The American-owned Hotel Aventura Mexicana has an enviable location in the heart of Playa del Carmen–it is a block away from pedestrian-friendly 5th Avenue and three blocks from the beach. This hotel has won several Trip Advisor awards including the Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years, while its onsite restaurant, Mayan Bistro, continues to be ranked within the top 25 places to eat in Playa del Carmen. Although one could unknowingly pass by its light olive exterior with thatched rooftop and awnings, once indoors the hotel becomes a haven of peace and beauty. The small lobby feels more like a comfortable living room with sofa, chairs, coffee table, ornate reception desk and wall art, but then again this is an intimate boutique hotel with less than 50 guest rooms so the size and décor is more in line with the hotel’s general ambiance.
The lush courtyard is abloom with bougainvillea of various colors, while palm trees, coconut trees, grassy areas, and other natural flora help to create a cozy and shaded retreat in the midst of busy Playa del Carmen. (Guests wanting to work on their tans are better off on the second floor sundeck). Children and adults have their own small, separate pools to enjoy, while the adults-only pool has an added bonus of being open 24-hrs. a day. That doesn’t mean this is a party-oriented hotel; on the contrary, hotel staff will shut down any unnecessary noise in the evenings. Those who insist on partying late into the night, however, will find numerous bars and clubs within easy walking distance.
Given its calm and serene atmosphere, perhaps it is not surprising to find that Hotel Aventura Mexicana offers donation-based yoga classes several times a day in addition to massages for a very reasonable fee. Bicycle rental is available for the more adventurous guest, while discounted gym passes are offered to a nearby fitness center. Since the hotel is not located beachfront, guests have access to several beach clubs including Zensi’s, Blue Parrot, and Indigo; lounger and umbrella use is complimentary, but the hotel does request that a purchase of food or drink be made during one’s visit (it is not required, though). Guests are also allowed to bring hotel towels to the beach clubs as long as they are returned.
Hotel Aventura Mexicana’s sole restaurant, Mayan Bistro, is an a la carte restaurant with meals freshly made to order. While guests may make selections from the breakfast menu, a continental breakfast is available for those who need to eat and run. Guests who have THE VIP all-inclusive package are also entitled to top-shelf alcohol at the hotel’s bar all without extra cost. Remember, this is a sleepy, quiet retreat, so it should be no surprise that the bar closes at 10 p.m. while the restaurant closes at 9 p.m. Vacationers interested in booking the all-inclusive package in advance need to do so on the hotel’s website; other online travel services do not have this option. Those who want to wait until check-in to upgrade may be disappointed because the hotel only allows a certain number of all-inclusive packages to be sold at any given time.
Guest rooms are a decent size but minimalist in decoration–white or olive colored walls, tiled floors, dark wood furniture, light accent colors, and a paucity of wall art or decoration. While all rooms have a mini-bar, they are not stocked; water dispensers and coffee makers are available in select room categories only. Those who need bathroom privacy will need to carefully select their room category; some bathrooms have walls which do not reach the ceiling and have no bathroom door.
Hotel Aventura Mexicana is a great home base for vacationers looking to stay in the midst of Playa del Carmen’s “action” while still being able to easily explore all the wonders the Riviera Maya has to offer. For those who enjoy staying in boutique hotels with good food and access to top-shelf alcohol, this is a prime contender.
Type of Hotel: Family-friendly all-inclusive optional boutique hotel
Pro: Walking distance to 5th Avenue and the beach, free WiFi, adult pool open 24-hrs. a day, free WiFi
Con: Not beachfront, small pools, early closing hours for the restaurant and bar
Best Suited For: Vacationers wanting a smaller hotel as a home base for their Riviera Maya excursions, those not wanting a full resort experience but want some of the convenience of an all-inclusive meal plan.
No. of Rooms: 49
Room Amenities: King or two queen beds, A/C, non-digital safe, flat screen TV, mini-bar, ceiling fan, telephone, alarm clock, hair dryer, shower, and toiletries. WiFi is complimentary, but room service is an extra charge. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Deluxe Double Non-View: Two queen beds, table and two chairs. Rooms are located near 24th Street and can get noisy at night.
- Deluxe Double Garden/Pool View: Two queen beds, table and two chairs, small balcony or terrace. Located on the family pool side of the hotel.
- Deluxe King Garden/Pool View: King bed, table and two chairs, balcony or terrace. Some rooms in this category have bathrooms which are not fully enclosed. Located on the adult pool side of the hotel.
- Jr. Suite Garden/Pool View: King bed, separate sitting room area with small sofa, coffee table, table and two chairs, microwave, water dispenser, coffee maker, patio or verandah, and fully enclosed bathroom.
- Honeymoon Suite: King bed, separate sitting area with sofa and loveseat, kitchenette with stovetop, microwave, water dispenser, coffee maker, iPod dock, large patio, and fully enclosed bathroom. Located on the adult pool side of the hotel near the restaurant. This room category can only be booked on the hotel’s website.
- NOTE: There are no elevators at this hotel. Also, guests should take note of guest room #1402 with its own large, private terrace for a more secluded location.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Not available
Hotel Amenities: Two small pools (no swim-up bar), Jacuzzi, massage tables, donation-based yoga classes, discount at nearby fitness center, passes to beach clubs, nearby laundry ($), access to lobby computer and printer, loaner library, bicycle rental, free international calls using the lobby SKYPE phone, complimentary day-use room for changing/showering, large palapa space for meetings, evening coffee bar, and concierge.
Restaurants/Bars: The Mayan Bistro is the only restaurant and indoor bar area at the hotel. There are indoor/outdoor seating areas; the restaurant closes at 9 p.m. while the bar closes at 10 p.m. There is also an evening coffee bar.
Entertainment: There is no scheduled entertainment at this hotel.