“If more play is one of your 2018 resolutions, ringing in the new year at Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen is a fine note to start off on.”
Along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya there’s a stretch of shoreline in the state of Quintana Roo that’s a Texan getaway favorite—Playa del Carmen. Playa actually translates as beach, but after a few days in this resort town, you’ll know the true meaning is play. So, if more play is one of your 2018 resolutions, ringing in the new year at Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen is a fine note to start off on.
The Thompson folks will help you jump right into that plan for play by picking you up from the Cancun airport. If you’ve ever been to this airport, you know what a clamor of activity it can be to fuss with transportation. Just about an hours drive, you’ll actually find two properties within walking distance from one another.
Check into your boutique accommodations and head on out to catch a few rays. Whether you sink those toes in some sand or prefer relaxing poolside, as a Thompson guest you can do either because you’ll have access to Thompson Playa del Carmen and Thompson Beach House amenities.
So, what’s the difference between the two?
As its name suggests, Thompson Beach House is right on the beach. With just 27 rooms and suites, call this your own private beach club. The mid-century decor invites you with private terraces, soaking tubs, glass-enclosed rain showers and in-room spa treatments upon request. Paddleboards, water cycling and other water sports are at your fingertips, along with beach yoga, private cabanas and a beautiful courtyard pool.
C-Grille is this property’s signature restaurant and is open all day. Chef Pedro takes pride in working with local farmers and fisherman to provide the best in wood oven-fired and regional favorites. Start with fresh juice in the morning or do a body good by lunching on fresh ceviche or a veggie tlayuda. Come sunset, dine seaside with a feast of dishes such as Black Seafood Aguachile, Grilled Octopus and Lamb Tamal, with plenty of vegetarian options to boot. Did we mention bar snacks for the pool? Oh, yeah!
Walk up the short hill and swing a right where Museo Frida Kahlo Riviera Maya beckons your attention. Kahlo is world-renowned for her explorations of identity and cultural shift.
Let the spirit move you on up to Thompson Playa del Carmen, only a few blocks away. Along the walk, there’s plenty of street vendors and shopping to peruse. Actually, if you choose to stay at the main property, you’re in the heart of a district known as Quinta Avenida. There’s tons of shops, restaurants, bars and nightlife here, too.
Hang a left at the fountain. Just up 10th Street to the right your oasis awaits—a 92-room mid-century mecca. While its crowing jewel is the 30,000 square foot roof deck, you can also enjoy all the same luxuries its beach house offers. One thing to remember is that you’re in the middle of party town. This is key to grooving on such a lively vibe.
Of all the places to play in Playa, you’ll find yourself up on that roof-top more times than not. Start the day with sunrise yoga overlooking the Riviera’s shore. The infinity pool virtually spills into the sea encouraging a bright, sunny namaste. Throughout the day, fun-sized complimentary concoctions are served poolside right from the rooftop bar, Cinco. Swim up to the bar for your favorite potion, sit at a full-service pool booth, or lounge in the one of the many seating options (including private cabanas) while the house DJ del Dia spins the afternoon away. The sunsets make for the most beautiful golden hours here. Trade your flip-flops for dancing shoes, as the space transforms into the swankiest hot spot in town.
Hailing from New York City, the renowned open kitchen and sushi bar, Catch, offers guests 360° panoramic views of the city brunch, lunch and dinner. Indulge in dishes like the Truffle Sashimi, Salmon Belly Carpaccio along with a host of other seafood delicacies. There’s also a bounty of meat and vegetarian options for those not too sweet on mariscos (seafood). But, if you don’t get that Waffle Tower come brunch, you’ll have regrets. Sit back, enjoy the breeze and sip on a Bloody Mary or Mimosa, as nature intended. No kidding, Catch is a party for the senses.
You’re going to need to work off some of that palate party, y’all!
That’s where Living Dreams Mexico comes into play. Customizing Mayan excursions for the Thompson Playa del Carmen is their specialty. Swim or canoe in a cenote, zip-line through the tropical forest, and meet Mayan folks in their home village. Living Dreams can even set up a taco tour Mayan-style, if that’s what your heart is set on.
And, we can’t forget the fur babies. Thompson Hotel Playa del Carmen invites you to bring your little ones along. Sorry, Marmaduke will have to sit this one out.
Celebrating New Year’s, Playa Style!
Life is too short not to celebrate its beauty in all of its glory. If Playa del Carmen isn’t celebration enough, the Thompson folks have a special treat in store this New Year’s Eve. The night will be filled with endless champagne, dancing and a live performance you won’t want to miss.
Check out some of the details: (click here for full details.)
- General admission for the NYE festivities, including headliner entertainment available from $159.00 per person
- Dinner in CATCH, plus access to the party is $300 per person (strict reservation schedules apply)
- Reserved tables at Cinco for the entire evening from $800 (includes a beverage package) for 4 guests
- Private cabanas range from $2,875 to $8,050, which entails a beverage package and exclusive services and space from 4-20 guests
Courtesy cover photo | Thompson Playa del Carmen
Melissa Corbin is a Nashville-based freelance journalist and the producer of Corbin In The Dell, a travel podcast about folks in food, farming and drink with a local music influence.