Image: Esperanza
C. Esperanza
From the luxury line of Aubergine Resorts, Esperanze, in San Jose del Cabo, is a collection of villas and casitas arranged atop a rocky cliff and connected by an intricate web of landscaped stone paths.
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updated 5/29/2007 5:35:41 PM ET 2007-05-29T21:35:41

The back nine and a marina nearby to dock the yacht? Or outdoor yoga and a reiki rubdown at sunset? Mahogany and gilt, or clean whites and smooth stone? An enormous variety of sleeping arrangements can be found in Mexico’s most popular destinations, from smaller resorts whose personalized services tailor your stay, to the large beach clubs whose range of activities aim to please the whole party.

The 28 best hotels in Mexico run the gamut, but each of them would be a well-appointed place to call home, whether exploring a nature preserve on Isla Mujeres or the vibrant city of Guadalajara. Some are better for a couples’ romantic getaway (since there are no children allowed), and others have a whole menu of kids’ activities, clubs and baby-sitting services.

Many on our list are members of either Small Luxury Hotels of the World or the Boutique Hotels of Mexico. Two that represent the scope of luxury accommodations are the ultra-chic Deseo Hotel + Lounge in Playa del Carmen, whose DJ keeps the rooftop pool area jumping, and Villa Ganz in Guadalajara’s, a charming historical residence filled with antiques.

It takes a certain type of traveler to recognize the beauty of these smaller, specialized hotels. A stay at the Casa de los Sueños Resort & Spa Zenter may help to realign your chakra, essentially changing your perspective on vacations in Mexico. Alternatively, a couple of nights on the scene at Habita in the trendy Mexico City neighborhood of Polanco will make you feel at once hipper — perhaps not what you’d expect in a city often derided for its lack of refinement.

Other resorts present the option of a hideaway, appearing to be little villages dotted with deluxe cabanas and casitas. And the plethora of conveniences tempts travelers to stay on the property, relaxing at one of the many pools and eating at one of the on-site gourmet restaurants. With everything at their fingertips, guests at Cabo — Esperanza or Playa del Carmen — Shangri-La never have to step foot out of the vicinity until their departure date.

Plenty of our picks are recognizable names from high-end chains that promise a certain level of lavishness that travelers have come to depend on internationally. The Four Seasons, the W, One&Only Resorts and InterContinental all have outposts in Mexico that live up to the ultra-luxe standards those hotels have set elsewhere. Whatever your pleasure, you’re sure to find a hotel on the list that has the perfect combination of amenities, entertainment, exclusivity and comfort.

Photos: Marvelous Mexico

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  1. Tempting Tulum

    The Mayan City of Tulum, Mexico is located on the Caribbean Sea coast of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. (Ml Sinibaldi / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. View from Palenque

    Tourists sit atop a pyramid in Palenque, set in the foothills of the Tumbal mountains of Chiapas Mexico. (Marco Ugarte / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Blessings in Chiapas

    A tzotzil child walks in front of the church of San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas. (Matias Recart / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Luxury in Puerto Vallarta

    The terrace on the Celestial Suite is seen at Hacienda San Angel in Puerto Vallarta. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Ancient stories

    This photo shows details of a Maya stone, relating the coming to power of governor Sir Jupiter Humenate and dated 613 AC, found in Tonina, Ocosingo, Chiapas. (Janet Schwartz / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Mexico magic

    Mexico City, the capital city of the nation of Mexico. (Diego Goldberg / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Musical Mexico

    A mariachi band play on a punt at the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco in Mexico City. (Danny Lehman / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Cool Cancun

    Cancun, Mexico is ranked as one of the top international vacation destinations. The beaches of Cancun have been completely restored following damage caused by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Travelers will find its newly renovated resorts, restaurants, beaches and attractions better and even more accessible than ever. (Business Wire) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Isla bonita

    The ferry landing on Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Isla Mujeres is a tiny island mere miles from the Yucatan coast, and feels a world away from Cancun's hustle and bustle. Isla Mujeres, thriving in its own tourism, manages to maintain the feeling of a small fishing village. (Anja Schlein / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Soccer and bullfights

    Estadio Azul (left), a soccer stadium; and Plaza Mexico, the world's largest bullring, in Mexico City. (Danny Lehman / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Azure Cortez

    People kayak in the Bahia de Loreto National Park, in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. (Terry Prichard / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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