Cheap Hotels Playa Del Carmen

…you’re not visiting this city for your hotel room anyways…

Sometimes I’m completely baffled by people’s spending habits.

Take my two buddies.

They saved every cent they could for six months, surviving off food delivery and refusing to replace all their ripped clothes.

Then they blew $300 USD each on their first night in Playa Del Carmen.

I’ve got other buddies who do the same.

They spend a whole year refusing to see friends because they’re “saving money.”

Then they’ll book a 5 star resort that costs $500 USD a night.

There has to be a balance!

To go on an amazing Playa Del Carmen vacation, you don’t need to spend a full year saving.

There are many ways to keep your costs low – like getting a Playa Del Carmen package, knowing the happy hours, and eating at cheap restaurants here.

But the easiest way to make your vacation here affordable is to stay at one of the cheap hotels in Playa Del Carmen.

Although many travelers are looking to create the vacation of their lifetimes in Playa Del Carmen, there are others who would like to enjoy the city, but don’t want to spend their life savings doing so.

I made this page for the people who are traveling on a budget, but are still banking on sleeping in a comfortable and cool hotel at night.

How To Pick Cheap Hotels In Playa Del Carmen

In order to create this list, I sorted through several hundred hotels.

I chose these hotels primarily because of price.

They are not akin to an all inclusive resort.

None of them will be like Eden on Earth.

You should not expect the same service that you would receive at a $300-$400 USD/night hotel.

However, they are not youth hostels either.

Their prices reflect this.

Despite being cheap, their service is quite reasonable, and the staff are very helpful.

In fact, you will likely get a more realistic idea of the authentic Playa Del Carmen than if you are staying in an isolated beach resort.

Rufus’s Criteria For Choosing Cheap Hotels In Playa Del Carmen

Everybody has to have standards. For this category of hotels, my standards were quite low.

Nonetheless, there were several criteria each of them had to meet before they were able to make this list:

  1. Price – Had to be cheap.
  2. Air Conditioning – They had to have air conditioning so that you could sleep comfortably at night
  3. Location – Had to be in Playa Del Carmen AND reasonably close to 5th Avenue/the beach.
  4. Website – They had to have a website so that you could investigate them and easily check their current rates.

That’s it!

Some of them have a swimming pool; some don’t.

Almost all of them have free access to wi-fi (but mostly just in common areas. Why? I don’t know!)

They all obviously have beds. All of them also have private, non-shared bathrooms.

Finally, they are all located in very safe areas of Playa Del Carmen (not that any area of the city is unsafe).

Don’t worry!

I wouldn’t drop you off in the middle of a war zone!!!


I can remember getting ready to enter my senior year of high school.
I didn’t know it at the time, but my mom had been planning to take my brother and I on a Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas as a graduation present.
(insert photo of cruise ship here) When I found out she was going to take us, I was excited!
However, after I saw the pictures of the beautiful turquoise waters and the huge ship, I could hardly sit in a chair!
It was going to be great!
And then I heard the news –I found out that my mom was going to get one of the cheapest cabins available on the ship.
I was disappointed.
Even angry.
I thought going on a cruise entailed a beautiful balcony with ocean views and a cool salty breeze to boot.”Don’t worry,” my mom assured me, “everyone I talked to has told me that we won’t be spending time in the cabin anyways.
We will be out at the beach or doing other activities.
It’s going to be great!” Guess what?
My mom was correct.
It WAS great!
We didn’t spend any time in the cabin.
We were out shopping.
We were visiting the casinos.
We were swimming, snorkeling, and diving off the tops of the tour boats.
We were visiting the beaches, talking to girls, and exploring the city.
The “cheap” cabin was immediately forgotten!
Other than sleeping and showering, we spent ZERO time there.
It wasn’t because the cabin was so small, dirty, or anything else.
It was because there were so many things to do!!!


Similar to my cruising experience, most people vacationing in Playa Del Carmen will be exploring the city – not sitting in their hotel rooms all day!

I really don’t know why you would spend a lot of time in your hotel.

Hmmm…we could go to the beach, to 5th Ave, to some Mayan pyramids, to the jungle…no let’s hang out in the hotel.

WTF??? There is so much to do and see in Playa Del Carmen, that you really shouldn’t be doing anything more than sleeping in your hotel.

So why spend loads of money on it?

Low Season / High Season / Special Season

There are three general pricing tiers for all hotels in Playa Del Carmen.

