Top Airbnb rentals in Playa del Carmen

Finding happiness in the present moment certainly . But I have to say that right now, I’m like an excited kid counting down until Christmas.  Ever since I’ve booked my trip, I have been wishing that I could jump ahead a couple of weeks. At this moment, I want to be on my way to Merida, one of my top five Mexican cities. The day can’t come soon enough until I’m kicking back in the restored colonial home I just booked on Airbnb.

This user-friendly platform has become my go-to booking site. Specifically for families with three or more children, it’s difficult to find a single hotel room that accommodates five guests. Thanks to incredible hosts and charming Airbnb vacation rentals, my family has savored countless unforgettable stays.

Besides having the benefit of sleeping in a room separate from our sleep-talking son (bless his heart), we love exploring new neighborhoods. Staying away from a city’s hotel zone, gives us a full-on immersion into the local culture and lifestyle.

There are a staggering amount of Riviera Maya rental options on Airbnb. In order to simplify your search, here are seven Playa del Carmen vacation rentals fit for royalty without the extravagant prices.

El Presidente Penthouse at The Elements

Elements Penthouse Airbnb Rental Playa del Carmen

This property receives a lot of fanfare for its exceptional ocean views and multiple custom designed outdoor living spaces. If you’re a well-heeled traveler coming from the cold country, the private roof terrace is the ideal spot for soaking up the sun and expelling winter blues. Heck, these divine Caribbean views are enticing no matter what season it is!

Imagine lounging under a starry sky, sharing a bottle of fine wine with your partner, and listening to the ebb and flow of the waves nearby. Alternatively, if you are traveling with a group, your tropical palace has its own wet bar, plunge pool and expansive seating area. Whipping up a batch of minty mojitos for your pals will be the only pressing call of duty.

In the morning, take a front-row seat to one of the greatest shows on earth – the Playa del Carmen sunrise. The explosion of colors over the turquoise seascape will beckon you to the silky, white sand. Before long, you’ll be perched under a palm tree at The Elements exclusive beach club, enjoying signature cocktails and more of the million-dollar view.

The two-level penthouse also features an exquisitely tailored kitchen to suit the needs of any top chef. But if the splendid Playa dining scene appeals to you, ask your designated ambassador to assist in scheduling dinner reservations. Regardless if you dine in or out, this top achiever provides a refined taste of upscale Caribbean lifestyle. Hence, it’s one of the many reasons El Presidente sits at numero uno on the list.

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Oceana 122

Oceana Airbnb Playa del Carmen

This spectacular two-bedroom plus den offers over eleven hundred square feet of luxurious finishes and fantastic amenities. First of all, you’ll appreciate the direct access to the sophisticated pool area, snack and beverage bar, as well as the fitness center.

Then there’s the entire wall of noise canceling sliding doors. Each day, the sun filters in to saturate the dapper interior space, highlighting pieces collected from local Mexican artists. Every room has been equipped with contemporary furnishings, a Smart television, and plush bedding providing a level of comfort satisfactory for any king or queen.

Finally, it sits steps away is Playa del Carmen’s most desirable beach clubs, Mamitas and Kool. Boasting posh sun beds, elegant pools and elite DJs, these sandy oases typically attract stylish trendsetters from around the world.

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Paseo del Sol Reef 201

Paseo del Sol Reef 201, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

This palatial vacation home is perfect for a double royal couple getaway. Two grand bedrooms offer sun-soaked tropical views and the open layout has ample room for an entourage (if that’s how your excellency rolls.)

The home’s umpteen windows impeccably frame the exotic, colorful gardens of Paseo del Sol. From this vantage point, you also have an incredible vista of the 95-meter pool. Not only is the kitchen is fully appointed, but this property is one of the few homes in the city that possesses a soaker tub.

Above all of its fabulous features, any king will love the magnificent outdoor living space with its grill and handsome seating area. The covered exterior space is an inviting, shady spot to entertain. Due to the quiet corner location, you can take an uninterrupted breezy siesta or relax with a good book anytime of day. The view from the top is certainly a majestic one from the impressive 2-bedroom vacation haven.

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Kuxtal 402

Kuxtal Airbnb Rental in Playa del Carmen

You’d never guess once you’re inside this serene, three-level sanctuary that you’re in the bustling heart of Playa del Carmen. Perched atop your royal getaway residence, you can admire the turquoise views by day and the moonlit sky by night from your private rooftop. Besides the plunge pool, the ocean breezes on the spacious entertainment area will keep you feeling fresh and cool.

Alongside 5 of your favorite travel companions, you’ll spend a divine week at this contemporarily designed building. Located just a five-minute walk away are Playa del Carmen’s renowned beaches. The elegant home is furnished to the nines. In addition, your own personal concierge is available 24/7 to take your vacation experience to the next level. In-house massages? Chef service? Yacht rental for the day? No problem; your wish is his command.

Whether your days are spent at the beach or roaming the Riviera Maya’s exceptional natural wonders, you’ll find it hard to leave your Kuxtal kingdom.

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Aldea Thai 305

Aldea Thai luxury Airbnb Rental in Playa del Carmen

The private roof terrace at Aldea Thai 305 is by far, one of the most spectacular your highness will encounter in all of Playa del Carmen. Although its sheer size is as immense as a typical communal area, this exquisite space belongs to you and your party alone. The pristine plunge pool –yours. The jaw-dropping blue-green view – all yours!

