top-of-mex

Top Luxury Resorts

The annual #TopOfMex awards highlight our editors’ picks of the best resorts throughout the popular destinations of Los Cabos, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen. Each year our editorial team spends the year traveling to different luxury resorts in these market areas, taking into account things like service, accommodations, amenities, cuisine, location, activities, spa, pool areas, golf courses and more. With so many resorts in Mexico to choose from, these awards recognize the best of the best allowing elite travelers to narrow down their choices and choose from some of the most exclusive resorts with top-tier amenities and service.

These are the 2017 #TopOf Mex winners.

Location: San Jose del Cabo
Rooms: 174

With service as pristine as its sparkling pools, this resort is continuously a favorite among celebrities and A-listers and frequently finds itself topping travel award lists. Located on 250 acres of secluded oceanfront property, this five-star resort flaunts one of the best locations in Los Cabos. Accommodations include 174 rooms, suites and villas including the newest member, Villa One, a 14,000-sq.-ft. hilltop villa. Outstanding dining at the resort like the indoor-outdoor Agua by Larbi, carnivore-friendly SEARED and fresh sushi spot, Suviche bring out the best in cuisine while a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Palmilla Golf Club attracts those looking to practice their swing. A spa, complete with a yoga garden and OBO Salon, provides a luxurious escape while NEO boutique is replete with high-end designers like Christian Louboutin and Stella McCartney.

Location: Punta Mita
Rooms: 120

Nestled among palm trees, glimmering waters and vibrant flora is the 22-acre The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, a tropical paradise complemented by Mediterranean architecture and views of the nearby Marietas Islands. The 89 guestrooms and 31 suites each feature refreshing interiors, a walk-in closet, a roomy terrace with sunbed and a private outdoor shower. A variety of restaurants overlook the beach and Pacific Ocean including the fine-dining Carolina, an elegant, award-winning Mexican restaurant. An infinity-edged beach club pool, a two-level family pool and an infinity-edged adult pool along with the 10,000-sq.-ft. Remede Spa calm and relax while those looking to stay active have access to two Jack Nicklaus Signature championship golf courses, Pacifico and Bahia.

Location: Punta de Mita
Rooms: 119

Like most W Hotels, this resort is brimming with a vivid atmosphere and a cool vibe. Opened in 2016, W Punta de Mita packs a punch with Huichol accents and modern amenities throughout its 119 rooms. Funky artwork and bold hues dance around the suites that come with breathtaking views. The brand’s signature Living Room is a hip, rainbow-colored spot to kick back on sofas, sip cocktails and enjoy the live DJ while the trendy WET Deck is lined with white cabanas, hanging chairs and in-water loungers. The hotel’s cuisine is just as vibrant; the signature Spice Market is a trip to the streets of Southeast Asia while Venazu is an interactive hub with an open kitchen, live cooking stations and a make-your-own-meal area. Guests can slow down at Away Spa located in the midst of the surrounding forest or stroll the picturesque beach.

Location: Cabo San Lucas
Rooms: 201

This adults-only, all-inclusive retreat is one of four Pueblo Bonito resorts in Los Cabos, and it recently debuted its newest addition, The Towers at Pacifica, a three-building structure offering an unparalleled level of service. The resort-within-a-resort houses 47 club-level suites in two of the towers while the third, accessed by sky bridge, flaunts a new Baja Med restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center and an oceanfront VIP lounge, exclusive to guests of The Towers. Suites are stocked with custom-stocked mini bars, portable Beats speakers, Egyptian cotton bedding and more. Six suites are complete with private plunge pools and the sumptuous, 3,200-sq.-ft. Presidential Suite is located on the top floor with two king bedrooms, a private terrace with a fire pit, a Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. With such impressive accommodations, it’s no surprise that the service is even more impeccable. Guests of The Towers are treated to 24-hour service from butlers who have undergone meticulous training from one of the most exclusive butler and front-of-house training schools in the world: British Butler Institute. Pueblo Bonito Pacifica also has five restaurants and three bars on-site along with the award-winning Armonia Spa and access to Quivira Golf, an ocean-desert-mountain course with more oceanfront exposure than any other course in Los Cabos.

