Hotel Eden (Av. Andrés Quintana Roo near Calle Lázaro Cardenas, tel. 998/871-0450, www.puertomoreloseden.com , US$40 studio with kitchenette, US$50 studio with a/c and kitchenette) may not be the paradise its name suggests—in fact, it’s quite stark, in its cement and white-washed way—but remains an excellent budget option all the same. Spacious studios have cable TV, clean hot-water bathrooms, and small but fully equipped kitchenettes (even a blender and coffee machine); 2nd-floor units have air-con in the bedroom, too. That, plus the hotel is located on a quiet street just two blocks from the beach—a real deal for just 50 bucks.
Casa Cacahuate (Calle 2, Zona Urbana, tel. 998/208-9148, www.mayaecho.com , US$30 s, US$50 d, breakfast included) is a bed-and-breakfast located in Puerto Morelos ’s “residential area” on the inland side of the highway, offering a rare opportunity to experience the nontouristed side of the Riviera Maya. Homey even by bed-and-breakfast standards, the house has two tidy guest rooms upstairs and the personable owners below, all sharing a palapa-covered terrace, outdoor sitting area, and ample gardens with enticing hammocks and chairs. The owners maintain close ties with the community and host a popular crafts market and Jungle Spa on-site. The beach and central plaza are a bit of a hike—the main drawback to staying here—but taxis are plentiful and relatively affordable (e.g., US$4.50 to the central plaza or beach).
Operated by a friendly English-speaking family, Posada El Moro (Av. Javier Rojo Gómez near central plaza, tel. 998/871-0159, www.posadaelmoro.com , US$60 s/d, US$70 s/d with a/c, US$75–80 s/d with a/c and TV, US$90 suite with a/c, TV, and kitchenette) is a homey hotel and a great deal to boot. It has 18 brightly painted units with polished cement floors, comfortable beds, and plenty of natural light. There’s free Wi-Fi in the lobby, plus a pleasant little pool surrounded by hammocks and lounge chairs for relaxing. Continental breakfast is available to guests every morning, too.
Located on a residential block, Hotel Mexicoplus (Av. Niños Héroes s/n, tel. 998/871-0232, www.mexicoplus.com , US$50 s/d, US$60 s/d with a/c) offers simple rooms with minifridge and cable TV. Units are a bit stuffy, some even musty smelling, though opening the windows helps a ton. There is a restaurant on the ground floor where complimentary breakfast is served.
Rancho Sak Ol (1 kilometer/0.6 mile south of the central plaza, tel. 998/871-0181, www.ranchosakol.com , US$95 s/d with or without a/c, US$135 suite, two-night minimum) is a relaxing palapa hideaway a short distance south of town. Rooms have hanging beds—which are actually quite stable—and individual patios with hammocks. Downstairs units have air-conditioning, while upstairs rooms have cross breezes. A large buffet breakfast is included, and guests can use the well-stocked community kitchen; for eating out, the town is an easy 15-minute walk away. The beach here is just okay—very clean, with good snorkeling offshore, but with rather thin sand and boxed in by the cargo ferry on one side and a huge condo complex on the other. Still, there’s enough breathing room so as not to spoil Rancho Sak Ol’s quiet, isolated feel. The resort is for adults only, except during the low season and Christmas, when children over the age of 10 are welcome. The use of snorkel equipment and bicycles also is included in the rate.
Club Marviya (Av. Javier Rojo Gómez near Calle Lázaro Cardenas, tel. 998/871-0049, www.marviya.com , US$75–96 s/d including breakfast, US$110 studio with a/c and kitchenette) is a laid-back place with six rooms and a communal kitchen, plus larger studio apartments a short distance away. The hotel rooms are located within a converted hacienda-style mansion just a few steps from the beach. They have firm beds, tile floors, and—except one on the 1st floor—ocean views (albeit small ones) from private terraces. The studios are spacious and tidy, each with air-con and kitchenettes. They open onto a leafy courtyard with a nice pool—a welcome feature on a hot day. Bikes and beach gear can be rented or borrowed; look for deep discounts in the off-season, too.
