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Insider’s guide for couples visiting Playa del Carmen

Updated: Nov 29, 2018

Located in the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen has become a bustling town full of things to do, from shopping at the chic boutiques on Avenida La Quinta (Fifth Avenue) to Caribbean deepsea fishing, making it an ideal spot for adult vacations. In fact, U.S. News Travel called this enclave the place to see & be seen. The only challenge you'll have on a trip to Playa del Carmen is fitting it all in. Fortunately, at the Gran Porto Real Resort & Spa, you'll be right in the heart of the city, & just a few steps away from the best restaurants, shops & clubs. You'll also be a 45 minute drive away from exploring Tulum & other Mayan sites & walking distance from the ferry for a day trip to Cozumel. Then, after a long day of sightseeing & shopping, you & your sweetheart can unwind while being treated to the highest quality Mexican hospitality & spa services.

These are just a few highlights you shouldn't miss on your luxury vacation to Playa del Carmen:

Shopping Just off the square, Avenida La Quinta features 20 blocks of offbeat shops & authentic eateries. A few hidden gems among the wide variety of stores include Pachamama and La Sirena. At Panchamama, you can pick up more traditional works of handmade Mexican art, while you'll find more quirky, kitschy pieces at La Sirena. If you stick around long enough, the nightlife sparkles once the sun sets. Toward the lower street numbers, you'll find a multitude of clubs & rooftop bars, which the locals call "discotheques," to grab a michelada or a margarita with your partner. Plus, the more popular spots stay open until dawn, leaving plenty of time for drinks & dancing.

(Insider's tip: Picking up a taxi at the stands or "sitios" will cost you more pesos than just hailing one on the street.)

Eating There are an abundance of restaurants to grab a quick lunch in between activities or enjoy a leisurely romantic dinner – the challenge is deciding where to eat. New York Magazine recommended stopping at Yaxche at the quieter end of Avenda La Quinta, where the chef takes traditional Mayan dishes he learned while living in a local village & adds contemporary flare. You can savor the tsotobilchay (Mayan-style tamales) & tikin xic (marinated fish grilled in a banana leaf) while soaking in the sun at an outside table. Another option, Punta Bonita serves up tapas-style Mexican plates, including duck confit or lamb barbacoa tacos, & sea conch & octopus ceviche while enjoying a sensational ocean view. Don't forget to sample some of the tequilas from the restaurant's extensive selection.

(Insider's tip: The dress-code in Playa del Carmen is mostly casual & low-key, so no need to get decked out.)

Relaxing After a late night out at one of the local bars, you'll want to relax & rejuvenate. Gran Porto's Spa Real offers body treatments, massages & other services, which can be tailored to fit any of you or your sweetheart's needs & desires. Upon arriving, you'll both be greeted with a scented hand towel & refreshing mint water while staff help you design a personalized experience. While waiting for your partner, you can sip on a cool drink & snack on fresh seasonal fruit in the relaxation area, or enjoy the steam room, hydro-whirlpool & other hydro facilities.

The Double for Two is a perfect couple's escape, with two therapists applying a combination of relaxation & deep tissue massage techniques, side by side. Or try a decadent body treatment consisting of a chocolate exfoliation & cream moisturizer wrap, & finished with a chocolate oil massage which hydrates, detoxes & reduces water retention, making skin more toned.

By the end of your stay at this luxury hotel in Mexico, you and your other half will have countless new memories to share for a lifetime.

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