Fifteen-room, adults-only Hotel Basico in the picturesque Mexican beach town of Playa del Carmen is a centrally located, trendy place to stay. It has a party atmosphere, yet is relaxed and fun.
The hotel opened in September 2005 to much acclaim: It won Travel & Leisure's 2006 Design award for a small hotel. The look of the property is industrial and modern, yet it is a comfortable place to stay.
The hotel lobby is four stories high and has neither a ceiling nor doors: Warm breezes and blue sky are as much a part of the design as the mix of concrete and Caribbean sand it was built with. The lobby floors are made of recycled tires.
For quick breakfasts, there is a juice and coffee bar in the lobby. A number of picture books line the bookcases along the wall. The books, on everything from Frida Kahlo to Playboy's redheads to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Wilma, can be bought or borrowed to flip through over an espresso.
Staff at Hotel Basico are young, beautiful and very friendly. They learn most guests' first name and can recommend activities, restaurants, and nightlife in the area to couples.