Do you know where to stay in Mexico on your next vacation? Chances are you don’t, and you may be wondering if you will have trouble looking for accommodations. You may have visited the country in the past, or it may be your first time. Whatever the case is, you need not worry as we’ve got your back.

There are several options at your disposal. In this article, I will present you with some options to choose from. Some of them may be obvious, while others may not. Without much further ado, let’s jump right in!

Hotels

Corner of a black building with the word hotel in white against a dark blue sky.

This will probably be your first lodging option. After all, hotels are very convenient and usually have several amenities to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. I always look for hotels in downtown areas as they’re close to everything. However, before booking anything, I always do some research to see what other people have to say about it.

There are hotels of all kinds. Many of them offer services like free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, cable TV, a swimming pool, parking, just to mention a few. Some even include breakfast. This will vary, so it’s important to pay close attention to what’s included.

A good hotel shouldn’t necessarily be too expensive or be a five-star hotel. I’ve learned this throughout my travels. It’s also important to consider there are several hotel categories: apart-hotels, business hotels, boutique hotels, eco-hotels, love hotels, etc.

Motels

Large sign with the word motel in red rectangles and a red arrow underneath pointing to the right.

As far as I know, motels were an American invention. Our European friends might not be familiar with them, but they’re pretty common in the U.S. You can also find this kind of establishments in Mexico, but there are some notable differences.

American motels are targeted toward those travelers on the highway and/or looking for cheap lodging. They’re usually cheaper than their hotel counterpart since their services are more limited.

However, motels don’t have a good reputation in Mexico and rightly so. Most of them have private garages for their customers and some even offer hourly rates. And we know what kind of people search for these places, right?

Some motels are branded as hotels, so that adds to the confusion. If you run into a very cheap hotel, chances are it’s a motel. That’s why it’s important to see what other people have to say.

Hostels… Not to Be Confused with Hotels

Bunk bed with folded sheets on top and an open window overlooking the street.

Hostels are a perfect option for budget travelers. You can find them, especially in large cities. They cater more toward a younger crowd who doesn’t care about amenities offered. Some even include breakfast.

I’m not a fan of hostels. They’re good for those people looking for cheap lodging or just a place to sleep. They also provide you with the perfect opportunity to connect with other fellow travelers. Foreigners love these places.

The obvious problem is you don’t have any privacy as you have to share your room with strangers. So, if that’s not a problem for you, consider this option for your next trip.

Bed & Breakfast

Two hands holding a food tray with two plates with fruit and four glasses with orange juice and milk.

What? Are there any Bed & Breakfast establishments in Mexico? Yes, there are. Maybe they’re not as common as the U.S., but you can still find them. You can also hear the term posada, but it’s basically the same thing.

The main difference between them and hotels is you get more personalized attention. You can even see this in the food being served. There are also fewer rooms, and they tend to be larger than hotel rooms.

Bed & Breakfasts are the perfect option for those travelers who want to relax and feel more at home.

AirBnB

Hand holding a cell phone with the AirBnB logo and an apartment dining room and living room in the background

AirBnB has become very popular recently all over the world, and Mexico is no exception. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically an online platform where you can connect with other individuals and rent a room, an apartment, or even a whole house.

AirBnB is the perfect option for those people who value privacy and/or are looking for longer stays. AirBnB can save you money, but prices for shorter stays may be similar to hotel prices. There have been times when I haven’t seen any difference at all.

There has been a lot of controversy regarding AirBnB. We are not going to discuss it now, but I will write a post about it shortly.

I have used AirBnB, and I must say I don’t love it. At a hotel, everything is straightforward, not so with AirBnB. I remember one time in particular where I had a hard time getting ahold of the other person to check in. You have to call them or text them, and sometimes they don’t answer right away. You don’t have to face this at hotels.

There are advantages and disadvantages like everything. I have friends who love AirBnB and use it frequently. If you haven’t tried it yet, you might consider it as an option.

Resorts

Resort overlooking the sea with a swimming pool in the middle and several palm trees lining it up.

Are you the kind of traveler who wants to have all the services imaginable at his fingertips? A resort is what you need in this case. They have everything to provide you with the best experience possible: spas, bars, restaurants, golf courses, private beaches, night shows, casinos, etc. You don’t even need to leave the facilities to have the best time of your life.

