Travel Story
The Most Romantic Beachfront Hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico
The Most Romantic Beachfront Hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico
Jul 22, 2024 12:16 AM

Whether you're celebrating a honeymoon or looking to spend some quality time with your sweetheart, a beachside vacation is often a go-to choice. Mexico and the Caribbean are packed with stunning hotels along the ocean, but not all offer the romantic atmosphere many couples want. With that in mind, we sorted through hundreds of hotels to find the best romantic beachfront properties in the Caribbean and Mexico. Read our picks below!

1. Excellence Playa Mujeres

The 450-room Excellence Playa Mujeres is a luxury all-inclusive set in the heart of a private resort community to the north of Cancun. As an adults-only property, the vibe is romantic and a swish spa offers all the amenities for getting pampered with your partner. Modern, elegant rooms are huge and come with big whirlpool tubs and balconies, plus some have ocean views. Certain categories have swim-up access or private plunge pools. All the features expected of this caliber of resort are here, including seven pools, nine restaurants, and 11 bars. The secluded location is part of the appeal for many, but the tranquil and pretty white-sand beach isn’t quite as impressive as those in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.

2. One & Only Palmilla, Los Cabos

One & Only Palmilla is easily one of Mexico’s most luxurious properties, and despite offering great amenities for kids, it retains a posh atmosphere conducive to romance. The velvet-gloved treatment includes personal concierges, butlers, and aromatherapy turndown service, and the staff-to-guest ratio is reportedly six-to-one. The 173 rooms and villas blend classic Mexican design with contemporary accents and walls of windows to create bright, elegant spaces. All have terraces, many with direct ocean views, and some include private pools. Dining includes Asian-Mexican fusion and a steak house by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The resort has one of the area’s only swimmable beaches, an elegant spa, and two gorgeous pools, and the manicured-jungle setting doesn’t hurt either.

3. Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua

Simple Caribbean style combines with tranquil nature to make the adults-only Galley Bay Resort & Spa a secluded boutique that’s at once upscale and relaxed. Beachfront rooms and suites feature air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, minibars, coffeemakers, and patios with sea views. Stone cottages, set away from the beach, also offer private plunge pools. The three-quarter-mile white-sand beach is the resort’s biggest draw, and the location of its four restaurant/bars, as well as non-motorized water sports and regular events. Other high-end amenities include a fun pool, a modern fitness center, a serene spa, and a rustic rum shack. While rates are all-inclusive, not all of the restaurants are covered.

4. Viceroy Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen

The Viceroy Riviera Maya is an upscale resort nestled in a lush rainforest setting that’s a 15-minute drive from the Playa del Carmen town center. Chic, rustic villas are awash with deluxe touches, and private patios feature heated plunge pools and alfresco “moon showers.” Although rocky in places, the beach has powdery white sand and turquoise waters; it makes an attractive backdrop to the serene pool area and sea-facing restaurants. The property is also home to a fantastic spa with Mayan-inspired treatments. As children under 14 are not allowed at the resort, couples looking for a secluded, romantic retreat — and who aren’t afraid of splashing the cash — will be sure to find it here.

5. Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa is the epitome of a couples-only, all-inclusive, Caribbean mega-resort. It also offers a gorgeous beachfront setting on the northwestern corner of Antigua. With 11 restaurants, 373 luxurious rooms, and six pools, it’s expansive and packed with features. Travelers could easily get lost in the 27 acres of meticulously groomed gardens and along the pathways winding between buildings. While the experience can feel generic and pre-packaged to some, the stellar amenities, elegant rooms, and breathtaking beach where free water sports are available combine to create memorable, romantic getaways.

6. Rosewood Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen

Rosewood Mayakoba is a gorgeous, peaceful retreat within the resort community of Playa del Carmen, set on a mile-long stretch of beach. Though it features an extensive children’s program, the resort largely attracts couples with its serene atmosphere, upscale restaurants, and spa. The 128 suites feature attractive contemporary decor, as well as high-tech amenities and private outdoor plunge pools. They have an open-air vibe, with many floor-to-ceiling windows, and the overwater lagoon suites have swim-up access. Plus, suites include freebies such as Wi-Fi, fresh fruit, and bottled water. While couples are the primary clientele, parents looking for a romantic getaway where their kids are catered to also frequent this hotel.

7. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is an upscale adults-only property occupying a prime stretch of sand at the southern end of Aruba’s Eagle Beach. This eco-friendly, 104-room hotel has a stellar reputation and many guests return for its intimate and exclusive, yet unpretentious, vibe. The main activities here include lingering on the sand under umbrellas, enjoying a spa treatment, or lounging by the chic beachfront pool. Guest rooms are handsomely decorated and have high-end amenities such as iHome systems, charging docks, minibars, and built-in TVs in bathroom mirrors. A free breakfast buffet is served daily, and dining is a highlight — especially at the intimate gourmet spot, Carte Blanche, which serves five-course menus, and the romantic beachfront restaurant, Elements.

8. Esperanza – Auberge Resorts Collection, Los Cabos

One of the smaller luxury properties in Los Cabos, Esperanza Resort packs plenty of opulent punch. With a dramatic cliffside setting, stunning ocean views are available almost everywhere, including the many terraces at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant. The 123 casitas and villas are stylish, bright, and refined, with romantic extras like bathrooms with side-by-side showers and separate soaking tubs. Balconies feature plunge pools or hammocks, and pampering services include in-room check-in and personal concierges. The hotel has an elegant spa and large fitness center, and the main infinity pool is a stunner, though the beaches aren’t swimmable.

9. Baoase Luxury Resort, Curacao

The 23-room Baoase Luxury Resort is a boutique, Balinese-inspired paradise where the details make the difference — hand-carved teakwood pieces, gift bags left on the beds, and candles lit all around the property are just a few examples. The highlights of the resort are the elegant rooms and villas, some with private pools, the excellent fine-dining restaurant, and a small spa. Additionally, the hotel sits on a quiet, lovely stretch of man-made beach that wraps around a small protected cove, creating calm waters for swimming. This is the top luxury resort on Curacao, without contest.

10. Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen

The five-pearl Banyan Tree Mayakoba is one of Playa del Carmen’s most sought-after resorts. Set on beautiful beachfront grounds teeming with lush greenery, lagoons, and mangroves, this resort comprises 118 stylish villas complete with private pools set in lovely gardens and large, luxurious bathrooms with rainfall showers and outdoor bathtubs. The property is also home to several pools and a gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach. Other features include a high-end spa, a plethora of outdoor activities (golf, tennis, snorkeling, and eco tours), and fantastic dining — though food and drink are notably expensive.

11. Point Grace, Turks and Caicos

Point Grace is a luxury boutique that’s heavy on style and refinement. The 28 huge multi-room suites (which start at a whopping 1,080 square feet) feature pleasant British Colonial designs, kitchens, terraces, and high-end bathrooms. Property highlights include a lovely, tranquil pool, personal beachfront service, a small but spectacular spa, and one of Providenciales’ most romantic dinner spots. Though some may find the secluded location to be too remote, the setting on the point of the beautiful, 12-mile Grace Bay Beach is peaceful and quiet.

12. Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

Located on the Riviera Maya, south of Cancun, the 412-room Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is an adults-only all-inclusive resort, set on a private white-sand beach. In addition to the buffet, a wide range of high-quality dining options are available, including Japanese teppanyaki, French cuisine, a wine cellar with over 200 different vintages, and, for an extra charge, romantic dinners for two on the beach. A stunning destination-style spa offers couples’ treatments in private outdoor cabanas on the beach. Rooms are large and tasteful, with four-poster canopy beds, separate sitting areas, and private balconies; ground-floor rooms are swim-up suites. The hotel is especially popular for honeymoons and destination weddings.

13. The Resort at Pedregal, Los Cabos

The 118-room Resort at Pedregal is so exclusive that reaching it requires driving through a striking private tunnel. Set on a long sweep of beach at the base of towering mountains, the property seamlessly blends modern design and local artisanal details. Rooms have gorgeous hardwood accents plus massive bathrooms and terraces with hot tubs, and select casitas open to the ocean with private pools and fire pits. Oceanside dining and locally sourced menus are highlights, as are the infinity pools overlooking the beach. There’s also a stunner of an organic spa, a modern gym, and a posh boutique.

14. Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia

This luxurious Viceroy is truly a stunner. It has arguably the best location in St. Lucia, along a beautiful white-sand beach right between the Pitons, St. Lucia’s famous volcanic spires. Its 79 rooms are minimalistic, chic, and mostly white, and all come with private plunge pools, butlers, and 24-hour room service; the larger villas and cottages offer living rooms and huge bathrooms (some with outdoor showers and hot tubs). Features include a large pool, tennis courts, and free water sports, plus a romantic tree-house spa. The resort’s restaurants and bars are pricey, but all-inclusive rates are available to help guests keep costs in check.

15. Imanta Resort, Riviera Nayarit

Imanta is a unique, luxury resort set on a massive 250-acre property in Punta de Mita where the jungle meets the sea. This stylish Relais & Chateaux hotel offers 11 rooms with private pools and elegant baths in a lush tropical setting. A stunning private beach, unique outdoor spa, two upscale restaurants with stellar views, and a small gym complete the package. The remote location adds an air of exclusivity (which is backed up by a notable celebrity clientele), and is best for guests looking to spend their time relaxing on-site.

16. Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Playa del Carmen

Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa is a tranquil boutique hotel located on a beautiful white-sand beach in Riviera Maya, between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. It’s one of the top luxury options on gorgeous Playa de Punta Maroma, and the exclusive vibe lures mostly couples. The 63 rooms are charming and airy, with traditional Mexican decor and thatched-roof terraces. Suites can have outdoor showers and plunge pools. Free breakfasts, including cooked-to-order quesadillas, get high marks from guests, as does all food at the several restaurants and bars with notable tequila and mezcal menus. Standout features include the trio of palm-fringed outdoor pools and the destination spa with ancient Mayan rituals.

17. Tortuga Bay Hotel Puntacana Resort & Club

In Punta Cana, it’s almost impossible to rival Tortuga Bay Hotel‘s sheer luxury, VIP treatment, and boutique intimacy. Designed by Oscar de la Renta (a local legend, born in nearby Santo Domingo), the property offers some of the chicest lodging on the entire island. Every amenity — including Bamboo restaurant, the white-sand beach, free airport transfers and expedited immigration service, and Six Senses Spa — is world-class. The 30 spacious and sophisticated suites are poshly appointed with jetted tubs, beautiful bathrooms, private butler service, and ocean-view balconies/terraces. Cruiser bikes and golf carts come with each suite. There’s no nightlife, which is largely what the couples who stay here want.

18. Cocobay Resort, Antigua

One of the most charming all-inclusive properties on the island, the adults-only Cocobay Resort is a romantic clifftop oasis with sweeping views of Valley Church Bay. Colorful cottages offer 65 rustic-chic rooms featuring private balconies with hammocks and Adirondack chairs. Free Wi-Fi, coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and bathrooms with open-air showers come standard, but there are no TVs. Upgraded rooms add luxe perks like private pools or outdoor clawfoot bathtubs. There are two restaurants, including the trendy Sheer Rocks Restaurant (not part of the all-inclusive rate). Other high-end amenities include three bars, four infinity pools, three beautiful white-sand beaches, a tranquil cliffside spa, and non-motorized water sports.

19. Beloved Playa Mujeres

The 109-room Beloved is sleek, sexy, and luxe — not to mention an adults-only all-inclusive located in the Playa Mujeres region just north of Cancun. It’s situated on a beautiful, long white-sand beach, and there are three chic outdoor pools with food and drink service. The all-white rooms are huge (starting at 960 square feet) and have big whirlpool tubs as well as private balconies — many with ocean views and some with plunge pools. The 35,000-square-foot spa is gorgeous, with an impressive hydrotherapy circuit, and food at the four restaurants is excellent and a la carte. Among the area’s top all-inclusive resorts, the Beloved stands out as the only true boutique.

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