Darling, that’s so last decade.
Mexico’s all-inclusive resorts are luxurious affairs these days, thanks to an influx of money and new brands pumping into this sector. There’s an all-inclusive resort for all tastes, from wellness getaways to gourmet food-centric resorts fit for even the pickiest of palates. Leave your preconceived notions at the door and check out these swanky all-inclusive resorts found south of the U.S. border.
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Secrets is a very important part of Hyatt’s push into all-inclusive resorts. But the newer Impression imprint by Secrets takes the all-inclusive offering to an ultraluxurious level.
Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets is on Isla Mujeres, a 30-minute boat ride off the coast of bustling Cancun. Expect a welcome drink and a personal butler to greet you upon arrival to handle check-in at the cool, serene, white-arched lobby. Stonework throughout adds to the Grecian vibe of this luxe property.
Accommodations are spread out among 125 suites featuring balconies or terraces (we prefer an ocean view). Larger suites include extras like a furnished terrace with a hot tub and walk-in closets. All suites feature spacious bathrooms with rainfall showers and cream, gray and wood-accented decor — oh, and a welcome bottle of tequila or rum to get better acquainted with those island vibes.
Cuisine ranges from Mediterranean at Spezia to Japanese at Sake and sunset cocktails at The Top bar. The nightlife is energetic at the rooftop Unik, but those looking to unwind will find plenty of places to stretch out at the resort’s beach area or a myriad of pools.
Rates at Impression Isla Mujeres by Secrets start at $983, or 70,000 World of Hyatt points, per night for two guests.
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You might not expect Miraval- or Canyon Ranch-caliber service and attention to health and wellness with an all-inclusive resort. Palmaia, The House of Aia, will zap any of those preconceived notions immediately at check-in.
The wellness-minded and vegan-friendly resort aims to deliver the utmost in tranquility, mindfulness and relaxation from its luxe sandy stretch along the Playa del Carmen coastline. Unlike some wellness retreats, Palmaia is accommodating of all ages with family suites (complete with bunk beds and kid-friendly decor) and a dedicated kids pool and children’s activities. There is also an adults-only tower with an infinity pool and pool bar, as well as 60 suites with different categories like swim-out suites and oceanfront accommodations, too.
The resort relies on the concept of “the nourishing biome” to guide its menus across four restaurants and a food truck. This means minimally processed or packaged foods, no processed sugars and an emphasis on locally sourced produce. The mindfulness extends to the property’s renowned Atlantis spa and wellness features, including a 120-minute Mezcal Ritual massage with Mexican healers and a 150-minute Temazcal Ceremony. There are also less time-consuming options, like a 90-minute hot stone massage. (Treatments are charged separately from the nightly rate.)
Rates at Palmaia, The House of Aia, start at $910 per night for two guests.
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This adults-only resort is a luxurious all-inclusive option — and a recent addition — for IHG One Rewards members, thanks to IHG and Iberostar partnering up at the end of 2022. The Iberostar Grand Paraiso remains a guest favorite for its white-sand beach, an array of swimming pools and a golf course.
The all-suite property offers ocean or garden views, and select suites come with butler service to help take care of any whims (or at least a reservation at any of the resort’s five a la carte restaurants). All suites come with a customizable minibar that is restocked daily. On the dining front, ceviche at La Brisa, a Mexican raw bar with Caribbean Sea views, and teppanyaki from Haiku Japanese Restaurant are particular standouts.
For those looking to unwind with activities, dancing and cooking classes are offered, as well as golf at the Playa Paraiso Golf Club.
Rates at Iberostar Grand Paraiso start at $621 per night for two guests. While you can earn IHG One Rewards points for a stay, award night redemptions at Iberostar properties aren’t yet available.
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Marriott Bonvoy members have a high-end all-inclusive option in Mexico thanks to the Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun, an Autograph Collection property that’s part of the larger Royalton Riviera Cancun resort. This resort-within-a-resort features 24-hour room service, nightly entertainment and a whopping 10 restaurants and 16 bars — ranging from a sports bar and Tex-Mex and Indian cuisine to swim-up bars and a martini lounge fit for Carrie Bradshaw.
There’s plenty of room to stretch out here, as junior suites are the smallest guest accommodations at the Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun. However, there’s nothing quite as romantic as the Diamond Club Honeymoon Suite, which comes with club lounge access and a jetted bathtub.
Health and wellness don’t take a backseat here, either. The fitness center is enormous for a hotel gym, and the Royal Spa offers a mix of treatments like massages and facials for an additional charge on top of the all-inclusive nightly rate.
Rates at Hideaway at Royalton Riviera Cancun start at $249, or 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, per night for two guests.
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You’re a long way from a Sandals or Club Med resort when you check in to the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, a property known for turning up the luxury when it comes to all-inclusive resorts.
