Foodie Paradise: Playa del Carmen

Where to Eat on the Beach

Restaurants in Playa del Carmen

When you stay at one of our Playa del Carmen hotels you not only have access to white, sandy beaches and fun in the sun, but you’re also in the midst of some of the best international restaurants and dining experiences available in the area. With a wide variety of cuisines to choose from, you’ll be able to enjoy different meals every day.

From traditional Mediterranean and Italian restaurants to rare Mayan-themed eateries, you have a range of places to dine at your disposal. There is a place to eat for everyone, even a Brazilian steakhouse! Don’t want to leave the comforts of your own room? No problem. You can still enjoy some of the food offered by these restaurants through room service at your hotel! Playa del Carmen has every dining experience you could want. Whether you want a quiet romantic meal, are looking for live entertainment while you dine, or want to bury your feet in the sand at a beachfront table, you’re bound to find an option that suits your needs. Don’t delay any longer! Book your stay at one of our four properties and enjoy some of the finest international food around!


17. Imprevist Rest & Wine (Mediterranean/Asian Fusion) – Imprevist is a gourmet restaurant known for serving up some of the best Mediterranean and Asian Fusion cuisine in the area. It ranks as one of the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen. Every item on the menu is homemade, and the menu changes every few months to highlight the best seasonal produce and ingredients.

Blue Venado – This hidden gem is located about 20 minutes away from the great Playa del Carmen hotels on a secluded beach, but it’s worth your time. It offers breathtaking views and features a variety of Italian Mediterranean meals to enjoy. Be sure to call ahead for reservations!

8. Mosquito Blue – If you’re looking for a cool, trendy spot to eat, Mosquito Blue is the place to go. This sidewalk cafe features gourmet Mediterranean and Italian dishes, and its modern interior design is sure to provide an excellent setting for your meal.


25. G+G Fifth Avenue – As one of the best restaurants on 5th Avenue, G+G serves up homemade pastas and traditional Italian dishes. All of the food is prepared in an open kitchen for guests to enjoy seeing every step of their meal being prepared.

3. Casa Mediterranea – For a quiet, romantic dining experience, make your way to Casa Mediterranea. Slightly away from the 5th Avenue, this is the oldest Italian restaurant in the area and offers a cozy courtyard setting. The owners are present every day ensuring quality and the ingredients are always fresh in order to provide you with a traditional, homestyle Italian meal.


1. La Casa del Agua – Located on the second floor, La Casa del Agua offers great views and a beautiful ambience that includes live music on the weekends. In the heart of 5th Avenue and just steps away from the beach, they serve a menu full of international cuisine that focuses on fresh seafood.

24. Sushiclub – If sushi is on your mind, don’t pass up Sushiclub! Known for the best sushi in Playa del Carmen, this restaurant offers up fresh and tasty rolls daily, and their rooftop bar is a great place to relax. Be sure to take advantage of their two-for-one deal on Tuesdays!


12. Aldea Corazon – For a one-of-a-kind dining experience, try Aldea Corazon. With its setting inspired by Mayan culture, it features tropical trees and a cascading waterfall to go along with its local seafood and Mexican cuisine featuring a Mayan twist.

21. Los Aguachiles – Don’t be fooled by the plastic tables, chairs, and plates. There’s a reason there is always a big crowd at Los Aguachiles. It offers up some of the best unique tacos, lettuce wraps, and seafood in the area, all at an easily affordable price!

4. Mi Pueblo – If you’re in the mood for authentic Mexican food, Mi Pueblo should be your choice. With recipes passed down from generation to generation, this restaurant has 73 homemade ingredients that help make up their menu. They feature two locations, but both will put you in a festive mood with live music from Mariachi bands.

International Cuisine:

15. Oh Lala – If you want to dine at this intimate, romantic restaurant be sure to make a reservation. There are only seven tables in the establishment, which means you’ll get great, personalized service. All their food is prepared in an open kitchen for you to see.