A perfect place if you’re traveling with kids or planning a longer stay,
Abbey del Sol 2 (Av. Niños Héroes s/n, tel. 998/871-0127, www.abbeydelsol.com , US$60 s/d with a/c, US$105–110 condo with a/c) is one property in a collection of a few around town that offer modern, clean, and comfortable accommodations. Here, nicely appointed units have king-size beds, balconies or private courtyards, and fully equipped kitchens (all excepting one). There is a well-tended pool in the leafy garden and a rooftop patio with palapa-shaded hammocks. Complimentary use of bicycles also is included. If it’s booked, check the website for equally comfortable options.
Villas Clarita (Av. Niños Héroes near Calle Benito Juárez, tel. 998/871-0042, U.S. tel. 970/225-0907, www.villasclaritamexico.com , US$120–150 per night, US$600–1,200 per week) has a handful of comfortable condos that open onto two courtyards: One has a large pool with lots of lounge chairs and tables, while the other is a leafy, almost wild, garden. Most of the apartments have a hacienda-like feel, with arches, wrought-iron detailing, and muted colors, and are decorated with heavy wood Mexican furnishings. (The better ones open onto the garden courtyard, though families may like having an apartment right next to the pool.) All have full kitchen, air-con, cable TV, Wi-Fi, purified water, and even daily maid service. Breakfast is included from November to May; other discounts available online.
On the main beach, Carmen Hacienda (Av. Rafaél Melgar 5, tel. 998/871-0448, toll-free Mex. tel. 800/227-6366, www.carmeninn.com , US$90–130 s/d with a/c) has rooms that fall into two categories: renovated and not renovated at all. The prior are bright and spacious with ocean views, good beds, tile floors, and quiet air-con. There’s not much decor, but the view makes up for it. The other rooms, though oceanfront, are dismal for the price—missing toilet seats, old furnishings, and window unit air-con (aka the loud ones). Though the price is lower for these rooms, if you can’t swing the renovated rooms, you’re better off elsewhere. There also is a small pool on-site, as well as a decent restaurant.
Ceiba del Mar (1.5 kilometers/0.9 mile north of town, tel. 998/872-8063, toll-free Mex. tel. 800/426-9772, toll-free U.S. tel. 877/545-6221, www.ceibadelmar.com , US$210–460 s/d, US$420–930 s/d all-inclusive) offers a high-end resort experience with a laid-back vibe. Located in eight three-story stucco buildings, the units are elegantly appointed and have the modern amenities you’d expect, like pillow menus, fine linens, flat-screen TVs, and Wi-Fi. Continental breakfast is included and is served in-room through a butler box—you won’t even have to throw on your robe to open the door. The resort also boasts two glorious pools, a full-service spa and gym, two restaurants, a dive shop, and tennis courts with lights. The resort offers complimentary use of snorkel gear, kayaks, and bikes, too.
Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort (Blvd. El Cid Unidad 15, tel. 998/872-8999, toll-free U.S. tel. 888/733-7308, www.elcid.com , US$296 s/d with a/c, US$341–378 suite with a/c, US$391–438 one-bdrm apt with a/c) is Puerto Morelos’s first all-inclusive resort—a milestone that didn’t please everyone in this tightly knit town. It’s fairly small by Riviera Maya standards but far larger than anything else in Puerto Morelos. The resort gets high marks from families, with a kids club, waterslide, and manageable size, though the beach is smallish and sometimes littered with coral fragments. There is a full-service spa on-site—including beachfront massage tables—as well as a great little gym with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Caribbean. Rooms have modern tasteful decor and lots of natural light; larger units have two full bathrooms, kitchen, and en suite hot tubs. The hotel is located well south of town, though complimentary bicycles are available.