Location: San Jose del Cabo
Rooms: 113

Accessed by Mexico’s only private tunnel, Dos Mares, The Resort at Pedregal is carved into a cliff, boasting 24 acres of mountain- and ocean-side splendor. Warm, neutral colors with touches of cool green and textured walls adorn the resort and guestrooms, blending into the rocky, desert surrounding. Each room features a private terrace and ocean view and the higher-level beachfront suites include an in-ground infinity-edged plunge pool. The resort also features the esteemed Les Clefs d’Or Concierge Services, tending to guests every need. Dining choices like the signature Don Manuels, located in an authentic Mexican hacienda and the enchanting, El Farallon, the picturesque cliffside restaurant that overlooks the ocean serve up divine eats. Unwind at the celestial-inspired Luna y Mar spa or dive into the many pools that are enveloped by the rocky cliffs.

Location: Cabo San Lucas
Rooms: 57

Located atop the bluffs of Punta Ballena is Esperanza, the only private beach resort in Los Cabos. The 17-acre resort celebrates the Baja lifestyle with breezy accommodations, original Mexican artwork and locally inspired cuisine. Most rooms have private infinity-edged hot tubs and all boast views of the Sea of Cortez, private terraces, calming colors and canopy beds emphasizing the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The award-winning spa infuses the ingredients of the Baja into its treatments while its culinary offerings serve up regional favorites from world-renowned chefs. The resort also offers guests a one-of-a-kind culinary experience inspired by the surrounding traditions and culture, something found at each Auberge resort around the world.

Location: Playa del Carmen
Rooms: 130

This 1,600-acre resort opened in 2008 and since then has received the Rainforest Alliance Certification for abiding by the highest of eco-standards. Designed to harmonize the interior with the exterior, the resort’s 130 tropical suites are located along the lagoons and accessed by riverboat or golf cart. Ranging in size from 800 to 3,200 square feet, the suites feature tempting amenities like rooftop sundecks, private heated plunge pools, boat docks and over-sized terraces. Its 17,000-sq.-ft. spa is a must-visit as it’s located on its very own island. Five dining venues include La Fondita, the newest addition that replicates a Mexican tostaderia in a Mexican village square, and Casa del Lago, an alfresco setting serving Mexican favorites for breakfast and lunch and an Italian-inspired menu at night. Three pools and the 7,000-yard, 18-hole championship Greg Norman golf course, El Camaleon, keep guests active.

Location: Punta Mita
Rooms: 177

Located 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation that transformed its spa, adult pool and two of its top suites. Drawing inspiration from a Mexican beach home, the 177 casita-style guestrooms range from cozy garden-view suites to the updated, spacious Luna and Sol Suites. Three alfresco Richard Sandoval restaurants serve up a variety of cuisine using local ingredients while multiple pool bars and a chic beach shack are ideal for lounging. Guests can float down the resort’s lazy river, bask in the sun at one of three pools or stroll one of two private beaches. Ten tennis courts, a fitness center, a full-service spa and the brand’s signature yacht are just a few of the amenities that round out this 400-acre paradise.

Location: San Jose del Cabo
Rooms: 95

Spanish for a “window to paradise,” Las Ventanas al Paraiso is a vibrant getaway for luxury-seekers. The crisp white exterior of the resort is accented by gleaming pops of color, ornate décor and wooden structures. With a refreshing landscape of desert trees and assorted cacti, Las Ventanas is truly a refined desert oasis. In addition to the recent debut of the palatial Ty Warner Mansion—a 28,000-sq.-ft. beachfront mansion at $35,000 per night—a mix of suites and villas make up the accommodations that boast Conchuela limestone floors, wood-burning fireplaces and, in villas, private infinity-edged pools. Dining options range from the authentic Mexican, El Restaurante that features an award-winning wine collection to the casual, open-air Sea Grill, with oceanfront and in-water tables to the private La Cava, an intimate dining experience in the resort’s wine cellar. The resort’s pool butlers offer complimentary sorbet, an assortment of sunscreens, reading materials, music and personally awaken guests. A stunning spa, a fitness center and access to multiple golf courses round out the amenities.

 

Tip: Las Ventanas al Paraiso welcomes furry friends with amenities that include a portable Pet Cabana, a Canine Delights menu, special massages, pet sitters and more.

Location: Playa del Carmen
Rooms: 121

In the lushest lagoons of Mayakoba, this Banyan Tree resort was the first for the brand in the Americas and is a sensual escape where East meets West. Blending in its signature touch of Asian hospitality, this escape offers guests a more exotic retreat than most. For those who crave to immerse their senses in their surroundings, each villa includes a private pool and a landscaped garden along with two complimentary bicycles per villa, perfect for cruising the hotel’s three-mile nature trail and almost every villa features an outdoor bathtub. In keeping with its Eastern theme, the resort’s signature restaurant, Saffron is a culinary journey of Thai cuisine located on a wooden deck overlooking the peaceful mangroves. Other dining options include a dinner boat, an in-jungle Mayan experience and more. The resort’s spa is highlighted by its use of ingredients unique to the region along with The Rainforest, a complete hydrothermal experience.

