Selina Playa Del Carmen Review + Tour

Welcome to the Selina Playa del Carmen!

If you want easy beach access, chill vibes, and exciting nightlife, Playa Del Carmen is for you. The Selina Playa Del Carmen may have the best location for guests to take advantage of everything Playa Del Carmen has to offer- including access to great day trips like Akumal and Cozumel, too. 

These amazing adventures begin just steps from the Selina door and with the great coworking spaces for digital nomads, I spent over a month working from this Selina location.

Selina Playa del Carmen Location

Of all the Selina locations I’ve been to, the Selina PDC may have the best access to top attractions. Steps from the door is everything a tourist, backpacker or digital nomad may desire. 

From great food and drinks, shopping- even laundry and a Walmart- are close by. And oh, did I mention you can see the ocean from the front door?

Beach access is so easy that you can be on and off the beach in under a minute. 

The buildings of the Selina Playa Del Carmen are along the infamous Fifth Avenue, the main shopping and restaurant street, and Calle 2 which is one block off from Centro. 

In less than a 5 minute walk, guests can reach the ferries to Cozumel, the ADO bus station, and the main taxi stand. Collectivos are about a 7-10 minutes walk depending on which route you’re taking. 

When I say there is nothing that cannot be done in 10 minute or less walk, I mean it. Truly amazing!

Playa del Carmen Neighborhood Safety

I absolutely felt safe walking around these main areas by myself as a solo female traveler. Even at night. While no place is 100% safe, and I’d be careful walking alone in the overnight off hours, this is a heavily trafficked area of tourists, and police presence is noticeable and accustomed to tourists.

Pros

  • Stunning Pool
  • Excellent Social Events
  • Great Digital Nomad Hotspot
  • Amazing Location

Cons:

  • Can Hear 5th Avenue at Night
  • Lots of Stairs
  • Hit or miss for Micro and Dorm Room Quality
  • Mosquitos in Bar Area

Overview of the Selina PDC Hotel

The Selina Playa del Carmen location is comprised of three main buildings that create a rectangle shaped property with a pool and an outdoor space in the center courtyard for eating, drinking, and socializing. The spaces and hallways are filled with amazing art and murals.

Each building has three stories of rooms and two of the buildings have stunning rooftop views of the ocean and surrounding area.

The first rooftop view is from the Activity Center where wellness activities happen everyday. The second view is from the building that runs along 5th avenue. The building has two large terraces; one that overlooks the pool area and another that faces the ocean.

It can seem easy to pass the unassuming entrance to the Selina Playa Del Carmen due to all the bustling distractions around its walls.

Once inside the courtyard, the Mexican beach palapa ambiance takes hold. The courtyard is spacious and open air with a pool on one side and large bar with picnic seating on the other. 

Access to each building level is primarily by a variety of stairs and long hallways. Very few rooms are accessible without the need to carry your bags up some stairs- if only 3 or 4 steps.

There is a small elevator that can alleviate the number of stairs needed to access rooms to two of the buildings. The elevator is located in the corner of the bar area in the kitchen building that runs along 5th avenue.

Selina Playa Del Carmen Bar + Restaurant

The bar is the focal point and social center of the Selina Playa Del Carmen location. The bar fills the center courtyard with its palapa roof, string lights, and picnic tables. The bar really is the center of action at this location.

Guests can sit in high top chairs along the long bar, chill at a picnic table, or lounge in the Mexican style chairs and tables. 

The bar doubles as the location’ restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8a to 11p. Digital nomads work from the bar and seating on many work days escaping into the enjoyable ambiance. 

The food and coffee is convenient and, at times, a bit disappointing. Eating at the Selina Playa del Carmen is more about the access and ambiance.

The bar area is a hot spot to hang out due to its shade and incredible ambiance; however, only Selina purchased food and drink can be consumed in the area. Any outside purchases are asked to be consumed in the second floor kitchen that overlooks the bar space.

During the day, digital nomads can be found working along the bar top and picnic tables to the low key music. At night, the space becomes a social hotspot full of energy and laughter.

