June 19, 2024


pleasant trip on vacation

The 25 Best Resort Hotels in Mexico


There are myriad reasons to love Mexico, from ample sunshine and secluded beaches to warm hospitality and flavor-packed food. The country — T+L’s 2022 Destination of the Year — has been one of the few international destinations to permit nonessential air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and hotels kept guests’ health and safety top of mind as they implemented wide-ranging protocols, including free on-site predeparture testing for guests. But as new properties continue to open across the country at a rapid clip, it takes more than nailing the basics to get onto this prestigious list of the 25 best resorts in Mexico, as voted by T+L readers.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city hotel, resort, or safari lodge based on their locations and amenities.

Travelers couldn’t resist the barefoot luxury of Mexico’s coastal resorts, which comprise the entirety of this year’s list. Sevenhonorees can be found in the state of Quintana Roo, home to the stunning stretch of the Caribbean seaboard known as the Riviera Maya. On the Pacific Coast, one of the newest resorts to be recognized is No. 2 One&Only Mandarina, which opened near Puerto Vallarta in 2020. “Experiences to create lifelong memories,” wrote one reader about the resort’s programming, which takes full advantage of both the surrounding rain forest and adjacent beach with activities like zip-lining, rappelling, surfing, and fishing. “Loved every minute of this beautiful tropical paradise,” summarized another fan.

Also making this year’s list are several perennial favorites clustered near Playa del Carmen, including Rosewood Mayakoba (No. 6) and Hotel Esencia (No. 16), both of which wowed readers with exceptional hospitality. “One of our favorite places in the world, primarily because of the staff,” wrote one reader who stayed at the secluded 129-suite Rosewood. “They are warm and welcoming and make you feel like family while providing a high level of refined service.” Another voter praised the ultra-private Hotel Esencia, which “set the absolute highest bar.” No wonder it counts Aerin Lauder and Lupita Nyong’o among its clientele.

Nine more of this year’s chosen resorts are in the whale-watching hub of Baja California Sur — specifically, in Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. For many voters, proximity to both the cities and the beach was a huge plus. “We love the closeness to San José,” wrote one guest of No. 4 Viceroy Los Cabos, who also noticed “a great mix of families and couples at the resort.” Another property that makes the most of its location, according to voters, is No. 9 the Cape: “As we walked into the open-air lobby, we were instantly hit with the breathtaking views of Medano Beach, Lands End, and the Arch. The landscaping, design of furniture, and architecture combine to make a breathtaking environment.”

But as impressive as all of these hotels were, it was another in Los Cabos that readers chose as the best resort in Mexico. Below, find out which longtime favorite stole the show.

1. Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, aerial, hotel villa.
Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Tucked into a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this upscale resort impressed T+L readers from the moment they drove through the torch-lit tunnel toward the open-air lobby. The 113 rooms and suites take full advantage of their waterfront positions with private terraces and plunge pools from which guests can enjoy what one reader called “the best sunrise and sunset views.” (For the latter, another strategy is booking a well-timed dinner reservation at the elegant cliffside restaurant, El Farallón.) The “incredible staff” also helps the resort stand out, according to a second reader. On site, employees lend their skills and knowledge to experiences — a Baja-inspired herbal body treatment at the spa and a curated tasting of lesser-known regional spirits like raicilla or sotol in the newly refreshed Agave Study, to name a few. Guests who want to get off-property have their dedicated personal concierge to coordinate experiences like swimming with whale sharks in La Paz or taking a snorkeling tour aboard the Dos Mares yacht.

Score: 97.45

More information: waldorfastorialoscabospedregal.com

2. One&Only Mandarina, Riviera Nayarit

One&Only Mandarina, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, treetop and hotel.
Courtesy of One&Only Mandarina, Riviera Nayarit

One of the newest hotels in One&Only’s portfolio, this resort was designed so that its 105 villas and tree-house accommodations blend seamlessly into the tropical environment. It also boasts a modern-Mexican restaurant from acclaimed chef Enrique Olvera.

Score: 95.64

More information: oneandonlyresorts.com

3. Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, Cabo San Lucas

Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, hotel oceanfront view.
Courtesy of Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection

T+L readers appreciated the attentive hospitality of this beachside escape. “Even during COVID restrictions, the staff and service were still excellent,” wrote one voter.

