Let's face it: Heading to a tropical destination means you've booked some fun in the sun to erase your daily routine and responsibilities for a while. Staking out a beach or poolside lounger to catch up on some reading with a drink in your hand and toes in the sand are at the top of your agenda. But at some point you'll be itching to explore the culture and sights outside your hotel.
Conveniently overlooking the stunning turquoise waters of Mamitas Beach on the Mexican Caribbean and within walking distance to the nonstop shopping and dining options on La Quinta Avenida in the heart of Playa del Carmen, the recently opened Sordo Madaleno-designed urban beach hotel Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen makes it easy to do both.
A unique fusion of contemporary and Mayan-inspired architecture, the hotel's elevated cobbled entrance and main plaza greets you upon arrival with a Mesoamerican pyramid replica to one side, where water cascades from the top, creating a massive fountain. Gently sloping from the reception area all the way to the beachfront flanked by three infinity pools, El Paseo, an open-air covered pedestrian walkway, leads past check-in desks, kiosks selling fresh baked goods, coffee, ice cream, and a bar serving craft cocktails, completely eliminating the need for a formalized lobby.
Helming the resort’s two main on-site dining venues overlooking Mamitas Beach with on-the-ground guidance from food and beverage director Raphael Alonso (who is native to the area), executive chef Nadine Waechter Moreno's mantra is: fresh, simple, and casual. “We're building on Hyatt's overall campaign to source local ingredients whenever possible,” says Moreno. Although the region has abundant year-round produce and fresh-caught fish, consistently connecting with local fishing boats and farmers that meet the brand's exacting standards in freshness and quality requires ongoing commitment.
Restaurants La Cocina and The Grill at 1 26 feature fresh, made-in-house creations like their signature red wine bread, caramelized brown butter, and innovative cocktails like sake martinis garnished with seaweed.
La Cocina showcases a modern Mexican menu providing an edible tour of Mexico with refined takes on home-style dishes from Sinaloa, Oaxaca, Puebla, the Yucatan Peninsula, and Central Mexico. A fresh array of house-made tortillas are made from scratch each morning complemented by an impressive array of local cheeses and fresh-baked breakfast breads. The Grill at 1 26 specializes in prime steaks like their signature tomahawk and seafood paired with a wine list focusing on Mexican wines from the Guadalupe Valley and Baja Peninsula.
“Since we aren't an all-inclusive, each dish has to have a unique wow factor. We have ongoing themed dinners like Sushi Night every Friday, Cena de Luna Llena (moonlight dinner) at the Grill and barbecues on the beach”, says Moreno. And as the craft beer movement mushrooms across Mexico, their first Octoberfest will soon be on tap.
Just a few blocks’ walk away on La Quinta Avenida, authentic eateries like Almirante Pech serve up barbacoa panucho, a traditional street food made with fried corn masa, barbecue beef, beans, pickled cucumbers, and red onion, as well as other main dishes like pan-roasted octopus kastakan and pork montadito. Dining alfresco here puts you front and center for watching street performers, artisans selling their crafts, and countless families, both local and tourist, strolling by enjoying a night on the town.
Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored visit.