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Magic Blue Boutique Hotel

5th Ave. btw N. 10th and 12th sts.
Playa del Carmen , Mexico
(866) 505-9121

Behind a stark urban façade, another world unwinds in slow motion, reminiscent of a scene from the Swiss Family Robinson: wood-and-thatch dwellings, screened by banana trees, form a quadrangle crisscrossed by rustic stairs and wood-railed balcony porches. The adults-only, 350-square-foot rooms are fairly generic, décor-wise, but are stocked with little indulgences—cool eucalyptus towels on arrival, plasma televisions, Bulgari toiletries, fluffy oversize towels, and best of all, superior mattresses. Nevertheless, outside is the place to be. At night, a long pool—the courtyard’s focal point—sparkles under the stars, and guests relax in a tropical garden on a canopied bed or on porches with sofas. Rates include breakfast at the next-door grill.

Insider Tip: Book on the hotel Web site for the best prices.

Room to Book: A second-story room in the middle of the wing at the back of the property. (High roofs cap the upstairs rooms, while ground-floor suites have less-appealing low ceilings, and the location described is relatively quiet.)

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