One of the most common questions I am asked about travel to Mexico is about where I stay. This has led to me writing about some of the cheaper places to stay in Playa del Carmen, and how I would most like to spend a long weekend.
Here I want to discuss the pros and cons of staying in a hotel versus a condo in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I have never stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, so I don’t have an informed opinion to share. All of my hotel stays have been in smaller, very basic, boutique-style hotels. They have been very reasonably priced, and when travelling alone, their small size has been enough. Some hotels have also included breakfast in their room rate, which has been nice.
As a woman, I appreciate that hotels have a security person manning the front desk at all hours. The downside of hotel stays has been that if the hotel is cheaply priced, the rooms are very basic. There usually isn’t a television or any extra comforts (if this matters to you). However, the variety of hotels in Playa del Carmen is vast and upgrading to a nicer hotel will provide you all the comforts of home. Also, unless you book a suite, you will be confined to one room during your stay, which may feel a little tight on living space at times.
Condo stays are another experience all together. They are usually priced more than a basic hotel room because so much more living space is included. There’s that homey feeling that you don’t get with a hotel room that makes it feel as though you could very well be staying in your own apartment (I like to pretend I am!).
I have stayed in condos in Mexico twice – once during my very first trip, and again recently with my teen. As a first time visitor, staying in that first condo felt a little isolating with no concierge or front desk to help with directions or recommendations. During my second condo stay however, I enjoyed it immensely, as I was already familiar with the area. I should note that this particular condo property also provided concierge services.
Condo’s are great when travelling as a group or a family as there is a full kitchen for preparing meals, a living room for spreading out and sometimes a patio and grill. My second condo stay included a private rooftop terrace with a large dining table, chairs and a bbq grill. It really was amazing.
The first condo I stayed in did not have overnight security, but the second one did, which is something to consider when booking. During my last visit I met a lady while swimming in the ocean who was sharing a condo with another couple. She loved it, and explained how they prepared their own breakfasts and lunches at the condo and then went out to eat at one of the many restaurants for dinner.
So hotel or condo? You decide. When I travel alone I most likely will opt for a hotel stay, as the extra room is really not needed for just me. However, if I take a friend, family or group I will thoroughly enjoy staying at a local condo property. Either way, you’re in Mexico so you’re going to have a great time!