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Top 10 hotels in Mexico

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    Las Brisas Acapulco (The Brisas Hotel Collection)

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    Las Brisas Acapulco (The Brisas Hotel Collection)

Thoughts of visiting Mexico conjure up its beautiful beaches, lively cities, archaeological finds, and natural wonders. Whether you want to hike a rainforest or work on your tan, why not stay at the best places south of the border? Our Top 10 Hotels in Mexico are all properties we recommend for their luxurious accommodations and top service.

LA PAZ

CostaBaja Resort & Spa
La Paz, Baja California Sur

Nature meets luxury at CostaBaja Resort & Spa, situated on 550 acres of environmentally protected coastal lands just outside of La Paz. The resort offers opportunities for whale watching, yoga retreats and sailing — it boasts a double-basin marina with 250 slips. Those who haven't yet found their sea legs will enjoy the comprehensive health spa and Gary Player-designed golf course. Guest rooms are appointed in dark, rich colors to contrast with the vibrant natural world just outside the window, and include private, furnished balconies with views of the marina, the surrounding mountains or the Sea of Cortez. Nearby La Paz is bustling with activity, offering guests a chance to embark on a sea kayaking trip, camping, diving, fishing or a journey into the rich culture of the "City of Peace." The resort also has condos for sale overlooking the Sea of Cortez. For more information, visit www.costabajaresort.com

CABO SAN LUCAS

Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur

Positioned on a secluded bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa merges Old-World elegance and contemporary luxury. Just ten minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas, the resort's prime location provides convenient access to local shops, authentic restaurants and lively cantinas and nightclubs. An abundance of activities is found nearby, from whale-watching tours to swimming with dolphins to snorkeling, scuba diving and horseback riding along the beach. The resort's 635 junior and executive suites — all featuring private, oceanfront balconies or patios — boast feather-top beds, marble baths and even a pillow menu. Guests can also enjoy privileged access to the resort's majestic outdoor infinity pool and steamy hot tubs, state-of-the-art fitness center and a private beach for sunbathing (alas, there's no swimming allowed in these waters). Whether you're in the mood for a romantic candlelight dinner at La Frida or a signature pizza by the pool, the resort offers dining options for every taste, any time. For quality relaxation and royal pampering, treat yourself to a Royal Mexican Deep Lime Body Scrub at The Armonia Spa at Sunset Beach. For more information, visit www.pueblobonitosunsetbeach.com

CABO SAN LUCAS

Esperanza
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur

When only a classic will do, it's time to head to Esperanza. A longstanding favorite with travelers who want more than just the latest fad, this resort uses Mexico's gorgeous coastline to create a new standard of luxury. Al fresco living is a hallmark here, with expansive sea views from every room. Even the junior suites have infinity edge hot tubs for dolphin watching, and the villas treat guests to the experience of sumptuous residential living. Although the activities and nightlife of Cabo are nearby, Esperanza is a destination unto itself, with a stunning spa, beachfront infinity pool, fine art gallery and a collection of restaurants that showcase ingredients from local farmers and fishermen. For more information, visit www.esperanzaresort.com

SAN JOSE DEL CABO

Cabo Azul Resort
Los Cabos, Baja California Sur

From fire sculptures to waterscapes, this all-villa resort strives for a mood that is at one with the elements. Natural details are incorporated throughout, and if Gilligan and his pals had had access to a European designer, the décor at Cabo Azul would have been the result. Villas are ultrachic, and even the smallest one-bedroom accommodations measure in at more than 1,000 square feet. The resort's twelve oceanfront acres include a stretch of white sand beach, a dramatic pool with fire-dancing platforms, PAZ Body & Mind Spa and Javier's Restaurant serving regionally influenced cuisine. Nearby activities range from the Dolphin Encounter to shopping in Cabo San Lucas. For more information, visit www.caboazulresort.com

GUERRERO

Las Brisas Acapulco
Acapulco, Guerrero

As a pink-and-white jeep whisks you from your hillside casita to the private La Concha beach club or perhaps El Bellavista restaurant, you will know why guests return over and over to Las Brisas Acapulco. This 40-acre hillside hideaway boasts breathtaking views of Acapulco's scenic bay and to-die-for sunsets, as well as unparalleled seclusion and access to the area's famed attractions, including the La Quebrada cliff divers. Greet each morning with a leisurely Brisas Breakfast — a thermos of coffee, sweet rolls and fresh fruit delivered right to your door — and then relish theopportunityto relax at your own pace, lingering on your private terrace or heading out to explore one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. For more information, visit www.brisashotelonline.com/acapulco

