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Hidden on a side street, just one block away from Playa del Carmen’s busy beach on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, is the recently opened Acanto Residences & Hotel. The once nondescript, 15-year-old building underwent several rehabilitations before becoming a modern, hacienda-style condominium complex with 21 spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom terraced units ranging in size from 500 to 1,500 square feet.
The hotel, 40 miles south of Cancun, is in a prime spot for those seeking a quieter “Playa,” as the area is known. It is located one block from Fifth Avenue’s shopping and nightlife activity and is also walking distance to the beach. But the hotel is just far enough from both.
“Most of the beach is filled with beach clubs and the hotels next to them are close to the club zone. Therefore, there are often a lot of people and noise in that area. Our hotel is new, quiet and is run with personalized service,” said general manager Luis Novelo Escobedo.
Since the property is not directly on the beach, the hotel affiliated itself with both Indigo and Wicky’s beach clubs so that guests have access to chairs, umbrellas and sun beds, as well as food and drink.
Popular with couples and families, each of Acanto’s suites have kitchens with full-size stoves, refrigerators and microwaves as well as a washer and dryer. Guests can stock their kitchen and purchase laundry items from the many bodegas that line the streets or shop at the grocery store a five-minute walk away. Others can choose to use the hotel’s shopping service, which will stock the kitchen before arrival.
Each suite’s bedroom has either a king-size bed or a king and twin combo. The largest suite accommodates six guests and offers three full bedrooms and marble bathrooms as well as individual plasma televisions. Some rooms have views of Playa’s bustling streets, while others face the hotel’s inner courtyard and its small pool that offers a splash of respite from the humidity that goes into full force come summer.
But it’s the rooftop that’s Acanto’s pride and joy — offering panoramic views of the village — that comes to life at night. There are also several hot tubs and grills — perks of renting certain suites. The rooftop also features a common area, which comes with a barbecue station and a whirlpool, so guests won’t feel left out and can create their own private party. A bar overlooks the lush, bamboo-and-tropical tree-filled interior courtyard where guests mingle in the candlelight, snacking on gourmet hors d’oeuvres during happy hour before heading to dinner at Thornton’s or one of Playa’s many trendy eateries.
The Acanto Residences & Hotelwww.acantohotels.com
The hotel opened under the Desires Hotels flag in December. Acanto is also a member of Great Hotels of the World Premium Collection. Travel professionals can book clients at Acanto with rates starting from $179 per night, based on double occupancy. Travel agents can receive a 30 percent discount.