Of course, you will have to spend more money to stay in one of these places. If money is not a problem, then definitely go for it.

I’m not a fan of resorts, but I understand some people just want to have a relaxing vacation and not worry about making any itineraries or the like.

Couchsurfing

Woman lying on a couch, covered by a blue blanket.

Can you imagine the possibility of staying in someone else’s house in another country? Well, this is what Couchsurfing is about. It’s a worldwide network of people who are willing to provide you with free lodging and expect the same thing in return when they travel abroad.

There are obvious pros and cons to this. One of the main pros is you have a local guide who is knowledgeable and can give you pointers to make your itinerary. They can even go with you. It’s a great way of meeting new people and experiencing another culture differently.

On the other hand, there have been frequent reports of harassment. I think this played a major role in the platform’s decline. It’s still hanging on, but it has lost popularity among travelers.

The first time I heard about Couchsurfing was through a French friend. He said he’d used it more than once, and that he’d liked it. I have never used it, and I doubt I ever will. I have my concerns, but as they say, “Never say never”.

There are other similar platforms out there like BeWelcome and Trustroots. I might give them a try soon.

To Wrap Up

As you can see, when it comes to lodging, there are many options at your disposal. You can stay at a super expensive hotel or a hostel. There are options for all people and budgets: business travelers, backpackers, couples, families, solo travelers, etc.

You have to determine what’s more important to you. We’re usually concerned regarding money, but it might not be the determining factor in our decisions. However, keep in mind that more expensive does not necessarily mean better quality.

Remember it’s important to always do some research about your options. This way you will be able to make a more informed decision.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you for reading and being part of this wonderful traveler community!

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16 Replies to “Where to Stay in Mexico – A Few Pointers”

  1. Good list of places to stay in Mexico. Me personally, I would choose a hotel, motel or a resort. I’m not really a big fan of using AirBnB, hostels and what not. I actually don’t mind Bed & Breakfasts, but hostels in general don’t offer the same level of privacy as hotels and motels. 

    1. Hi, Nate,

      I’m with you. Personally, hotels are my first option when traveling. I always do some research about them first, and then I make a decision.

      I’m not opposed to AirBnB, but I’d rather stay at a hotel or BB. Just like you, I value privacy over savings.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Hi!  Excellent article, thank you!  I knew hostels were a thing in the ‘old world’ like Europe and such, but I didn’t realize Mexico had hostels too!  Hotels, yes.  Motels, sure!  But hostels?  I do have to agree with you that it would not be my favorite way to travel.  I do think though if you want to travel around an entire country with a limited budget and you’re just passing through, hostels MIGHT be interesting.  I just think with less privacy, there would be more chances of being hurt.  The movie Hostel comes to mind.  Anyway, thanks for the suggestions!  I hadn’t heard of the platform Couchsurfing, either!

    1. Hi, Selenity,

      Yes, hostels are a thing in Mexico, especially in large cities. They’re very popular among the younger crowds. If traveling on a budget, they’re a perfect option.

      I’d forgotten about that movie! LOL! I remember watching it several years ago. But that’s Hollywood. 

      There are several platforms similar to Couchsurfing. There has been some controversy regarding them. I have yet to try them to give you my impressions.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Thanks a lot for such an amazing review about Where to Stay in Mexico and explanations are given.

    I am passionate about traveling and have been planning a visit to Mexico for a long time and now it’s time to buy my plane tickets. So I decided to look for accommodations, I read many articles but this is the best I have found

    Thanks again for this post. If you don’t mind, I will share this article on my social media account. Good luck!

    1. Hi, Razvanllie,

      Give me five, fellow traveler! It’s always nice to find other people who share your passion.

      Remember to do your homework first regarding accommodations. Look them up online and read what others have to say about the places you’re interested in. There are several factors to consider, but ultimately, the decision is up to you.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  4. I never really gave thought to the idea of making mexico my holiday destination. Although, I have heard about their vast collection of beautiful beaches. I even read once, that many intending couples choose the latin-american country as the venue for their wedding because of their many beautiful and historical locations.

    The idea don’t seem bad, and since I like to try new things, I might actually include it in my destination list. But the hostels and motels are a big fat NO. Seriously, I’d rather stay in a hotel and pay the price in full.

