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Caribbean Mexico Has More Than Just Tacos And Margaritas And Hyatt Can Prove It

Caribbean Mexico Has More Than Just Tacos And Margaritas And Hyatt Can Prove It

Tacos and margaritas are a winning combination, but there’s so much more to eat and drink in Playa del Carmen.

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There are those who love beaches and those who love cities; some like to spend vacations relaxing by the pool and some like to hike, bike and explore; many want to escape into total isolation and plenty want to be in the thick of the action wherever they go. In short, there isn’t just one type of traveler, and even if you’re traveling alone, you likely enjoy varied experiences yourself and don’t want to be confined to just one style. Hyatt understands this, and is also all too aware that, no matter what your preferred style of travel may be, you most certainly want to eat, and eat well. In Playa del Carmen and nearby Mayakoba, Hyatt’s diverse properties appeal to travelers of any persuasion, and all pride themselves on offering mouth-watering cuisines, both local and global, with plenty of spirits to match, going far beyond tacos and margaritas (though those are excellent, too). Check out these top ways three distinct Hyatt properties will have you drooling your way across Playa del Carmen. 

Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort

Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort

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If there’s one thing Playa del Carmen is most known for, it’s the epic resorts that line its famed beaches. Among the first properties in the region to buck the all-inclusive tradition that dotted the sparkling shores, Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort is a sprawling property of towering proportions with a tequila list almost as impressive as its multi-tiered, ocean-side infinity pool system. A nearly subterranean spa centered around a therapeutic (manmade) cenote, a rooftop agave garden with more than 500 plants and life-size whale shark art highlight the colossal nature of Grand Hyatt, where “bigger is better” is the vacation vibe of choice. 

La Cocina

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La Cocina’s signature cocktails are themed on coastal Latin cities, both in name and ingredients.

Brandon Schultz

“La cocina” means “kitchen” in Spanish, so, as you’d expect, this restaurant is the hotel’s heart. It’s here you’ll find the extensive buffet breakfast familiar to Caribbean resorts, including an impressive Sunday brunch overflowing with fresh seafood and an array of notable ceviches, but stop by for lunch or dinner to indulge in traditional family foods (with a seafood focus) in am ambiance that reflects the kitchens and cultures of Latin families. Outside, on the terrace, sample cocktails from La Cocina’s list of signature drinks named for, and inspired by, coastal Latin cities, like the Lima, featuring pisco, porto, apple and lime. 

El Paseo

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The multi-tier El Paseo stretches from entrance to ocean with shops, eateries and a bar along the way.

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Just past Grand Hyatt’s pyramid draped in a cascading waterfalls, the sweeping expanse of El Paseo leads directly to the ocean with uninterrupted views through the center of the resort. More than just a central thoroughfare connecting all of the property’s top amenities, El Paseo offers sophisticated avenue fare at small shops along its route. Stop by the ice cream shop for milkshakes, grab a morning coffee or even snag a secret slice of pizza between meals. Whether you’re headed down to the ocean or out into town, made-to-order sips and bites are yours for the taking all along El Paseo, and Paseo Bar’s list of more than 100 tequilas and mezcals is well worth exploring. 

The Grill at 1-26

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The Grill: bright and airy by day, warm and inviting by night

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The Grill is Grand Hyatt’s signature restaurant for choice meats and fresh seafood charcoal-grilled to perfection. The open scene accented by hanging dividers of live vines gives way to a windowed wall overlooking the ocean in the amber glow of this warm atmosphere that hints at the natural beauty of Playa del Carmen beyond the bustling town. Whether you come with friends for a celebration or your favorite plus-one for a romantic rendezvous, be sure to try The Grill’s now-famous cranberry raisin bread with peach and wine, always freshly baked (they removed it from the menu once, but it’s now a permanent fixture, by popular demand). 

Thompson Playa del Carmen

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Thompson Playa del Carmen’s rooftop infinity pool with private cabanas, sunken lounges and a swim-up bar.

