Playa Maya is a brilliant little hotel. we came back for the second time recently, and if anything, it was even better than before. It is right on the beach - any closer to the water it would have to be a submarine. breakfast is great, the staff are lovely, the beers are cold.
its only 100 m walk to anenida quinta, the main drag in playa del carmen. And although the bar/restaurant closes early (no dinner), this keeps the place quiet, and a 50 m walk along the beach gets you to Fusion, a fabulous beach bar with outstanding food, so you get the best of both worlds.