They are approximately as follows:

  • High season: November 1 to April 30(Note: This high season is temporarily interrupted by the special season below.)
  • Special season: December 15 to January 5(Note: During this time, prices are extra high because a lot of people have vacations during Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year.)
  • Low season: May 1 to October 31(Note: it is especially hot this time a year, so prices are generally lower)

The Playa Del Carmen Cheap Hotels

“Wow…enough waffling Rufus! Just tell the people what they want to know. Give them the list of Playa Del Carmen budget hotels!” one reader said.

“Okay, here they are…Dumbo…” I politely responded.

Hotel Barrio Latino – Starting At $42 USD/night

A great location between 10th and 15th Ave, clean rooms, and an unbelievably cheap price.

If you want a base to explore the Riviera Maya then this is perfect, especially as it’s very close to the bus station.

Plus the breakfast is included and surprisingly good.

Hotel Alux – Starting At $44 USD/night

Clean, cheap, pretty big rooms, and friendly staff.

You can’t ask for much more.

The major downside is that they lock the door at 11pm, so if you come home late, you’ll have to knock on the door in a drunken state.

Magic Express – Starting At $45 USD/night

Out by the highway, this hotel looks a little like a Holiday Inn from the outside (and inside).

It has large air-conditioned rooms and extras like a great swimming pool and large garden.

However, it’s a long way from the beach and the tourist area of Playa Del Carmen, so you’ll be spending a lot on taxis or giving a lot of exercise walking.

So not really an option if you’re staying for more than a couple of nights.

On the whole, there are better choices for the same price.

Hotel Riviera Caribe Mayan – Starting At $45 USD/night

I can’t believe this hotel is so cheap.

All the rooms overlook a beautiful pool, and they’re surprisingly spacious.

It’s quiet, yet only a block from 5th Ave, plus the décor is reminiscent of a boutique hotel.

If I had to really recommend a cheap hotel, it would probably be this one.

Nina Hotel – Starting At $54 USD/night

A new budget hotel that’s in a “locals” part of town.

You can’t really argue with the price, even if the rooms are pretty pokey and small.

Overall, it’s a solid choice but not the most inspiring.

El Acuario Hotel – Starting At $55 USD/night

A beautiful haven that’s fast becoming one of Playa Del Carmen’s best small hotels.

For the room size, pool, gardens, and facilities, this hotel should cost more like $100 a night.

In fact, don’t tell the owners how good it is.

They haven’t realized that the prices in Playa Del Carmen have gone up in the last ten years!

Hotel Playa Del Karma – Starting At $55 USD/night

Simple rooms and an excellent location just a couple of blocks from the pier, Fifth Avenue, and the beach.

The pool isn’t up to much, but the staff make up for it with their enthusiastic antics.

Poor wifi, but will you really be using it? Don’t forget that most of the restaurants, clubs, bars, etc. also have wi-fi.

Hotel Playa Plaza – Starting At $59 USD/night

If you want a standard budget hotel with decent rooms and a good breakfast, then this is the one.

It’s got very little personality, but for many people that won’t be a problem.

Location, rooms, cleanliness, service – Hotel Playa Plaza does all the basics very well.

Hacienda Paradise – Starting At $60 USD/night

Another Playa Del Carmen cheap hotel that really should be in another price bracket.

This is a beautiful hotel with friendly staff and a stunning garden to chill out in.

And it’s got a perfect central location.

Most importantly, it’s got its own personal touch, like towels folded like teddy bears (not the typical swan that you see in most of the resorts.)

Hotel Quinto Sol – Starting At $60 USD/night

A charming little hotel that just two blocks from the beach.

Forget about the jacuzzi, it’s cold and closed after 8pm.

However, the service, rooms, and jungle-like garden are more than worth the price tag.

A Last Word On Playa Del Carmen Cheap Hotels

Honestly, who spends $200+ USD/night on a resort or hotel when you can spend $50 USD/night and then walk two blocks to the beach?

With all this money you’re saving, what are you going to spend it on?

An ATV jungle tour, visiting unnatural waterpark like Xcaret, swimming with dolphins?

Or partying hard with Rufus on 5th Ave?

If you choose the latter, then get in touch and we will go out for some drinks!

I hope to see you here soon…

Lots of love,


Rufus signature

It’s your turn. Do you have any tips, advice, or suggestions about cheap hotels here? Please leave them in the comments section below!

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