Mexico’s Riviera Maya is home to endless miles of white sand beaches, pristine tropical waters, and some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving there is in the world.
With such spectacular features, it’s no wonder travelers flock here to experience the excitement and relaxation for themselves.
Along the Riviera Maya, you will easily find many, many all-inclusive resorts. There are almost too many to count!
Some of them stand proudly in more populated areas like Playa Del Carmen, while others are more tucked away along Highway 307, Riviera Maya’s main drag. So how do you pick which is best for you?
If you’re going to go all-inclusive, you gotta do it right! The sheer amount of bars, restaurants, and activities offered at these all-inclusive resorts make them worth every dollar spent. The resorts on this list are some of the best bang-for-your-buck options out there in the Riviera Maya and Playa Del Carmen area.
So without further ado, here are my top 8 favorite all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya area of Mexico. I’ve helped you break them all down based on their most notable features, distances away from the airport, whether the resorts are adults-only or family-friendly, and more!
Don’t have time to read the whole post? Here’s an at-a-glance view of our recommendations:
- Excellence Riviera Cancun – best overall
- Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun – best for private and secluded beach
- Hotel Xcaret Arte – best if you plan to do Xcaret’s many eco-parks/activities (adults only)
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya – best upscale experience
- TRS Yucatan Hotel – best hotel ambiance and decor
- The Royal Hideaway Playacar – best for proximity to Playa Del Carmen
- Paradisus Playa Del Carmen – best for families
- Hotel Xcaret Mexico – best if you plan to do Xcaret’s many eco-parks/activities
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8 Best All-Inclusive Resorts In Riviera Maya, Mexico
Table of Contents
Price Range: $$$
Located about a 30-minute drive from Playa del Carmen and a 35-minute drive away from the Cancun International Airport, Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is perfectly situated on a private beach. Yes, you can expect a private white sand beach to relax at any time of the day!
What’s even cooler is that the pool overlooks the fine white sands and turquoise blue waters of the beach. What paradise…
After lounging by the beach or the pool, get pampered at the world-class Secrets Spa by Pevonia. Each spa treatment comes with a complimentary hydrotherapy circuit session which includes the use of a sauna, steam room, and various hot/cold pools.
Spa not your thing? No worries, there are numerous other activities to partake in including playing tennis, basketball, volleyball, mini-golf, as well as doing yoga or archery, taking dance lessons, cocktail lessons, or aqua-aerobics classes, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, and much more.
There’s even a dance club on the property for guests to enjoy well past midnight!
Once you get your fill of activity, enjoy top-shelf spirits and premium wines in any of the six bars on the property before heading to dinner at one of the resort’s 9 restaurants.
You can expect an international buffet, a cafe, seven a la carte restaurants, and 24-hour room service.
What does this mean for you? Around-the-clock gourmet dining!
In terms of the guest suites, all 412 rooms feature thoughtful touches like bathrobes and slippers, free WiFi, furnished balconies, sitting areas, and premium bedding. If you’re looking for easy access to the pool, definitely opt for one of the swim-up rooms.
AT A GLANCE: Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
- Adults only all-inclusive resort
- 412 suites
- 9 restaurants, 1 coffee shop
- 6 bars
- 14 outdoor pools (2 main pools, various semi-private pools for swim-up suites)
- 30 minutes by car from Playa Del Carmen
- 35 minutes from Cancun International Airport
Price Range: $$$
I’m a huge fan of the Excellence Riviera Cancun. This resort (plus the rest of the Excellence Resorts) features peaceful beaches with fine, white sands, several outdoor pools, the most relaxing spa and hydrotherapy area you’ll ever find in this budget range, and ample spaces for relaxation.
The all-inclusive rate covers usage of the 5 pools, 6 hot tubs, as well as food and beverages at 9+ international restaurants and 10+ bars.
Some examples include group aquatic Zumba, bike rides around the property, poker and casino night, Mexican fiesta buffets, workout classes, free stand-up paddleboard and kayak usage, and nightly entertainment.
The rooms are clean, spacious, and beautifully decorated with light colors accentuated by a light Mediterranean blue. I really do love how they’ve decorated these rooms because I’m always immediately transported into a state of relaxation and tranquility upon check-in.
The rooms also come with furnished balconies or patios and four-whirlpool tubs.
If you want easy and direct access to the pool and your own personal hammock and daybed on the lawn, opt for the Junior Swim-Up Suite!
You can usually find pretty good deals on Excellence Resorts if you book early enough (often 40%+ off room rates).