Thompson Playa del Carmen pool

Only minutes from Grand Hyatt, Thompson Playa del Carmen has an urban feel and a bit more of a younger vibe appropriate for its location central to the city’s clubs and shopping (but especially clubs). The Thompson actually consists of two slightly separated properties, Main House, with 92 rooms, and the ultra-boutique Beach House, with 27 rooms (perfect for wedding or family reunion buyouts), with largely reciprocal amenities, and was recently awarded best hotel breakfast in the world by Condé Nast Traveler (2018). The property also features a monthly guest chef series with showcase dinners held the last week of each month.

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Thompson‘s Playa del Carmen outpost of CATCH

Thompson Playa del Carmen

If you won’t make it to New York City or Las Vegas any time soon, Main House provides your chance to experience CATCH, the beloved seafood restaurant featuring coveted ingredients imported from ideal locations, and a top reason to head to Thompson even if you’re not staying. Speaking of top, you’ll need to head to the roof for CATCH, where you’ll also find Playa del Carmen’s most picturesque urban infinity pool, offering nearly-360° vistas of both the city and the ocean beyond. Come for a world-class meal and stay for one of the legendary pool parties. 

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

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Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

Mayakoba started as a 1600-acre resort enclave about 20 minutes outside of Playa del Carmen and has since inspired a small town of its own surrounding the idyllic escape. Among the four resorts in the original gated eco-oasis, Hyatt’s Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya embraces the natural beauty of its oceanfront location with spacious rooms and suites anchored in watery blue and sandy cream tones accented by bursts of bold color through Maya-inspired art and accessories. It’s a secluded escape set apart from the urban energy of Playa del Carmen that’s perfect total relaxation before heading home—the elusive vacation from your vacation before returning to your normal routine. Ocean-view suites come with private plunge hot tubs on balconies that overlook the pool, the ocean (of course) and the resort’s newest culinary edition, Sotavento.

Sotavento

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Sotavento’s design was inspired by a shipwreck on the Mayakoba shore.

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

Andaz Mayakoba’s newest offering, Sotavento is a beachfront restaurant serving Mediterranean fare executed with local Mexican ingredients for an upscale fusion of two of the world’s favorite cuisines. With a shipwreck as inspiration, Sotavento’s blue and cream palette echoes both the ocean (just steps away) and Andaz’s interior aesthetic, but nothing brings the message home quite like the sand under your toes. Try the steak tartare with prosciutto, the sea bass and the Mayan octopus, and don’t forget to arrive early for cocktails by the fire pit on cushy lounges (or have an after-dinner drink there under the strings of lights strewn between the palms). 

Eco cruise

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Arrange a personalized menu for an intimate eco cruise meal.

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

With more than 10 miles of canals surrounded by lush vegetation, the Mayakoba complex prides itself on its conservation efforts and its biodiversity ranging from a dazzling assortment of birds to crocs and coatis. An eco cruise through the canals is a must not just for animal-spotting, but also for catching a glimpse of Mayakoba’s other three impressive properties, and for getting to and from some of their restaurants. Staying at Andaz, you can dine at any of the four properties and charge meals directly to your room. For an extra special experience, arrange a private eco cruise breakfast to enjoy a healthy morning meal in the natural serenity of Mayakoba’s carefully preserved environs. 

Casa Amate

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Casa Amate’s rooms are decorated with mementos from the fictional family‘s world travels.

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While Andaz Mayakoba is home to several must-try food concepts, you won’t want to miss dinner and drinks at Casa Amate, the property’s Latin restaurant where meals are served in the sumptuous surroundings of a fictional family’s sophisticated residence. Serving pan-Latin cuisine among the many rooms decorated with inspiration from Latin traditions, it’s a cultural fine dining experience as cozy as it is elegant. Don’t miss Casa Amate Bar in the romantic study, where mixologists regularly concoct new creations and serve up old favorites. Casa Amate is open only for dinner, except on Sunday, when abuela’s brunch is served in the house courtyard.