If you are planning your vacation in the Riviera Maya, one of the main dilemmas you will face is whether to pay for an All-Inclusive Hotel or rent an apartment. 

It’s not about whether one is better than the other, from my point of view it depends a lot on what you plan to do on your vacation. There are certain activities that will be easier if you are in the All-inclusive. Don’t worry we will tell you which ones are easier.

This time we will analyze the differences between these types of accommodations based on 3 points: Food, Mobility, and Comfort. 


All-inclusive usually offer a buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch, as well as specialty restaurants that depending on the resort, may have an extra cost.

One of the advantages of All-Inclusive is that you don’t have to break your head thinking about what you are going to eat. The options are there and you just have to decide what to serve yourself.

One of the disadvantages of the All-Inclusive is that many times the buffets are not the best in terms of taste. Also, consider that some of the best restaurants in the area are located inside resorts such as X-caret or Grand Velas. 

If you rent a vacation home you will have the chance to try different restaurants throughout your vacation. Mexico is known worldwide for its gastronomic diversity and the Riviera Maya is not far behind in terms of gastronomic options.

Something to consider if you travel to the Riviera Maya is that you will most likely visit the 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. The 5th avenue offers you a wide range of options, there you can find Mexican, Italian, Thai, Argentinean, even Portuguese restaurants.

Now, something to take into account is that if you rent a vacation home it is very likely that one day or another you will decide to eat at home and therefore you will have to wash dishes. 

The 10 Best All-Inclusives in the Riviera Maya


Most of the resorts in the Riviera Maya are located on the road from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. The distance between Playa del Carmen and Tulum is 64.4 km, it is not very long so it will not take you that long to get from the resort to Tulum or Playa del Carmen.

Something to consider is the prices of the transportation service from a resort. A cab will charge you a minimum of 600 Mexican pesos to take you from your resort to Playa del Carmen.

However, there is also the option of the shuttles that will charge you 40 pesos per person, but they are not very comfortable. 

A vacation rental can help you spend less on transportation. Playa del Carmen is a relatively small city, so you won’t spend much on transportation.

One thing to keep in mind is that many attractions such as cenotes, ecological parks, and ruins are located outside of Playa Del Carmen.

So you will have to take transportation, you have 3 options: Take a cab (they will charge you at least 400 pesos one way and 400 pesos return), rent a car (in high season they are at 900 pesos per day) or take public transportation, which is the cheapest option and also the most uncomfortable option.


The advantage of the All-inclusive is that you have almost everything inside the resort. You have the beach, pool, restaurants, some even have discotheques inside the resort.

Having all this at hand allows you to have fun, have a few beers without any problem because you know that your room is just a few meters away.

One of the most important advantages is that you won’t have to do the cleaning at all, so you will be able to rest totally in your vacations. 

In this area, vacation rentals are at a disadvantage. A hotel offers you all the comforts so that you can just enjoy your vacation. 

However, If you have a family of 4 or more, you may be better off in a house. Most hotel rooms only allow 4 people per room, so you will have to divide your family. And let’s be honest, moms hate to divide their kids. So if you don’t want to expend that much and keep your wife happy a Vocational rental will be better for you.

You may also like: Price of Buying a car in Mexico

So, What is better?

As I said at the beginning of the article it will depend. it will depend on what you want to do. But don’t worry either way you will have a lot of fun in the Riviera Maya. The Riviera Maya have everything, good food, natural parks, nightlife, and a lot of cultural heritage. 

If you have any other doubt about your vacations in the Riviera Maya don’t hesitate to contact us. 



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