Cinco de Mayo: Mexican beach retreats

Celebrate Mexico's victory at the Battle of Puebla at one of these chic coastal hideaways

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The Independent Travel

La Semilla, Playa del Carmen

This nine-room B&B in the resort of Playa del Carmen features furniture picked up at flea markets and haciendas across the Yucatán Peninsula.

The result is a “rough luxe” look which embraces imperfections. Planks of whitewashed wood line the walls in the rooms, where wire-frame beds, vintage road signs, pendant lights and old-fashioned desk fans enhance the easygoing vibe.

Elsewhere, upturned apple crates act as bedside tables and cupboards are replaced with suspended coat hangers.

The Cocina Loft makes for an engaging breakfast room, with mismatched armchairs, scattered sofas and low coffee tables that lead on to a large, leafy courtyard, which brims with tropical plants and outdoor seating. Come sunset, head to the roof terrace for views of Caribbean Sea.

La Semilla, Playa del Carmen (00 52 984 1473234; Doubles from US$233, including breakfast.

Hotel Escondido, Puerto Escondido

One of the thatched cabanas

Part of the chic Grupo Habita (Habita, Condesa DF, Hotel Boca Chica), this beachside hideaway sits on the surf-favoured coast of Oaxaca and comprises a series of rustic, thatched cabanas, a 50m pool, restaurant, beach club, spa and low-key nightclub. 

The 16 cabanas are dotted around cactus- and agave-planted rock gardens and are done out simply with polished teak, crisp white linens, hammock-strung terraces and plunge pools.

Come to surf, wander the wild beaches or simply to get away from it all.

Hotel Escondido, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca (00 52 954 582 2224; Doubles from US$264, room only.

Villa del Faro, Cabo Este


Solitude is the name of the game at this beachside property on the quiet East Cape of Baja California Sur.

Choose from four colourful casitas, all of which are off grid. Pick Casa Alberca for a canopied bed and living room that opens up on to Villa del Faro’s main pool; book Casa Azul for its hammock and outdoor seating area; select Casita Tres for hand-carved furniture; and Casita Dos for its adjoining suites. Explore the grounds to spot hummingbirds, iguanas and see whales surfacing offshore.

Villa del Faro, Cabo Este (00 52 624 147 7404; Doubles from US$225, including breakfast.

CasaSandra, Isla Holbox

CasaSandra's rooms are adorned with contemporary art

The owner of this casa on the Caribbean island of Holbox is an artist, who has lavished the space with her own creations. Works by the likes of Roberto Fabelo and Noel Morera, two contemporary Cuban artists, also line the walls.

The 19 rooms are classically Mexican, with open-fronted decks, bright hammocks and traditional woven fabrics. Outside, visit the hotel’s restaurant, which has won praise from Noma chef René Redzepi or head off-site to search for hawksbill turtles, flamingos, pelicans and whale sharks.

CasaSandra, Isla Holbox (00 52 33 3333 6116; Doubles from US$400, including breakfast.

Villa Las Estrellas, Tulum

Villa Las Estrellas sits on Tulum's beautiful Caribbean shoreline

On the shores of Tulum, Villa Las Estrellas – “the house of stars” – sparkles with a collection of airy, double-height rooms. Each of the nine suites is centred on a linen-draped, four-poster bed, which shifts with the sea breeze.

Go here if you seek barefoot luxury, but not if you’re after an all-singing, all-dancing resort – the remoteness of this jungle-backed region means there are no phones or TVs at the hotel. Instead, drop into the restaurant for fresh octopus and chilled margaritas, or head out to explore the area’s clifftop Mayan ruins.

Villa Las Estrellas, Tulum (00 52 1 9848 790 772; Doubles from US$300, including breakfast.

Las Alamandas, Costalegre

Las Alamandas resort

It’s not hard to see why the Jalisco coast, which runs between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, has been dubbed the Costalegre – or the “happy coast”. One reason many people leave smiling is Las Alamandas, a luxury hotel owned by Isabel Goldsmith-Patiño, the oldest of the late Sir James Goldsmith’s eight children.

Endorphin-raising attributes include four private beaches, regional cuisine produced from the hotel’s garden and a rooftop bar – complete with a telescope – for watching the sun set and the stars appear.

Las Alamandas, Costalegre (00 52 322 285 5500; Doubles from US$340, room only.