As intriguing as relaxing up on that regal terrace is for the entire week, you’ll want to pay a visit to the show-stopping Aldea Thai pool. No need to haul a heavy cooler down. A mixologist is on hand daily at the thatched roof pool bar to create some of the finest cocktails in the city. Additionally, with the opulent poolside setting and zen playlist, you’ll relish every heavenly minute away from royal duties.

Within your not-so-humble abode, you’ll find all you need to unwind and even more splendid sea views. Just steps from the grandiose entrance of the Aldea Thai property, is Mamitas Beach Club. You can dine seaside or put your feet up on a curtained day bed to shade yourself from the midday sun. Big name DJs from around the world get the party started around the ultra-chic infinity pool area.

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The Elements Penthouse 21

Elements Penthouse Luxury Airbnb Rental in Playa del Carmen

The immaculate Penthouse 21 at The Elements is one of those stellar properties that you might find gracing the pages of exotic travel magazines. The glistening Caribbean views and superior service included in your stay make this residence the ideal fit for a VIP guest.

As you set foot within this impressive three-bedroom penthouse, you immediately get the sense that it’ll be a vacation to remember. Its superb position opposite the sea, along with its complete wall of windows give you a glorious introduction to the Caribbean view. The marvelous tropical setting lures you outdoors to enjoy Playa del Carmen’s endless summer climate to the fullest.

The pinkish-orange sunrise, which bursts over the vibrant teal seascape each morning will take your breath away. Equally, the bobbing fishing boats on the sea will leave spellbound. The view is like a remarkable painting come to life.

The exquisite two-level vacation home features a cool water Jacuzzi overlooking the majestic garden and no-edge pool. In any case,  either one of the exterior living spaces present an unobstructed turquoise scene that dreams are made of.

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Abrazo del Mar at Magia Playa

Abrazo del Mar at Magia Playa Airbnb Rental

This majestic three-bedroom vacation home rounds out our list of high-end, Playa del Carmen properties without a hefty price tag. Abrazo del Mar, meaning ‘A Hug from the Sea’ does just that. From your stately terrace off the second-level master bedroom, the ocean breeze embraces your soul, transporting you to vacation bliss.

The panoramic Caribbean views from the pair of ample terraces are as outstanding as it gets. Two stunning pools sit amidst the perfectly manicured one-acre green space, located just a half block away from the picturesque Riviera Maya coastline.

Similarly to the above-mentioned properties, Magia Playa presents every superior amenity you’d expect of a lavish property. Most noteworthy are its Caribbean views and superb master bedroom. Plus, its prime location means you are just steps from Indigo Beach Club, and one block from an array of fine eateries, boutique stores and galleries.

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A one-week’s stay at any one of these extraordinary properties is sure to be a highlight of your year, if not your lifetime. Paradise is more affordable than you think, and just a click away.

15 Vacation Rentals in Playa del Carmen for that special occasion

The Mexican Caribbean holds a mysterious power over those who grace its sandy shores. Once seduced by her beauty, you are forever under her spell. The hypnotic motion of turquoise waves rolling in to kiss palm-fringed shores. The way the rising sun sets the sky ablaze with color bursts of orange and pink. The illusion of a thousand glistening diamonds dancing upon the water as the moon shines on the sea’s glassy surface come nightfall. These images make a lasting impression and become permanent residents in the hearts and minds of anyone who is fortunate enough to witness their grandeur.

Since too many people live a hectic lifestyle overflowing with social and professional obligations, the easy-going pace of the Caribbean life is more appealing than ever. Scientists are proving that spending time at the beach is good for the mind and body. Hearing the rhythmic waves de-stimulates the brain. These soothing sounds along with the visuals of the sand and surf, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which settles us into a relaxed state (also known as tropical bliss around these parts.)

If you have a special occasion coming up and are looking for a memorable destination, your search should begin and end in Playa del Carmen. Recently awarded for Leading City Break Destination in Mexico and Central America, this slow-paced, yet cosmopolitan city showcases extraordinary white-sand beaches, a high-end gastronomy and nightlife scene as well as phenomenal natural surroundings.

Are you ready to disconnect from a constant stream of incoming emails and phone calls? Or leave behind soccer practices and homework in exchange for some dreamy downtime with your family or your best pals? Does the idea of spending a string of stress-free sunny days and good times with your favourite people in the world light you up? What better environment to encourage connectedness and a sense of playfulness than on a relaxed beach vacation?

Recently we welcomed a group of guests who had reunited in Playa del Carmen forty years after graduating from college. Under a blanket of blue skies and coconut palms, the fellow alumni had a blast catching up for a week and rekindling their friendships.

Flying in from different cities, families convene in the Riviera Maya for some uninterrupted, quality time in paradise with the grandparents, cousins and other cherished relatives. The Caribbean coastline, cenote swimming holes, and eco-parks offer the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure for travellers of every age.

Before their upcoming nuptials, brides and grooms-to-be flock to Playa del Carmen with their closest friends and family to officially say farewell to their freedom, uh hum, their single status. The fabulous casual, yet metropolitan vibe of the city is ideal for those who want to soak up the Caribbean sun by day then dine at posh eateries and hit the dance floor by night.

When celebrating an important occasion with people who are dear to you, it’s nice to be able to unite in an intimate and comfortable setting. Furthermore, if you decide to mark a momentous time in your life in an exotic vacation destination, it’s befitting that you be wowed by the accommodations and services you have spent your hard-earned money on.

We have put together a list of Top 15 vacation rental properties in Playa del Carmen to celebrate a meaningful event. These homes away from home offer plenty of space to gather together and heavenly ocean views that will make it hard for you to leave.

El Faro Surf 205

El Faro

If you are wondering what to get the child who has everything for Christmas or a milestone birthday, forget the latest smart phone and instead, gift him/her with an experience all of you will never forget.