    1. Hi, Rhain,

      I get you. Mexico is gradually starting to escalate positions on the most visited countries list. With beautiful beaches and many other fascinating places, this does not come across as a surprise.

      Yes, Mexico is a popular destination for weddings abroad. The industry is growing at a fast pace. You don’t have to break your bank to hold a wedding in Mexico.

      I totally agree with you regarding hotels. They’re always my first option when traveling. I’d rather pay a little more and have more services at hand.

      Thank you for commenting.

  5. Technological advancement has created full new markets and there are some “free” alternative out there (never to forget you always get what you pay for + what would your expectations be for free then?).

    As a frequent traveler (in love with the Mexican Caribbean by the way), the tips of accommodation you choose will depends a lot on what do you travel for:

    Resorts: Relax and get everything under control while getting your sun escape (you don’t need or want much more than just your spot over the sand on the beach).

    Motels: Whenever you need to get to several spots in the visited country (ideal for business trips – not for fun).

    Hotels: Cultural trips and to receive (trying to impress) people around. Excellent when some type of representation level is required.

    AirBnb: When traveling with friends or family on a budget (looking for discovering city attractions or night life).

    Bed & Breakfast and CoucSurfing: Good for lonely traveler looking for meet people and inner country culture. 

    Thand for sharing the alternative available. I hope my participation added value to you already great post! 

    1. Hi, Juan,

      Thank you very much for your input. You’re totally right. The selection made will depend on several factors like who’s traveling, how much you’re willing to spend, what services you require, how much privacy you need, etc. There’s nothing set in stone.

      I have tried a little bit of everything (except for Couchsurfing and the like), and I definitely prefer hotels. They’re not necessarily way more expensive than the other options, and you have the advantage of having more services at your disposal. 

      Thank you for visiting. Feel free to come back anytime for more tips and reviews. 

  6. Greetings! I read this with interest, since I had been to Mexico on two occasions. You give us useful information on different ways to choose a place to stay.

    I have never been to Mexico at my expense, so this is especially valuable. I went to Cabo San Lucas and Cancun on two separate company reward trips. J.W. Marriott in Cabo and also a Marriott in Cancun.

    in Cabo, we were serenaded by Mariachi singers and had unlimited tacos and margaritas. But I was not footing the bill. I loved the Mexican people and would like to go back. We visited Chichen Itza and Tulum archaelogical sites near Cancun

    Near both places, we saw lots of streetside “merchants”.

    Will you being doing am article on the Bahamas, especially Paradise Island and Atlantis?

    Enjoyed the article!

    Richard

    1. Hi, Richard,

      Cabo and Cancun are some of the most visited spots in the country. Resorts abound in those areas, but you can also find other lodging options.

      How did you like Chichen Itza and Tulum? I’m planning to go back in the near future. I love archaeological sites!

      Yes, streetside merchants are very common in Mexico, especially in touristy areas.

      This site focuses on travel in Mexico, but I might create another one in the future and include other locations, who knows?

      Feel free to check my other articles about Mexico and ask for any recommendations. I’m always glad to help.

  7. Thank you very much for this information! I have been looking into a trip with my teenagers and myself to Mexico.  This allowed me to understand more of what is available and things that may not work for us.  I am so excited to go on this trip and want to make sure that I get everything prepared.  I’m looking into either a hotel or a resort.  It depends on the price at the time and what other plans we have as far as sightseeing.  Thanks for the information.

    1. Hi, Jennie,

      That’s great! Are you considering any destinations in particular? Let me know if I can be of assistance.

      If you’ve never been to Mexico before, I’m sure you’ll love it. We have lots of beautiful beaches, ancient buildings, archaeological sites, and much, much more!

      Feel free to check out my other articles for more tips and other information. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Hello Enrique. Mexico is such a lovely place and I’d be very happy to spend some time there someday so I find this post very interesting and useful. Your pointers are really cool because I haven’t thought of all of these. Anyways, my favourite is hotels because it’s the most comfortable and private accommodation with everything I’d ever need especially free WiFi and good food! Of course I’d have to prepare my pocket first before embarking on any journey. Other pointers are cool too.

    Regards!

    1. Hi, Biizy,

      There are people who prefer hotels, while there are others who prefer other options. The truth is, you should pick whatever you’re most comfortable with. It’s your vacation after all.

      Thanks for your comments. Feel free to come back anytime for more tips.

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