Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Thompson Playa del Carmen

Rates per night from$168.35

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD168.35), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Mid-century mod Mexicana


Ocean-ogling Quinta Avenida

Hotel Thompson Playa del Carmen has a dual personality, and we like it. Its hip town-center base has a buzzy rooftop hotspot, and its shoreside counterpart’s a laid-back boho beach house. You’ll find plenty of sun, Mexican-inspired food and flair, and views of the glittering blue water at both.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Daily American Breakfast (including pancakes, waffles, yogurt with granola, and eggs cooked many ways) at Cinco (normally $17 a person a day)


Photos Thompson Playa del Carmen facilities

Need to know


119, including 26 suites.


Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from $168.35, excluding tax at 29 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $34.80 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates usually exclude breakfast; à la carte options run from granola, waffles or eggs to Mexican favourites such as chilaquiles, molletes and enchiladas.


The hotel’s main building is set on top of a sleek shopping centre full of contemporary fashion brands; it’s a holiday-save for those wont to leave their beach togs behind in the haze of packing.

At the hotel

Swimming pools, private beach club, free WiFi, laundry services. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar with local drinks and free bottled water, DS & Durga bath products.

Our favourite rooms

In the main building, request the highest floor for the best ocean views. If you want something quieter, and with a direct ocean breeze, opt for the Beach House; every room there has a private terrace overlooking either the sea or the pool and cabanas, and you’re so close to the beach that you’ll never be late for a paddleboarding session.


The glamorous rooftop infinity pool is flanked by two on-trend eateries and has sweeping views of Playa del Carmen and the Caribbean; at the Beach House, the glittering pool surrounded by cabanas and steps away from the white sand.

Packing tips

Bring bright Mara Hoffman swimwear, big sunglasses and a waterproof camera for snorkelling expeditions.


Take a little break from the sun with an in-room massage or facial.


Small pets (up to 25lbs) allowed; your diminutive canine pal stays for free. See more pet-friendly hotels in Playa del Carmen.


Welcome, though the hotel is best suited to over-13s. Both swimming pools are family-friendly, with shallow ends and floats to borrow. Kids are welcome in the restaurants (though there are no special menus. Babysitting is available for $20 an hour.

Food and Drink

Photos Thompson Playa del Carmen food and drink

Top Table

At Catch and Cinco, the closer to the edge of the rooftop patio playground you are, the better the views; get there early or make a reservation.

Dress Code

Blingy swimwear and sun specs by day; by night, jewel-toned dresses and embellished sandals for her and breezy white shirts for him.

Hotel restaurant

Casual all-day diner Cinco is all about Mexican flavors by the rooftop pool. With views over Playa Del Carmen, it’s perfect for healthy-ish breakfasts (hey, we wouldn’t want to skip the house-made Mexican pastries either), or lighter dinners – don’t miss the local fish tacos. Closest to the Beach House, C-Grill is part beachside bar, and serves up wood-fire-grilled fish, Mexican-style grilled corn and frozen cocktails. The second rooftop restaurant and New York City transplant Catch puts a contemporary spin on classic seafood dishes and fresh sushi, and has an open kitchen (keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of celebrity chef Pedro Abascal in action).

Hotel bar

Signature cocktails at daytime drinking spot Cinco include the Cinco Bellini, a passion fruit, lemongrass, and tequila-tinged take on the original, and the Playa Colada, in which Mayan vanilla syrup and Kahlua replaces the traditional coconut cream. If you need a short break from the rum, sip on a refreshing No-jito, made with watermelon, mint, lime juice and soda water. In the evenings, try a watermelon infused Seedless Suzy, or a spiced Ginger La Playa del la Reina at Catch. The rooftop space hosts occasional private events; check with the hotel to make alternate arrangements on those evenings. 

Last orders

Order Basil La Curas until 2am at Catch, but place dinner orders there between 6pm and 11pm. Bar and restaurant Cinco serves everything until 11pm. Early risers rejoice: both Cinco and C-Grill open for breakfast at 7am, and stay open until 11pm.

Room service

Order any time of the day or night from a menu that includes a selection of authentic Mexican dishes from Cinco, local favorites, and the Chef's selection of seafood dishes from Catch. Craving something else from Catch? Just ask.