Around 7p most days, the bar area doubles as the hub for a many social events like movie night, karaoke, and trivia nights. 

Insider Tip: I recommend ordering beer if possible. Cocktails can have a long wait time- 10-15 minutes and the hard alcohol selection is minimal. Cocktail prices are around $7-12 USD. 

The bar area is so wonderful to be in and I loved sitting there anytime of day. However, there are mosquitos in the courtyard.  I’d get one or two new bites every time I sat in the area. It didn’t matter if I was the bar or picnic tables or if it was morning, day, or night.

Nothing prohibitive, just annoying. This location has regular exterminations and the exterminators come midway into my stay, demonstrating the bug free-ness that is the rooms and building, but they didn’t spray the outdoor seating areas for mosquitos.

Pool at the Selina Playa del Carmen

Yes, there is a fun pool at the Selina Playa del Carmen!

The second half of the open air courtyard are the beautiful blue waters of the pool glistening under the colorful Mexican banners. The Selina Playa Del Carmen offers guests a dual sides pool areas surrounded by jungle greenery and a row of hammocks. 

Many guests use the space for its amazing ambiance as opposed to swimming. After a long walk or big day out, dipping your feet in the cool water is amazingly refreshing. 

The pool area is my personal favorite places for morning coffee or relaxed work call as the music is softer than the bar area. 

If I have one critique about the pool area, is that it doesn’t get much sunlight due to the surrounding buildings. Sunlight hits one end of the pool area, just not all of it.

That extra shade can come in handy on those warmer Mexico days, but can lead to colder pool water. 

In addition to the guests using the pool area, the onsite dive school uses half the space for lessons during the late mornings and afternoons.

Activity + Wellness Center

Insider Info: A secret gem at this location, and my favorite place to escape to, is the rooftop Activity Center. 

Hidden by stair access in the poolside building, the activity center is an open air palapa with view of both the city and the ocean water. One of two places you can watch the sunrise over the water from this Selina. 

The palapa rooftop provides shade to this relaxing space with a breeze coming from the ocean views. Stocked with yoga mats and meditation pads, this is the perfect place to start or end your day.

The daily yoga classes and meditation sessions, and occasional dance classes occur at this meet up spot. During the day, the space is used for spa wellness sessions like massages. Just the perfect place to unwind. 

There are no outlets or access to digital nomads resources up here. This is a place to relax, disconnect and recenter. 

The views from this rooftop are wonderful. You can look down on the pool below or look out to the beautiful ocean water.

Wellness + Yoga Calendar

Yoga and meditation sessions are the primary wellness offering at the Selina Playa del Carmen. Wellness sessions are often lead by a resident instructor who is a visiting instructor that receives a free or discounted room for a few weeks in exchange for leading wellness offerings.

While the schedule is variable, both the meditation and yoga sessions primarily occurred in the mornings around 8a or 9a. Digital nomads had mixed feeling about the “late” morning sessions at these hours because it can be difficult to start your work day at 9:30 or 10:30a.

Reception

Guest’s initial views of Selina Playa del Carmen will leave them wondering how this hotel is so spacious. The reception area packs a lot into a little space.

Check in for the Selina Playa Del Carmen is entered from the pedestrian only street Calle 2. When you step inside, you’ll enter a warmly lit space that functions as check in, grab and go section, shopping area and tour desk. 

The reception area packs a lot into a little space.

This location has a luggage storage area in a padlocked area in off the bar just around the corner from reception for those guest ending to store luggage before or after your stay. 

Insider Tip: This Selina location still uses old school keys as opposed to key card access for rooms. When guests check in, they are handed a loose key with no keychain or other mechanism for easy handling. The result is many lost or misplaced keys.

I recommend tying something to your key to prevent a lost key fee at checkout.

Kitchen

In the large building across from the activity center is the Selina Playa Del Carmen’s shared kitchen. Overlooking the open air bar on the second floor guess can cook a homemade meal in this community area.

