When that adults-only resort also happens to be an all-inclusive, there's additional cause for celebration. The nickel-and-diming that many hotels have become so adept at, finding new and ever more costly ways to add to their bottom line and your bill (resort fees! extortionate minibar rates! wi-fi charges!) are built into the price here.
Opened in 2011, the all-suite, adults-only Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla all-inclusive is located on a private bay on Mexico's eastern Caribbean shore, adjacent to the family-friendly (now there's a term childfree adults eschew) Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda.
Shared Facilities (or, Where the Kids Are)
Paradisus La Perla shares a common area with Paradisus La Esmeralda that's referred to as El Zocalo, a term in Mexican culture which signifies a city’s social center. Guests of both properties have access to El Zocalo's eateries, the activities center, a theatre, and the ballroom. A doctor is on call. The property also has one lighted tennis court and golf is nearby.
For couples planning a destination wedding, it's a convenience; if you invite people with children, they'll have at La Esmeralda similar resort services to yours and those jointly shared facilities where you can meet up.
Back in the Land of Grownups
Because of the shared nature of the two resorts, not all areas are childfree. For guests at Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla, the adults-only areas are the welcome lounge, swimming pool zone, spa, and 24/7 gym offering daily classes in yoga, spin, and Pilates. Hadar, Fuego (ceviche heaven!), Passion by Martin Berasategui, The Grill and Sunrise restaurants are adults-only. Bana, the Asian-fusion place for sushi, bans kids after 8:00 pm.
Away from El Zocalo, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla can be a little bit of heaven for you two romantics. The 394 suites have a clean, sleek, and modern look. The tally includes 120 Royal Service luxury junior suites and 60 swim-up suites that enable guests to access the free-form pool directly from their terrace.
All air-conditioned suites feature a private terrace with a Jacuzzi, living room, 40" flatscreen TV with cable, a CD/DVD player, cool marble floors (so delightful in the tropics), a complimentary daily-stocked minibar, and a coffeemaker. The bathroom contains a tub and two rain showers; amenities are by Thierry Mugler.
Booking a Royal Service suite comes with a number of perks, including a private heated pool, bar, exclusive restaurant surrounded by palapas and Bali beds, a private stretch of beach, butler, and access to a bi-level lounge.
Dining at Paradisus La Perla
Eleven restaurants serve a variety of cuisines from around the world, and room service is complimentary. The resort's most coveted tables are at Passion by Michelin-starred chef Martin Berasategui, a real "get" for an all-inclusive resort. There is an extra charge to dine at that one restaurant. (To avoid disappointment or having to eat at the family-friendly Market, be sure to make dinner reservations for any of the restaurants by 4 pm daily). Discriminating drinkers will be happy to know that the resort's ten bars feature unlimited premium-brand drinks.
Day & Night
The beach is somewhat small, rocky and narrow (and shared with the family resort if you don't upgrade to Royal Service, which keeps the little darlings at a distance), so most couples prefer the pool although some visitors have said that the techno music played there can get a bit loud.
Should lying on the beach or by the pool get boring, the resort offers classes in tango, sushi-making, and other experiences. Couples who want to explore beyond the resort can buy tickets at the tour desk for excursions to Tulum, Cobá, Chichen Itza, Xcaret, and Cozumel. You can also follow the beach to walk to Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen or take a $10 cab ride.
Romantically lit at night, there's still plenty of darkness to take in the millions of stars overhead.
As with all all-inclusives, there are items that are not included and for which you will have to pay extra. Here they include spa services, lobster dishes, better wine, and faster Internet. Note that you will be offered an information session for a timeshare after arrival (see "How to Avoid a Timeshare Presentation").
Despite that, the overwhelming majority of visitors on Trip Advisor report finding Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla a gem of a resort — and you may as well.
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla
5a Avenida, Equina Calle 112
Col. Luis Donaldo Colosio
Playa del Carmen, Solidaridad C.P. 77719
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Phone: (52) 984 877 3900
Official Hotel Website