The property features spacious accommodations with one-, two- and three-bedroom suites that are at least 1,000 square feet for the entry-level stay (who doesn’t want a little extra elbow room?). But size isn’t everything here. It’s the little things, like a welcome bottle of mezcal awaiting your arrival in the suite, the pillow menu and even nightly turndown service, that make this feel more like an ultraluxury resort than an all-inclusive getaway.
Six gourmet restaurants offer guests a culinary range, from the Asian fusion at Sen Lin to local fare at Frida (named for Frida Kahlo). You’ll also find more casual offerings at the poolside Selva del Mar (ceviche with a bay view, anyone?). Make time for a treatment at Se Spa by Grand Velas, which features a range of treatments from hydrotherapy to 80-minute, four-hand massages for an extra charge on top of the all-inclusive nightly rate.
Rates at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit start at $928 per night for two guests.
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It’s debatable whether the lush green landscape or the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea win the award for best view during a stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba. A mix of sandstone, wood and marble tile makes a luxurious, modern first impression at check-in. From there, you’ll find sleek accommodations with bright interiors, spacious bathrooms and balconies or terraces that look out on the ocean, lagoon or garden. Private casitas and spacious residences offer guests more solitude and elbow room.
The dining scene ranges from nightclub-meets-dinner at Tauro Steakhouse to waterfront alfresco Mexican dining at La Laguna. It’s here where you’ll also find the breakfast buffet.
The resort has a generous handful of pools (10 to be exact) that are a mix of family-friendly and adults-only. There is a variety of activities offered at the property, from paddleboarding to snorkeling and even golf.
Rates at Fairmont Mayakoba start at $777 per night for two guests.
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TPG said it first: This might be the best all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen. This resort-within-a-resort (it’s a VIP building next to the Secrets Moxche resort) is an all-inclusive experience where suites, butler service and VIP-only restaurants, bars, pools and a beach club are standard service. That it’s part of World of Hyatt is just icing on the cake for earning and redeeming points.
The spacious suites at Impression Moxche by Secrets feature comfortable beds, outdoor space that can include private plunge pools or hot tubs, and a mix of stone and wooden accents. Bathrooms are luxe with backlit mirrors, soaking tubs and rainfall showers.
Elevated dining is the name of the culinary game here, from Italian restaurant Allora to the gourmet dining “event” Teodoro (which will set couples back $500 or, if they’re World of Hyatt Globalists, “only” $250 for a seven-course tasting menu).
Beyond sweet dreams and decadent dining, guests can take part in a litany of activities like Zumba classes and beach volleyball. In the spa, an array of treatments like a sun relief wrap and tension relief massage are available. Of course, lounging in the rooftop pool here might be the ultimate way to unwind.
Rates at Impression Moxche by Secrets start at $950, or 42,000 World of Hyatt points, per night for two guests.
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Grand Velas Los Cabos had us at Champagne butler at arrival … OK, and maybe the 1,100-square-foot suites with ocean views and private terraces, too.
In case you couldn’t tell, this is a decadent way to go about your next all-inclusive vacation. If the spacious standard suites aren’t enough, the panoramic Grand Class Corner Suites offer picture-perfect seaside views along with a private plunge pool on the terrace.
The dining scene ranges from poolside cocktails to a 10-course tasting menu at Cocina de Autor. The luxurious service extends to offerings like a pool and beach concierge as well as a baby concierge (on top of a 24-hour personal concierge). You’ll also find ample lounger chairs lining the pools.
For a little extra indulgence, SE Spa leans into water therapy, including a seven-step water ceremony that incorporates a sauna, steam, ice room, sensory shower, polar pool, thermal lounges and a sensation pool. Hydration is important, after all.
Rates at Grand Velas Los Cabos start at $1,295 per night for two guests.
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Activities abound at Hotel Xcaret, where you’ll find seven pools, three gyms, a kids club and access to several nearby theme parks. But don’t take this significant presence of fun in the sun as a sign Hotel Xcaret is just another all-inclusive resort with a swim-up bar or two to keep guests happy.
Local, Yucatan-made decor makes this sprawling resort feel more like an off-the-beaten-path hotel you’d find a little further south in Tulum. Egyptian cotton linens and contemporary design with local flourishes of art and fun extras like hammocks on the terrace make rooms and suites places where you’ll actually want to spend time.
On the dining front, Ha Restaurant is the resort’s contemporary Mexican venue with flashy lighting, dark walls and a center water feature that feels a bit like Jay Gatsby got into the modern gastronomy scene. Wellness aficionados will find solace in Muluk Spa, a gorgeous facility with outdoor treatment areas overlooking the coves of Riviera Maya.
