Playa del Carmen: Ikal Del Mar & Shangri-La Caribe

I heard from one person who read my tips for Mexico’s Riviera Maya and wanted to add something:

I went to Playa del Carmen for my honeymoon and stayed at Ikal Del Mar for 3 days and the Shangri-La Caribe for 3 more. Ikal was a remote, secluded place that was just gorgeous. It has about 20 private wooded villas with plunge pools in the back yards. they spoil you rotten and the food is unbelievalbe. The beach is 100% private, they have a luxury spa for facials, massages, etc. They also ahve workout programs led by their instructors. If you truly want to get away for a few days this is the place.

Shangri-La is more of a resort type village setup w/ the rooms spread around walkways and a huge beach that is by far the best in the area. A lot of the beaches are rocky in that area but the Shangri-La beach is perfect. Tons of chairs and palapas and the water is rock free as well. They have an included Breakfast and dinner which is good but not great food, but the atmosphere there is great.

You want to head to 5th Avenue for the shops and restaurants, some of which are also just OK and some are outstanding. You get a real feel of the culture if that’s what yuo’re after and it has some clubs and bars that are fun. A lot of the resorts are close by but the noise from the street can be distracting from what I read and heard. Renting a car is your best bet, it’s cheap and not that hard to get around the area.

I can’t personally confirm any of this, but I would like to comment on the rental car. Most of the people I’ve spoken to suggested taking cabs instead because there are lots of them and they are inexpensive.

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