2. Fusion – For a taste of home and great entertainment, treat yourself to Fusion. Serving a wide variety of comfort food, this restaurant has a beachfront bar and grill, and it features live music every night. They also put on a fire show for you while enjoying your food overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

10. Indigo Beach – Indigo Beach provides a relaxing setting where you can kick off your shoes and bury your feet in the sand at your table. They offer an unlimited buffet at breakfast and an elaborate menu for lunch and dinner. Be sure to check with the restaurant before you go to ask about their themed nights, which feature special courses for the occasion!

9. Diablito Cha Cha Cha (Mexican/Asian Fusion) – You typically wouldn’t imagine a tropical ’50s scene with Mexican and Asian food in the same place. But at Diablito Cha Cha Cha the mix work well. Enjoy the large portions that are great for sharing during the day and then come back at night for the entertainment and social scene.

28. Canibal Royal – Another ’50s-themed restaurant, Canibal Royal offers great views and a party-like atmosphere all day long. With a wide variety of dishes to choose from, it’s common to find locals enjoying the great mix of funk and sophistication.

La Bodeguita Del Medio – For the best Cuban food in Playa del Carmen, visit La Bodeguita Del Medio. This restaurant has origins dating back to 1942. For delicious mojitos and Cuban cigars on Fifth Avenue, this is the place to check out.


23. Yaxche – Dive into authentic Mayan cuisine at Yaxche on 5th Avenue. Enjoy the unique flavors of the region with a mixture of traditional and contemporary dishes served to you in an ancient setting.

Restaurante Xulam – Get a taste of Mayan flavors at great prices by going to Xulam. With specials that highlight the local ingredients and regional cuisine, you’ll enjoy great service in a colorful setting, featuring decor from the ancient civilization.

27. La Cueva del Chango – One of the oldest establishments in the area, La Cueva del Chango has stayed true to its roots and hasn’t changed one bit since being built 20 years ago. All the food is fresh, including homemade bread, salsas, jams, and tortillas. Offering up some of the best breakfast food around your hotel, Playa del Carmen vacationers should make this one of their first stops for an early meal!


13. Sur – With a large selection of meats and cuts to choose from, this Argentinean grill has something for everyone. Overlooking 5th Avenue makes it a perfect spot to people watch, and they have a wide variety of foods to go along with their steaks, including salads, pastas, and even pizzas.

6. Ipanema’s Grill – This Brazilian steakhouse is a must for lovers of unique meats. They offer a selection of more than 20 meats to choose from. But you don’t have to just pick one! Waiters carry them around, offering you carvings of your choice. If meat isn’t on your mind, enjoy one of their many seafood alternatives!

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Aquatone at El Taj: Working Out in Style

There’s nothing like a little glamour to encourage me to exercise, which is exactly why I attended my first Aquatone class at the luxurious El Taj Condo Hotel on Friday morning. Surrounded by tropical gardens and presided over by two standing Buddha statues, the gorgeous beach-front pool seemed like the perfect place to work out in style.

playa del carmen hotel

I have to admit, before starting the class I thought it would be a breeze. I mean, how much of a workout can you really have in a gorgeous Balinese-style pool? For me, the word ‘workout’ conjures images of sweaty repetitions and bulky gym equipment, not floating around in a tropical paradise.

playa del carmen hotels

I joined several other ladies and a couple of men in the crystal clear waters to begin the class which began at 10 AM. Our instructor Melissa started with some slow shoulder rolls to get us loosened up.

Then as the sound of the waves faded against the uplifting soundtrack, we started picking up the pace.

“Hey, this is pretty tough!” I thought to myself as I moved my arms and legs through the water, trying to keep up with Melissa’s coordinated moves.

I found it hard to keep my feet on the floor – I kept floating up as my arms moved through the water – and had to work on stabilizing my core to stop myself from floating away!

Melissa demonstrated every move from outside the pool, encouraging us to “be aggressive” and push ourselves harder. I felt my muscles burn as we lifted our knees, ran on the spot as fast as we could, and ‘frog jumped’ up and down the pool.

gym in playa del carmen

It was quite a tough workout after all!

As I looked around at the faces of my class-mates through the splashes made by our moving limbs, they were all smiling and laughing, which encouraged me to loosen up and enjoy the watery workout. So I kept moving, and kept smiling.

