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Blessed with expansive sandy beaches, a warm sub-tropical climate, and spectacular natural scenery, Mexico has long been a popular tourist destination for visitors from the U.S. and further abroad. Traditional indigenous cultures, jungle excursions, and adventure sports await visitors looking for an authentic and in-depth experience. However, for many families, it is the affordable and amenity-filled all-inclusive resorts that provide an irresistible draw to Mexico’s sandy shores.
From the crystal-clear seas and brilliant white beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula to the dramatic limestone cliffs and water sports of Cabo San Lucas, coastal resort towns have sprung up to cater to crowds in this ever-popular holiday scene. Small boutique properties offer secluded and relaxing retreats where every need is seen to with the utmost care and attention, and sprawling mega-resorts compete to offer water parks, beachside infinity pools, and extravagant live entertainments. Whatever the size, inclination, or requirements of your family may be, there will be a resort that both meets and exceeds your wildest expectations for the ultimate tropical getaway. The resorts listed below present a selection of the best all-inclusive properties in Mexico that promise to offer families maximum enjoyment with a minimum of complications and hassle.
Best Overall: Moon Palace Cancun
Located just a short drive from Cancun International Airport, Moon Palace Cancun is a sprawling mega-resort that packs in all the amenities necessary for an unforgettable family vacation. Several hotel pools include the enormous main pool (with islands and bridges and containing children’s zones), curving waterslides, and the Flowrider wave machine. Family activities within the resort include minigolf, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, and cycling around the resort. When parents want to play a round of golf on the 30-hole golf course or relax with a soothing massage at the Awe Spa, young children can be entertained for hours on end in the excellent kids’ club.
Facilities include several colorful, padded playgrounds with slides and ball pits, a movie theater, and a video game arcade. Kids can enjoy the Xbox gaming room or pamper themselves and put on runway fashion shows in the bright-pink beauty salon. There is also a snack bar and another playground outside. A huge number of restaurants and bars keep dining options varied and fresh, and in the evenings acts such as musical dance shows and acrobatic exhibitions provide entertainment for the whole family.
Best Budget: Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa
With rates available for less than $150 a night, the range of facilities and services offered at the Grand Riviera Princess All Suites Resort & Spa represents superb value for money for families looking for an all-inclusive experience without breaking the bank. To make the most of the family amenities, guests should book into the Family Club, which offers spacious family suites, some with swim-up pool access, dedicated child care services, entrance to the family club, an ice-cream parlor, and a themed pirate restaurant. There is also a pirate-themed waterpark sitting in the center of a shallow splash pool, with slides, fountains, and waterfall features, as well as another four childrens’ pools scattered around the resort.
Available activities include beach soccer, water volleyball and basketball, and water sports such as snorkeling and kayaking. Children can enjoy supervised activities at the kids’ club while parents play tennis, take yoga and fitness classes, or just sip on cocktails at the swim-up bar. Eleven restaurants offer dining options ranging from international buffets to hearty Italian fare and delicious Swiss fondue; several bars also serve light meals and refreshing beverages.
Best for Luxury: AZUL Beach Resort Riviera Maya
A smaller and calmer resort than many of the other all-inclusive properties you'll find in Mexico, the AZUL Beach Resort Riviera Maya is a relaxed option that still offers great facilities for traveling broods. Stylish, modern rooms can accommodate up to three children, and have amenities including jacuzzi tubs, rainfall showers, and furnished balconies or terraces. Some rooms also have swim-up pool access.
The Nickelodeon Playhouse is a standout amenity for families with young children; there, kids are able to interact with favorite characters such as Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Children can be left in a supervised, age-appropriate play environment while parents enjoy activities such as yoga or dance classes, Spanish lessons, or learning to cook traditional Mexican fare. The Vassa Spa provides a full service of relaxing and rejuvenating therapies, including signature treatments such as hot and cold water hydrotherapy courses, and coconut mud massages. As well as three main hotel pools, there is a separate shallow kids’ pool. The hotel's clean white-sand beach offers shaded cabanas with hanging beds, and it hosts activities such as snorkeling and kayaking. Five restaurants serve all sorts of international cuisine such as fresh sushi rolls, Italian pasta, Mexican dishes, all-encompassing buffets if you just can't pick. While you eat, you'll also enjoy live music and entertainment.
Best in the Yucatan: Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Set on an isolated stretch of white sandy beach just north of Tulum, Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa offers a relaxed tropical retreat where children can explore in a safe and secluded environment. The graceful colonial-style buildings and meticulously landscaped gardens are reminiscent of an exclusive country club, and the hardwood floors and marble furnishings of guest rooms do little to dispel this impression. The Explorer’s Club children’s center includes features such as a climbing wall, video games, and a waterpark with slides and splash buckets. Daily activities can include sandcastle contests, treasure hunts, and arts and crafts sessions. Children are also taken on supervised excursions to nearby beaches and jungles, where they are taught about science and nature through interactive activities and can even enjoy campouts and movie nights on the beach. There is also a teens’ club filled with games consoles, a large plasma TV, table games, and a snack bar. While children are occupied with these activities, parents can play a round of golf or partake in massage therapies, salon services, or a traditional temazcal ceremony at the Dreams Spa. Set in a tranquil jungle setting, facilities at the spa include a hydrotherapy room, whirlpool tubs, and cold plunge pools.
