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Why Travelers Are Choosing Airbnbs Over Hotels In Playa Del Carmen

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Playa del Carmen is one of the most sought-after destinations for travelers in the Mexican Caribbean this year.

And despite being home to dozens of top-rated properties, travelers are increasingly choosing Airbnbs over hotels this year. 

a white sand beach with palm trees in playa del carmen

Much like other Mexican Caribbean resort hotspots, there are currently more online vacation rentals in Playa del Carmen than ever before as tourists seek to experience new forms of accommodation.

With that in mind, here’s the latest on why travelers are opting for Airbnbs over hotels and what you need to know before booking one.

Rental building in Cozumel

Airbnbs Surge In Popularity Amid Record-Breaking Summer Season

The busiest summer season on record is officially over in Playa del Carmen. With resorts seeing occupancy rates of over 85%, there’s no doubt that this summer was a huge success for the coastal hotspots’s travel industry.

As Playa del Carmen heads into the quieter shoulder season, new statistics reveal an emerging pattern: travelers are increasingly choosing Airbnbs and other vacation rentals instead of traditional hotels.

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@kaliestrella Literally so dreamy and perfect 🙏🏽 #mexicotiktok #playadelcarmen #vacation #airbnb #airbnbmexico ♬ Agosto – Bad Bunny

While the trend has gained prominence since the end of the pandemic, this year, hotels have noticed a significant dip in occupancy rates across downtown properties.

According to the latest statistics published by Playa del Carmen tourism officials, hotels have sold up to 40% fewer rooms this summer compared to previous years.

Known for its vibrant culture and abundance of cafes, bars, and nightlife establishments, Playa del Carmen’s downtown area is one of the most popular locations for hotel bookings.

But it’s also an emerging hotspot for Airbnbs and other rentals as the coastal destination grows in popularity with young travelers and digital nomads.

playa del carmen downtown area with colorful stalls

Even as Playa del Carmen welcomes more and more tourists, the fact that travelers have more choices than before means that bookings are distributed across a massive number of properties. 

Airbnbs are a huge source of revenue for local homeowners, especially for those who have a property in the downtown area or close to one of Playa del Carmen’s top-rated beaches. 

@takemehome.farha Replying to @stopyours PLAYA DEL CARMEN AIRBNB TOUR We have been to this city 4 times prior and have stayed twice at resorts and twice at Airbnb‘s. For my picky eater family this is the best way to go unless you stay at really expensive all inclusive resorts the food is subpar and we all know I have high standards when it comes to food, so we made 1 meal a day. Very simple uncomplicated delicious dishes and we treated ourselves to 1 meal out at a super restaurant. We also had breakfast at home most of the time. Mexican pastries are phenomenal; pan de dulce with my morning coffee was a match made in heaven. Even though the pool is the common pool for the apartment complex we stayed at, no one hardly ever swam in it. They also cleaned it every morning! 😍 It was almost private and we took a dip at all hours! 😍 Also Playa del Carmen is one of the safest cities I’ve been to. We got pickpocketed at a cenote (which is completely our fault. We were told to put our stuff in lockers and we didn’t…🌚💀)— story for another day, maybe I’ll share more. Will be sharing more vacation content amidst my recipes. #playadelcarmen #playadelcarmenmexico #airbnbplayadelcarmen #mexicovacation #airbnbtour ♬ Ella Baila Sola – Eslabon Armado & Peso Pluma

Offering spacious rooms, stunning views, and convenient locations, Airbnbs are a great option for a number of travelers who want to experience life like a local. 

One of the biggest benefits of online rentals is that they’re also cost-effective compared to resorts, making them an ideal choice for digital nomads and travelers who plan on spending upwards of several weeks exploring Playa del Carmen.

Despite their immense popularity, online rentals also have some important downsides. While they’re undoubtedly cheaper compared to all-inclusives, they lack the services that come with them, such as daily cleaning, room service, and around-the-clock security. 

@mynameisginni La terraza es lo mejoor❤️ #review #hostel #airbnb #playadelcarmen #mexico #reseña #viajar #viaje #backpacker #backpacking #budgettravel #argentina ♬ Calm LoFi song(882353) – S_R

Officials have also been more vocal about safety-related issues in recent months. With online scams on the rise, travelers should only book through official websites or apps, avoiding risky booking channels like social media.

Resorts Are Still King In Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is one of the hottest destinations for travelers this year, and it’s in no small part due to its massive variety of excellent all-inclusives. This summer, the resort destination reported some of the highest occupancy rates in the region. 

@mallerymetz The most magical park l’ve ever been too #xcaret #mexico #playadelcarmen ♬ People – Libianca

Dotting the city’s extensive coastline, they offer some of the highest degrees of luxury and comfort in the Riviera Maya, with properties like Hotel Xcaret Mexico regularly ranked as some of the best in the country. 

With so much variety, travelers have to think carefully about which style of accommodation suits them best.

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