Rates at Hotel Xcaret start at $901 per night for two guests.
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It’s no coincidence that “excellence” is in the name of Excellence Playa Mujeres. This all-inclusive resort wows on all fronts, from its sleek stretch of beach to the food and spa offerings back inside.
Excellence Playa Mujeres is an adults-only property featuring seven swimming pools, seven bars and 11 restaurants ranging from Indian and Thai to Italian and (of course) Mexican. We’re particularly fond of oceanfront grilled seafood at the aptly named The Grill.
The all-suite resort boasts accommodations with private terraces, Jacuzzis, luxurious bedding and upgrade potential to offerings with plunge pools, swim-up access or ocean views. While the food and suites are incredible on their own, it’s even more luxurious to add a massage or facial from the resort’s Miile Spa.
Rates at Excellence Playa Mujeres start at $602 per night for two guests.
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Hilton Honors members have an all-inclusive resort option of their own, thanks to the Hilton Vallarta Riviera All-Inclusive Resort. This sprawling resort commands a great location where the mountains cascade down into the Pacific Ocean and is removed just enough from Puerto Vallarta to feel a little secluded.
All guest rooms and suites feature private balconies with ocean views, rainfall showers and ample room to stretch out. Premium rooms and suites also come with access to the hotel’s Club Lounge for breakfast and happy hour.
The dining scene ranges from the sizable buffet at Vela Food Hall to scrumptious ceviche, raw bar and fresh tostadas at Cocomar, an indoor-outdoor Mexican restaurant that is also a bright spot for a frozen drink to cool off. There’s no need to pick between beach and pool with the resort’s oceanfront pool setup, but if you spend too much time catching rays, fear not: Eforea Spa is a wellness respite to help soothe the body after a day at the beach.
Rates at Hilton Vallarta Riviera All-Inclusive Resort start at $409, or 93,000 Hilton Honors points, per night for two guests.
Best credit cards for booking hotels in Mexico
There are over a dozen excellent travel rewards credit cards out there for hotel stays. The right one(s) for you will depend on if you’re loyal to a particular program or chain, whether you want premium perks, and if you value benefits like annual free nights, automatic elite status and lucrative earning rates.
Here are three great credit cards to use for booking stays across a variety of hotel chains and independent properties while still enjoying money-saving features and high-end benefits.
THE POINTS GUY
Earning rates: This card earns 5 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or through the Amex Travel portal (on up to $500,000 of airfare purchases per calendar year). Plus, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. Remember, Amex points transfer to Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio, to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio and to Choice Privileges at a 1:1 ratio, and there are sometimes transfer bonuses.
Benefits: This card is absolutely packed with perks, but among the travel-related ones you’ll want to maximize, including some hotel-specific benefits, are:
- Up to a $200 annual hotel credit, in the form of a statement credit, on prepaid Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings with Amex Travel when you pay with your Amex Platinum (Hotel Collection stays require a two-night minimum).*
- Access to Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection.
- Complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.*
- Up to $200 in statement credits annually for incidental fees charged by one airline you select.*
- Up to $200 annually in Uber Cash, valid on Uber rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S. (split into monthly $15 credits plus a $20 bonus in December).*
- Up to $189 in statement credits to cover your Clear Plus annual membership.*
- A $100 statement credit for Global Entry every four years or an up-to-$85 fee credit for TSA PreCheck every 4 1/2 years (depending on which application fee is charged to your card first).
- Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including Centurion lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Airspace lounges, Escape lounges, Plaza Premium lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when traveling on same-day Delta flights, limited to six annual visits from Feb. 1, 2025).*
*Enrollment is required for select benefits.
Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees).
Read our review of the Amex Platinum card.
THE POINTS GUY
Earning rates: Earn an unlimited 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.
Benefits: Cardholders get $300 in credits annually for bookings made through Capital One Travel, plus 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary, starting on your first anniversary (worth $100 toward travel). Through the Capital One Premier Collection, cardmembers can enjoy free breakfast, on-property credits and room upgrades (if available) on stays at participating properties booked through Capital One Travel. They also receive up to $100 in statement credits for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
Annual fee: $395 (see rates and fees).
Read our review of the Capital One Venture X.
THE POINTS GUY
Earning rates: This card accrues 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal, on Lyft purchases (through March 2025) and on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $150 or more (through March 2025, with a limit of 25,000 bonus points). It also racks up 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal; and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
Benefits: Cardholders receive a $50 statement credit on hotel stays purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal upon opening the card and each following cardmember anniversary. They also receive a 10% bonus based on their total spending during the account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for each $10 spent. This card also has some of the best travel protections in the industry, including trip cancellation insurance, trip delay insurance and primary rental car coverage, among other policies.
Annual fee: $95.
Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
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For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.