Location: Playa del Carmen
Rooms: 214

The latest addition to the tropical landscape of Mayakoba is the new Andaz Mayakoba Resort that opened its doors this past December. As the brand’s debut in Mexico, this resort is located on 590 acres of exotic landscape. Its 214 guestrooms each feature open floor plans, artisan décor and a balcony or terrace with views ranging from the surrounding mangroves, lagoons and gardens to the golf course and coastline. Four on-site restaurants include Casa Amate, a houselike structure serving upscale Latin American cuisine; Cocina Milagro, a casual all-day restaurant; and OllaTaco and OllaCeviche, two poolside outlets serving fresh seafood and street food. Three outdoor pools offer sun-soaking opportunities while the NAUM Spa is complete with hydrotherapy, a variety of salon treatments and all-natural, locally sourced ingredients. Guests also have access to the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon Golf Club, the site of the annual PGA Tour OHL Classic.

Top Boutique Hotels

Location: Tulum
Rooms: 36

If eclectic spaces, colorful designs and tropical surroundings sound like heaven, then Casa Malca is for you. Located on the quiet and enchanting beaches of Tulum, this eco-friendly hideaway serves as a boutique stay as much as it does an art gallery. With rich textures and vibrant décor, Casa Malca puts a spin on the typical Tulum hotel. Originally operating as the personal property of the hotel’s founder, Lio Malca, the space has since been transformed into a retreat for guests looking for a unique destination. A dedicated collector of contemporary art, Lio Malca’s personal and impressive collection is now on display throughout the hotel, giving it a flashy yet stylish flair.

With a total of 40 guest rooms, the hotel’s main house has 10 exclusive suites worthy of an art-lovers dream space. Fully renovated, the house features original artworks, sculptures, photographs and new media from artists like Keith Haring, Marco Brambilla, Holton Rower, George Condo, Kenny Scharf, Vik Muniz, Marion Peck, Mark Ryden, Ariel Orozco, Xavier Dehouliers and KAWS among others.

The hotel also has two restaurants worthy of a stare; Ambrosia whose dizzying Haring décor dance around the walls; and Philosophy, the hotel’s newest addition that’s decked out with antiques collected from San Miguel de Allende. The rooftop and Haring bar provide spots for guests to kick back and relax with the rooftop offering 360-degree views of the immaculate scenery below, including the hotel’s two swimming pools.

Location: Playa del Carmen
Rooms: 92

For a no-sleep, party-until-morning type of getaway, Thompson Hotel’s second Mexico property offers the closeness of the beach with the energy of the city. Situated in the heart of trendy downtown Riviera Maya is the hip and vibrant five-story Thompson Playa del Carmen, located on Playa’s famous Quinta Avenida at Calle 12. The 5th Avenue building’s 30,000-sq.-ft. “rooftop playground” is the central point which houses an infinity-edged pool, breakfast and lunch restaurant Cinco, and the popular New York City culinary concept, CATCH, that turns into a nighttime hotspot come evening. The hip sushi spot features DJ sets, live performances and dancing along with nightly specials to keep the party going. During the day, guests can sip signature cocktails while relaxing in cabanas, in-water loungers or at island perches.

Inside, the hotel rocks a 1950’s Mexican oasis vibe with touches of glam throughout. Light-washed concrete and Mexican marble is contrasted with Bohemian accents, geometric patterns and funky décor. With its young attitude and playful atmosphere, this hotel manages to weave the best of Mexico into a vibrant scene.

Tip: Sounds too loud? Located two blocks from its energetic sister, the hotel recently opened a quieter, more intimate oceanfront Beach House that houses 27 luxury rooms and suites, its own pool, a restaurant and more. Guests also have access to the amenities at the 5th Avenue building so you can have the best of both worlds.

Location: Tulum
Rooms: 19

With a name meaning “you will heal,” it’s no surprise that this eco-boutique features a world-class wellness center and a beautiful beachfront yoga studio. The wellness center specializes in treatments like Sobada Maya Massage, crystal-healing therapy, Sanará Breathe Massage and Sanará Relieve Massage among others. The wellness center also offers its signature Cleanse & Heal program, a three- to seven-day experience that includes cleansing diets, unique treatments (think detox baths and Magnesium Oil Massages) and yoga and meditation classes.

