Sea, Sand, FUN: Family-Friendly Resorts in Cancun and Playa del Carmen

By Natalia Kvitek,

Who hasn’t dreamt of a family vacation in Mexico’s Riviera Maya? It’s about dads pretending to be a sea monster at the bottom of the pool. It’s about moms teaching the kids how to do the macarena. It’s about the kids building sand castles, learning to swim with their eyes open underwater and drinking virgin cocktails with umbrellas and maraschino cherries.

It’s both about the time you spend together and the time you enjoy apart with parents hitting up the swim-up bar and the kids making friends from all over the world. It’s about a winter or March Break getaway done right.

For your next wet and wild adventures, we’ve handpicked the Best Resorts in Mexico between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. All-inclusive and kid-proofed, these resorts are the ideal setting from which to make memories you’ll be giggling about for years.

 

Gran Caribe Resort Cancun

If you’re after ample beach time during your vacation, a room at the Gran Caribe Resort is just steps away from the white sand and turquoise waters of the Caribbean. This resort bustles with activity for those looking to stay busy from poolside tequila volleyball to the kiddie pirate-themed splash park and mini-golf course

The Family Junior Suites comfortably sleep up to five spread across bunk and trundle beds with a grown-up full sized bed for  parents. The resort also has several supervised kids clubs grouped by age. Two buffets and three à la carte restaurants serve hungry guests with a wide array of international flavours.

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Grand Riviera Princess

With prime beach frontage on the Riviera Maya, the Grand Riviera Princess is a sprawling property with a soft sand and coral rock beach and no shortage of luxurious amenities.

The upside of a massive property? You won’t get bored with over 18 restaurants and bars and 16 swimming pools and children’s entertainment by day and night. Sports on hand include beach volleyball, water polo, kayaks, tennis and “Olympic Games” for the competitive set. There’s also a kids and teens club and plenty of daytime snack options that make this resort a great family-friendly option.

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Sick of the kids and craving some alone time with your partner? Drop the kids off at Grandma’s and head over here…

 

Seadust Family Resort Cancun

If you’re the kind of parent who has the most fun when they are having fun, the Seadust Family Resort Cancun is a veritable paradise for the under 10s. Featuring the Treasure Island Kids Water Park, they will slide, splash and jump their way through the park alongside other friends from the kids club.

The pools, usually buzzing with activities, prove to be the biggest draw for guests here with a massive tiered oceanside main pool, an adults-only rooftop pool and plenty of seating. A variety of international restaurants accommodate everyone including a kids lunch buffet to the adults-only breakfast restaurant Sanctorum which has fabulous views for you to enjoy over omelettes.


 

Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Everybody loves a bit of Hard Rock, especially when located on the white sands of Cancun. Parents can let a bit loose with free drinks available 24/7, in-room liquor dispensers and an infinity pool to brag about at home. A section of the pool is dedicated to the younger generations plus a kids club, trampolines, video games, a teen nightclub and kids menus at all the restaurants makes it a fun choice for all family members.

Deluxe Family rooms are connected through in-room doors and come with beach kits, Xbox 360s and kids toiletries. The property is dotted with impressive music memorabilia and funky decor. Room service offers the option of borrowing a Fender guitar with an accompanying video to learn a few cords.

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Paradisus Cancun

For a chance to experience the ultimate family-friendly vacation in Cancun, check into the Paradisus Cancun. With a Family Concierge dedicated to getting everything from your kid’s favourite in-room video games to amenity kits, this modern tropical getaway resort meets all demands. There’s free WiFi, a nine-hole golf course and lush interior gardens for those seeking a quiet moment.

The main massive freeform swimming pool runs up the whole length of the resort with a shallow section for toddlers and ample sun beds available. When your tummy starts rumbling, you’ll soon be satiated by a large variety of à la carte and buffet restaurants from Blue Agave Mexican street food to Tempo’s ten-course tasting menu.

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Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort & Spa

For those hippy families who pick their vacations with the environment in mind, the Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort will tick all your eco-friendly resort boxes. Views abound all the way to nearby Cozumel Island and a dedicated family zone ensures the kids have their own genre of fun. What’s in-store for them?

A water park with a giant tangle of waterslides, an eco-zoo and behind the scenes tour of conservation efforts made by the resort. Other magical activities include swimming in the crystal clear natural cenote, nightly live entertainment and rowboat river cruises. The resort’s fabulous waterpark boasts 29 water slides that will satisfy even the most adrenaline chasing adults.

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Azul Beach Resort The Fives Playa del Carmen, by Karisma

If you’re looking for a luxurious stay near Playa del Carmen, the stunning Azul Beach Resort The Fives Playa del Carmen, by Karisma with its private beach and expansive suites is calling your family’s name. The infinity pool is a great place to lounge with a drink in hand and spans throughout the whole property. In addition, there are four other pools including kid-friendly choices and plenty of swim-up bars.

The kids aren’t the only ones here with top activity picks; the parents can enjoy rock climbing and archery while the kids mingle with other Azulito kids club members. If you’re coming with a baby, the property is well-prepared with cots, baby monitors, high-chairs and baby food available with room service or at the restaurants.

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Marriott CasaMagna Cancun Resort

Located on a lushly landscaped slice of the Hotel Zone with panoramic views of the ocean and steps away from a powder soft beach, the Marriott CasaMagna Cancun Resort proves to be a great choice for a family vacation.

Five restaurants ranging from Japanese to family-favourite Pizza cater to everyone’s taste. A kids club is rumoured to be one of the best in the area with supervised programming, their own pool and play area. Parents will be more interested in the infinity pool or a soak in the extra large hot tub.

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Royal Solaris Cancun

Sea and sun come in abundance at the Royal Solaris Cancun. Rooms overlook either the lush Nichupte lagoon or the sparkling Caribbean Sea and breakfast room service is included in the all-inclusive price. A variety of nighttime shows including a Mexican Show and Latino Music show and days are packed with activities like dance classes, an Olympic day, piñatas and trivia.

Kids will enjoy supervised artistic, cultural and ecologically focused activities, as well as access to the animal-themed water park. Mom and Dad will favour the expansive main pool with swim-up bar, in-water loungers and waterfall features.

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Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort

Pick your adventure at Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort: if you’re seeking out that tropical jungle feeling, head to the Zen section of the complex whereas lovers of the beach should seek a stay at the Ambassador units, located near a pristine 1000-foot long stretch of sand and ocean. The eco-friendly all-suite resort comes with complimentary personal butler/concierge service and a free shuttle service takes you to Playa del Carmen for adventures further afield.

Three expansive turquoise pools all feature swim-up bars and the low hum of music. The 89,000-square-foot spa is said to be one of the best in the world and offers a range of traditional treatments alongside modern staples. For kids, they can look forward to kid-friendly menus at almost all eight of the onsite restaurants plus loads of activities and two kids clubs.

Got an all-inclusive in Mexico to recommend other families? Let’s hear it!

This article has been adapted from Room5 US.