Guests will be seeing double in this kitchen. With two fridges, two stoves, and two sinks, each side of the kitchen is an almost exact match of appliances as the other. 

While the kitchen area has all the basics well stocked, the long narrow design does make it difficult to function in. The large amount of kitchen supplies clutters the limited counter space and the narrow walkway makes it difficult to access the fridges during peak hours.

The Selina staff did a deep clean of the kitchen during my stay where they pulled out the stoves, cleaned the fridges, and scrubbed the harder to reach areas of the counter tops. It did help lessen the overall clutter feeling of the counterspace and add some new life to the space.

I adore the Selina Playa Del Carmen for many reasons, but this is one of my least favorite Selina kitchens. Thank goodness tacos and fresh juices are available up the street for $0.75- $1 each respectively. 

For dining, guests use the community kitchen table or sit along the outer edge of the kitchen walkway where hightop seating overlooks the bar area.

All the kitchen and open seating spaces have an open air concept helping the space feel less confined and giving a great view to the bar area below.  

Coworking at Selina Playa del Carmen

Around the corner from the kitchen is the password protected Coworking space. 

The space has a series of open hot desk spaces, a reading nook, and mini desks for those who need to get some serious work done. For coworkers with calls there are two private phone booths and a meeting room.

Cowork is a paid space include in Colive packages or on a daily or weekly, or monthly basis that includes hot desking, high speed wifi, as well as complimentary amenities like coffee, water and tea. 

If you’re looking fo information on the Coworking space, be sure to check out our deep dive look at the Selina Playa Del Carmen’s cowork space for digital nomads video where we break down wifi, seating, and pricing.

The Selina PDC is a popular hub for digital nomads with additional social offerings with nomads in mind. 

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Social Calendar + Events at Selina Playa del Carmen

The Selina Playa del Carmen is a great place to meet people and other digital nomads. It’s where I met my digital nomad family and I highly recommend it as an initiation location for new digital nomads.

Part of what makes this location great for socializing is that Selina hires multiple social coordinators to plan and lead activities both inside the Selina and outside around Playa Del Carmen. The results is a robust activity schedule of 1- 3 social activities each day, in addition to the wellness sessions.

If you leave here without making new friends, you likely did it wrong. 

Social events range from salsa and swing dancing, friendship circles, and karaoke nights, to creative workshops, digital nomad skill shares and coffee sessions. 

How to Participate in Social Events

Insider tip: There are two What’sApp chats guests can join at this Selina.  The first is run exclusively by the administrative staff where they post the weekly wellness and social events, as well as tours and sales. Some tours, like the secret denote bike tour, are available only on limited days. 

Guests can join this chat by scanning the QR code at the front desk.

The second What’sApp is a social chat for guests to post in and coordinate events with one of the social coordinators. It’s a great place to drop in a note about that day trip you plan on taking this weekend, or asking if anyone wants to grab lunch or happy hour together.

Depending on the social coordinator at the time, guests can join this chat by locating a QR code on the bar top or by finding the social coordinator and requesting an invite.

Tours + Things to Do at SelinaPlaya del Carmen

There is an onsite tour desk run by an outside company making it very convenient for Selina guests to reserve tours and day trops.

The list of tours they offer is quite extensive, but even with the Colive discount, I found the the tours to be overpriced.

The one exception is the secret cenote and jungle tours which are more intimate for Selina guests only and occur on select days each week. Guests can find the scheduling and pricing for these tours listed on the board near the bar. They are posted in the Selina PDC WhatsApp chat each week.

Guest Demographics at Selina Playa Del Carmen

The Selina guests that are attracted to this location are a solid mix of short term visitors in town for a few days and long term digital nomads. Many digital nomads stayed 3-5 weeks which enhanced the chances of getting to know people and build community. 

Around 50-60% of the guests at this location are digital nomads. Additional digital nomads purchase day passes to use the shared spaces and Coworking space. Around 80%+ of the digital nomads here are in their 30s-40s.

During my stay, the average age was mid 30s with a few solo guests in their 50s and 60s and some 20 somethings living the backpacker lifestyle. Majority of non- digital nomad guests were solo travelers with the occasional pair or family. 