To complement the healthy lifestyle of the hotel, The Real Coconut Café serves up energy-boosting dishes that incorporate key elements of paleo diets, gluten- and grain-free diets, and vegan practices. Some of the dishes even include original recipes like coconut cheese and coconut tortillas. Headed up by Daniella Hunter, the beachfront eatery is also able to create custom menus, offer juice-fasts and support detox programs with its specially curated menu that features nutrient-dense food to cleanse and re-balance. Food options range from loaded avocado toast and plantain pancakes to plant bowls and coconut tacos, as well as an extensive list of juices and smoothies.

Accommodations include 19 suites on both the jungle- and ocean-side of the hotel with beautifully appointed features like freestanding bathtubs, chandeliers, geometric pendant lighting and whimsical dream catchers. A classy color palette of whites and grays mixes with warm woods for chic, yet rustic interiors while outdoors, guests will find private gardens and decks or balconies. Some higher-level villas and suites feature rooftop terraces, waterfalls and pools. The newest addition to the hotel’s accommodations is the Jungle Compound, a collection of rooms and suites tucked away into the thick foliage. The standout here is the Sanara Jungle Villa, two interconnecting two-room apartments each with a king-sized bed, a private bathroom, a living room, a kitchenette, an oversized deck and a rooftop terrace.

Looking Good: Sanara Tulum won the 2015 National Competition for architecture and interiors from the Asociacion de Arquitectos e Interioristas, Mexico; along with receiving the gold medal at the Biennial of Architecture of the Mexican Caribbean.

Location: San Jose del Cabo
Rooms: 36

Located on Acapulquito Beach, one of the top surfing beaches in Los Cabos, this cozy hotel is perfect for aspiring surfers and active visitors. Surrounded by lush vegetation and decked out in white stucco walls, arches and red-tile roofs, this boutique stay is reminiscent of a California-style bungalow with carefree West Coast vibes.

Whether you’re a veteran rider or have yet to touch a board, the hotel has its own on-site surf school, Mike Doyle Surf School, which offers a variety of classes for both beginners and experienced surfers. Certified by the National Association of Surf Schools and Instructors (NSSIA), the school offers regular one-hour lessons or for the more dedicated, three-day surf clinics. Lessons include board rental, rash guard and instructions to get you cruising the waves in no time. The school is open daily and accommodates both reservations and walk-ins. There is also a surf shop on site that’s loaded with various-sized board rentals ranging from long boards, short boards, soft boards, boogie boards and stand-up-paddleboards. The surf shop also has its own surf clothing line.

To wind down, the hotel’s Sea Spa Cabo is a cozy and intimate spa that offers a variety of treatments like body wraps, massages, facials, scrubs and more, while the seaside restaurant, 7 Seas serves a menu full of fresh catches in a casual environment overlooking the glimmering water.

Tip: Guests of Cabo Surf Hotel receive special discounts on surf clinics, board rentals and spa treatments.

Location: San Jose del Cabo
Rooms: 69

Escape the ordinary and head to the base of the Puerto Los Cabos marina where you’ll find the edgy and creative, Hotel El Ganzo. The 69-room boutique hotel is loaded with an artistic ambience and out-of-the-box vibe from top to bottom—literally. Located in “The Underground,” a state-of-the-art recording studio is found through a trap door in the lobby lounge’s floor and is loaded with all the necessary equipment for some serious jam sessions from top brands like Blue Microphones, Fender and Gibson. Spacious enough for an entire band and cozy enough for a solo artist, The Underground is open all day and night and is even available to rent over an extended period of time. The hotel also offers an artist-in-residence program that invites artists from all over the world to use El Ganzo as their canvas and muse. While the musically inclined head down to The Underground studio, the visually creative can take to the hotel grounds to craft live installations for guests to marvel at. With no restraints and rules, artists are able to construct unique masterpieces, making a vibrant and ever-changing world for visitors.

The hotel’s edgy vibe even seeps into its accommodation offerings. With suite categories ranging from deluxe ocean view to very large suites, guests should opt for the large suites category. At four times larger than the deluxe rooms, these suites are individually designed and decorated and will serve as the canvas for El Ganzo’s upcoming artists-in-residence.

The hotel also features a beach club, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a spa, access to the signature Puerto Los Cabos golf course, a waterfront lap pool and a rooftop that includes a lounge, a restaurant, an infinity pool, cabanas and a popular glass-enclosed Jacuzzi. A total of four restaurants and two bars are available to hungry patrons with choices ranging from rooftop sushi to casual, beachfront fare.