Playa del Carmen, the relaxed beach town 30 miles south of Cancun, and you’ll find quaint and unique hotels within walking distance of the area’s main attractions without budget-busting rates. Mahekal Beach Resort traditional resorts Riviera del Sol Set in an unassuming building right in the center of Playa, this 22-room hideout evokes the ambiance of a beach bungalow from its courtyard pool to the interiors of its rooms. Stay: Each room here offers views to the courtyard at the center of the resort. Clients can expect a decor that evokes the essence of the Yucatan: tiles in mosaic, wooden, tree-like columns and sandy tones throughout. Air conditioning, TVs and phones round out the amenities. Play: Though it’s set at the center of the property, the small, free-form pool is quiet and serene, a respite from the outside world. One floor up, a chic, open-air lounge with daybeds and couches serves as a meeting place, reading nook and general hangout spot. Rates start at $114 per room per night dbl, breakfast included. With 121 rooms and the amenities of a larger property, Mahekal Beach Resort is an ideal choice for clients looking for a low-cost alternative to Cancun’s all-inclusive experience. Stay: Room categories here range from garden-view “pueblitos” with king-size beds and balconies outfitted with hammocks, to romantic beachfront “casitas,” stand-alone cottages with private plunge pools set steps from the beach. Play: Mahekal had the most amenities of any resort we encountered in Playa: multiple swimming pools, bars, restaurants, entertainment areas with pool tables and more. A brand-new spa opened earlier this year with two indoor cabins featuring private showers and restrooms to complement its existing beachside spa huts. Rates start at $171, breakfast and dinner included. (877) 235-4452; Magic Blue Imagine a little slice of Miami set in the middle of the Riviera Maya. That’s the vibe at this 44-room oasis that’s equal parts chic and serene. Stay: Rooms here are set in cabin-like buildings, but don’t let the rustic continued on page 30 28 august 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2011

Editor"s Notes/Agent Speak
Hotel Desk: Regent Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: The Wayfarers
Africa Travel Options Mix the Classic with the New
Thailand's Koh Samui
Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia
Escaping to San Juan's Condado
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Central America: Roads Less Traveled
In Search of Flanders' Holy Ale
Downtown L.A. in the Thick of Things
Scrumptious Savannah
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

Recommend August 2011