Score: 95.50

More information: aubergeresorts.com

4. Viceroy Los Cabos, San José del Cabo

Viceroy Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, hotel, guest room view.
Courtesy of Viceroy Los Cabos

“We love the closeness to San José, and there is a great mix of families and couples at the resort,” observed one T+L reader who has visited this sleek hotel on multiple occasions. “We have had wonderful experiences with the staff there and always look forward to our next trip.”

Score: 95.46

More information: viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

5. Cala de Mar Resort & Spa, Ixtapa

Cala de Mar Resort, Ixtapa, Mexico, hotel oceanside view.
Courtesy of Cala de Mar Resort

One reader found the 6,000-square-foot wellness facilities at this 59-suite resort “comparable to paradise.” Aztec-inspired treatments incorporate endemic herbs, fruits, and flowers, including lemony toronjil.

Score: 95.45

More information: calademar.com

6. Rosewood Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen

Rosewood Mayakoba, Manglar 3 bedroom hotel villa.
Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

Set amid serene lagoons and lush mangrove forests, this resort is “everything that you dream of when you think of experiencing a faraway tropical destination without spending hours on a plane,” according to one enthusiastic voter, who also commented that “everything about Rosewood screams romance even with kids in tow.”

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 95.38

More information: rosewoodhotels.com

7. Viceroy Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen

Viceroy Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, hotel bungalow pool.
Courtesy of Viceroy Riviera Maya

Forty-one private villas put guests within steps of the Riviera Maya’s white-sand beaches. “Perfect place to relax and reconnect,” praised one WBA voter, who noted that the staff delivered “personalized service and amazing attention to details with zero pretentiousness.”

Score: 95.25

More information: viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

8. Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan, Mazatlán

Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan, hotel pool.
Courtesy of Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan Beach Resort

The recent renovations at this resort on Mazatlán’s Zona Dorada coastline haven’t gone unnoticed by T+L readers. “The results are a huge improvement,” wrote one voter, who also commented on how family-friendly the property is.

Score: 95.08

More information: pueblobonito.com

9. The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, Cabo San Lucas

The Cape, A Thompson Hotel, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, hotel terrace.
Michelle Scolman/Courtesy of The Cape, A Thompson Hotel

So often, it’s the staff that truly drives home a sense of belonging at a hotel — and that was the attribute that resonated most for readers who stayed at this resort. “Everyone was warm, friendly, and willing to go out of their way to help you,” wrote one voter. “Throughout our stay, our personal concierge Rey made sure we were taken care of, from welcoming us when we arrived to consistently making sure we had what we needed.” Another reader also appreciated that “it has a luxury feel without the luxury price point.”

Score: 95.02

More information: thompsonhotels.com

10. Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas

Garza Blanca Resort and Spa Los Cabos, Mexico, hotel ocean view terrace.
Courtesy of TAFER Hotels & Resorts

Anticipatory service goes a long way with T+L readers. “From sitting down to dinner at a restaurant to ordering room service, the staff were always one step ahead of me, anticipating my needs,” wrote a T+L reader.

Score: 94.84

More information: cabo.garzablancaresort.com

11. Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen

The Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, hotel canal.
West Production Funcation/Courtesy of Fairmont Mayakoba

“Families, don’t walk — run to the Fairmont Mayakoba if you are looking for a special vacation,” advises one reader who stayed at this newly refurbished property. “The facilities are amazing, as are the pools, restaurants, golf, and activities. We cannot wait to return!”

Score: 94.82

More information: fairmont.com

12. Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta

Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, tram, over golf course.
Courtesy of Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta

Between an aqua park, lazy river, three-story shopping complex, and a staggering 40+ dining venues, there’s no shortage of diversions at this sprawling resort. “We have been to this location about five times over the years and it always exceeds our high expectations,” shared one voter.

Score: 94.74

More information: vidanta.com

13. St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Punta Mita

St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, hotel oceanfront view.
(Courtesy of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts

“So attentive, genuine, and warm,” wrote one reader of the service at this 22-acre resort. Another noted the “access to great pools and beaches.”

Score: 94.71

More information: marriott.com

14. Mahekal Beach Resort, Playa del Carmen

Mahekal Beach Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, hotel pool.
Courtesy of Mahekal Beach Resort

“A nice little oasis” in the Riviera Maya, said one reader of this all-inclusive, adding that “the hut where you can paint pottery is particularly special.”