This luxury, 2-bedroom vacation home is perched at the water’s front at El Faro, meaning ‘The Lighthouse.’ Dine al fresco on the balcony, which overlooks the property’s glorious pool and grounds. Most importantly, you have the opportunity to absorb Mother’s Nature’s most awe-inspiring handiwork from one of the best seats in the house.

Apart from being a few feet from the Caribbean Sea, you will appreciate the downtown location, which is near fantastic beach clubs and just around the corner from a variety of excellent eateries like Maison Pierre, Patio 8, and Frida Kahlo.

The Elements Penthouse 14

Elements Penthouse Rental Playa del Carmen

This spacious, top floor condo overlooks the tremendous no-edge pool and features a turquoise vista that most people only dream of waking up to. Your group will rest well in the three ample bedrooms and can kick back with drinks and a plunge in the cool water Jacuzzi just off the master bedroom on the upper floor terrace.

By day, the crew can catch some sun around the pool or take advantage of the food and beverage service at The Elements exclusive beach club. At night, there are several exquisite eateries nearby to choose from. Casual brick-oven pizzerias, mouth-watering Mexican restaurants and succulent seafood options are within a ten-minute walk from the property.

Casa Paraiso

Casa Paraiso rental

On the south end of Playa del Carmen, is the elegant villa, Casa Paraiso. Featuring four bedrooms and a rooftop with a jaw-dropping Caribbean view, this too is an ideal option for a family reunion or getaway with friends.

The private pool is engulfed by a vibrant, tropical garden. On the roof terrace is the perfect place to relax with a bottle of wine as you listen to the melodic lull of the waves under a star-filled night sky.

The beach is one block from your front door, so you can count on some memorable moments spent in the sand and surf. Have your Bric ambassador arrange for your own private chef for the week or explore 5th Avenue, Playa del Carmen’s lively dining and shopping district, about a 20-minute walk from the divine property.

Aldea Thai Penthouse 306

Aldea Thai vacation rental

Located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, this magnificent penthouse sits looking straight onto the Caribbean. Honeymooners, you will love having the large, private roof terrace and plunge pool all to yourselves. The striking, panoramic ocean views will literally stop you in your tracks.

Aldea Thai presents one of the most sophisticated communal pool areas in town with loungers and day beds as well as a fantastic palapa pool bar serving top-notch mezcals and other premium liquors. A half block away is the famous Mamitas Beach Club where some of the best DJs on the planet have played. Find a sunbed along the white sand beach and cool off in the crystal clear waters. For a ultra-cool vibe where the fun lasts all day, Mamitas Beach is a top choice.

The Elements Penthouse 21

Elements Penthouse Playa del Carmen

This spectacular 2-level penthouse presents 3 spacious bedrooms to accommodate 8 guests comfortably. Strike up the barbecue and enjoy Playa del Carmen’s endless summer climate 365 days a year. Enjoy a happy hour around the pool or select your teams for a volleyball match at The Elements fabulous beach club, reserved for guests only.

The prime, north end location gives you convenient access to the sublime white shoreline, as well as a host of tantalizing restaurants just a block or two from the property. With the upscale amenities and incredible blue-green vistas from this vacation home, it is probable that you will want to stay close to home and relish every moment in this pristine paradise.

Abrazo del Mar

Abrazo del Mar condo rental Playa del Carmen

This 2900 square foot penthouse stunner offers 2 floors of fantastic indoor and outdoor living space. Imagine gathering together for breakfast on the wide terrace and taking in the million-dollar view at the start of each day.

The lush 1-acre property of Magia Playa is just a half block from the picture-perfect Indigo Beach Club, which is open for breakfast through to dinner. Also within a 5-minute walk is 5th Avenue, a pedestrian-only street lined with exceptional restaurants, dive centers, galleries, pubs brand name stores and boutique shops.

If it is even possible to tire of the beach, you can choose to lounge by Magia’s two pristine pools or on your private roof terrace with its cool water Jacuzzi. This incredible ocean view home has everything needed for a comfortable stay including a fully appointed kitchen, 3 king size beds, a massive outdoor sitting area with wet bar off of the master suite, an elevator, parking and a central location.

El Presidente at The Elements

El Presidente at the Elements Playa del Carmen

From this prime piece of Caribbean real estate, it seems as though your balcony sits immediately over the sea. The vast, turquoise views will render you speechless and can be enjoyed from the master bedroom, open living area and private roof terrace. The custom-designed rooftop features a bar, Jacuzzi and plush seating area.

If you plan to commemorate an anniversary, this immaculate vacation home exudes romance. Have your Bric ambassador stock your fridge with champagne or arrange for a couple’s massage in the comfort of your own space.

Across the street is The Elements exclusive beach club where you can begin a morning stroll along the powdery-soft shore and admire the magnificent sunrise. Nearby are quaint coffee shops, French bakeries and a dozens of artisan and jewellery shops where you can choose a memento of your special trip together.

Casa Pescada Blanca

Casa Pescada Blanca rental home Playa del Carmen

With 2 private pools and an expansive, ocean view roof terrace, you would not have to set foot off the property for an entire week to enjoy complete and utter bliss. However, the beach is too close that it would be a shame to miss out on some fun in the sun and sand.

Located in the serene beach community of Playacar Phase 1, this 4-bedroom villa can comfortably accommodate 12 guests. Just one block from Playa del Carmen’s best and least crowded stretch of beach, you will be in awe of the marvellous views and the sweet smell of the sea air. Nearby, are centuries-old Mayan remnants worth exploring and the city’s main dining and shopping district is a leisurely walk from Casa Pescada Blanca.

