We’ve stayed at a lot of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico over the years. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. Mexico is one of our favorite destinations in the world, and we travel there several times per year. There have been great experiences, and there have been not-so-great experiences. But La Casa de la Playa by Xcaret, located in Riviera Maya, is a whole different level of greatness. That’s why I can confidently say La Casa de la Playa might be the best luxury resort in Mexico.
I know, that is a big statement. I wouldn’t say it if I did not fully believe it to be true. After dozens and dozens of visits to some gorgeous resorts across Mexico, we’ve seen a great many luxurious accommodations. La Casa de la Playa takes the cake. Perhaps it’s the enormous suites, or that each suite has its own private pool. Maybe it was the gorgeous architecture and sustainable materials, or the world-class cuisine. It could be the pools, or the spa, or the attentive butler service, or the incredible design, or any of the many activities you guests can enjoy onsite. Oh, and all of this is included in each stay. Yep, all-inclusive takes on a new meaning here.
The combination of all these things and more have put La Casa de la Playa at the forefront of luxury Mexican destinations. If you doubt me, read on for the convincing details.
Best Luxury Resort in Mexico
Just opened in December 2021, La Casa de la Playa is the newest venture in the Xcaret Group of resorts and parks. Located in Riviera Maya near Playa del Carmen, the resort faces east on the Gulf of Mexico. From any room, the ocean views are spectacular and I could even see the lights of Cozumel across the way. The azure blue ocean is warm and welcoming here, but the resort itself is so amazing it makes it hard to want to leave at all. La Casa de la Playa is an adults-only resort, welcome guests who are 18 and older. (Yes I am a dad and love kids, but it is nice to enjoy a peaceful resort experience without them sometimes!)
Before I dig into all the reasons why I believe La Casa de la Playa might be the best luxury resort in Mexico, let me share some of the facts:
- 63 ocean view suites
- Private pools in each suite
- Personal butler service for each suite
- Four restaurants with culinary offerings by internationally renowned chefs
- World-class spa and gym
- Two infinity glass-sided pools
- Wine cellar with 24-hour access
- Mezcal bar
- And much more
And let’s get this out of the way too – La Casa de la Playa is not inexpensive. Room rates start at approximately $700 USD per night, all-inclusive. Yes that seems pricey, but for all the luxuriousness included in that cost it starts to make some sense.
Living and Sleeping Area
With only 63 guest rooms in the entire resort, the suites at La Casa de la Playa are enormous and very well appointed with sustainability and natural elements in mind. My suite was more than 1,000 square feet in size, and included a king-size bed and another queen day bed. Ceiling height was nearly to the moon, and there were several seating areas including a table with two chairs. A credenza separated the bed areas, and contained the minibar and stocked refrigerator – all included in my stay. (Top shelf liquors, beer, sparkling wine, juices and more.) I especially loved the bar set up in the room, complete with tequila, fresh limes with salt and Tajin. As I settled into the room, I sipped a deliciously smoky and flavorful mezcal neat.
The art in the room was also impressive, including a giant heart with wings that easily spanned about ten feet across. The heart was entirely covered with colorful glass beads in a Mexican artist tradition called huichol, and the wings were carved wood. Nearby, a gigantic ceramic sea shell was lit from within to set the mood at night.
Perhaps the topper was the moon-shaped salt water aquarium. Its interior hidden until the light is turned on, the aquarium reveals a collection of tiny baby jellyfish popping around the inside. I was informed these babies are returned to the local seas when they grow to maturity. So. Darn. Cool.
Deck and Pool Area
The huge patio deck included a queen-size sun bed, lounge chair, and hammock. My private pool was comfortably sized for cooling off or floating, and it contained jacuzzi jets in the underwater seating area (as if I needed to relax any more!). Oh, and the side of the pool facing the ocean was solid glass so as you approached the edge it appeared as though the pool was a continuation of the ocean. The pool deck also contained a special outdoor surprise on its own special patio. A huge carved stone exterior bathtub occupied this space, inviting me to dip in and relax with bath salts and bubbles. And I did exactly that after a fun evening of food and entertainment. Sitting outside and watching the lights of boats sailing by, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
In and of itself, this whole area qualifies La Casa de la Playa as potentially the best luxury resort in Mexico. But wait, there’s more!
During the day, I sunned on the deck while watching the deep blue ocean. One side of the patio deck was a huge rock wall with crevices for vines to grow. One day, I spied a fat and happy iguana checking me out from his perch on the wall. He was so chill and regal, I left him a cookie to snack on while I went to take a shower.
Speaking of showers, the bathroom space in my suite was fit for a king (or queen as it may!). The shower was more like a glass and stone room, complete with rain shower, hand-held sprayer and a bench in case you get tired and need to sit. The water jets had many settings from gentle to vigorous, and maybe the best thing was that the space doubled as a steam room. Flip a switch and a wet sauna begins to fully round out your in-room spa experience.
