Hot Boutique: The Carmen Hotel

In Playa del Carmen & Tulum, Stay by Suzanne Koch

Located at 8th and the beach used to sit one of Playa del Carmen’s first beach hotels, Alhambra Hotel. Built in 1986, the hotel was situated in the middle of the original town of 16 blocks. Fast forward nearly 30 years, when the Alhambra was purchased in 2013 from the original owners and a new concept was born: The Carmen Hotel, an adults-only boutique stay right on the beach. The aim was to build a hotel with a refreshing and unique look and after a meeting with the architect Victor Sanzpont in 2016, The Carmen Hotel unveiled a funky, cosmopolitan design.

The Carmen’s interiors evoke a colorful and modern design reminiscent of Caribbean reefs. With four different accommodation options including the Reef Suite, Coral Double Suite, Sunrise Suite and Grand Ocean Suite, the amenities range from balconies with views to private Jacuzzis and more.

For dining, the hotel’s beachfront restaurant, Keel, serves up international cuisine that focuses on healthy, locally-sourced ingredients. In fact, the team at Keel drives five hours roundtrip, six days a week to grab the freshest products from small micro farms in the region. The contemporary restaurant offers dining in the sand or indoors amid its intimate, laid back setting. For a more upbeat atmosphere, guests can venture to DECK 5 — Skybar, a bar and lounge space complete with a pool, that’s located five stories above the beach.

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