Artisan Hotel – New Boutique Hideaway on Playa del Carmen’s Famous 5th Avenue

I’ve been spending plenty of time in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico, which is a fast growing hotbed of new luxury and boutique hotels. With my first visit to this area almost two years ago, the hospitality scene has changed quite dramatically since, securing itself as a definite trendsetter. Playa del Carmen is considered the heart of the Riviera Maya and a true cosmopolitan getaway, featuring local and international flavours for cuisine and also accommodations. Its Carribean good looks combined with its rich Mexican culture makes this coast like no other. And its central location makes it’s a quick trip for any North or South American travellers and growing magnet for European travellers.

Artisan Hotel Playa del Carmen

On Playa del Carmen’s famous Fifth Avenue I recently noticed a new boutique hotel sneak onto the scene, under a new brand called Artisan Hotels. From outside, the hotel politely blends into the quintessential charm of Fifth Avenue and makes no brash attempt for unnecessary attention. Once through the opaque sliding glass doors and into the lobby, you’ll be greeted with a bright, airy space that’s quite unexpected when compared to its discreet interior. And it’s all natural light thanks to the unique use of vertical space that incorporates a tent-covered opening in the roof’s center, shining light through the entire building. This creatively breaths in a nice outdoor atmosphere when the interiors of most hotels this size are made up of dark, claustrophobic hallways (which is especially surprising for one fitted into a bustling tourist strip like Fifth Avenue).

Lobby of the Artisan Hotel Playa del Carmen

And we were lucky to be invited by the hotel to try out one of their 22 suites! Each suite is almost identical, with the Fifth Avenue side offering balcony views of the action below and the back side offering a jacuzzi on private balconies. Each suite uses king size beds, massive 60” TVs, jacuzzi and double-head showers. The complimentary stocked minibar and Keurig coffee machine were very appreciated. We were also greeted with a few complimentary treats and artisanal water as well.

View of 5th Avenue from the Artisan Hotel Playa del Carmen

Now onto the rooftop. Some of its real estate is partially but effectively taken by the open roof/tent concept, but still offers enough room for a decent-sized party and definitely enough for a large portion of guests from the 22 suites. It features a chemical-free infinity pool, big hot tub, bar and lounge area.

Rooftop Infinity pool at the Artisan Hotel Playa del Carmen

The bottom lobby includes a fountain and breakfast/brunch area that’s included with your stay. The breakfast is continental-style, but completely avoids the bland continental reputation thanks to chef Carlos and Marleny.  It offers the usual fresh fruit and pastries, but the highlights are the house-made jams, juice and artisan waters. Gourmet Mexican coffee from a local brewer is offered, along with custom omelets and a range of cheese. We also enjoyed mimosas with their fresh orange juice.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival at Mamita's Beach Club

(Riviera Maya Jazz Festival at Mamita’s Beach Club)

The timing of our stay was also lucky, as it was during the annual Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, which the hotel took us too. It took place at Playa del Carmen’s Mamita’s Beach Club, an international known venue that attracts the world’s best DJs on a regular basis and for the BPM Festival. I also should note the location of the Artisan, which is at the start of Fifth Avenue’s trendy north end and only a couple blocks from Mamita’s Beach Club and all the white sand and Caribbean water you need. So this hotel is an excellent choice if you want close access to the beautiful public beach, want bottle service at Mamita’s or are visiting for the Jazz Festival, the BPM festival and other musical events.

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Photography by Anna Sofia of

Simon Gerard
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Simon is a luxury marketing consultant and editor at Luxury Branded. He writes about luxury brands, travel and lifestyle trends for our blog and our clients. He lives for travel and spends most of his time between Vancouver, BC and the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Follow him on Twitter: @S_Gerard and on Google Plus: +Simon Gerard