Playa del Carmen is a beach resort town with lots of accommodation options and a pedestrian street parallel to the beach full of shops, restaurants and bars aimed at the big spending foreign traveler that finds everything cheaper than their home. Unfortunately for us it was more expensive than we were used to but we were able to find some cheaper places to eat just a few blocks back from the tourist drag.
We stayed three nights in Playa del Carmen for some beach time and for what we called a holiday from travelling. We ended up staying about three blocks from the beach which was a great location.
The beach wasn't as nice as Tulum as lots of seaweed had blown in and was on the beach and in the water but we still enjoyed our time swimming and beach walking.
It was built up along the beach with many restaurants with beach chairs and tables on the sand. All the waiters kept inviting us in as we walked past.