Photos Thompson Playa del Carmen location
Thompson Playa del Carmen
Quinta Avenida and Calle 12
Playa del Carmen


Direct flights from Miami, London and New York City land at Cancun International Airport, 45 minutes away by car. Hotel transfers can be arranged, from $140 each way ($250 return).


If you’re puttering around the peninsula with your own wheels, you can keep your car in the nearby carpark for about $20 a night.

Worth getting out of bed for

Although we could soak in the sun and sea at Thompson Playa del Carmen’s private beach club for our whole holiday, there’s much more to explore if you want to venture slightly further afield. 

A short drive down the coast will have you on the white sands of Akumal beach (+52 984 875 9030). For a chance to come face to face with sea turtles and colourful fishes, go snorkelling with Akumal Dive Shop (+52 984 875 9032) while you’re there. Snorkelling opportunities abound in the cenotes (deep natural swimming holes) of nearby island Cozumel and around Isla Mujeres too. If you’d rather keep your face above water, hire a catamaran and sail over the clear blue sea.
If you’re feeling adventurous, climb Coba – the tallest Mayan pyramid in Mexico, discover archaeological treasures. Or, see what some consider one of the seven new wonders of the world: Chichén Itzá, a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the largest and best restored Mayan cities. The ancient architecture includes a temple dating back to 950AD and a 75-foot pyramid constructed in the 11th century. The Mayan ruins of Tulum are are less than an hour’s drive south of Playa del Carmen. 
To dive into unspoilt nature and clear blue waters, join a personalised nature tour at Unesco World Heritage Site Sian Ka'an, the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean and home to manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, impressive big cats (including jaguars and ocelots) and hundreds of bird species. Or go for a day out with eco-tourism group Alltournative (+1 800 4662 8483), for ziplining, jungle walking and cenote swimming – all with a knowledgable guide.

Local restaurants

If you’re craving some melted cheese and a little break from the all that fresh seafood you’ve been snarfing, head to La Famiglia pizzeria for a low-key pizza night. Head up to the Roof Garden of La Casa del Agua for a relaxing and romantic open air area overlooking the ocean and Cozumel Island. For prime people watching, retire to its wine bar La Malagueña on first floor in front of the famous 5th Avenue. If you’re in the mood for artistically arranged international cuisine in an intimate nine-table setting, head to Oh Lala!. Just on the other side of the 307, unique Alux Restaurant is housed in a naturally-formed cavern, with multiple rooms and nooks where you can enjoy Mexican and International cuisine (claustrophobes may want to give it a miss though).

Local cafés

Piada Loca (+52 984 147 0269), an Italian-inspired sandwich shop is perfect for lunch. Ordering the pabellón criollo brunch plate at Kaxapa Factory (+52 984 803 5023) ensures you get your daily dose of avocado.


Photos Thompson Playa del Carmen reviews
Lisa Goldapple

Anonymous review

This is a holiday hat-trick. Mr Smith and I arrive at luxury resort Thompson in Playa del Carmen directly from another Mr & Mrs Smith hotel – and we’re on our way to a third. It’s ok to be jealous… Until now we’ve been keeping it chilled on a tranquil Yucatán island; but, that’s all about to change…

Thompson is in the middle of things. It’s next to Coco Bongo (Playa del Carmen’s Vegas-style show club), in the middle of Fifth Avenue (the lively shopping area), on top of a mall. Smack bang in the centre of the Riviera Maya, the resort’s a fabulous base for fine dining, snorkelling, Mayan temples and ruins. It’s also sandwiched between two mezcalerias, which both end up being my favourite. And, it’s perfect for those who like admiring the Caribbean coastline without getting sand in various bits. You don’t need the concept of a rooftop pool explained to you, but you do need to Google Thompson’s pool. This is no ordinary rooftop.

Mr Smith and I arrive before sunset on Quinta Avenida and the bats are out. We live in Barcelona, but this sensory overload feels batty in a different sense – like Las Ramblas on mezcal. All I remember of check-in is an elegant black-and-white chequered floor and unintentionally hilarious clerk Carolina. ‘Do you like adventure?’ she says, pointing to a picture of a woman in a flyer for Xplor theme park: ‘Look how happy she is! Dum di dum…’

In limited Spanish, Mr Smith shows off his knowledge of the conquistadors to the bellman. I hear, ‘Soy fan de su fan!’; a keen aviator, he’s spotted a vintage, wood propeller fan in our sleek suite; a bachelor’s dream of black, greys, stripes and Mexican marble. Through the shower’s transparent wall, I watch him prance around in a white robe and towel turban in the glam three-piece bathroom. For more viewing pleasure, he shimmies out to the balcony for a bird’s eye view of bustling downtown and the ocean beyond.