I felt rather uncoordinated under the water as though I was moving through jello or walking on the moon, but I knew it was just the water providing my muscles with the resistance necessary to build strength and stamina.

And I could certainly do with some of that!

Melissa encouraged us to use the water to our advantage and move against it deliberately and powerfully. I felt my heart rate increase and was very grateful to be surrounded by the pool’s cooling embrace, unlike poor Melissa who was having a much warmer workout on the pool’s edge.

We began some slower stretching as the class started to wind down. Waves crashed onto the nearby shore and water trickled down from the ‘infinity Jacuzzi’ perched above a tiled feature wall at the end of the pool. It was definitely the most beautiful setting for a workout I had ever experienced, and I was actually a little sad when the class came to an end.

After a healthy breakfast of fresh fruit salad I secured my sunbed for the morning at Indigo Beach Club. A light breeze flowed in from the turquoise Caribbean Sea as birds glided across the clear-blue sky above me. Just in front, fishing boats bobbed around gently on their moorings, having recently returned with the morning’s catch.

I thought to myself, “Yes, Aquatone at El Taj is definitely the kind of workout I could get used to.”

*Aquatone classes are at 10 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are complimentary for all Condo Hotel guests, as are all the classes and facilities of The Gym fitness center nearby*

Introducing a Special Guest of El Taj Oceanfront

We love meeting the guests of our hotels! They bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge from all around the globe. I visited the El Taj Oceanfront recently and met Sarah, who is staying in our premier property for a while. I don’t get to meet as many Australians around here as I would like, so I asked Sarah if she wouldn’t mind telling us about her stay in Playa del Carmen.

El Taj Oceanfront

Ken and Sarah at El Taj Oceanfront

So Sarah, you are a long way from home, why did you decide to visit Playa del Carmen, Mexico?

I was here last year for a few months, as I heard Playa del Carmen was a beautiful place to visit. It was my first time to Mexico, but I really fell in love with the place and decided to return this year for a longer stay. I am a freelancer and work remotely, so why not work from paradise? Playa is a wonderfully vibrant town full of interesting  people from all over the world and it has a relaxed, happy vibe.

And why El Taj Oceanfront?

I love the location, the facilities, and the fact that I have access to The Gym. I really enjoy the yoga classes, especially the class on the beach on Saturday mornings. I also love the pool! The Balinese style water feature and huge Buddha statues make it the ultimate place to relax. The ‘infinity Jacuzzi’ perched above the pool looking out over the ocean is my favorite spot in the entire hotel!

playa del carmen hotel

Jacuzzi with a view!

Of course, there’s also the view of the Caribbean Sea from my condo, which is just magnificent.

playa del carmen beach club

Room with a view at El Taj Oceanfront

What are you planning to do during your stay with us?

I’m looking forward to exploring Playa del Carmen as well as the surrounding area. There is just so much to see and do on the Riviera Maya, and I think Playa is the perfect base. I’d love to snorkel with the turtles in Akumal, visit Tulum, Coba and discover some other out-of-the-way spots.

I might try some activities like para-sailing, or if I can get up the nerve, sky diving! Of course, I’ll also be spending a lot of time at Indigo Beach Club, relaxing and eating delicious food.

playa del carmen beach club

Indigo beach club at El Taj

It’s a tough life in paradise, but someone’s gotta do it!

Can you recommend a must-see place to visit around Playa del Carmen?

I love the cenotes (fresh water lagoons) in the area. You can rent a car or take a taxi to one of the many cenotes along the highway south of Playa del Carmen and swim in the crystal clear waters for a small entrance fee. Last year I visited cenote Azul, which was filled with a multitude of fish! It was incredible for snorkeling as the water was so clear. I hope to visit the other cenotes in the area including Cristalino and Dos Ojos (the two eyes) during my stay this time.

Thanks for talking to us Sarah, it was great getting to know you better. Finally, we’d love it if you would share some more of your experiences with us during your stay!

Of course!  I really love this part of the world, so I’d be happy to share some of my adventures with you. Most people I meet seem to return to Playa del Carmen year after year as there is so much to experience. It’s one of those places that once you arrive, you never want to leave.