AT A GLANCE: Excellence Riviera Cancun
- Adults only all-inclusive resort
- 440 guest rooms
- 8 restaurants
- 10 bars
- 5 hot tubs, 6 pools
- 40 minutes by car from Playa Del Carmen
- 25 minutes from Cancun International Airport
Price Range: $$$
Hotel Xcaret Arte is a new resort that opened its doors in mid-2021. When you stay at Hotel Xcaret Arte, you’re opting for the All-Fun All-Inclusive concept, where “all-inclusive” is defined a little differently than traditional resorts.
A stay at Hotel Xcaret Arte includes unlimited access to the most iconic eco-parks in Cancun and Riviera Maya: Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xavage and Xenotes.
Together, these parks/activities will add up to 200 experiences of adventure, culture, and a whole bunch of fun!
Moving on to the accommodations themselves, Hotel Xcaret Arte has 900 adults-only (including young adults ages 16 and up) suites inspired by artists.
These rooms are all light, airy, and decorated with beautiful, timeless decor. Its eco-integrating architecture blends design and nature in a loving and responsible way, achieving a balance between ethics and aesthetics.
You’ll get to enjoy 9 gastronomic experiences under the care of some pretty big-time chefs in Mexico as well as various bars serving up carefully designed cocktails and coffee drinks.
And not only do the restaurants serve delicious food, but the decor and ambiance of the restaurants and bars are drop-dead gorgeous.
On top of the all-inclusive food, drink, park access, and transportation to/from the parks, you’ll also have complimentary access to Mexican artistic workshops including weaving, painting, pottery, dance, and vegan cooking.
With all there is to do on the property as well as in the various parks, you are guaranteed to never have a dull moment. Now that’s what we like to see when resorts call themselves all-inclusive!
Bottom Line: If you plan on visiting any of the Xcaret parks, Hotel Xcaret and Hotel Xcaret Arte are both wonderful choices that could end up saving you money on the cost of activities in the long run.
AT A GLANCE: Hotel Xcaret Arte
- Adults only all-inclusive resort (includes young adults ages 16 and up)
- 900 guest rooms
- 10 restaurants, 2 coffee shops
- 12 bars/lounges
- 3 swim-up bars
- 15 outdoor pools
- 17 minutes by car from Playa Del Carmen
- 1 hour from Cancun International Airport
You may also like: Xcaret Park Review: Is It Worth The Money?
Price Range: $$$$
Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a top-of-the-line option if you’ve got a bit more budget to play around with.
Savor gourmet cuisine from renowned chefs at one of the property’s 8 restaurants, go sunbathing at the beach, lounge at one of the 5 outdoor swimming pools, or get some much-needed relaxation in their top-notch spa.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll be glad to know that one of the restaurants even has its own AAA Five-Diamond award! And if that’s not enticing enough, their spa is also one of the largest in the country!
Other luxury perks include butler service, various activities throughout your stay, and non-motorized sports — all of which are included in the all-inclusive price at Grand Velas Riviera Maya.
In terms of the property’s layout, the guest suites are spread across three buildings, one of which is adults-only. All 539 guest suites feature free WiFi, private spa tubs and jetted tubs, as well as premium bedding and pillow menus for that added touch of hospitality.
On top of getting a ton of space (rooms are well over 1,200 sq ft) You can opt for suites with a range of additional features such as private terraces, plunge pools, and unbeatable views.
This hotel is hands-down the most upscale option on this list, but it doesn’t come cheap! Still, if you’re celebrating something special, we think this hotel is worth the splurge.
AT A GLANCE: Grand Velas Riviera Maya
- Kid-friendly all-inclusive resort
- 539 guest rooms
- 8 restaurants
- 6 bars
- 3 outdoor swimming pools, 2 indoor swimming pools, 4 hot tubs
- 20 minutes by car from Playa Del Carmen
- 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport
Price Range: $$
TRS Yucatan Hotel is a newcomer on the all-inclusive scene, having opened in 2017. It is a relatively new hotel in the Riviera Maya area, offering modern and luxurious accommodations for adults-only guests. The hotel is part of the Palladium Hotel Group, which has several other properties in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Since its opening, TRS Yucatan Hotel has received positive reviews for its upscale amenities, variety of dining options, and beautiful beachfront location. It’s the perfect choice for couples, groups of friends, and adults who want to enjoy privacy, personalized service, and top-quality services!
With a 24-hour butler service to cater to your every need, your stay can be exactly what you dreamed it would be … relaxing in every way possible!
First of all, let’s touch on the resort decor — it’s so modern and chic. The rooms are spacious and beautifully designed with all the amenities you could want. In addition to the Junior Suite rooms, you can also find specialty rooms to elevate your stay such as Romance Bungalow By The Lake, Suite Private Pool Poolside, Ambassador Suite with Panoramic Ocean View, and Wellness Junior Suites too.
The hotel grounds pay homage to the indigenous flora and fauna, and the immaculate grounds are complemented by elegant architecture and decor. Expect earth tones galore!
But the best part is the food and drinks! The hotel has a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from, so you’ll never get bored. They have everything from traditional Mexican cuisine to Italian dishes, and even a teppanyaki-style restaurant where they cook your food right in front of you. And the drinks are amazing too – they have a great selection of cocktails and top-shelf liquor.
The hotel also has a beautiful pool area with plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas for shade. And if you’re looking for some relaxation, they have a spa on-site with a variety of treatments to choose from.
AT A GLANCE: TRS Yucatan Hotel – Adults Only
- 454 fully-fitted suites with 24-hour room service
- 9 different à la carte restaurants
- 6 bars
- Premium VIP beach area with loungers and waiter service
- 3 private pools with built-in jacuzzi and waiter services, including an infinity pool with sea views
- 35 minutes by car from Playa Del Carmen
- 70 minutes from Cancun International Airport
Price Range: $$
The Royal Hideaway Playacar is another one of my top recommendations for all-inclusive, located on the white sand beach on the Riviera Maya, offering an adults-only experience.
The 201 luxurious rooms on the property are surrounded by lush gardens with the added benefit of a private concierge service and endless amenities.
The hotel features 6 restaurants with the most notable dining feature being The Chef’s Table at Ventanas restaurant. In fact, this is the only restaurant on the Yucatán peninsula based on interaction with the chef.
The Royal Hideaway also features 6 pools, all large and with unbeatable views, including 3 relaxation pools and an infinity pool with a waterfall! There is also a spa (5-star spa called The Retreat) and a fitness center, as well as an endless amount of water, fitness, and sports activities offered throughout the day.
AT A GLANCE: The Royal Hideaway Playacar
- Adults only all-inclusive resort
- 201 guest rooms
- 6 pools
- 6 restaurants and a theater for dinners
- 4 bars (no swim-up bar)
- 10 minutes by car from Playa Del Carmen
- 1 hour from Cancun International Airport
Price Range: $$
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen is a high-quality, family-friendly resort in the Riviera Maya that features direct access to a wonderful white-sand beach. In fact, it’s one of the best all-inclusive resort options in the area for families!
Kid-friendly features at the property include a pirate ship playground and a kids zone. The little ones will have a ton of fun at the tropical-themed water park boasting three swimming pools, giant water buckets, and five water slides.
The Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda also offers a Family Concierge program that includes a private pool and lounge, butler service, a private beach area, and lots of in-room perks that children will love.
The Family Concierge rooms are even specially designed to offer superior comfort and greater privacy and are the perfect setting for the ultimate family vacation experience.
Adults need not worry because the resort has its fair share of bars and activities to enjoy!
In addition to a great on-site spa, adults can enjoy tasting sessions for fine wines and tequila, develop culinary skills in sushi classes, learn how to make authentic guacamole, dance at a pool party complete with a live DJ and so much more.
And while Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda is great for people traveling with families, their sister resort, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, is a top option for travelers looking for an affordable adults-only all-inclusive resort near Playa Del Carmen.
In fact, during the countless hours of research I did for my first all-inclusive vacation planning, La Perla was my second choice behind The Excellence Riviera Cancun!
AT A GLANCE: Paradisus Playa Del Carmen
- Kid-friendly all-inclusive resort (for adults only, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla is a great option)
- 501 guest rooms
- 3 large pools, plus a fun water park with a pirate ship
- 14 restaurants
- 9 bars, 1 coffee shop
- 12 minutes by car from Playa Del Carmen
- 50 minutes from Cancun International Airport
8. Hotel Xcaret Mexico
Price Range: $$$
Hotel Xcaret Mexico is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya due to its location and abundance of adventure, adrenaline, and family-friendly activities.
What other park gives you unlimited and FREE access to all of Experiencias Xcaret’s nature parks and tours?
You read that right–this includes all the eco-parks like Xcaret, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xavage, Xoximilco, Xel-Há, and Xenotes, as well as each of their dining plans! Together, these parks/activities will add up to 200 experiences of adventure, culture, and a whole bunch of fun!
The massive, 900-room Hotel Xcaret is an upscale yet friendly and welcoming all-inclusive resort that draws equal parts families and couples.
The resort is located directly on the beach in Playa del Carmen, which makes it an ideal choice for those who want a relaxing getaway with their kids. There are also plenty of on-site activities for kids to enjoy, including swimming and snorkeling, as well as a kids’ club with organized activities.
Adults will especially love the free yoga and meditation, the 10 restaurants that include an international buffet, Mexican, and Asian options, and the 8 bars around the resort. There is also a spa with cave-like treatment rooms, and three gyms.
Bottom Line: If you plan on visiting any of the Xcaret parks, Hotel Xcaret and Hotel Xcaret Arte are both wonderful choices that could end up saving you money on the cost of activities in the long run!
