Playa del Carmen, just a two-hour flight away, is a charming coastal resort town along the Yucatán Peninsula's Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline and is known for its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs.


Looking for an affordable trip not far from Houston? Try Playa del Carmen, Mexico!

Its Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue, is a pedestrian, tree-lined street with dozens of shops, restaurants and nightspots ranging from laid-back bars to dance clubs.

Reef 28 is one of the city's newest hotels, less than a year old, and is situated not far from Quinta Avenida and only one block away from the beach; Mamitas beach is just around the corner. The hotel has two sister properties with a free shuttle offered throughout the day to both.

Yoga is held each morning in the rooftop pool.

The hotel is all-inclusive, including all meals and alcohol and is adults-only. Guests are attended to from the moment they enter the lobby. Check in is fast and efficient and a welcome drink is offered immediately. With four restaurants on site, there are plenty of choices. The main dining room, Capricho, offers a huge buffet at each meal and the chefs are more than willing to cook up something special. is an a la carte menu available as well that had some really great things on it. There is a Mexican food restarant, Cachito, with street views on two corners and outdoor dining available. The chef makes an effort to keep Mexican traditions and the waiters go the extra mile to explain the history behind every plate The Asian restaurant, the Asiatico, offers street dining in addition to tradional seating. Best of all is the rooftop bar, with a casual American-style menu.

At night, you can relax in the rooftop pool with a fantastic view and great music. In general, being an only adults hotel, this is the perfect place for couples who want to come to the beach, but also want to have fun at bars, restaurants and night clubs.

Let me not forget to mention the spa, you MUST book time there during your stay. There are multiple levels to it and you walk away feeling so relaxed. It is tranquil and beautiful. The Okom spa was excellent and the 80-minute, deep tissue massage ($95) was one of the best I have had a resort. Go down to see if they have deals that day and you can save a little money- especially off season.

The rooms were very spacious and bed was very comfortable. There is a large picture window and a small balcony in junior suite rooms; a large wrap around balcony is included with master suites. 

The fitness center has all Life Fitness equipment needed for a good workout. They have several televisions with one on a fitness channel to allow you to work out on screen. They have a schedule of fitness activities by the pool.

The cabanas near the pool are very popular.
The dining space inside is elegant.


There are 128 rooms at Reef 28, each beautiful.
Covered dining is available on the rooftop.


Yellow hibiscus are everywhere by the rooftop pool was nice and had a great party ambience with a wonderful view of the sea. Guests may order meals at the Arriba, the roof top bar bistro, which has a great view of the city and the ocean. The bistro has a variety of items for a quick bite in a relaxing atmosphere with plenty of seating. There are several hot tubs and a limited number of lounges and beds on the deck. The pool was kept at a very nice temperature. There are two hot tubs with one being a cool plunge and one is hot.

Quinta Avenida is a tree-line shopping and eating destination.
The spa is tastefully furnished – this quiet pool is located in an ivy covered room with streams of sunlight pouring down.


If you are looking for a great place to stay in Playa, a chic and urban experience awaits at Reef 28.

Reef 28 has 120 rooms – 104 junior suites and 26 master suites. Free WiFi is included. Free shuttle transportation to and from the airport (with a minimum 5-night stay and only for bookings with best available rate.) For rates and more information, visit

Cynthia Calvert
Author: Cynthia CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.

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