This spacious vacation home provides plenty of options to gather together with your fellow guests. The open living area features a fully equipped kitchen, oversized dining table and space at the breakfast bar for 4. Up on the third level is the partially covered roof terrace. Take a dip in the plunge pool, which looks directly onto the Caribbean and offers a view that spans to the island of Cozumel. Take advantage the infinite summer climate and throw some steaks or fresh seafood on the grill. There is little left to be desired when you choose to stay at Casa Pescada Blanca.

Embassy Penthouse at The Elements

Embassy Penthouse vacation rental Playa del Carmen

There is much to love about this exquisite 3-bedroom penthouse that rests upon one of the most fetching properties in Playa del Carmen. An entire wall of windows on the main floor frames the captivating turquoise vista. On the upper level, is an ample third bedroom with 2 king beds and another spectacular sea view.

The owners have spared no expense in creating a cosy atmosphere for their guests. Custom furnishings, high thread count sheets, and abundant indoor and outdoor seating mean that you will have no trouble settling in and succumbing to vacation sedation. Enjoy meals together, snacks and drinks at the exclusive beach club, or lie by the pool with a pitcher of margaritas.

At night, you will love the prime location, just two blocks from a plethora of excellent options for dining and entertainment. In the quiet neighbourhood of your home away from home you will find amazing fresh juice bars, spas, pizzerias and lovely, Playa-esque eateries. The Embassy penthouse makes an ideal base for enjoying the many wonderful aspects of this laid-back city by the sea.

El Marine at La Brisa

La Brisa rental condo Playa del Carmen

La Brisa is an excellent option for a family trip to Playa del Carmen. Two adjoining condos each have their own kitchen and master bedroom. Between both vacation homes, six adults and two children can sleep comfortably. This roomy combination gives you privacy, while still allowing your group to stay together.

On the fantastic, communal roof terrace, you can soak up the warm Mexican sun and savour the 180-degree view of the spectacular turquoise seascape. Or nestle into a shaded day bed with a good read as the kids entertain themselves in the glistening pool.

El Marine is only a half block from the renowned white sand shoreline of the Riviera Maya. Also within a 5-minute walk is Playa del Carmen’s famed 5th Avenue, bursting with dining, shopping and entertainment options.

Penthouse 24 at The Elements

Elements Penthouse condo rental Playa del Carmen

Each of the thirty-plus homes by Bric Vacation Rentals in The Elements features luxury finishes and top-notch workmanship. However, the owners of Penthouse 24 recently remodeled their vacation home and the result was extraordinary. Accent brick walls, a custom kitchen with an extended granite counter and superior quality furnishings are just some of the exquisite details that stand out within this handsome penthouse.

Even more impressive than the elegant upgrades is the exceptional, unobstructed view from the open living space and two ample terraces. Imagine sipping on your favourite Caribbean-inspired cocktail and watching the fishing boats in the harbour from your private Jacuzzi.

Take the group down the road for a sunrise paddleboard session with Compass SUP Club on Calle 28 and the beach to start a magical day in Playa del Carmen. Continue the fun at The Elements exclusive beach club with cold beers and margaritas under the shade of a thatched-roof palapa. Walk along the magnificent shoreline and make your own footprints in the alabaster sand. Or go out and explore the beauty of the region by visiting one of the area’s many nature and adventure parks or cenote swimming holes. Enjoy the best of the Riviera Maya, while staying in one of the best vacation homes Playa del Carmen has to offer.

Magia Playa Penthouse 2A

Magia Playa Penthouse condo rental Playa del Carmen

If you can get two other couples together for an escape to paradise, this high-end vacation home offers not only intoxicating Caribbean views, but also an impeccable location. The luxury property sits between the awe-inspiring beaches of the Heart of the Riviera Maya and the city’s vibrant dining and shopping district.

Spend some time sunbathing poolside on the immaculate 1-acre Magia Playa grounds or bury your toes in the sand and unwind as you relish the enchanting sights and smells of nearby sea.

The three commodious bedrooms present plush mattresses draped in high thread count linens. The kitchen is replete with cooking essentials and there is underground parking should your group decide to rent a car and explore a neighboring island or colonial town. Moreover, a Bric ambassador is available day or night to arrange for services like grocery and water delivery, airport transfers, or dinner reservations. This desirable condo along with the incredible amenities and services set the stage for a vacation of a lifetime.

Casa Soleada at Pueblito Escondido

Pueblito Escandido luxury condo rental in Playa del Carmen  

If you are looking for a laid-back spring break getaway, this 2-bedroom condo in Pueblito Escondito is a just a minute walk to the beach and boasts one of the city’s most incredible rooftop pools. The expansive property has a family pool on the ground level and a spectacular infinity pool on the roof terrace. There are 2 bar areas and several seating areas to choose from to have your own semi-private party.

The ultra-comfortable home is located in one of the most desirable communities in the city. On Calle 38, you will discover long-standing local favorites like La Piola Pizzeria, La Cueva del Chango, Las Hijas de la Tostada and several chic lounge restaurants tucked amidst lush jungle settings.

Penthouse 5 at The Elements

The Elements condo rental in Playa del Carmen

Professionally decorated and boasting a unique design from the standard style of vacation homes in The Elements, this gorgeous penthouse is a showstopper. Overlooking the grand no-edge pool and tropical gardens, the sensational vista continues on towards the blue-green Caribbean.