In the sink and dressing room area, the space was equally large. Closets and drawers on one side, and two sinks on the other with a sliding window system looking into the bedroom and out to sea. Close these and you get complete privacy, but I kept them open to enjoy the view. Because why not?
One of the things that sets La Casa de la Playa apart as perhaps the best luxury resort in Mexico is the food and drink. Every single meal here was out-of-this-world delicious, with a twist on Mexican favorites and flavors that would make even the toughest gourmand happy. Most of the dishes at the restaurants here have a more sophisticated flair, and likely would not appeal to kids. Good thing they are not allowed!
Our group had most of our meals at one of two restaurants onsite – Estero and Tuche de Luna. Both are spectacular for different reasons.
Tuch de Luna
Renowned Mexican chef Martha Ortiz was recruited to create an inventive menu at Tuch de Luna. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a beautifully appointed dining room, this restaurant served dishes with flair, imagination and a little sense of humor.
My breakfast here the first morning was colorful and delicious. We live in San Diego, where we enjoy Mexican food as a daily part of our lives. Here in California we can buy Mexican pastries called conchas, which are a sweet breakfast bread shaped like a seashell. At Tuch de Luna, the concha takes on a more dramatic role with bright colors and polka dots. For my main course, I ordered the restaurant’s version of huevos rancheros which was bright, flavorful and just the right amount of filling.
For lunch that day, I went back to sample Chef Ortiz’s creations again. Here the dish called sopes was an interesting and wonderful deconstruction of the traditional ingredients, with seafood as the special surprise. I also ordered a quesadilla de pulpo (grilled octopus) that was more like a tostada, and also wonderful.
Another restaurant I absolutely loved, Estero is the brainchild of Peruvian star chef Virgilio Martinez. (His highly rated restaurant in Lima is nearly impossible to get into.) Merging Mexican and Peruvian flavors, Estero’s tasting menu at dinner is not to be missed. I lost count on how many courses we were served – I think it was at least 10 different dishes. Since it was a tasting menu without anything to refer to, I cannot remember enough to share with you exactly the ingredients of these dishes. Suffice to say they were delicious and visually impressive. served on rock slabs and unusual vessels.
One day at breakfast, I fell in love with my meal here so much that I had to return the next day again. On the first day I tried the french toast, which was more like a creamy bread custard with a peachy tart and sweet topping. It was to die for. The next morning, I ordered an omelette with smoked pork that reminded me of very think-cut bacon slices. Also to die for. With each breakfast, I was served a basket of fresh-baked pastries and breads with jams and clotted cream. I could have made a meal out of just this alone, it was that good.
As if all the delicious food and oh-so-difficult poolside lounging could be too taxing for my delicate constitution, then Muluk Spa will put me back in balance. The treatments here are impressive, and the facility is gorgeous and well-appointed.
A true highlight, however, is the hydrotherapy pool. If had done nothing else at the spa but this, I would have still felt rejuvenated and renewed. It’s almost like a relaxing obstacle course of water treatments, from gentle to vigorous. In one area, spouts rise from the poolside to arch a stream of water back into the pool, splashing your body, head, neck and back. Each spout has a different flow, which makes each one a different experience. After spending time in the pool, I got out to experience the ice-cold room, the sauna and then the hot spa.
It was heaven. Truly La Casa de la Playa has earned the position of best luxury resort in Mexico.
After all this, my spa concierge came to fetch me for my spa treatments. Leading me upstairs to a warmly lit room with a wall of candlelight and a private tub and shower, I settled in for my deep tissue massage. Scented with rosemary and lemon essence, the warm oils used in this massage are designed to ease tension and stress. I’d already gotten a good start in the pool beforehand, and this massage finished me off. I could have melted into a puddle of jelly at this point.
Other services here include a relaxation ritual incorporating herbal medicine from the local Mayan culture. Another popular treatment is the balancing ritual, which uses Tibetan bowls and resonating sound to help relax the mind, body and soul. The space here at Muluk is so peaceful, I could hardly imagine being more relaxed then I already was. But yet, I relaxed even more.
Best Luxury Resort in Mexico
We’ve visited many luxury resorts in Mexico, and La Casa de la Playa might just take the prize. Everything here checks the boxes: impeccable service, highest attention to detail, anticipation of a guest’s every need, world class gastronomy, architecture of global significance.
All this luxury comes at a price. Although a very good value for all that guests are afforded here at La Casa de la Playa, it is not inexpensive. All reservations at La Casa de la Playa are all-inclusive, which includes the room, all meals and drinks, use of the facilities, and more. Spa services are extra.
A standard room at La Casa de la Playa begins at $700 per night USD. My ocean view wellness suite was approximately $2,000 per night. Definitely luxurious pricing by any standards, but I have to say it is well worth the expense if you can swing it.
This is a rarified experience that I hope to repeat again one day.