A Mexican all-inclusive is a top vacation choice for honeymooners and college-age spring-breakers, but families with kiddos have lots to look forward to as well. With activity-packed kids’ clubs, water sports, and other child-approved amenities (picture a swimming pool with a pirate ship replica), the following all-inclusives -- all on Mexico’s Caribbean side -- are designed to help little ones and parents bond (as well as keep kids entertained when adults need some alone time).
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
The 80-plus acres of beachfront mangroves that comprise Grand Velas Riviera Maya are home to everything families could want from an all-inclusive -- and then some: access to gorgeous white-sand beach, a stunning spa, three pool complexes, multiple restaurants -- most of which have kids’ menus -- separate kid-friendly and adults-only buildings, free non-motorized water ports, fun kids’ clubs, babysitting services (for a fee), and activities like beach Olympics, movies, and treasure hunts. It also happens to be a 40-minute drive from Xel-Ha Park, the world’s largest aquarium where you can swim with dolphins, and a 20-minute drive from Xcaret Eco Park -- in case you wish to leave the property.
Azul Beach Resort Riviera Maya, Puerto Morelos
Parents heading to Azul Beach Resort, pack light -- the 97-room resort, located on a secluded beach, has a toy lending program. That’s on top of a kiddy pool, kids’ menus at the on-site restaurants, fun kids’ club, and child-size gym with ropes, parallel bars, and daily activities for kids of all ages. Babysitting services are also on offer, so that adults can enjoy the private beach, outdoor pools, and even a tequila lounge in peace.
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda
One of the best family-friendly all-inclusive resorts on the Yucatan Peninsula, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda is chock-full of amenities that will keep your kids off their phones. Amenities include access to a beautiful beach with sun loungers; a kids’ club with games and activities (like face-painting and air hockey); several swimming pools, including one with a pirate ship playground, inflatable bridges, and a swim-up bar; babysitting services; and many restaurants with kids’ menus. Vacationers wanting to splurge can opt for the Family Concierge level rooms, which grant entry into a private pool and club lounge, plus expedited service.
Hyatt Ziva Cancun
Surrounded by the sea on three sides, Hyatt Ziva Cancun isn’t just one of the kid-friendliest properties in the Hotel Zone; it’s also one of the best all-around all-inclusives in the area. The property caters to families -- a kids’ club with a pool and water play area, an on-site dolphin habitat, and entertainment like theater shows, water activities, and tennis and dance lessons are among the highlights. There are also three infinity-edge pools, extensive spa facilities, and a myriad of dining and drinking options. Those who wish to avoid the family scene, however, can opt for the adults-only tower, which features a pool and dining for grown-ups only.
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
The kids’ club at Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, an all-inclusive resort along Cancun’s Mayan Riviera, is tough to beat. It has multiple themed rooms -- like a mini racetrack, an arcade, an art room, and a life-sized doll house room -- plus a snack bar, outdoor playground, and mini-theater -- all of which keep kids’ imaginations running wild. The property is also home to other impressive amenities like a dolphinarium and several pools, including one with waterslides, a Flowrider machine, and swim-up bar (a nice perk since the beaches in this area are often strewn with seaweed).
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Between the kids’ club (including a water park and rock climbing wall), the teens’ club (with video games), the holistic, jungle-set spa, and the on-site temazcal with a small cenote for hosting ceremonies, Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa has something for all ages. Some might prefer the adults-only accommodations (here’s looking at you, honeymooners), but if family bonding is the top priority, there are shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, water sports, swimming pools, and nightly entertainment the whole brood can enjoy together.
There are many reasons families might choose Paradisus Cancun for their next vacation getaway. The 668-room all-inclusive features spacious rooms (including Family Concierge suites with child-friendly amenities like bathrobes and slippers for kids and turndown service with milk and cookies), multiple restaurants and bars, a large free-form swimming pool, a plethora of activities (water sports, a tennis court, and a golf course, to name a few), and three play zones for babies, kids, and teenagers. Couples (and families with no kids) can also opt for the adults-only Royal Service section of the resort, which has private beach and swimming pool areas, butler service, and other pampering perks.
Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma
About halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma has families’ best interests in mind. The bustling all-inclusive is teeming with kid-friendly amenities, from the kids’ club with games and art projects to the giant outdoor pool. Amenities like strollers, cribs, changing tables, and bottle warmers are also available upon request. In the evening, families gather for movies by the pool and dance shows. Though the ambience here is more rowdy than relaxing, with kids running amok and beach volleyball games in full swing, parents searching for some “me” time can enjoy some of the amenities at the adults-only El Dorado Royale next door.
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