Thompson Playa del Carmen Hotel

We raved before about Thompson Hotels’ first foray into Mexico, the young and stylish The Cape in Los Cabos, but their latest in Playa del Carmen didn’t have a large empty oceanfront lot to work with. Playa del Carmen is now one of the country’s priciest real estate markets and there’s not all that much beachfront space even left as the former village has expanded like The Blob.

So the developers looked at the situation as a set of creative constraints and decided to split the property in two. The main hotel is part of a new building complex that also houses big retail stores like H&M. It’s right off the bustling Avenida Quinta (5th Avenue), the long pedestrian-only stretch that’s jam-packed with high-end and low-end shopping, restaurants, bars, cafes, and pharmacies. So you can’t beat the convenience factor of these 92 rooms and suites. Being that they’re brand new and upscale, you know where you’re sleeping will be comfortable and loaded up with the latest gadgets. The Wi-Fi signal is strong and you won’t have to crawl around to find an outlet.

Thomnpson Playa boutique hotel

But what about the beach? Well there’s a separate building there, but meanwhile you can see the water from some rooms on the higher floors or you can just take it in from the rooftop deck. This is the real heart of Thompson Playa, with two restaurants located here: fancy CATCH seafood restaurant and a more casual spot. Naturally there’s a bar and the whole places turns into a party zone at night.

In between the two restaurants are spacious pools. One is a gigantic infinity pool where a variety of nooks include massage and spa services; exercise and workout accommodations; and intimate lounging with cool, tropical drinks.

At night, a light show with the lit pool, lights of the Avenue below, and upbeat music create a party atmosphere. Thompson refers to the rooftop as a “30,000 square foot playground.

Don’t worry though, the soundproofing is good and even in Mexico they’re not going to let the rap music keep pumping until the sun comes up.

A few blocks away is the playa part of Thompson Playa, a beach that varies in size depending on how recently there’s been a hurricane or subsequent beach restoration. This year it’s looking great. There are another 27 rooms here, including a few spectacular suites with a direct view. No matter which building you’re in, you can hang out at the beach club here, ordering drinks and food while you lounge around to the sound of waves lapping the shore.

With the cool former Cacao Hotel now swallowed up by the company behind the Fiesta Americana chain, this one will probably take the crown as the best of the urban hotels in the Riviera Maya.

See more photos and our full review of Thompson Playa del Carmen Boutique Hotel and Beach House.