The Best Beach Resorts in Mexico
Rancho Pescadero, Todos Santos
The Magic of Mexico
For Americans, geography often dictates the notion of a “Mexican beach vacation”: Easterners more naturally gravitate toward Cancun and Cozumel, while Baja California and Los Cabos are more accessible to those living out west. Ready to think a little outside of your personal beach bucket? These 10 luxury resorts will get you to the beach in style whether your destination is the Riviera Maya, the Riviera Nayarit, or beyond.
Rancho Pescadero, Todos Santos
Rancho Pescadero is a Baja beach destination near Cabo San Lucas for those who don’t like to share: skip away from the Cabo crowds and check into this boutique hotel with 28 rooms on two miles of blissful Pacific beach. Pick up a surfboard at the resort and take the seven-minute walk to the surfer’s paradise of San Pedrito for lessons and riding the waves, indulge in sophisticated Mexican-fusion cuisine at the hotel’s Garden Restaurant, then settle into a suite with a thatched rooftop deck overlooking the ocean. Rooms starting at around $200 nightly prove that Baja luxury doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag.
One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos
A lot of resorts boast of having understated elegance — the One&Only Palmilla shows how it’s done. There’s plenty of “wow” factor here, especially around the shapely infinity pool with its endless views of the Sea of Cortez. But we love the restrained design of the resort’s rooms and public spaces, accented in splashes of color and softly lit by flickering candles at night. The spa is top-rated, and the on-site wedding chapel may be the loveliest place in Mexico to tie the knot.
Esperanza, An Auberge Resort, Cabo San Lucas
This rare private beach resort in Los Cabos is hugged by a pair of rocky bluffs, framing a multi-level pool deck stepped down toward the crashing waves of the Sea of Cortez. Signature restaurant Cochina del Mar proves it’s not all about the sea with extensive vegetarian and vegan options, and you can try your hand at making ceviche with local chocolata clams at a resort cooking class. The sheltered setting lends Esperanza an air of intimacy despite its close-to-town locale; the water passage at the Cabo Spa is the ultimate antidote to any downtown Cabo overindulgences.
Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at Maroma, Riviera Maya
Overwater villas are no longer exclusive to South Pacific resorts: the El Dorado Maroma resort on the Riviera Maya recently debuted Mexico’s first accommodations perched above the Caribbean. The luxury all-inclusive Palafitos bungalows all have outdoor showers, private infinity pools, glass-bottomed floors, and ladders that let you descend directly into the shallow sea. With rates starting at $950 per person per night these rooms are pretty exclusive, but any guest can experience the resort’s new overwater restaurant and spa.
St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Riviera Nayarit
This Riviera Nayarit resort is all about the amenities, with includes a pair of Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses (Pacifico and Bahia) and a tennis center directed by Peter Burwash International — both part of the 1,500 acre Punta Mita private resort community. St. Regis’s signature butler service is available to guests in all 120 rooms at the resort, and if your idea of rejuvenation runs more to champagne and truffles than lemon water and dried fruit, you’ll feel right at home at the resort’s pampering Remède Spa.
Mar Adentro Cabos, San Jose del Cabo
Architecturally inspiring, Mar Adentro Cabos dazzles with glass and alabaster cubist buildings arrayed around shallow pools, which are criss-crossed by slender bridges leading to the nest-like Nido restaurant. It’s like no other Mexican beach resort you’ve ever seen, and the clean, simple design from architect Miguel Ángel Aragonés carries through to the rooms, spa, fitness center, and cinema. Art displays and performances by visiting musicians and dancers enhance the sense of staying in a fine-arts museum, albeit one where you are encouraged to touch and experience.
Las Alamandas Resort, Costalegre
A 1,500-acre nature reserve conceals this Costalegre resort, which has just 16 suites in colorfully decorated casita-style buildings arrayed before a peaceful stretch of white-sand Pacific beach, where yoga classes gather each day to salute the sun. Las Alamandas has a surprising bounty of amenities for a small resort, including pools, tennis courts, lawn games, and water toys. Mountain bikers and horseback riders can explore more than 11 miles of trails leading to freshwater lagoons and secret coves, ideal for a catered picnic lunch.
NIZUC Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya
Travelers who envision Cancun as strictly high-rise hotel heaven get a pleasant surprise at the NIZUC Resort & Spa, tucked away behind a screen of mangroves in Punta Nizuc. Close to the Cancun airport but isolated from the crowded Hotel Zone, the resort’s 274 suites and villas are spread across 29 oceanfront acres, facing calm waters sheltered by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and ideal for snorkeling, kayaking, or peering under water in a “Zayak”— a sea sled with a transparent viewport.
Thompson Playa del Carmen, Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue is all about shopping for deals, so it’s fitting that guests get two resorts for the price of one when staying at the Thompson. The rooftop bar on the downtown 5th Avenue Building is a local nightlife hotspot, while the new Beach House (shown here) a few blocks away adds private cabanas and a seaside pool and restaurant. When you’re ready for a break from tacos and tortas, the Thompson’s CATCH restaurant is a New York import serving sushi and sharable seafood dishes in a lofty setting overlooking both city and sea.
The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas
Mexican beach resorts don’t get much more dramatic than this Cabo San Lucas landmark, carved into the base of a cliff towering over a broad beach at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula. Rooms at The Resort at Pedregal all have ocean-view terraces and private plunge pools, while decor punctuates the intersection of desert and sea. A personal concierge stands ready with planning advice, such as arranging tours or booking treatments at the Luna y Mar spa informed by traditional Mexican folk healing known as curanderismo.