U.S. News & World Report's travel editors sifted through a wide array of guest reviews and expert recommendations, and analyzed accolades and industry information to come up with the most complete list of the best luxury hotels to help travelers heading to Mexico. From beachside retreats to city boutiques, U.S. News' Best Hotels in Mexico 2014 rankings cover the crￃﾨme de la crￃﾨme of Mexico's lodging options.
Nearly 350 hotels were evaluated for this year's rankings using an unbiased methodology that accounts for each property's star rating and its reputation among experts and travelers. Hotels that consistently receive high praise and recognition across the board appear on U.S. News' 2014 ranking of the Best Hotels in Mexico.
One thing is for certain: The top 10 hotels listed below have got hospitality down to a science. Nine of the 10 top properties that appear on the Best Hotels in Mexico 2014 ranking also claimed a top 10 spot on the 2013 ranking. Newcomer Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen rose 11 spots to take over the No. 8 position, while the Rosewood and Capella brands shined with a combined five properties making the top 10. This year's highest-ranked hotels are diverse in nature -- the top 10 best properties in Mexico range from coastal resorts to remote jungle outposts to intimate urban lodgings.
But the trend that continues to set all of these hotels apart is the quality level of service offered to guests. Visitors to the 10 highest-rated hotels on the 2014 Best Hotels in Mexico ranking heap praise upon the accommodating staffs, citing acute attention to detail and welcoming gestures as aspects that really impressed them during their stays.
10. Esperanza, An Auberge Resort
Cabo San Lucas
Though it recently changed hands (Esperanza traded its Relais & Chateￃﾢux affiliation for Auberge), this hotel still ranks among the best in the country. Esperanza's scenic seat along the coastline in Cabo San Lucas offers guests sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez, along with access to a sandy strip of beach. The scenery can be enjoyed from your room's private terrace as well -- that is, if you're not too busy relaxing in your hammock or in your personal hot tub. As for activities, the hotel offers plenty: golfing, sailing and horseback riding to name a few. Meanwhile, the award-winning Spa at Esperanza allows guests to achieve ultimate relaxation, helping the hotel earn even more kudos; Esperanza is recognized on Travel + Leisure's list of the World's Best Hotels and is a AAA Four Diamond award winner.
9. Capella Ixtapa
Capella Ixtapa's recipe of ocean-facing accommodations, cozy dining venues, relaxing spa treatments and attentive employees helped it land in the top 10 on the Best Hotels in Mexico list for the second consecutive year. At this Capella property, you can expect the brand's signature personal assistance and well-dressed rooms, complete with terraces and private plunge pools. Guests praise the overall ambiance at this outpost for being welcoming and chic. The Capella Ixtapa's elegance is also recognized by big names in travel information -- the hotel landed on the 2013 Condￃﾩ Nast Readers Choice list, as well as the 2014 AAA Four Diamond and the Condￃﾩ Nast Traveler Gold lists.
8. Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Playa del Carmen
The only newcomer to the top 10 Best Hotels in Mexico list this year, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is situated along the picturesque Riviera Maya coast in Playa del Carmen. Aside from being located in an ideal spot near some of the area's top things to do, this hotel houses villas featuring Asian-inspired decor, patios and private plunge pools. Meanwhile, perks like yoga sessions and lagoon boat tours earn high marks from recent guests. What's more, guests find a spa, a golf course and tennis courts to keep them busy. At mealtime, a handful of upscale restaurants -- not to mention a private dining boat -- offer delectable culinary experiences.
7. La Casa Que Canta
The personalized service and warm atmosphere at La Casa Que Canta is something visitors can't help but rave about -- part of the reason this boutique property appears on this list. Apart from the cheery staff, La Casa Que Canta features sparkling views of the Zihuatanejo Bay, the Spa by CLARINS, three traditional Mexican restaurants and spacious suites stocked with fresh fruit. Complimentary on-site activities like cooking classes and snorkeling will keep you busy during your stay. Plus, La Casa Que Canta has an infinity pool and a saltwater pool, where you'll be able to find respite from the warm sun.