Additional Shared Areas

In addition to the kitchen, bar, pool and coworking spaces there are additional community areas accessible to guests of Selina Playa del Carmen. The first is a large dining table where the kitchen walkway and coworking hallways meet.

Along that same area is high top bar seating with 4 medium sized lockers.

In-between the hallway on the top floor of the kitchen building is swing area fully covered in shade and decorated in unique art.

In between the bar and pool courtyard areas is an onsite barber shop offering both mens and women’s haircuts as well a good shave- from what I hear. 

Next to the barber shop, guests can find the the dive center where many Selina guests work on their intro or PADI dive certification classes. Intro classes are super convenient happening in the Selina pool. 

Rooms at Selina Playa del Carmen

There are four categories of rooms at the Selina Playa del Carmen: a variety sized dorm and community rooms, micro and semi-private rooms, private standard rooms and deluxe suites.

The quickest and easiest way to the rooms, and many of the common areas, is by stairs. There Is a small elevator available for one of the buildings but it is inconvenient. You won have to climb more than three flights depending on your room level, but staircases are the easiest mode of transit in this Selina. 

Dorm + Community Rooms

Dorm rooms at Selina Playa del Carmen range from 4 person rooms to dorms of 16 beds.

Many of the 4 person dorms rooms have private bathrooms, while larger dorms utilize the shared bathrooms.

The 16 person dorms are on the highest floor of the tallest building, the one that runs along 5th avenue.

Guests in the larger dorms will have a bittersweet stay in that they have the furthest to walk to get to and from their rooms, including mandatory stairs, but at that height these guest rooms are along the large terraces that have views of the pool and ocean.

Many of the smaller dorms with private bathrooms are along the pool area in the lower level of the building with the Activity Center. Additional smaller dorms are on the 3rd floor above the kitchen area.

Guests staying in dorm rooms should pack a towel as only bedding lines are provided. I also recommend an eye mask and ear plugs as the bunk beds here do not have privacy curtains.

Micro + Private-Shared/ Semi- Private Rooms

This Selina location offers Micro rooms, aka Semi-Private rooms, which are private rooms with shared restrooms. Rooms include a full sized bed and at this location, two shelves and a clothing rack. 

There are a few sets of micro rooms at this location. Two of them are on the 2nd and 3rd floor of Calle 2 and 5th Avenue. The micros in this corners have 4 micros to one bathroom. Each bathroom is a dual set of his and hers sinks and mirrors along the hall with a separate single toilet and shower. 

The second area with micro rooms is in the highest part of the hotel near the large dorms. Guests will climb two sets of stairs, or take the elevator, then have a long walkways with a few additional steps to get to their rooms.  

The micro rooms are along the inner hallway that connects the front terrance to the back terrace. This inner hallway is also home to the shared bathroom that these micros share with the large dorms. 

That shared restroom has two toilets, two showers, and three sinks. Additional showers are along a second hallway.

Finally, there is a set of Micro rooms on the second level of the reception building in the corner over reception. These micros and many in the corner have windows to the bustling Calle 2 below and receive a nice amount of natural light considering. 

Micro rooms at this location are hit or miss in terms of experience.

Guests in micro rooms are provided all linens including two towels, a double shelf with hanging rods, a mirror and weekly room cleaning. Your room will also have a remote controlled air conditioner/ heater and ceiling fan. 

While micro rooms offer privacy, they lack additional comforts like natural light or clothes hangers. Micro rooms are often more central in the buildings where they have a small window or no windows and the room is smaller in square footage.

I had both experiences and felt the micros that shared were well balanced. I did not enjoy sharing the restroom with the dorms. 

Standard Rooms + Private Rooms

Standard rooms are quite nice at this location with lots of natural night. Most of the standards are located above reception on the second floor and along the second floor fo the pool side building. 

Standard rooms at Selina Playa Del Carmen include both a private room with a private bathroom. They  have larger windows and more natural light than micro or dorms room and include amenities like clothes hangers and air-condition/ heaters.

