Viceroy Pier Playa del Carmen

Understated Luxury at the Viceroy Riviera Maya

From the moment the van turned off the 307, I knew I was in for something different as we approached the Viceroy Riviera Maya.

Every resort from Cancun down through the Riviera Maya has it’s own real estate and signage on the 307; the main road running parallel to the turquoise-blue Caribbean sea from Cancun, Mexico down through the Riviera Maya resorts and beyond. From massive white concrete block structures to more demure dark wooden gates and dated Italian stucco structures, a resort’s entry gate says a lot about what one will find inside the walls.

When we turned off the highway onto a palm-fringed gravel road, heading deeper into the thick jungle along with plenty of locals on foot, delivery trucks and the odd dog, I wasn’t totally confident my driver knew where he was going. But sure enough, after only a few minutes the van pulled into a small driveway, marked with just one small sign that read “Viceroy.”

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I’ve spent the past decade years visiting the world’s finest luxury hotels. And I’ve generally found that the more luxurious the hotel, the less external fanfare and the smaller the sign.

Hotels like the Viceroy Riviera Maya don’t have to shout about their luxury to the world. They just are.

Thirsty from my journey up from Tulum, upon arrival at the Viceroy Riviera Maya I enjoyed a cold glass of lemongrass-infused coconut water. Looking around the charming reception area, I was immediately struck by the quiet, zen-like atmosphere.

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I was whisked away by the soft-spoken hotel manager who would take me to my room. En route we stopped by the spa where I received a traditional Mayan blessing. Standing there with my eyes closed, feeling heat and natural-resin smoke swirling around me, the Mayan guru reported that my soul was open to all things good in the universe.

And I readily agreed.

All 41 villas at the Viceroy Riviera Maya are expansive three-room structures. But in distinct comparison to the cold marble floors and generally Spartan décor of the all-inclusive resorts that dot this Caribbean coastline, the Viceroy’s villas make use of dark woods, warm fabrics and plenty of windows that open directly onto the lush jungle outside which together create a warm, comfortable and welcoming environment.

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This outdoor shower was one of my favorite features of the Viceroy Riviera Maya villa.

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But I just wanted to get to the beach as quickly as possible.

I found guests relaxing under large palapas, and the energetic staff configuring loungers for the perfect sunbathing angle in the early afternoon light. Over the course of the next two days, I rotated between writing in the shade, getting my fair dose of Vitamin D, and bobbing around in the Caribbean Sea, a constantly changing prism of blue. There was never a moment my glass wasn’t full; including coffee, water or wine, depending on the time of day.

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To say the service was outstanding would be an understatement.

The Viceroy Riviera Maya is an adult-only hotel. It oozes romance, and is the perfect place to leave the kids with grandparents and get away with your honey for a few days of beachside R&R. Located only a few miles from Playa del Carmen, you can stick around and enjoy the amazing food on site, including special dinner events like the Friday-night beach BBQ or my personal favorite lunch of Ceviche Mixto, or head into town for some shopping and dining in the evening.

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And better yet, book your stay with a Virtuoso travel agent to receive a $100 resort credit, upgraded villa based on availability, and daily breakfast included. This gem of a hotel has made it into my Top 5 list can I can’t wait to get back!

Have you found a hidden gem like the Viceroy Riviera Maya? I want to hear about it! Tell me more in the comments below!

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Some or all of this trip was sponsored which may include travel and other costs. As always, opinions expressed are completely my own.

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  • Leigh Powell Hines

    This looks like a great place. I enjoyed finding your blog today. We have the same interests.

    • Thanks Leigh! Great to connect with a like-minded traveler:)

  • Jessica

    This looks terrific! I don’t think of these types of places when I think of the area.

    • Exactly! Totally different than the big all-inclusives further North. It’s a gem!

  • Karisa Blake

    A beautiful post 🙂 I loved the Maya Riviera and how perfectly blue the water was.

    • Thanks Karisa! I’m a total beach gal, so the white sand and the blue water is super important for me…

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