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All-Inclusive Resorts

10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the Riviera Maya

Sugar-white sands and buzzy beach towns like Tulum and Playa del Carmen are just the beginning of what makes the Riviera Maya, a 100-mile-long stretch along Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, one of the world's best vacation spots. Park yourself at one of its 10 best all-inclusive resorts to see what all the fuss is about.

Senior Editor, Jetsetter | @lindseytravels |

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Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Like its newest sibling in Los Cabos, the all-suite Grand Velas Riviera Maya goes to great lengths to stand apart from its all-inclusive neighbors—all in the name of luxury. Humdrum buffet spreads are nixed for gourmet meals prepared by French, Spanish, and Mexican chefs, while one of the restaurants even has its own AAA Five-Diamond award. Suites feel as romantic as they are massive (1,100 square feet—to start), with plunge pools on private terraces and spectacular ocean views. And whether you spring for a multi-room Ambassador Suite for the kids or a Grand-Class Adults Only Suite (hot tub included) with that special someone, butler service comes standard. As if that isn't enough, their spa is also one of the largest in the country.

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

Pining for some peace and quiet? Skip crowded Cancún and head instead to this adults-only all-inclusive, whose 412 suites (all with balconies or terraces and in-room whirlpools for two) enjoy pride of place on a private white-sand beach lined with sun beds, cabanas, and palapas. While there are scores of Secrets scattered across Mexico, this one is a favorite among honeymooners. We chalk it up to its 14 tranquil pools, 13,000-square-foot spa (its treatments are actually worth the extra fee), handful of high-end restaurants, and service that goes above and beyond—not to mention swim-up suites on the ground floor for instant pool access.

RELATED: Mexico's Best All-Inclusive Resorts

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Excellence Riviera Cancun

Despite being within easy driving distance of Playa del Carmen, some guests never leave the boundaries of Excellence for the duration of their stay. One stroll through the property and you'll understand why. A whopping eight restaurants, 10 bars, five hot tubs, six pools, and a grocery list of activities (including miles of jogging trails) keep your days packed to the brim. Don't bother making reservations for dinner—there's enough options here to ensure you never have to wait. The 440 guest rooms take a page from the Mediterranean—think stucco, marble, and tile everywhere—with furnished balconies or patios and four-whirlpool tubs. When nap-time calls, forgo your four-poster bed for a hammock on the lawn or, better yet, a palapa on the beach—which, if you booked the Junior Swim-Up Suite, will be reserved just for you.

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Royal Hideaway Playacar

This 13-acre Playa del Carmen mainstay has been wooing all-inclusive fans for decades. Why? It might be its eye-catching guest rooms (including a group of multi-level villas) that are done up in attractive Spanish colonial details like Carrera marble and lattice-wood headboards, its restaurants (whose global dishes favor Pan-Asian specialities like hibachi), or its arsenal of activities, from sailing and windsurfing to basketball. Best of all, the resort is just a five-minute walk from downtown and all the shopping and people watching that comes with it.

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Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita

If you're looking for dependability, this 90-room, 14-acre property has everything you come to count on from an all-inclusive. Mayan-influenced architecture includes thatched roofs and wood beams, while guest rooms—stocked with fresh fruit, Bvlgari toiletries, a welcome bottle of tequila (yes please!), and serviced three times daily—all overlook the sea. Settle in for breakfast and let the live harpist coax you into vacation mode.

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El Dorado Maroma by Karisma

The first overwater bungalows to hit Mexico are El Dorado Maroma's biggest claim to fame, but there's more to this adults-only resort than its stilted luxury villas. We're talking an overwater restaurant just made for sunset dinners and a Náay Spa, whose treatments borrow from Mayan healing techniques and use ingredients (Maroma sea moss, for example) sourced from the sea. That it all sits on one of the prettiest beaches anywhere is the icing on the proverbial cake.

RELATED: The Best Overwater Bungalow Resorts in the Caribbean (Yes, They Exist!)

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El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma

While the adults-only El Dorado Royale is arguably the best in the Karisma Hotels portfolio, El Dorado Casitas Royale, its hotel within the hotel, takes it a step further. In addition to the main property's bars, restaurants, pools, and spa, you'll also have run of the private section's swim-up bars and restaurants (there are seven each), which are reserved exclusively for Casitas guests. Once you've had your fill, retreat to one of its 171 suites, which each come with their own outdoor shower, covered balcony, and reserved thatch-roof bed on the beach.

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Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla

If options and convenience are the plot points of your vacation dreams, say hello to the Paradisus Playa del Carmen, sandwiched between a private bay and downtown. The 14 restaurants and 11 bars on site mean it's possible you'll never eat at the same place twice, while the massive, 20,000-square-foot Yhi Spa ensures you have space to spread out, whether that's during an intimate pilates or yoga class, in the heated pools, or at the outdoor lounge, whose day beds just beg for post-treatment snoozes. Two caveats: the beach is pretty but narrow, and room service, while available, costs extra.

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Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

It doesn't get much more crowd-pleasing than the adults-only Blue Diamond Riviera Maya, beloved for its winning combination of sophisticated digs and tranquil grounds that will have you wondering if you actually passed through Cancún to get here. The 128 thatch-roof bungalows, which all come with floor-to-ceiling windows, 400-thread-count linens, and private beach access, are spread across 36 acres of mangrove, lagoon, and sand, while rock gardens and sliding Japanese doors hint at the resort's former life as a Mandarin Oriental. Despite being full-service, stays here are as individualized as it gets—think à la carte dining (including an intimate chef's table), customizable minibars, and golf cart chauffeurs ready to whisk you to your oceanfront pool of choice.

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UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya

A relative newcomer to the Riviera Maya hotel scene, UNICO 20˚87˚ is turning the all-inclusive experience on its head—namely, by infusing local culture into its luxury experience. Works by local artisans are on display throughout the hotel and available for purchase, while a calendar of events (mescal tastings, musical performances, art competitions) provides a strong sense of place while keeping guests thoroughly engaged. You needn't worry about your room choice—all 448 of them come with either a swim-up pool or outdoor balcony spa tub—or shelling out for anything else, for that matter. Even off-property excursions and some spa treatments are included in the rate.

RELATED: World's Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Adults

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