Stay tuned for more of Sarah’s Playa del Carmen adventures!


Leave Your Winter Coat at Home: Your Tropical Paradise is Only a Flight Away!

Hotels Playa Del Carmen  are a Flight Away

Leave Your Winter Coat at Home: Your Tropical Paradise is Only a Flight Away!

All of the sudden, the grey, boring, long and coooold winter is here. Some of us save ourselves with turtleneck sweaters and thick coats, some choose to stay inside by a warm fire and drink hot chocolate, but even that doesn’t make us happy, because we start putting on winter weight, and the summer is still so far away…  Or is it?

Migrate south this winter and stay at one of our hotels. Playa del Carmen is a much quicker trip than you might think. Because of the shape of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun and Playa del Carmen are much closer to the United States (especially the East Coast and Gulf Coast regions) than many other vacation hotspots. Why go to the same vacation spot year after year? Grab your passport and head south!

Fly direct from Chicago 7 days a week with American. Take one of the 45-minute daily flights from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Two flights leave from Miami every day, a 40-minute trip. There’s even a direct flight from San Francisco! You can have breakfast in Boston and be in Playa del Carmen by lunch.

So, come and stay with us at Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen – luxury, condo-style properties on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean – just an hour drive from the regional capital of Cancun. Featuring multi-bedroom units, outdoor terraces, Jacuzzis, and private rooftops, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Caribbean by night while tanning on the beach and swimming by day. Bury your toes in the sand at our exclusive Indigo Beach Club. Have a cold beer and let all your worries float away with the gentle Caribbean breeze.

So escape the cold and come stay with us at one of our properties. Make a Reservation Today!

El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condo Hotel

Maya Villa Condo Hotel & Beachclub

Porto Playa Condo Hotel & Beachclub

Villa Sacbe Hotel and Beach Club

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Destination Weddings in Playa del Carmen and “Trash the Dress” Concept

Every girl has a dream of a fairy tale wedding. These days, fairy tales are becoming a reality as more and more couples choose to escape the kitsch-like environment of the boring events spaces of their native town, and to head for a tropical, romantic, and – equally important –  affordable destination weddings.

El Taj Hotel in Playa del Carmen

View from the pool at El Taj Oceanfront

On my recent visit to El Taj Oceanfront in Playa del Carmen, the atmosphere was festive. A beautiful bride in a tropically coral wedding dress was running up and down the stairs at this beachfront boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen and suddenly, she jumped into the pool with a glass wall, while the wedding photographer was snapping pictures of her floating underwater, her hair wild and and her dress hugging her body.

That was a typical photo shoot of “trash the dress,” which is a new concept in destination weddings. A romantic, tropical foreign country encourages more liberty and breaks traditional wedding standards by inspiring imagination and fearlessness in young modern brides. So instead of having their wedding dress spend decades in a closet till it gets yellow and old, they opt for having amazing pictures in their wedding dress that will stay forever, even for the future generations. These pictures can be of her in the sea, of her underwater, on the beach, in a pool, in the jungle…. you name it!

Weddings at Hotels in Playa Del Carmen

Trash the Dress photoshoot. By Del Sol

The vibrant, international Mexican beach town of Playa del Carmen, to me, is a perfect location for such joyful, free-spirited photo shoot (with its turquoise Caribbean Sea, jungle cenotes, which are natural sink holes, and amazing pools).

Wedding Photography at El Taj Hotel in Playa del Carmen

Wedding photoshoot at El Taj. Photographed by Del Sol

And in Playa, El Taj is the dream hotel for a perfect luxurious wedding. It faces the white sand beach and offers upscale multi-bedroom units with living rooms, private terraces, outdoor Jacuzzis and rooftops. Host your family and friends here, and have an amazing photo shoot with Del Sol Photography, which specializes in the most creative and daring wedding photography.

A living room at El Taj Oceanfront

I believe that your family and friends would be thankful, too, for the most unforgettable wedding experience of their lives. Hey, some blue Caribbean water and Mexican mariachi music cannot hurt. And if you stay at a penthouse at El Taj Oceanfront with 180 degree views of the bright blue sea, even better.

Contact Linda with questions about El Taj weddings: