Winter Escape to Mexico! Part 3 – Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen

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Emily:   When I was a teenager, I traveled to Mexico as part of a mission trip to build homes for families in need.

The experience changed my life in such a positive way!  I saw how kind and generous the Mexicans were towards me, even when they had very little.  I realized how much we take for granted in the US, and how blessed we are in so many ways.

Since that time, I’ve wanted to return to Mexico for another mission trip.  But this time, my friends and I were on vacation, so we visited Playa del Carmen before our recent trip to Cuba!

Winter Escape To Mexico Part 3 Where To Stay In Playa Del Carmen

There Was More Than Enough Room for Our Entire Group

No trip could ever replace that first time in Mexico though.  I feel thankful that I was able to go to help others.

Winter Escape to Mexico Trip Report Index:

Modern Airbnb in Playa del Carmen

We stayed at a clean, comfortable Airbnb in Playa del Carmen.  The total cost was $339 for a total of 3 nights, which was split between the 5 of us.  So we each paid ~$68 per person for 3 nights total.  You can use my Airbnb referral and get $20 off your next stay!

Be sure exactly where you want to stay before you book your Airbnb.  Because some hosts have very strict cancellation policies!  You might not be able to change your plans at the last minute.  It’s not like hotels, where you can cancel ~24 hours ahead of time with no penalty.

We checked into our Airbnb, and our host Claudio was there to greet us soon after our arrival.  We found the key outside before he arrived, but he showed us some basics like how to work the air conditioning and internet.

The Airbnb had two floors.  On the lower floor was the living room, which had an L-shaped sofa and a table.

Winter Escape To Mexico Part 3 Where To Stay In Playa Del Carmen

We All Slept Wonderfully, Even on the Sofa Beds

The apartment was more spacious than anticipated!

There was an updated kitchen with granite countertops.  We had a full-size fridge and stove.  There was also a large bottle of filtered water in the kitchen, which lasted us our entire trip!

Winter Escape To Mexico Part 3 Where To Stay In Playa Del Carmen

I Liked the Modern Updates Throughout the Apartment

Behind the kitchen was the dining table.  This served as our breakfast table and office space.

Winter Escape To Mexico Part 3 Where To Stay In Playa Del Carmen

The Perfect Amount of Chairs – but the Table Could Have Used Twice the Real Estate!

Upstairs were 2 bedrooms with 2 king-size beds.  We had extra pillows and sheets.  The Airbnb also provided beach towels!  There was air conditioning in both bedrooms.

There were 1.5 baths.  The half bath was on the main floor, next to the kitchen.  The full bathroom was upstairs, between the bedrooms.

The neighborhood where we stayed looked modern and well-kept.  We wanted a central location so we could walk to all the main restaurants, activities, and beaches.

Winter Escape To Mexico Part 3 Where To Stay In Playa Del Carmen

Our Stylish Neighborhood for the Next Few Days

I appreciated that it was still quiet and relaxed.  We discovered Cafe Orange, a delicious restaurant within a 5-minute walk from our apartment.  It was perfect for coffee and breakfast!

Consider Redeeming your Points for Hotels, Too!

If you’re looking for a more luxurious trip, consider staying at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort, which is located right on the beach, and just a few minutes away from the main streets.  It costs 20,000 Hyatt points per night.

Many of the rooms have beach-facing views!  This hotel gets great reviews on TripAdvisor, so it’s likely worth a stay!

Winter Escape To Mexico Part 3 Where To Stay In Playa Del Carmen

The Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort Costs 20,000 Hyatt Points per Night

Luxury resorts are great, but sometimes I prefer to stay closer to the locals.  And Airbnb is great for larger groups and families because you get a lot more for your money.  We got 2 large bedrooms, a full kitchen, dining table, and living room for $68 total per person!

You Can Do It, Too!

Here’s how to choose a good and safe Airbnb, and tips on how to negotiate a better price!  And don’t forget you can use the $20 off referral code!

If you’d rather experience a Hyatt resort, you can sign-up for the Chase Hyatt card, which comes with a sign-up bonus of 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt!

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio if you have the:

But I would not recommend this method.  Because you can usually purchase a room at the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen through the Chase travel portal for less points than if you transferred them to Hyatt!

 Round-Trip Coach Ticket From Austin to Cancun3 Nights in a Centrally-Located Airbnb for 6 People
Retail Cost$450$339 total
Our Cash Cost$75 in taxes$339 total, or ~$68 per person
Miles & Points Used25,000 Southwest PointsN/A
Source of Miles & PointsChase Ultimate Rewards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 points
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
Current sign-up bonus of 100,000 points
- Chase Ink Plus
Current sign-up bonus of 60,000 points
- Chase Ink Bold
Not available to new applicants

Southwest Cards:
- Chase Southwest Plus
Current sign-up bonus of 40,000 points
- Chase Southwest Premier
Current sign-up bonus of 40,000 points
- Chase Southwest Premier Business
Current sign-up bonus of 50,000 points
N/A
Alternatives- United Airlines - 35,000 miles round-trip + ~$50 in taxes
- American Airlines - 30,000 miles round-trip (25,000 between September 7 and November 14) + ~$50 in taxes
- Use Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles to erase $100+ travel purchases, like Airbnb
- Use my Airbnb referral code for $20 off!
- Use Hyatt points to stay at a hotel
Additional Information- You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest and United Airlines
- Here's how to get the Southwest Companion Pass, so your companion can fly with you for (almost) free for nearly 2 years!
- Here’s how to choose a good and safe Airbnb
- Here are tips on how to negotiate a better Airbnb price!
- You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt

Bottom Line

Airbnb is a great alternative to hotels, and can be much cheaper!  The total cost for our Airbnb was $339 for a total of 3 nights, which was split between the 5 of us.  We paid ~$68 per person of the 3 nights total.  You can use my Airbnb referral and get $20 off your next stay!

Make sure you’re certain of your plans before you book your Airbnb reservation, because some hosts have very strict cancellation policies, and Airbnb usually charges a cancellation fee.

We had an awesome stay at this Airbnb.  It was clean, comfortable, and had fast Wi-Fi!

If you’re in the mood for a hotel, there a couple of chain hotels in the area where you can redeem your points, like the highly-rated Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort.

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4 responses to “Winter Escape to Mexico! Part 3 – Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen

  1. If you’re ever in Playa del Carmen again, we ate 5 times at “La Senda Vegana” in a matter of days – it was soooooo good! (Vegan restaurant, largely raw, but insanely creative and tasty to us omnivores.)

    • Hi Kay, Thanks for sharing! This does sound amazing! If you’re ever in Paris, check out Ginger Cafe. It’s also very good vegan. I’ll be writing about it in a few weeks! 🙂

  2. It’s so great to see a trip report where Airbnb is used. Sometimes, it just does not make sense with all of the available airbnb locations, to use your hotel points, (especially for a fast weekend trip like this getaway). Common sense should always be considered when using hotel points, and Emily’s rental choice makes far more sense. Looks like a lovely time with the girls!

    • Hi Laurel, I agree with you. Airbnb especially makes sense for families and other larger groups. Hotel points can add up fast.