Three spacious bedrooms accommodate 8 guests. When you awake, you’ll think you have died and gone to heaven. Out every window is either a view of the sea or of palm trees and blue skies. Tropical bliss is inevitable for those fortunate enough to stay in Penthouse 5.

Perfectly situated just a stone’s throw from the silky shore and some of Playa del Carmen’s top restaurants, the property also boasts an ocean view fitness facility, adult-only Jacuzzi area and exclusive beach club with snack bar and beverage service. One week at this exotic haven is never enough.

One Last Home Worth Mentioning…

Casa Blanca

Photo credit to designer – MW Designs

Casa Blanca is located in the gated community of Playacar Phase 1 and although it does not offer an ocean view, it is merely a few cobblestones from the seashore. The home has been remodeled and features a luxurious beach theme, 4 ample bedrooms and a private pool enveloped by tropical blooms.

Designer furnishings, plush bedding and a kitchen that any professional chef would be delighted to cook in, make this home a top accommodation option for a momentous occasion in Playa del Carmen.

The magazine-worthy vacation property is also only a 15-minute walk from the ferry terminal to Cozumel, as well as Parque Fundadores, the home of daily cultural performances and the site of the most photographed sculpture in Playa del Carmen, the Portal Maya statue.

With each reservation through Bric Vacation Rentals, a designated ambassador will greet you upon arrival to facilitate a hassle-free check-in process. Along with the keys to your rental home, you will receive a local cell phone with your ambassador’s direct contact information.

Our representatives will coordinate grocery and bottled drinking water deliveries, arrange for airport transfers, excursions for your party, schedule chef, spa or child minding services and can recommend the best options in town for dinner and entertainment. The Bric team is dedicated to creating a vacation experience that surpasses all of your expectations.

May this list of superb vacation homes give you inspiration when you are planning your special occasion in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. For more information on these or any other home in Bric’s catalogue of properties, please contact our reservation specialists at 1(800) 519-2486 / +52(984) 803-3191 or book online 24/7 here.

In November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with relatives coming together around the dining room table to enjoy traditional roast turkey feasts, and a game or two, if there are any football fans in the house. The day of thanks is filled with warmth as family and friends unite in gratitude.

The following day, those cozy feelings of love and gratitude cease and deal seekers rush about shopping centers hoping (and pining through chaos) to take advantage of the famous Black Friday savings. Similar to Boxing Day in Canada or Buen Fin in Mexico, this is the time retailers offer some of the biggest discounts of the year. Moonlight Madness, Cyber Monday, or Christmas in July, whatever the promotional event, shoppers buzz at the prospect of getting a good deal.

So what exactly compels us to jump out of bed at an ungodly hour, drive around overcrowded parking lots for hours, then proceed to forge our way through a mall full of thousands of frenzied shoppers? All of this madness for a chance to have first dibs on the marked down merchandise that we probably don’t even have room in our closets for.

But saving money makes us feel good. Coming home knowing we got the deal of the year gives us a sense of pride, a natural high. If only we could find some way to make this feeling last…

There is a lot of talk over social media about buying experiences, not things. I for one am a firm believer in this statement; in fact, it’s one of the main reasons we decided to move across the continent. Five years ago, I lived with my husband and kids in a spacious home in the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada. This house had a garage, a backyard and a basement that were filled with STUFF! Swings sets, a trampoline, Legos, Barbie houses, dozens of boxes of holiday decorations, sushi serving sets, fondue pots – you know, things no one should live without! My shopping habit had become a case of retail therapy gone bad.

Well it turns out we could live without those things. We sold 99% of our belongings and moved to Playa del Carmen, Mexico with 10 suitcases in tow. Although the city has grown significantly over the years, there are still no Toys R Us, Gap, or Macy’s, and Playa’s lack of department stores is one of the top three reasons why I love living here.

Since there aren’t gazillion square foot mega malls to lure us in to drop our hard earned paychecks, we have no choice but to spend our time and money on experiences. From snorkeling beneath glistening, turquoise waters to boat tours through mangroves and tranquil lagoons to exploring colonial cities, this region on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is bursting at the seams with awe-inspiring points of interest.

Unfortunately residents in many areas of North America, like Vancouver, (which is pretty spectacular as far as natural beauty goes) have such a short period of the year to enjoy the great outdoors. More often than not, what people end up doing besides snuggling to watch a good movie on a rainy weekend is shop! Before the ink dries on the credit cards statement, they find that their closets are overflowing and their storage rooms are filled to the brim with STUFF!

Come springtime, there is a desire to purge and get rid of items that haven’t been worn in a year, toys that the kids have never played with and books that have never been read. It’s a vicious cycle I am all too familiar with. Even those of us with the best intentions, get caught up in material mayhem because temptation bombards us from all directions and at every click. Especially when sales promotions are involved, it’s nearly impossible to pass up a good deal.

If moving to a remote location where shopping centers are non-existent isn’t an option for you, then consider creating a travel fund. It’s the best investment you can make. Studies have shown that traveling can boost brain and heart health, lower stress, develop compassion and cultural understanding, improve physical and mental wellbeing along with many other benefits. If exploring a new country is on your bucket list, it’s time to get your priorities in order and make a decision. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting on an exotic beach or riding a moped around a Greek island!

Watch for travel deals in the form of seat sales and other perks such as free transportation to and from the airport, or pay for 5 nights get the 6th for free. Black Friday is fast approaching and the urge to dart to mall will be strong. This Thanksgiving season spend your money on something meaningful.

