Playa del Carmen’s Answer to Mayan Fusion
photo courtesy of Sarah Oomen
When I head to a new culinary destination, I like to do some pre-travel research. Whether I read magazine articles or pour over pages of online reviews, I like to have some idea of where I’ll be chowing down abroad. I’ve also been known to research on the fly via Blackberry (thank goodness for the unlimited international data plan) while navigating the streets of Krakow or the canals of Venice. And sometimes, when I’m in full-on vacation mode and the cell phone is locked away, I rely on word of mouth. Read more
Playa del Carmen, Mexico is a fantastic getaway spot for a long weekend. The seaside resort town is located an hour south of Cancun, in the center of the Mayan Riviera. While Cancun has a reputation for booze cruises and underage binging, Playa exudes a laid back, European vibe. The surrounding area is known for its Mayan ruins, underwater cenotes and luxury resorts. Having gone the all-inclusive route last year, while certifying as an advanced diver, I wanted to spend time in downtown Playa. Brimming with boutique hotels and B&Bs, Playa del Carmen offers a variety of wallet-friendly accommodations for all tastes from South Beach chic to red-light bondage (check out the Reina Roja’s industrial-design lobby featuring metal cages, chained mannequins, and a swimming pool.) Playa’s heart line, the always-lively 5th Avenue, is packed with an array of trendy restaurants, bars and shops.