6. Capella Pedregal
Cabo San Lucas
With serene ocean views and convenient beach access, the Capella Pedregal provides a relaxing escape in Cabo San Lucas. Special touches like welcome margaritas, personal assistants to help you make the most of your stay and attentive servers at the infinity pool help this Capella outpost stand out. Rooms and suites at this hotel all feature sea views, private plunge pools and nightly turndown service; the Capella Pedregal is also home to four restaurants and the Auriga Spa. Apart from these amenities, the friendly staff members and impressive scenery add to the hotel's notable qualities -- the combination of which earned the Capella Pedregal such distinctions as a place on the 2014 Condￃﾩ Nast Traveler Gold and AAA Five Diamond Award lists.
5. Rosewood Mayakoba
Playa del Carmen
The Rosewood Mayakoba is set on secluded jungle grounds on northern edge of Playa del Carmen, offering its guests a truly tranquil vacation. The all-suite accommodations at this Rosewood outpost are equipped with private heated plunge pools, outdoor terraces and rooftop sun decks. Meanwhile, amenities like an on-site spa, three restaurants and an adjacent golf course consistently win favor with visitors. Superb customer service is another aspect in which the Rosewood Mayakoba excels, prompting recognition as a Condￃﾩ Nast Traveler Gold and a AAA Five Diamond award-winning hotel.
4. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort
Punta de Mita
At The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, travelers will find a host of entertainment and accommodation options to suit their needs. The hotel boasts three infinity pools, a 10,000-square-foot spa, a children's club, two neighboring Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses and a daily schedule of complimentary activities such as guacamole-making class, bike tours and Spanish lessons. This St. Regis resort's scenic location along Mexico's Pacific coast is a also source of praise from guests -- the hotel sits along the soft sands of Punta de Mita, offering picture-perfect views of Banderas Bay. The resort's amenities and primo lodgings don't go unnoticed by travel experts: The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is a 2014 AAA Five Diamond Award winner, and it made the 2014 Travel + Leisure 500 World's Best Hotels list.
3. Rosewood San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Nestled in the heart of San Miguel de Allende, this Rosewood outpost plays off its location in its architecture, boasting a colorful faￃﾧade and colonial-style interior. While one of the hotel's standout features is its proximity to many of the city's top attractions, the on-site activities like dance classes and wine tastings also delight guests. Following suit with the rest of the Rosewood brand, the hotel is defined by its spacious rooms and suites, inventive cuisine and soothing spa treatments. What's more, guests and experts alike have nothing but praise for the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende -- it's recognized as a 2014 AAA Four Diamond and Condￃﾩ Nast Traveler Gold property.
2. Las Ventanas al Paraￃﾭso, A Rosewood Resort
Cabo San Lucas
This Rosewood brand hotel in Cabo San Lucas boasts luxurious digs and a laundry list of accolades: It's a 2014 AAA Five Diamond Award recipient and a Travel + Leisure 500 World's Best Hotels property. The upscale accommodations come with limestone floors, oversized tubs and private patios, plus guests have a variety of suites and villas to choose from. Finally, features like decadent food and specialty spa treatments -- along with an overwhelmingly positive guest sentiment -- helped Las Ventanas al Paraￃﾭso edge out other hotels and land in the top 10 on U.S. News' Best Hotels in Mexico list for the second year in a row.
1. Banyan Tree Cabo Marquￃﾩs
Jumping up four spots to claim the No. 1 spot on this year's list of the Best Hotels in Mexico, the Banyan Tree Cabo Marquￃﾩs in Acapulco is lauded for its views from its perch in the cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. And with amenities like expansive villas, an open-air design spa and a pool with a view, it shouldn't be a surprise that the Banyan Tree Cabo Marquￃﾩs is recognized as a Condￃﾩ Nast Traveler Gold property and a 2014 AAA Five Diamond Award winner. Recent guests are also quick to comment that the service they've experienced at this hotel is unparalleled, citing an exceptionally friendly, helpful and attentive staff.
--Erin K. Shields