When visiting Mahékal Beach Resort, I stayed in one of the thatched-roof bungalows which have a refreshingly simple interior design, an indoor and outdoor shower, and a hammock out front. Paradise!
The nearby white sand beach is spectacular, and with its 800 feet of waterfront the longest stretch in Playa del Carmen. Needless to say, I did not want to leave it to explore tourist central Avenida Quinta, located just five minutes from the resort.
Mahékal has an easy, and relaxed feel. The owners and staff go to great lengths to preserve its authenticity. You realize that you're in Mexico–but if you want Playa del Carmen with all its restaurants, shops, bars etc., it is at your fingertips, too.
One of my favorite encounters at the resort was to meet the lovely Boli–Mahékal's long-time concierge. He read me correctly (get me off the beaten paths, please!) and made great suggestions of things to see and to do. He's wonderful, and not surprisingly a bar at the resort will soon be named in his honor. I can't wait to return and have another margarita there!