For the same amount you would spend on a pair of boots, you can swim alongside sea turtles AND enjoy a meal of fresh seafood overlooking a pristine, turquoise-colored bay. Instead of another coat to add to your collection, you could be sailing across the Caribbean waters, enjoying cocktails and exploring undeveloped shores sprinkled with starfish. For the price of a Starbucks, you could pay the entrance fee to a cenote and pass the day floating on or cliff jumping into its crystal clear waters! These activities, which draw people back to the Riviera Maya again and again, tend to create memories that stick in the minds and hearts of travelers forever.

Even though international travel may seem impossible on your income or budget, anyone can do it. Where there is a will, there is a way. If seeing the world has been a dream of yours, but you just haven’t been able to make it happen, we want to make it easier for you! For one day only, our reservations specialists are staying on the lines, all day until midnight on November 25, 2016. With over 150 superb vacation homes in our inventory, Bric Vacation Rentals has the perfect home base for your Playa del Carmen beach getaway. When you call or book online on the day of our Black Friday event, you’ll save 20% off your fantastic 2017 accommodations!

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us


Photo Credit


With so many all-inclusive hotel options to choose from in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, where everything needed is on one property, why would one choose to rent a condo?

There are undoubtedly several perks to having food, drinks and entertainment just outside your door. However, many people, when searching out the best deal for their beach getaway, don’t often consider the advantages of renting a vacation home. When daydreaming about a trip to the beach, common images that come to mind are those of palm trees, ocean views and cool blended cocktails. The last thing anyone wants to think of is cooking and cleaning while on vacation!

Playa del Carmen Vacation Rental HomeIn our case, our family has enjoyed the best of both worlds. We have [over] indulged in the many convenient offerings at beautiful hotels all along the sublime Mexican Caribbean. As a group, our family has also gathered together throughout the years and had a blast at rented beach villas.

We’ve been around the all-inclusive block enough times to know exactly what to expect. To start the day it’s yoga or pool aerobics in the morning. If you’re not into the Spanish or ‘How To Make Guacamole’ classes, you can usually find a chair and park yourself around the pool for a day of sipping umbrella drinks and people watching. After a little liquid courage, perhaps you’re ready to participate in the afternoon dance contest with the animation crew. Then it’s tequila volleyball or naptime if you’re traveling with kids. If you’re someone who thrives on routine, you’ll appreciate the resorts that offer the same food day in and day out in the buffet restaurant or a la carte eateries. It’s an easy schedule for those who want to step away from the often-hectic pace of daily life.

If you’re like me and the allure of an all-inclusive beach vacation has worn off, a vacation rental may be just what you’re looking for. Here are 7 reasons to consider booking a condo over a large resort on your next vacation:

1) You get to experience the city from a local’s perspective

Many people have an issue forking out extra money for a nice dinner in town when they’ve already paid for a meal plan at their hotel. Who can fault them for their good money sense? Unfortunately, chances to eat authentic regional foods, chat with locals and learn interesting aspects of the culture are lost. By staying in a vacation rental, you have more opportunities for adventure. Grocery shopping alone can be an unforgettable adventure!

Some of our family’s best moments have come when we’ve set out for a walk around the city without knowing exactly where we were headed or what we were looking for. In this manner, we’ve stumbled upon hidden gems we would have never come across had we stayed in the confines of a resort.

Playa del Carmen Mariachi

While using common sense is always important, taking a detour from the overpopulated and overpriced tourist attractions can lead to some incredible finds like a charming restaurant tucked away on a little side street.

The community of Playa del Carmen, for example, is made of Mexican nationals from every state as well as expats from around the world. The vibrant fusion of multi-cultural residents has influenced Playa’s gastronomy scene in a profound way. Take a stroll off the resort and you’ll find an abounding assortment of restaurateurs presenting authentic cuisine from their respective countries. Nosh on tacos al pastor, handmade pastas, savory octopus salads, rich butter chicken, tender Argentinian flank steaks, fresh sushi rolls, or flaky French pastries – the options are endless! This kind of variety and quality can rarely be found in an all-inclusive hotel.

Walking or riding a bike around a small city like Playa del Carmen allows you to see it at your own speed, immerse yourself into the culture and stop at your leisure to capture incredible photos.

2) Separate spaces when vacationing with kids

We have three children and obviously, my husband and I want and need to stay close for security purposes. The benefit of a vacation rental is that the kids can have their own separate room, while we enjoy our own space. There is no need to turn the lights and TV off to allow them to fall asleep and we can still relish in the peace and quiet at the end of the day.

3) Save money on tours and souvenirs off the resort

While being able to book your tours and purchase handy crafts right at your hotel is convenient, you will save a bundle and find more selection to choose from off the resort.

There are an abundance of tour operators, artisan shops and galleries on Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue. The shopkeepers and tour sales people expect to bargain and are happy negotiate a fair price that you can both agree on.

4) You can still count on convenient services at a vacation rental

Although there may not be multiple bars and restaurants with dozens of wait staff at your beckon call, vacation rentals do offer services to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Companies like BRIC Vacation Rentals in Playa del Carmen provide mid-stay cleaning, unlimited bottled water delivery, a welcome basket of goodies and concierge services all included with your booking.

Experts in everything Playa, the concierge team is available 24/7 should you need recommendations for restaurants, entertainment or tours. These friendly ambassadors can also arrange for transportation, child minding, in-room massage, dry-cleaning and even grocery delivery so your kitchen is stocked with cold beer and pantry staples upon arrival.

Private Chef Service in Playa del Carmen

Or why not have a private chef come to cook for you as you dine on your ocean view terrace? Despite the additional fees, these luxury services are more reasonable than you might expect. Furthermore, you have the added element of privacy, allowing you to take pleasure in these refined indulgences within your own intimate space.