Lavish suite aside, our focus is on the rooftop pool. Spanning the length of the hotel, it’s bracketed by two dining areas with a view. On the left is decadent seafood and sushi restaurant, Catch; on the right, chilled-out Cinco. Mr Smith’s arm swoops about taking panoramic shots. Before you can say ‘Tequila?’, the jorts are off and he’s seeing how long he can hold his breath underwater. I order a Cozumel Coral from a half-submerged lounger and tell him how awesome he is at holding his breath. ‘You’re awesome at holding your breath.’ The infinity pool, sea and sky combo is a killer visual cocktail; Mr Smith’s Davidoff Cool Water-blue eyes submerged in blue water, topped by blue sky. It’s so lovely, we skip the beach.

Often in the spotlight for its celebrity clientele, it turns out our chosen restaurant is Catch of NY and LA fame. As a chef, Mr Smith fancies himself as something of a connoisseur. We order truffle-oil sashimi, salmon-belly carpaccio and seared tuna. I ask him to describe the taste, and he offers ‘silky, snazzy and sumptuous’. (I said chef, not wordsmith.) Adjectives gone, but not forgotten, the conversation revolves around where we’re going tonight. We devour the ‘Hit Me Chocolate’ dessert with embarrassing speed. We return to our massive bed and – even though a tequila fairy has left limes and worm salt – need a lie down. You can take the girl out of Spain, but you can’t take the siesta out of the girl.

When I awake, Mr Smith is Googling ‘Things to do Playa raining’. It’s raining. A lot. This is unusual, so we brainstorm over breakfast. Mr Smith’s excitement over robes is nothing compared to when he spots Peugeot salt-and-pepper grinders; over green eggs I get a detailed demo – his favourite being grinding level five. I ramp up the coarseness to 11, and salsa verde burns my lip with a pleasure-pain only found in Mexican cuisine. And that’s how we decide to do our own spicy street-food tour. After we swim with turtles, of course.

We jump on a colectivo down the coast to the white sands of Akumal, aka ‘place of the turtle’ in Mayan. We snorkel into the deeper blue to calmly observe a family of three and an elusive ray. Now that we’ve ticked off an activity, we can indulge in local food. We walk to a roadside jerk place called Ferron’s, where the ribs are so soft you can eat the bones. (Mr Smith did.) On the way back we also munch on tacos pastor from authentic El Fogon, then join the line at El Rey del Taco, renowned as the best street tacos.

I’m censoring our night, but it starts off in civilised fashion, with mezcal tasting at mezcaleria La Perla Pixan. We ask questions, we discuss smokiness. One. Two. Three. ‘Turn your head to the left for sabor, right for alcohol.’ Four. Five. ‘Kiss the glass. Breathe out slowly out to taste the smoke.’ Six. ‘Let's go for dinner, shall we?’ Except we don't. We meet a San Fran band who lead us to loco live-music bars. At one point Mr Smith ‘DJs’ (a loose term) in a lock-in. In the wee hours we return to the Thompson – joyful that we get to hang by the pool all day. And now, onto our next Mr Smith destination. We’re holiday playas.


The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Thompson Playa del Carmen’s Guestbook below.

We loved

We loved the hotel, the rooms, the terrace and the rooftop.

Don’t expect

We did not expect the mall outside and the NOISE. We also did not expect the beach house to a different space. We thought when booking the hotel that it was located near the beach. My husband and I had to depart super early on Thursday morning to go to the airport and did not sleep because of the music and the noise. So misleading and disappointed on that part.


Stayed on 4 Apr 2018

We loved

The room was huge with a stunning bathroom; the service was also superb. Ooh La La for the best food.

Don’t expect

Peace and quiet as the hotel next door has a rooftop party everyday until 10-11pm.


Stayed on 21 Aug 2017