Boutique hotels and Airbnbs are growing in popularity in this tourist hot spot south of Cancun

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The record-breaking holiday season is in full swing in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, with hotels and resorts nearly sold out in the sun-drenched region.

But in one hot spot south of Cancun, another type of lodging is becoming increasingly popular this winter: boutique hotels and Airbnbs.

white sand beach in Playa del Carmen

Fueled by a desire to experience authentic local experiences, travelers are booking smaller accommodations in Carmen Beach.

Considered one of the top cultural spots in the Mexican Caribbean, this coastal destination boasts a stunning array of beautiful residences, many of which offer gorgeous ocean views.

colorful houses in the center of Playa del Carmen

With this in mind, here’s why travelers are booking boutique hotels and vacation rentals in Playa del Carmen this winter.

Boutique hotels in Playa del Carmen will be almost sold out this December amid record demand

Playa del Carmen is one of the trendiest destinations in the Mexican Caribbean this year, as evidenced by skyrocketing occupancy rates.

Not only are traditional all-inclusive properties having one of their best years on record, but smaller, more modest boutique stays are also seeing a surge in demand.

@theflyygirlexperience It’s $75 a night, centrally located on gorgeous 5th Ave and three people can have their own beds! I wasn’t paid for this review, but if I were you, I’d run to book the fashion hotel from KAAVIA in Playa del Carmen! #switchingupthealgorithm #budgetfriendlyhotels #lifeinmexico #flyygirlaproved ♬ Super Mario Bros Main Theme – Geek Music

According to the latest Riviera Maya Downtown Occupancy Report, around 70% of boutique hotels were sold out in Playa del Carmen in the first few weeks of December.

And with Christmas just around the corner, that number will soon reach 95% according to experts.

According to Carlos Jimenez, head of the tourism promotion agency in Playa del Carmen, properties in the sunny destination sell out quickly for the busy holidays.

This is especially true of the dozens of smaller hotels and online rentals that dot the city’s Fifth Avenue and 10th Streets, which offer unparalleled access to the city’s vibrant nightlife.

@obedcanchea Responds to @Badgallbree ♬ original sound – Obed Canché A

With demand peaking during the last week of December, travelers have a limited window of time to book the remaining properties, as almost all of the vintage boutique hotels in Playa del Carmen are fully booked until after the New Year.

Meanwhile, online rentals are expected to have a record winter season as travelers opt in increasing numbers for more authentic local experiences.

And since Playa del Carmen is considered one of the liveliest cities in the Mexican Caribbean, it’s no wonder that most Airbnbs in the sunny destination are sold out.

@_.uniique One of my favorite boutique hotels in Playa del Carmen, the little details are everything and it’s super affordable and kid friendly 🫶🏾🌎 #vacation #blackgirltiktok #traveling #travelingtheworld #experience #blackwomantravel #blackmomsoftikt #followtrain #playa #playadelcarmen #boutiquehotel ♬ Originalton – darkvidez

The numbers are in line with other estimates that suggest the Riviera Maya is one of the most popular hotspots in the Mexican Caribbean this year.

Characterized by endless white-sand beaches and a stunning array of luxurious 5-star all-inclusives, the sun-drenched area is home to over 55,000 hotel rooms.

With demand expected to increase further during the holiday season, the Riviera Maya may even exceed Cancun’s average occupancy rate, especially as the sunny region grows in popularity with luxury travel.

@xperiencehotels If you want to come to Mexico, we look forward to hosting you. #HappinessIsMeasuredInXperiences ☀️ #PlayadelCarmen #rivieramaya #travelbucketlist ♬ come in my arms cover – ya gurl kay ✨

Follow these important guidelines when booking your Playa del Carmen rental online

Online rentals are becoming one of the most popular types of accommodation for travelers to the Mexican Caribbean.

Offering travelers unique locations, larger rooms and more flexibility, Airbnbs are a great way to travel more and save money.

Despite their growing popularity, online hiring carries some major risks. Travelers should ensure that they book through safe and verified platforms such as or Airbnb.

Avoid booking through social media websites and clicking on fake ads which may seem tempting.

As for safety, choose properties located in busy tourist areas and avoid those furthest from the center of Playa del Carmen.

@simply.jash WHERE I STAYED IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN #tiktokplayadelcarmen #vacationdestinations #mexicohotelroom #mvngatahotel #mvngatabeachclub #travelgirlmexico #girlsvacations #beachvacay2022 @mvngatahotel ♬ Sunny Day – Ted Fresco

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