The majority of properties in BRIC’s vast inventory of rentals, like The Elements, either have exclusive beach clubs with music, beverage and snack service, or are walking distance to the city’s most fantastic seaside eateries and beach bars.

5) Enjoy a relaxed home away from home feeling

Playa del Carmen Vacation Rental Penthouse

If you’ve fallen in love with a particular destination and you end up returning annually, chances are you’ll get to meet people and possibly form some lasting friendships. If you choose to stay at an all-inclusive hotel, you are somewhat limited by the wristband. In order for friends to enter the hotel property, they are required to purchase an expensive day-pass, which provides either only daytime or nighttime access, not both.

A vacation home acts as a home away from home with the freedom to entertain and have guests over as often as you like. Friends or family can come over for a happy hour, sit by the pool and relax, or even spend the night, no costly bracelet needed.

Most rentals have convenient amenities like fully appointed kitchens, washers, dryers, satellite televisions and free Wi-Fi within the unit. And lets not forget the ample space! No suitcases and belongings strewn about the floor to trip over. Bags can be tucked away in the bedrooms leaving the margarita zone in the kitchen and relaxation area in the living room clutter free.

There are no set schedules for mealtimes and no dress codes. You don’t have to change and rush out in the morning to make it to the breakfast buffet; pajamas and bedhead are perfectly fine when you’re staying in your own comfy condo!

6) Vacation homes offer more peaceful settings

Recently we stayed at an all-inclusive in Cancun and received an unwelcomed wake-up call at 4 a.m. Lucky for us, an intoxicated couple chose the area right outside OUR door to argue. This of course can happen at a condo-resort as well, but it’s less likely. In most cases, the condo rental properties are often occupied by a combination of full-time residents and vacationers. Security is readily available to maintain the tranquil ambience of the property.

If you are not a fan of thumping techno music, you’ll appreciate the poolside serenity and quiet garden settings from your balcony. You won’t find your typical pool bars with free-flowing tequila and slurring guests come 3:00 in the afternoon. Vacation rentals present the ultimate atmosphere for relaxation and rejuvenation.

You can have the best of both worlds on your next beach vacation to Playa del Carmen. Savor a day or two of peace and dive into a good book. Then mix it up the next day by taking in the sights and sounds at a more lively location like the famous Mamitas Beach Club, Blue Parrot or Coralina Day Club.

7) Vacation rental homes are the best option when traveling in groups

If you are traveling with family or a group of friends, ideally you want to stay close together. A vacation home provides adequate space to accommodate everyone, while still allowing each member of the group his/her own privacy and room.

Playa del Carmen Condo Rental

You don’t have to worry about the hotel restaurant being able to seat a large party; you can comfortably enjoy meals together in the communal kitchen. There is no hassle of searching the massive resort to find the rest of the group if you need to make plans. You can enjoy some cherished quality time together in an intimate environment, yet come and go as you please.

When young kids are involved, it’s nice to have the option to put the children to sleep and enjoy some adult-only time in the evenings. This is nearly impossible to do in a hotel unless you hire a babysitter.

If you’ve never considered renting a vacation home, it is worth your while to check out some excellent options. By choosing a vacation rental, will be able to explore and gain a true sense of the city’s nature and its culture. You’ll understand why the vacation rental industry is exploding. Today, more and more travelers are coming to understand that by venturing away from contained all-inclusive resorts, they are much more likely to experience richer and more memorable encounters.

Playa del Carmen condo rental

You're daydreaming of a vacation. Visions of palm trees and buckets of ice cold Coronas vie for your attention throughout your work day. Imagining the cool sand between your toes and wading in the warm turquoise waters,  you make the decision to book your sun-drenched getaway.

Seeking some time to rejuvenate a worn mind and body that have been dragged through the rat-race is important to you. As you skim through various travel websites in search of the perfect property and destination, you contemplate whether an all-inclusive hotel or a vacation rental will best suit your needs. If you want a unique experience, something above and beyond tequila bingo at the resort swim-up bar, here are some advantages of staying in a vacation rental on your next escape to paradise.

  • A Deeper Cultural Experience

    Playa del Carmen culture at the market

    Most often, the only time vacationers leave an all-inclusive hotel is to go for the day on a pricey excursion. While the convenience of a resort is appealing to some travelers, with on-site gift shops and restaurants, this type of vacation does not encourage foreigners to experience the local culture and delicious gastronomy. Staying in your own home away from home allows you to taste cuisine and see sites that you would miss out on if planted within the confines of a hotel property for the duration of your trip.

    Spending a few moments researching the festivals and events in the city before you arrive not only will give you a richer experience, it will build your enthusiasm as you set off on your journey towards discovery! Also, taking the opportunity to speak to taxi drivers and other locals can lead to budding friendships and recommendations to the best hidden gems the city has to offer.

  • Privacy and Tranquility

    Roof top terrace with hot-tub

    If you are into tequila bingo, who am I to judge? I too have taken that route once or twice and treasure those experiences as well. However, if all you want is to be able to lounge and read that book you purchased months ago but haven't yet, the tranquility and privacy a vacation home presents might sound intriguing. Condo-resorts tend to be more tame poolside and it is rare that you will have to share your serene space with a rowdy group of obnoxious partiers. Many of Bric Vacation Rentals'  properties have their own ample outdoor garden spaces or private rooftop terraces with jacuzzis, which offer plenty of options for peace and solitude.

