We were excited to visit Playa Sonrisa, knowing that it was a “clothing optional” (aka naturist / nudist) resort. The owner 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)
- Couples only – no singles or young families please
- Welcomes guests with alternative lifestyles
- Expansive beach area with places to sit and relax
- Wide dock with shaded loungers
- Rooftop patio with self-serve bar
- Friendly beach dogs on the premises
- Guest-only restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner
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, 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” that 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.
The most exclusive suite at Playa Sonrisa is the second floor Suite Linda Vista, with a large living room, private balcony, and bedroom that looks out to the sea. This suite is ONLY available to Playa Sonrisa’s return and loyal guests. Will this be you one day…?
What’s special about Playa Sonrisa?
At Playa Sonrisa the owners do their best to make sure that 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.
Click for a full overview of the Xcalak Beach.
Playa Sonrisa has 85 m / 280 ft of sandy beachfront and the guest-only restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cold drinks are available from the restaurant any time using the honor-system.
The popular rooftop patio has loungers for relaxing, a third-floor view of the Caribbean Sea, and the Agave Room – a shaded self-serve bar area. It’s the perfect place to kick back and relax while taking a break from the intense, Mexican sun.
The restaurant at Playa Sonrisa is called Loco Nutz Après Ski, and it’s packed with things you wouldn’t expect to find on a beach. Thanks to the owner’s ski-addiction, you’ll find skis of all types leaning against the wall, snow shoes on display, and ski-themed (and naturist) décor adorning the walls.
Breakfast comes included in your stay, and you can opt for lunch at Loco Nutz. Dinner is served five out of seven days a week, so you’ll have the chance 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 third floor patio and wooden dock are ideal for sea-viewing, star-gazing, and sun-bathing.
- 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?
Formerly named Villa Caracol and catering mainly to fly fishers, the property went up for sale right when Donn “Murph” and Cindy Murphy were looking for an adventure. Done with the nine to five, they decided they would become B&B owners. In 2001, they started looking for a place, considering both the ski slopes in the north (Murph was a ski instructor in Colorado) and warm places like Belize and the Cayman Islands. When Villa Caracol came up for sale in Xcalak they jumped in with both feet.
Murph and Cindy wanted something special to set their property apart, and noticed that there wasn’t a nudist beach anywhere in the Yucatan. And that’s how they decided their B&B would become Playa Sonrisa – a naturist resort in Mexico for couples, where “all you need is your sonrisa” (smile in Spanish).
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 this naturist resort.
Playa Sonrisa website **link has adult/nude content**