Continuing in our tradition of sharing some of our favorite places in the Riviera Maya with our readers, we’re taking a closer look at some of the more unique bed-and-breakfasts, boutiques, and suites available in the region. Up next is another boutique hotel in downtown Playa del Carmen, located on the famous 5th Avenue in the heart of the tourist strip, just a few minutes away from the beach. It’s possibly one of the most beautiful and unique boutiques in PDC: the Posada Mariposa.
Similar to many of the other hotels along the Quinta Avenida, it doesn’t look like much from the front or the sides. There’s a sign, and a small entryway, but if you aren’t actually paying attention to what’s within that entryway you would probably walk right on by and never know that there is a tranquil oasis within, filled with tiny little details of luxury and comfort and hand-crafted love, all packed within a compact space that includes a massive vertical garden that offers guests perpetual shade and a feeling of tropical paradise every time they step out the door of their room.
Let’s start with the entryway, because it’s really where the whole adventure begins. First up is the wood-beamed posts on the side, covered in hanging vines (telefono as it is called in Spanish) with the sign overhead. If you happen to actually glance inside, you’ll see the hallmarks of this boutique: leather and cushioned chairs, candles, hanging lights, flowers, patterned tile floor, and little butterflies everywhere; the namesake of the hotel.
The reception desk is rustic wood, and the cabinet just around the corner where the free coffee, tea, and cookies are kept is a match. There’s rustic luxe decor throughout, with small candles, lanterns, and a matching coffee table + sofa and chairs set directly in front of a small fountain slowly pouring out of a set of ceramic jugs. Towering above it all is the vertical garden that rises up from the fountain, centered around a tree, and guests can see up to the walkways of the various levels of the hotel. One can take the stairs, or the small elevator, to go up.
As you make your way up the levels, you’ll find little notes of detail throughout, like painted tile trim running around the edges of the walkways against the rooms themselves. There’s also hanging globes and plants along the edges of the property, not just the rising garden in the middle, which in and of itself curls its way up and wreathes in and around the rustic wood work of the walkway railings.
Potted plants are here and there, as well as painted wood furniture and sofas set up on the landings in between rooms, meant to be used by guests. Meanwhile, outside of each room is a small table and chair set where guests can relax for an evening smoke or drink, with views out over the interior garden, and in some cases, down onto the 5th Avenue below. Although it’s here where the views are somewhat marred by the chaotic network of cables and wires providing electricity, Internet, and television, and which run every which way and are completely out of the hotel’s control.
While all of these notes make for a comfortable and tropical environment, it really all comes down to the rooms. And the Posada Mariposa offers up a comfortable, decorative environment, and a quiet and tranquil stay. Although it’s worth mentioning that the rooms closest to the street may have some bleed-over from folks walking the 5th late at night during high season. If you’re a light sleeper, it’s best to pick one of the rooms further back from the avenue.
The rooms are spacious enough, and come in varying sizes and styles. Ours was one of the suites on the top floor, tucked away in the back corner without any views over the 5th Avenue. As a general rule, the rooms have their own color themes: ours was brown and blue, with ceramic tile floors, dark wood trim, closet space, a small desk, and the bathroom.
The staff go the extra mile here; not only are the towels on the beds made up into various shapes, but so are the hand towels in the bathroom. Ours was split with a shower on one side and the toilet on the other, with a basin sink in the middle. Patterned tile walls are in both, along with a rain shower unit, and organic toiletries. The bathrobe was a nice touch; Cristina isn’t a fan but I’m always a robe-user when they are available.
Similar to many other boutiques in the region, the Wi-Fi was a bit lacking. But again, you have to consider that most of the hotel guests aren’t here to work. Rather, they’re on vacation, and Internet speed really isn’t high on their agenda, as they’d rather be out at the beach, walking the 5th, taking a tour of one of the Maya ruins, or swimming in a cenote. If you’re planning on being in town for a few days, just be aware that you’re sharing a connection and it’s likely to be saturated so don’t expect more than general email and browsing.
While coffee, tea, and cookies are offered downstairs in the lobby every morning and evening, there’s no restaurant on-site. However, free breakfast is included in the cost of the room at the restaurant just across the street: La Vagabunda. The front desk will give you a voucher, which you then show to the staff across the street, and you get a menu with a few simple options on it. While it’s free, don’t forget to leave a tip for the service!
For those who want to spend time at the beach, it’s around a five minute walk to the sand. Towels are available at the hotel if you didn’t bring your own.
At the end of the day, we’ll be back again for a weekend getaway. It’s a solid option for a two or three day stay when you don’t need to worry about clients or the office and ticks all the boxes on the cute, cozy, comfortable list, and the rooms are exactly what you need for a romantic, boutique getaway. Kudos, Mariposa!