**Under new (and awesome) ownership as of Aug 2023**
When we visited Playa Sonrisa, we knew that it was a “clothing optional” (aka naturist/nudist) resort. The owners scheduled our visit so it wouldn’t disturb the guests, and when we set eyes on the wide beach with the most picturesque dock in Xcalak, we felt lucky to be there.
It was clear that Playa Sonrisa was designed for comfortable relaxation. Loungers, chairs, and hammocks were interspersed on the expansive beach, arranged so guests could enjoy the beach alone or together. Driftwood, seashells, buoys, and flip-flops adorned the fences and decorated the sand, giving Playa Sonrisa a carefree atmosphere. It seemed like the perfect place to erase tan lines.
Essential Highlights of Playa Sonrisa
- A clothing-optional, naturist resort (the only naturist / nudist beach in the Costa Maya)
- Welcomes guests from the naturist/nudist community including first-timers
- Expansive beach area with places to sit and relax
- Wide dock with shaded loungers
- Massages on the beach in the shade
- Tiki Teal’s Bar & Grill; serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner (open to the public on Saturdays)
- Buffet breakfast included with accommodations
How’s the location of Playa Sonrisa?
You’ll find the entrance to Playa Sonrisa only 7 km / 4.3 mi up the north beach road from the town of Xcalak. Park your vehicle, then follow the signs along the pathway to the front desk.
Fences separate the property’s beach area from the neighbors (all of whom are respectful of Playa Sonrisa’s nude beach). Suites are set back from the water, making for a wide beach dotted with palm trees, chairs, loungers, and hammocks. Enjoy the sunrise, sip a cold beverage, relax in the natural “hot tub”, or simply watch the pelicans fishing in the water.
What are the rooms like at Playa Sonrisa?
There are several types of suites at Playa Sonrisa, and no matter which you choose you’ll have a view of the water. Each room is brightly painted and decorated to match its name (like “tortuga” which has turtles or “el mar” with tropical fish). Bathrooms have colorful tilework and pieces of coral integrated into their construction.
Rooms at the Playa Sonrisa resort are simple, with large beds, chairs, tables, convenient places for hanging and storing your clothing, and full bathrooms with hot water. Tile floors are cool on your feet, and windows let the sea breeze in to keep your room comfortable. If the wind dies down, simply turn on your ceiling fan. You’ll probably spend most of your time outside especially with your room’s shaded patio or balcony overlooking the beach.
The most popular suites are the two standalone beachfront bungalows with private walkout patios and topped with traditional palapa roofs. In a different villa, two upper-level suites (one with a king bed and the other with two double beds) share a second-floor patio.
Guests wanting more space opt for the beach-level suite, with a king bed and a small living room that includes a fold-out futon.
What’s special about Playa Sonrisa?
Playa Sonrisa’s new owners continue to keep an atmosphere that makes guests feel comfortable and at ease. You won’t feel out of place with or without clothing – it truly is optional, and you won’t feel judged. That being said, bottoms are required at the restaurant.
In Xcalak Playa Sonrisa is unique – and not just because it’s acceptable to walk around in your birthday suit. It’s the only visitor accommodation that has covered lounging areas on the dock, so you can enjoy relaxing on the Caribbean Sea without getting burnt.
The new owners are planning a few exciting updates. For instance: reintroducing Naked Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Trips in partnership with XTC Dive Shop, remodeling the garden bungalows to include a palapa-covered rooftop deck, and building a games room with entertainment like darts, cornhole, and a poker table.
Click for a full overview of the Xcalak Beach.
Playa Sonrisa has 85 m / 280 ft of sandy beachfront and the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cold drinks are available from the Tiki Teal’s restaurant at any time, and soon there’s going to be a brick oven and a smoker for even more delicious meals.
Breakfast is included in your stay, and you can opt for lunch. Dinner is served five out of seven days a week, so you’ll have the chance to try some of the local restaurants during your stay. Meals at Playa Sonrisa are served family-style, as making friends is part of the Playa Sonrisa experience. The naturist community is full of friendly people, and Playa Sonrisa has hosted guests from 37 different countries.
At the back of the restaurant, you’ll find an extensive library of English books to read between naps, snorkeling, and sunbathing.
What’s included when staying at Playa Sonrisa?
Breakfast comes with your stay, as does the extensive selection of water sports gear including kayaks, boogie boards, a water tube, and snorkel gear. There are two beach bikes for off-property exploring (with drink holders, of course).
Guests can enjoy the main beach in hammocks, beach chairs, padded loungers, or right on the sand. The covered patio outside the restaurant is cool and comfortable, and the wooden dock is ideal for sea-viewing, star-gazing, and sunbathing.
- High-speed Wi-Fi in rooms
- Purified drinking water
- Cleaning service 6 days/week
- 3-night minimum stay
- Breakfast, with lunch and dinner available
- English book selection
What’s the story behind Playa Sonrisa?
Take a ride in the “way back machine,” and you’ll discover that Playa Sonrisa was originally Villa Caracol, a fly-fishing accommodation. In 2001, a transformation ensued: the property became Playa Sonrisa – a naturist resort in Mexico for couples, where “all you need is your sonrisa” (smile in Spanish).
In August 2023, Playa Sonrisa began its second evolution with new owners Blaney and Steve. From Maryland, USA, the partners initially discovered Xcalak via Google while looking for a beach retirement opportunity, searching phrases like “Bed and Breakfast for sale.”
Both owners were avid scuba divers and already big fans of life in Mexico, so potentially living at Playa Sonrisa seemed like a good fit. They visited far-flung Xcalak to test the resort’s waters (so to speak) and fell in love with the place. As Blaney says, it’s her own version of Gilligan’s Island.
At first, they were hesitant about keeping Playa Sonrisa “nudist.” But, after doing research and seeing the 22 years of loyalty, they decided it was best to maintain the heart of Sonrisa and continue serving the naturalist/nudist community.
Blaney and Steve are also planning some upgrades to the facility. They will introduce business and executive retreats, health & wellness retreats, land flipping retreats, get “stuff” done retreats, eco-friendly weddings, reunions, group dive trips, and more. Playa Sonrisa’s warm smile is wholehearted enough to accommodate everyone.
On living in Mexico, the two say they enjoy waking up and having coffee on the beach, watching the pelicans, and even working remotely from their outdoor office where Blaney coaches business owners and Steve teaches land flipping. Xcalak is a Paradise for them, and (if you book a stay at Playa Sonrisa) it could also be a paradise for you.
What’s the best way to reserve Playa Sonrisa?
Online, you can reserve a suite with Playa Sonrisa’s website and learn more about what it’s like at Xcalak’s naturist resort.
Playa Sonrisa website **link has adult/nude content**