PLAYA DEL CARMEN

Rosewood Mayakoba
Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

It's no surprise that high-profile jet setters such asPaulMcCartneyand the members of U2 have chosen to retreat to this elegant resort. Showcasing modern, sexy lines that pay tribute to the Mayan pyramids, the architecture is stunning. Natural materials such as Yucatan limestone complement the setting — a meandering lagoon with a mangrove forest running through it. Depending on which of the 128 suites you choose, you will find a rooftop sundeck, terrace, plunge pool, private boat dock and/or outdoor shower. The resort's 1,600-acre size makes it ideal for the eighteen-hole, Greg Norman-designed golf course that runs along its mile-long white sand beach. For privacy nonpareil, Sense spa sits on its own island in the middle of the lagoon. For more information, visit www.rosewoodmayakoba.com

MEXICO CITY

Las Alcobas
Mexico City, Mexico D.F.

This intimate design hotel fits right in with its trendy Polanco district location. Offering just 35 accommodations, including a penthouse overlooking the sophisticated neighborhood, the former 1950sapartmentbuilding is a chic alternative to Mexico City's large luxury hotels. Despite its diminutive size, though, it's big on amenities. Two on-site restaurants serve contemporary Mexican flavors and playful variations on classic cantina dishes, and Aurora Spa crafts treatments inspired by local healing rituals. With wraparound terraces, the suites are to be coveted, while standard guest rooms appeal with custom-made rosewood furniture, Bose surround-sound home theater systems and mini-spa bathrooms featuring rain showers, whirlpools and steam jets. For more information, visit www.lasalcobas.com

SAN MIGUEL DEL ALLENDE

Casa de Sierra Nevada
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

Featuring a hotel and a cooking school in the heart of historic San Miguel de Allende, Casa de Sierra Nevada offers a feast for all of the senses. Stepping through the stone arches, guests will find leafy gardens, flowered courtyards and 22 suites spread out over five sixteenth-century colonial houses. The property is a National Trust Monument, and most rooms (with private patios or secluded entrances) carry on the architectural style of old San Miguel with Talavera tile baths, polished copper sinks and wood-burning fireplaces. A $5 million renovation brought Laja Spa, and while spa treatments are a highlight, the real draw here is the opportunity to take culinary classes in which students tour local markets and learn to create dishes based on regional ingredients. For more information, visit www.casadesierranevada.com

IXTAPA

Capella Ixtapa Resort and Spa
Ixtapa, Guerrero

Tapering down the side of a cliff on Mexico's Pacific Coast, Capella Ixtapa Resort and Spa brings to mind the classic towns of the Italian Riviera. Because of the way the property is laid out, every suite has a vast view of the ocean. The Ocean Front Penthouse Suites are the accommodation of choice, with private terraces and infinity plunge pools. Among three on-site restaurants, A Mares brings together the flavors of regional Mexico. Theluxuriousspa incorporates native herbs into its many treatments and caters to couples with romantic shared experiences. Among numerous activities are Capella Signature Tours, which focus on architecture, nature and even local education.For more information, visit www.capellaixtapa.com

 

ZIHUATANEJO

Amuleto
Playa la Ropa, Guerrero

Many of Mexico's luxury hotels are high-profile ... essentially, they're known for being known. But this little gem is a bit of a well-kept secret, which is why guests often return. With only five suites, it promises exclusivity. Better yet, each designer accommodation pairs a rustic look (stone, wood, thatch) with decadent little luxuries. Depending on your choice, you might find a private plunge pool or hidden hammock. What you won't find is the distraction of TVs and stereos. This place is all about tranquility. The wooden decks and infinity pool are perched 100 meters above the beach, ensuring dramatic views from every corner, including the restaurant. Meals here are a private affair, as al fresco tables are covered with white cloths each night and guests are invited to dine as if in a private home. For more information, visit www.amuleto.net
 

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