Halfway between Playa del Carmen and Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo is a turnoff from the highway that heads toward the beaches of Akumal.
The town, known for its ring of sugar-sand beaches that encircle four brilliantly blue bays and a large, swimmable lagoon, is one of the few places in Quintana Roo that boasts both the privacy and seclusion of a Caribbean beach escape as well as the bells and whistles of a major resort destination. In fact, Akumal is one of the oldest resort destinations in Mexico.
When visiting Akumal, one of the most comprehensive properties in the area is the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, among Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts' most luxurious offerings.
The Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal is one of four properties on a compound tucked in the jungle, right on the Caribbean Sea. It has three swimming pools, four whirlpools, four a la carte restaurants, a beach restaurant, nine bars and free WiFi throughout.
Guests can book an even more exclusive hotel-within-a-hotel experience when they reserve a room in the adults-only section, which has its own private pool, restaurant and section of beach.
The beach at the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal on the Riviera Maya.
There are 758 rooms at the hotel, including Junior Suite Superior, Junior Suite Superior Ocean Front, Junior Suite Deluxe Ocean Front and Junior Suite Deluxe. Each room has a king-size bed or two full-size beds, a living area, sofa bed and balcony or terrace.
Guests at the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal have access to the three other resorts on property, as well, including the Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum and Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an.
The entire complex is an hour's drive from Cancun Airport and 30 minutes from both Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Within the complex there are four spas, a golf club (with course designed by Robert Trent Jones II) and the Hacienda Dona Isabel shopping and restaurant/bar area, which offers a village-like atmosphere where guests can go for an off-the-beach experience and entertainment.
And if travelers want a taste of off-resort life, Akumal is just steps from the resort. Visit La Cueva del Pescador, which is a popular expat hangout known for its grilled fish and shrimp tacos (cash only).
Akumal is a Mayan word meaning "place of the turtle," and while development has diminished the bay's turtle population over the years, guests can still snorkel with them on a selection of private tours, which also include cenotes. Some tours also include a visit to Tulum and ziplining.
Rates at the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal begin at $124 per person, double. Visit www.bahia-principe.com.