Resort Highlights: Hotel Xcaret Mexico
- Kid-friendly all-inclusive resort that’s equal parts families and couples
- 20-minute drive to Playa del Carmen
- Free access and transportation to Xcaret, Xenses, Xplor, Xavage, Xoximilco, and Xel-Ha parks
- 900 rooms
- 10 restaurants (international buffet, Mexican, Asian, including an eatery by a Michelin-starred chef for an additional fee)
- 8 bars including a swim-up bar
- Several pools, caves, coves, an infinity pool with a swim-up bar, kids’ pool with waterslide, and even a river to kayak in
What Is Included At An All-Inclusive Resort?
Each all-inclusive resort is different, but the majority of them function similarly in that the price you pay will often include the following:
- a double-occupancy overnight guest room
- food and beverage
- daily entertainment
- pool use
- non-motorized watersports (kayaks, stand-up paddleboards)
- fitness center and classes
- kids activities
- as well as any taxes and service fees
There is also typically some sort of private beach that hotel guests can access.
Depending on which all-inclusive resort you go with, some may also offer airport transfers, premium watersports (jet skis, scuba-diving), and unlimited top-shelf alcoholic drinks at the all-inclusive price.
What Is NOT Included At An All-Inclusive Resort?
It is important to know that the term “all-inclusive” doesn’t literally mean you get anything and everything that’s offered at the resort. Here are a few examples of things that typically cost extra:
- There is usually a premium-level tier of guests that often have their own pool, lounge, and section of the beach. You’ll usually have to upgrade to some type of membership to use these parts of the property.
- Spas and massages, golfing, and (sometimes) premium liquor usually cost extra.
- Services such as laundry, transportation, tours and activities, and motorized watersports (like jet skis) are typically excluded.
- Sometimes, personalized assistance (babysitter) has an extra cost. Other times it’s included.
This is why it’s so important to do your homework before booking a resort. You’ll want to know what their list of inclusions consists of and what their list of extra-cost activities/features consists of.
If it’s unclear, simply reach out to the hotel to confirm.
Are All-Inclusive Resorts Good For Adults?
All-inclusive resorts can be a great option for adults who are looking for a relaxing and convenient vacation. With all-inclusive resorts, you typically pay one price upfront that includes your accommodations, meals, drinks, activities, and entertainment on the property. This can make it easy to budget for your trip and not worry about additional expenses while you’re there.
All-inclusive resorts are perfect for people who want to spend most of their time on the property, taking advantage of the amenities and activities offered. This can include things like spa treatments, water sports, fitness classes, and organized excursions. It can also be the best option for people who love to eat and drink! You can easily indulge in food and drinks without worrying about the cost!
Having said that, all-inclusive resorts may not be the best option for everyone. If you plan to spend most of your days away from the hotel doing activities and NOT taking advantage of the amenities on the property, then a regular hotel may be a better (and cheaper) option for you.
Additionally, if you’re someone who likes to explore local restaurants and cuisine, an all-inclusive resort may not offer the same variety or authenticity as dining off-property.
MOST POPULAR EXCURSIONS IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Xcaret Eco Park – The ultimate must-do day trip in Riviera Maya! This eco-park boasts more than 40 attractions including underground rivers, an immersive aviary, a coral reef aquarium, aquatic activities, live cultural shows, a Mayan village, and more.
Xplor Adventure Park – Another massive eco-park that features ziplining, driving amphibious vehicles in the jungle, and paddling through underground rivers through stalactite caves.
Riviera Maya Jungle Half-Day Tour: ATV, Ziplines, Cenote Swim, Rappel – combines off-roading, ziplining, rappelling, and snorkeling in a cenote. Gear and snacks are included in this 4-hour tour.
Tulum Ruins Cenote and Swimming with Turtles from Playa del Carmen – a great family-friendly activity spent in the water.
MEXICO TRAVEL INSURANCE
This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.
I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short.
True story alert — in 2022, my partner even had his shoulder completely dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a $950 USD emergency room bill that we had to pay out of pocket for! Not fun… and most definitely not cheap.
Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!
One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.
SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, THEY will cover the medical expenses.
In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as:
- emergency medical evacuation – very much needed if you like to go hiking or backpacking in the wild.
- travel delay
- lost checked luggage
- adventure sports coverage (add-on) – so you can rappel down waterfalls, cave dive, mountain bike, scuba dive, etc. with peace of mind.
- electronics theft (add-on) – get reimbursed if your laptop, phone, camera or other electronics get stolen.
And there you have it — my favorite all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya and Playa Del Carmen area! Each one offers something slightly different and excels at something different.
No matter which one on this list you choose, you’re sure to have a fantastic time.
I really hope all the prior research I did in order to get this post out to you has made your all-inclusive resort decision-making process a bit simpler. Happy travels!