Score: 94.05

More information: mahekalbeachresort.com

15. Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, San José del Cabo

Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, hotel exterior.
Courtesy of Zadun, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

One of five Reserve properties in the Ritz-Carlton portfolio, the 115-room Zadún is among the most elevated stays in Los Cabos, thanks to the intuitive service provided by its tosoanis (butlers). “A wonderful experience,” summarized one reader.

Score: 93.97

More information: ritzcarlton.com

16. Hotel Esencia, Quintana Roo

Hotel Esencia, Quintana Roo, Mexico, hotel beach.
Courtesy of Hotel Esencia

Its past life as the holiday escape of an Italian duchess is just one reason travelers find this lush, 45-suite and three-villa hideaway near Tulum so intriguing. A superlative new sushi-centric restaurant, Taiyo, is another. “What an exceptional experience,” gushed one reader. “I compare all hotel stays to Hotel Esencia.”

Score: 93.89

More information: hotelesencia.com

17. Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Playa del Carmen

Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, hotel guest room.
Courtesy of Hotel Xcaret Mexico

A vegetarian restaurant and “the most comfortable beds ever” might not be the first things travelers associate with an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, but according to two WBA voters, those were among this property’s most notable features.

Score: 93.84

More information: hotelxcaret.com

18. Montage Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas

Montage Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, hotel, Casa Twin Dolphin, looking in.
Courtesy of Montage Los Cabos

“Beautiful rooms, perfect service, breathtaking pools and beach, and top-notch dining make this resort one to beat,” wrote one T+L reader. Another voiced approval of the fitness offerings, noting that “they even have two Pilates reformers and excellent instructors.”

Score: 93.76

More information: montagehotels.com

19. Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Punta Mita

Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico, hotel pool.
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita

Many readers sought out resorts where they could truly unplug and relax, which is precisely what this 52-acre property delivered. “Our pattern of waking up, enjoying breakfast, then the infinity pool to the adult pool to the lazy river to the beach was the most enjoyable, stress-reducing experience I’ve had in 10 years,” shared a voter.

Score: 93.75

More information: fourseasons.com

20. Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, Cabo San Lucas

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Sky Villa, view.
Courtesy of Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection

Quite a bit of the Cabo coastline is deemed unswimmable, which makes this property’s location in a protected cove so desirable. “You can snorkel right off the adjacent beach,” noted one voter.

Score: 93.74

More information: aubergeresorts.com

21. Vidanta Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen

Vidanta Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, hotel Cirque du Soleil Theater.
Courtesy of Vidanta Riviera Maya

“We never tire of this resort, especially with Jungala and Cirque du Soleil,” wrote one repeat guest. A different voter, who had to navigate a family emergency while on property, praised the staff for how helpful they were in arranging travel home.

Score: 93.52

More information: vidanta.com

22. One&Only Palmilla, San José del Cabo

One&Only Palmilla, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, hotel junior suite.
Courtesy of One&Only Palmilla

Score: 93.43

More information: oneandonlyresorts.com

The four on-site restaurants at this romantic 174-room resort are “the best in town,” according to one culinary-minded voter. “You must take your time and visit each one of them.”

23. Nizuc Resort & Spa, Cancún

Nizuc Resort & Spa, Cancun, Mexico, aerial of hotel.
Courtesy of Nizuc Resort & Spa

Score: 93.42

More information: nizuc.com

The clean, modern design of this resort pops against the surrounding white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. “This is a Cancun dream destination, especially with families,” praised one voter. “I loved having our own pool in our room, and the food and restaurants were exceptional.”

24. Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, Mazatlán

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort and Spa, Mazatlan, Mexico, hotel pool.
Victor Elias Photography/Courtesy of Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort and Spa

Score: 93.33

More information: pueblobonito.com

Pampering is a major reason guests escape to this Sinaloan resort on the Pacific. “Gorgeous spa with lots of treatment options,” said a voter. “Stayed in a villa that was fabulous. Spoiled us for sure!”

25. Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancún

Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun, Mexico hotel pool and beach.
Courtesy of Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun

Score: 93.16

More information: leblancsparesorts.com

Activities at this adults-only all-inclusive range from paddle yoga in one of the hotel pools to a sunset sail aboard a luxury yacht. “I would give LeBlanc 10 stars if I could,” wrote a reader.


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