  • No Set Schedules

    Aldea Thai Luxury Condo Resort

    If you are anything like me, my life revolves around a set routine, so I cherish the holidays, when I can toss the agenda out the window and be on my own schedule. If staying in an all-inclusive resort, meals are served during certain times, activities are all scheduled and heaven forbid you sleep in, forget about getting a chair around the pool!

  • Friends And Family Can Visit

    Group lounging on a roof top terrace

    If you happen to meet someone outside of your vacation property or have family who live in the area, it's nice to have the option to invite them back for dinner, drinks or to spend time with them by the pool for a day. When in an all-inclusive resort, it is more of a challenge to connect with newfound friends or relatives as without a bracelet pass, visitors are denied access onto the property.

  • Vacation Rental Properties Offer Many Convenient And Personalized Services

    Concierge services provided by vacation rentals

    You do not have to book all-inclusive to get convenient perks. BRIC Rentals friendly ambassadors arrange for courtesies such as local cell phones with credit, bottled water delivery and cleaning service. Our professional team of experts offer a wide range of services including grocery delivery to your door, excursion bookings, transportation, dry cleaning, child minding, private chef and spa services for an additional fee. Our aim is to provide you with a more personal experience and our concierge staff strives to provide you with everything required for a comfortable and memorable experience.

    BRIC Rental staff members

To be able to have a home away from home where you can set off for some tranquility and quality time with friends and family is a dream for many people. However, when owners are only able to spend a few weeks of the year as an escape artist, the idea of offering their second home as a vacation rental becomes intriguing. The income generated from a vacation property not only offsets the costs of ownership, but can also be a financially rewarding experience when a personal approach is combined with good business sense.

Interior condo rental in Playa del Carmen

What makes some rental properties more lucrative than others? Location is important, but there are many other factors which can attribute to a successful reservation rate. The key goal of a vacation rental should be to offer comfort and convenience which travelers would expect in their own homes while tending to the small details which will exceed their expectations. High review ratings provide owners with an advantage in a competitive market and word of mouth is still the most powerful way to effectuate repeat business.

Here is a list of tips we have put together which when applied, can produce a worthwhile investment for a vacation property owner and make it stand out against the competition.

  1. Present the home as if your own family was going to be staying in it.

    Dining setup in condo rental

    A lack of enthusiasm some owners have toward their property is clearly evident in the minimal and poor quality necessities they offer. Rock hard mattresses, a television with only 2 foreign language channels and outdated or tattered furniture are prone to lead visitors to develop an unfavorable opinion of the rental. Create a hospitable atmosphere by maintaining and replacing older furnishings, adding modern decorative touches, a fresh coat of paint and consider installing a satellite or an economical movie provider such as Netflix.

  2. Showcase the attractive features of your property.

    Roof top terrace overlooking ocean

    I have seen potentially breathtaking, private roof terraces with panoramic ocean views left in an abandoned state, with a couple of lounge chairs in disrepair or no furniture at all! A penthouse with an ocean view is a definite revenue earner and it is unfortunate when owners fail to play up such incredible outdoor living spaces. A few potted plants and a dining or seating area can really create a stunning transformation and present an alluring selling point for guests.

  3. Exceed a guest’s expectations.

    Professional decorations in rental condo

    An owner is not required to spend a fortune to create a memorable and appealing ambience within his/her vacation home. Guests’ satisfaction lies within the small details. If you have a barbecue, be sure the propane tank is full and the grill is clean and ready for use. Check all batteries in the remotes and confirm that all appliances are in good working order. Consider providing toiletries, beach chairs and toys, tennis rackets, bikes, books, or board games. New visitors will appreciate an information binder which includes emergency contact numbers, appliance and garbage disposal instructions, popular attractions and restaurants in the area. Stocking milk in the refrigerator for coffee, providing laundry detergent, as well as playing soft background music upon arrival are extra touches that can have a big impact.

  4. Cleanliness.

    Beautiful bathroom in condo rental

    This is an obvious method to attract repeat clients, but some rentals fall very short in this category. There should be no stains in the toilets and bathtubs, white sheets and towels should be bleached, and cobwebs from ceiling fans and corners should definitely be given a swipe with the dusting wand. Have rugs and furniture professionally cleaned at least once a year and apply a stain protector to the furniture and mattresses as often as is suggested. Even an older home can have considerable appeal and charm if it is appears fresh, and in excellent condition.

  5. Use withstanding materials.

    2 double beds in condo rental

    As a rental owner, you can expect that your dish ware and furnishings will not last forever. It is important to choose durable materials that will withstand wear and tear. Solid color draperies and furniture are more timeless and will look less dated than a patterned material. However, for bedspreads and comforters, use a darker, simple pattern so that stains from sunscreen for example, will be less visible. Purchase white dish ware and keep an extra set in the closet so that broken ones can be easily matched and replaced. Removable seat covers are optimal for wearability and can be recovered to look like new.

  6. Make your rental appealing to all types of reservations.

    Circle dining table

    A vacation home which maximizes space and can accommodate a large family increases the reservation rate as it appeals to a broader clientele. If you have two bedrooms, by adding bunkbeds with double mattresses or a sleeper sofa in the guest room , you can achieve better odds of renting out your home. Providing extra bar stools or a large dining table provides ample seating for small group bookings. Also remember that it is imperative that there are enough towels, plates, utensils and glasses to accommodate the number of guests your rental sleeps.

The bottom line is that you yourself would be thrilled at the opportunity to stay in your vacation home time and time again. Ask yourself if you would feel as though you are getting your money’s worth? Your aim is to induce an emotional connection between guests and your vacation home so that ultimately, your guests will want to return and will recommend it to others.