Playa del Carmen in Mexico’s Riviera Maya is one of the hottest tourist destinations in Mexico, not only temperature-wise but popularity-wise as well. Tourists flock year read around from Europe, North America, Brazil, Colombia and Russia, seeking warm temperatures, beautiful beaches, plenty of things to to outdoors and overall a place where to spend good quality time. During my recent visit to the area we visited Mexico’s largest theme park Xcaret and the largest natural aquarium in the world at Xel-Ha, and I had looked for a hotel that was in Playa del Carmen (not Cancun), not expensive and conveniently located, close to restaurants, bus stops and the beach. The result? Hotel Nina, by Hoteles Tukan.
Hotel Nina is the smaller of two hotels in Playa del Carmen that belong to Hoteles Tukan. It is located on Calle 6 Norte, perpendicular to the most popular street in Playa del Carmen (Quinta Avenida) about 5 blocks from the bus station. You can easily walk here in under ten minutes, so don’t bother getting a cab.
While the hotel is in an inconspicuous street, the hotel itself has a modern, recently renovated lobby with AC that will keep you cool in the always hot Riviera Maya. We found the staff to be very friendly and eager to help you out, offering to carry our luggage to the room of our choice as they had a few empty ones and were happy to let us pick one at ground level or move to the upper floor. We chose the latter.
The layout of the hotel is quite simple, with two levels located to the right and left of main entrance. There is a courtyard behind the hotel with a (new since 2012) swimming pool, great to chill out and tan during the mornings. There is also a small Wi-Fi area in the second level, but the signal is strong enough to reach all the rooms, something I appreciated dearly.
The rooms in hotel Nina are on the small side but with enough space for two people. We chose a two bed room instead of a room with a larger queen size bed because we felt the rooms in the upper lever would be more silent. While being there would keep us away from guests who’d be talking when walking in and out there was little we could do about the music that could be heard from nearby restaurants and clubs. This is one thing I would pay a lot of attention to: most of the hotels on 5th Avenue probably suffer from noise excess, and thus I strongly recommend you pick one that is off this main street, like we did.
They all have an LCD TV but if you want to do something else you will be better off in the pool area or the Wi-Fi zone as there is no additional furniture other than the beds and the corner stand where the TV is and under which you can place your luggage. There isn’t space for more either, so don’t expect to see more any time soon. However, this did not bother me at all. I knew that I’d be spending 80% of the time outside, visiting the parks, the beach and dining in one of the nearby restaurants. What I wanted was a non-expensive hotel where I would sleep comfortably, have internet access and could take a shower, and the hotel matched all requirements.
While the rooms and the hotel had been renovated, the bathrooms had been left behind and I feel there is some room for improvement here. Sure, they are clean and there is plenty of hot water, but the old colonial style seems out of place and …well, old.
While the hotel does not have many amenities, guests staying at hotel Nina can visit the sister hotel Hotel Tukan on Quinta Avenida and enjoy the beach club at no cost. The hotel also offers a simple breakfast with some bakery, ham, coffee, tea , milk, cereal and yoghurt.
Our stay in Hotel Nina was pleasant and comfortable. This small hotel has friendly staff and is very conveniently located, with the added bonus of being able to use the facilities of the larger sister hotel Hotel Tukan. It is within walking distance of the bus station, the beach, night clubs, dozens of restaurants and the most popular street in Playa del Carmen. Breakfast is simple but convenient, it has free Wi-Fi, a courtyard and a swimming pool where you can cool off during the hot summer days. While the rooms might be on the small size, they are decorated simply but elegantly, and the bathrooms are clean though could use some styling.Finally, I would recommend you check several sites when booking as prices can vary a lot.
Out stay in Hotel Nina was courtesy of Hoteles Tukan, however this has not affected my review and opinions in any way.
Have you been in Playa del Carmen? What hotel did you stay in? What did you like about it and what didn’t you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below and this post too if you think others might find it useful!