Best of both worlds at Grand Hyatt

A Grand Queen room at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, which comes with a furnished balcony.
A Grand Queen room at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, which comes with a furnished balcony.

In a destination such as Playa del Carmen, it's difficult to choose between a city hotel and a beach resort. Most travelers come to the Yucatan peninsula for its sexy beaches, but the action of Playa del Carmen is difficult to resist. Fortunately, with the introduction of the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen travelers can have the best of both worlds.

The chic, minimalist city resort opened its doors in June 2015. Just steps from frenetic Fifth Avenue, the resort's enviable address puts it in the heart of the city's action. On the flip side, for those who want direct beach access, the resort's opposite side directly faces the turquoise Caribbean waters. It's the perfect combination of Mexico town and country.

Guests enter the resort through its spacious and grand open-air lobby that looks directly out to the sea, over the infinity pool area. The long El Paseo promenade stretches from check-in down to the pool deck and is flanked on either side with small kiosks selling everything from tacos and ceviche to coffee, sundries and cocktails.

Dining options continue at the Grill at 1-26 and La Cocina. The resort's European Plan makes it easy for travelers to opt to dine in the resort or to go out and enjoy the offerings of Playa del Carmen. If you have only one meal at the resort it should be a dinner at the Grill, which is known for its charcoal-grilled meats and fish. A resident mixologist has concocted a long list of potent elixirs that can be paired with menu items, or you can opt for a local Mexican wine instead.

The hotel's inventory comprises 314 guestrooms, including 36 suites. The Grand Club rooms grant guests access to the Grand Club Lounge, which serves breakfast and evening cocktails and small bites. For those looking to really go all out, ask which rooms have their own plunge pools or swim-up pools.

But besides the dining options, infinity pools and prime real estate, the real piece de resistance at this luxury resort is its Cenote Spa, at the center of which is an architectural interpretation of a natural phenomena that the region is noted for.

Throughout the Yucatan peninsula are a series of underground rivers created as a result of limestone sinkholes, called cenotes; Mayans believed they held mystical powers. The Cenote Spa is reminiscent of those phenomena: The central pool of the spa is surrounded in a volcanic-like cone with an opening at the top.

A menu of signature treatments is available, as well. Guests can also arrange for private yoga sessions in the center of the cenote. Currently the fitness center is being renovated and expanded, but a small fitness center is attached to the spa.
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