Suites + Deluxe Rooms

Suites take the comfort of standard rooms up a notch by adding a desk and seating area as well as a private balcony or walk out window.

At the Selina Playa Del Carmen, the suites get amazing amount of natural light with large windows and sliding glass doors. 

There are multiple suites at this location. The two primary ones overlook the pool. They have their own balcony and outdoor swing as well as separate access points. 

The suites in this center are possibly the quietest in the Selina and do not receive any sunlight which can be cool in the summers.

Quiet matters at this location because the large building along with avenue has a returns with a live band under it. The live band is a lot of fun but plays past midnight nightly. The rooms on that side of the building echo the lively music. 

Review of Selina Playa del Carmen

There is so much to love about this place! I stayed the the Selina Playa del Carmen for 35 days in two different micro rooms and had access to the Coworking space during my stay.

For one, the location cannot be beat. It just can’t.

You can walk to the beach, ADO bus station, the ferries to Cozumel, the main Parque Fundadores, 5th avenue, nightlife, amazing food, Centro, local street food, and more in under 3 minutes. You can even walk to Walmart in 8 minutes.

That being said, the building along 5th avenue has bars and restaurants in the backside and one that has a live band every night.

I love that band. They are so fun and upbeat, but I could hear them every night till 2a no matter what micro room area I was in. I needed noise cancelling headphones to sleep on work nights.

The secret to a good night’s sleep here is to have such an active and amazing day, you’re tired and ready to sleep- which is actually doable even on weeknights in Playa del Carmen.

More Good

Selina Playa del Carmen hires three activity coordinators each month to ensure plenty of social and wellness activities.

The people who choose this location are just amazing people and I loved all the new friends I made here. If you leave here without meeting great people you did it wrong.

Good balance of workers and non-working guests stay here. Average age was mid 30s with people into their 50s and 60s and some 20 somethings. This location attracts a lot of digital nomads.

Quiet Hours are 11p-7a and are enforced (other than then live band on 5th avenue), security will not let people in who are not staying there after hours, the staff coordinate local volunteering efforts so you can give back to the community.

Mixed Feelings

I have mixed feelings about the bar and restaurant and the rooms at Selina Playa Del Carmen.

The bar area is so wonderful to be in and I loved sitting there anytime of day. However, there are mosquitos in the bar area. I’d get one or two new bites every time I sat in the area. It didn’t matter if I was the bar or picnic tables or if it was morning, day, or night.

They did have exterminators do their routing extermination into my stay, but they didn’t spray the bar area. Only the room areas.

The food is ok, but there is plenty of room for improvement. The alcohol menu is lacking too if you don’t drink beer. Cocktails took forever (40 minutes during happy hour; 10-15 minutes otherwise) and are overpriced for their quality $7-12 USD.

My mixed feelings also run to the rooms. There is a lack of detail in the cleaning of some of the rooms. I had dirty linens when I arrived and the air conditioner in my second room had a brown substance leaking from it onto my top shelf.

Nothing prohibitive, and the cleaning staff works really hard here. They clean the bathrooms everyday and have many rooms to stay on top of.

Not to mention, the cleaning staff is super nice if you are kind to them, they are kind back. They just don’t have the bandwidth to do those deeper detail cleans all hotels inevitable need in time.

The mattresses and bedding was some of the least comfortable I’ve had at a Selina. They are due for an upgrade. Let’s hope that comes soon. That and a detailed cleaning will really take the Selina Playa del Carmen up a notch.  

Overall, I really do enjoy the Selina Play del Carmen, It is a great location for travelers and nomads looking to inject energy and social activities into their lives while balancing all your work resources.

I will definitely return and when I do, I will either request a micro over the reception area, or a standard/ suite room in the pool-side building to reduce the noise for the live band and avoid sharing resources with the backpackers in the large dorms.

Thanks for reading. This has been Acacia for Adventure on the Side. Wishing you happy travels to Mexico and beyond! See you around in the world soon.

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