The Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House is the first hotel we stayed at during our most recent Playa del Carmen trip. If there’s one thing you should know about me, it is that I rarely stay at one hotel during a vacation. Since I love hotels so much, I tend to hop between two to three hotels in one trip. I love experiencing different locations and what each property has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, hotel hopping is probably not the most relaxing but for myself, I actually don’t mind it.
Secondly, I just noticed that this is my first international post! You’ve probably noticed that most of my blog posts have centered around the U.S. especially the West Coast and Southwest states. This is mostly due to the fact that we are still dealing with COVID so I can’t travel too far yet. So, I’m really excited to share with you some of the hotels we stayed at during our trip to Playa del Carmen this summer. Let me know what you think!
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THOMPSON MAIN HOUSE VS. THOMPSON BEACH HOUSE
Before you book, you should know that there are actually two Thompson hotels in Playa del Carmen: Main House and Beach House. The Main House is the bigger of the two hotels and is located in the city center as part of an outdoor shopping mall. Beach House is more boutique-style and is located right on the beach if that’s more of what you are looking for. If you are staying at Main House, there are events that are happening at Beach House that you can partake in so you get a chance to explore both hotels if you want. Unfortunately, we were only staying one night so we didn’t have the time to explore Beach House.
COST OF STAYING AT THE THOMPSON PLAYA DEL CARMEN
The price to stay at either the Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House or Beach House is actually pretty affordable compared to what you get in the States. If you want a basic room, Main House will be cheaper around $200/night total, but if you’re looking for a suite, both places come in roughly at the same price. You can get an 800+ sq ft suite for less than $400/night at both locations.
REVIEW OF THE THOMPSON PLAYA DEL CARMEN MAIN HOUSE
// LOCATION //
The hotel is located in the city center of Playa del Carmen. You can literally walk outside the hotel and be within steps of restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. The hotel is part of an outdoor mall so you’re not going to get any ocean views. You’re going to see city hustle-and-bustle all around you. Also, not sure why they haven’t fix this, but there’s an ugly patch of dirt on top of the mall’s roof. This sucks because all the units facing Quinta Avenida look directly onto this big patch of dirt.
If you love nightlife, I don’t think you can find a better hotel than this. With that being said, because you are so close to nightclubs, you will most definitely hear the music on weekends. I don’t mean just ambient noise. I mean you literally think you have a club right on your patio because it’s that loud. You have at least four open-air clubs blasting music across from each other right down the street. Not to mention that the restaurants are all blasting their own music as well. If you aren’t planning on getting drunk and passing out, I highly suggest you bring earplugs especially if you have a unit facing the mall/Quinta Avenida.
// ROOM //
The Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House has some of the biggest rooms I’ve ever stayed in especially for the price that you are paying. Although, this probably isn’t a surprise. I feel like Mexico gives you a lot more in terms of space and finishes than hotels in the US and Europe do. We originally booked a “1 King Bed” and got upgraded to a “2 Queen Balcony” due to my Explorist status with Hyatt. We would have preferred a “1 King Balcony” but they said they were all sold out of those rooms for the night so we took the two queens.
// FOOD //
We didn’t have time to try the food at the hotel since we wanted to eat in town but if we had another night there, I would for sure have eaten at Catch. If you haven’t heard of Catch, it is a super trendy seafood sushi restaurant group out from New York. I’ve eaten at their Los Angeles and Las Vegas locations so I know the restaurant pretty well. The reason I wanted to try it in Playa del Carmen is that their menu prices are CHEAPER than the prices in the US. Catch is not a cheap restaurant in general so getting to eat their food at a more affordable price point was very tempting. Unfortunately, I think the decor is not as great as LA or Las Vegas and that’s usually the reason why people go to Catch.
Even though we didn’t try any of the restaurants, we did catch “happy hour” on the rooftop. It was cloudy that day so didn’t get much of a view but it was still nice to be outside nonetheless. The happy hour was from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm and they were offering 2-for-1 drinks. The weird part of this deal though is that you have to get the same cocktail and they have to serve both drinks to you at the same time. Also, they will not let you split the drinks. So, essentially we had four drinks at the table for just us two.
// POOL //
Not going to lie, when I saw pictures of the pool, I knew I had to check out this hotel! The rooftop pool area is actually run by Alessia Day Club. During the time that we visited, guests of the Thompson can go up to the roof for free but people that are not staying at the hotel will have to pay a cover. One cool thing about the pool is that you can sit wherever you want. You don’t have to pay extra money to get a lilypad or a day bed. I can’t say for sure if the cabanas are the same way though. Overall, if I had to choose, I would rather be out close by the pool anyways.
Regarding the DJ/day club, if you’re expecting a Vegas-style day club/pool party, you’re not going to get it here. Maybe it was a slow weekend but there was literally no one at the pool. Also, the DJ was in the back just spinning ambient music. I definitely would not call this a “club.” The vibe is more like a cool pool with chill music where you can sip on your cocktails and sunbathe.
Also, if you are thinking of bringing a fancy camera to the rooftop to take pictures, they don’t allow them. They’ll ask you to put it away.
// SERVICE //
The service was average for your typical hotel stay. There were no problems but there was nothing special also. Keep in mind that we only stayed for the night so we didn’t interact with the hotel staff that much anyways. I do want to give a special shout-out to our waiters Oscar/Jorge during our happy hour though. Both gentlemen were fantastic and super attentive.
// COVID //
At the time of this post, you are required to show proof of a negative covid test (antigen or PCR) taken 72 hours or less before your return U.S flight. If you are staying at the Thompson Playa del Carmen for at least three nights, they will give up to two complementary antigen tests. If you are not staying three nights or have more than two people, each antigen test is $35+ tax. Please check with your airline what test you are required to take. We flew Alaska Airlines and were only required to do the basic antigen test. If you are required to do the more comprehensive PCR, just note that it’s more expensive at around $125/test. You can find more info on this flyer here.
WHO SHOULD STAY AT THOMPSON MAIN HOUSE?
I would say that the Thompson Main House caters to more of the young, party-goers, bachelorette crowd. The hotel is literally located from where all the nightclubs are so it’s super easy to walk to and from the hotel. The rooms are also big enough for four people to share and still have people come over and visit. This hotel is not for people that like to sleep during the weekends. Also, this hotel is ADULTS ONLY so families should skip this place and try the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen instead.
HYATT STATUS BENEFITS
The Thompson Hotel brand is actually a part of World of Hyatt so you can redeem points or free night certificates here. This also means that if you have status with Hyatt, you can have extra benefits like late check-out and room upgrades if available. During this time, I was only a Hyatt Explorist which is their middle tier status out of three. The only benefit I really cared about though was the room upgrade. As mentioned before, we did get an upgrade from a “1 King Bed” to a “2 Queen Balcony.”
For this stay, I decided to use my points which cost me 12,000 Hyatt points. You might notice that the rooms are pretty affordable in general and are probably wondering why I didn’t just pay for the room instead of using my points. Well, at first the rooms do look cheap coming in around $125/night but if you keep on clicking, the resort fees and taxes are outrageous. It almost jumps to $200/night. So, if I paid in points, I don’t have to pay any of the fees. The room was completely free so I thought spending 12,000 points was worth saving $200.
In the end, I really liked the design and the rooms at the Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House but I don’t know if I would stay here again. Maybe on the weekdays when the clubs aren’t going (if that’s a thing). Otherwise, the loud music is enough to deter me from coming back. This is a shame since the location is great and the amenities are fantastic. It will be interesting to see if any changes will be made.