Best in Cabo San Lucas: Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
With beaches to the front and golf courses in the hills behind, the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos is well situated to provide a complete family vacation experience. With a sleek modern design complemented by stylish furnishings such as marble-topped nightstands and dark mahogany wall screens in the guest rooms, the hotel exudes a glamorous and sophisticated atmosphere. Some guest suites offer swim-up access while others have wrap-around balconies with stunning ocean views. A variety of pools include a scenic infinity pool, a large main pool with attached hot tub and a poolside bar, a splash pool for younger children, and a water park with slides and other play equipment. The kids’ club offers a bright and open space for children to play, with sand pits, playgrounds, and colorful murals of local sea life adorning the walls. A teens’ club comes with the prerequisite video games and foosball tables.
At the Balinese-style Zen Spa, parents can relax in hydrotherapy pools amid marble furnishings and splashing fountains or enjoy a massage in thatched cabanas constructed above calm ponds. Cuisine can range from sophisticated Japanese and French dishes to burgers, local Mexican dishes, and international buffets in more casual dining environments. Wooden decks with seating and firepits situated in a shallow freshwater pool make a great place to relax in the evening and dazzling live shows provide family-friendly spectacles of music, song, and dance on a nightly basis.
Best Beachfront: Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Facing out over a 1,000-foot stretch of pristine white sand that is considered one of the best beaches in all of Mexico, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya is unrivaled when it comes to beachfront locations. The hotel takes full advantage of its enviable position, with premium Ambassador suites featuring private terraces with plunge pools overlooking the immaculate beach and brilliant blue seas. Down on the sands, rows of sun lounges and private cabanas are serviced by attentive wait staff supplying snacks and beverages. Complimentary water sports equipment such as kayaks, snorkels, and boogie boards are available. Two free-form infinity pools offer uninterrupted ocean views, marble tiling, and swim-up bars. The cheerful kids’ club is filled with wooden pillars and colorful sea life murals, and hosts movie sessions, arts and crafts, and daily activities. The teens’ club is a slick, modern space filled with billiard tables, Xbox gaming cubicles, and a disco-like lighting and sound system. For parents, the large and stylish Se Spa is considered one of the finest in the world and features forty treatment rooms offering services such as Thai massages, citrus body wraps, and a renowned hydrotherapy circuit.
Best with a Waterpark: Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort
As well as providing an eco-friendly experience that immerses guests in their beautiful natural surroundings, the Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort is also known for having one of the most spectacular resort water parks in Mexico. Smaller children can climb artificial rocks and animal statues, play in dozens of splashing fountains, and slide down numerous twisting waterslides. For older kids (and adults who are young at heart), there are enormous tube slides that deliver a fun and adrenaline-filled ride.
With a brightly colored entrance framed by giant mushrooms, it is impossible to overlook the kids’ club, which contains a large indoor playground with slides and a ball pit, foosball tables, a movie theater, and a climbing wall. There is also a natural cenote filled with crystal-clear water for snorkeling, and experiences in the surrounding natural environment include jungle bike rides, river cruises, and tree plantings. A rescue animal park is filled with donkeys, macaws, and other domestic animals, and wild monkeys, coatis, birds, and turtles can be spotted in the trees and shrubs of the hotel grounds. Several restaurants serve a range of international cuisines, and nightly live entertainments pay homage to ancient Mayan cultures.
Best for Younger Families: Generations Riviera Maya
A modern resort with sweeping views over a graceful infinity pool, palm trees, and aquamarine seas, the Generations Riviera Maya offers a range of services designed to facilitate a hassle-free family vacation. Family suites have large bedrooms and living areas and come with a butler and 24-hour room service, flat screen TVs, and two-person jacuzzis. For families with very young children, free baby amenities such as strollers, cribs, changing tables, and bottle warmers can be provided upon request. With large artificial trees, plush beanbags, ball pits, and slides, the Eko kids' club is a fun and interactive place for kids to socialize with others their age. A movie zone and games consoles provide visual entertainment and a schedule of activities such as cooking classes and art and crafts sessions using recycled materials. Babysitting services are available for parents who wish to play a round of golf or relax in the full-service Náay Spa. Staff can arrange private family dinners held on the soft beach sands, and nightly shows with fire spinners and dance exhibitions provide great entertainment for family members of all ages.
Best for Older Families: Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta
Older children and parents alike will appreciate the rock star treatment guests receive at the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta. A modern and lavish hotel filled with musically-themed décor, teens can experience some serious rock glamour with a range of facilities and services dedicated to the 13 to 17 crowd. Electric guitars and amps can be sent up to guest suites so budding rock stars can practice their riffs, and a dedicated in-room music service keeps the musical vibe going throughout the day. The Cavern is a hangout zone where older kids can meet other teens over air hockey, foosball or pool, play on Xbox games consoles, arcade machines or board games and rock tunes on the sound system. A packed schedule of teen-orientated activities includes pool parties, beach soccer, and movie screenings, as well as table game tournaments and nightly shows exhibiting rock concerts, illusionists, and karaoke. A large pool courtyard contains two free-form pools, whirlpool tubs, and daily entertainment. Activities in the area include sailing, snorkeling, and horseback riding. Four restaurants offer Italian, Asian fusion, international buffet, and Brazilian grill dining options, as well as a poolside pizza oven, and bars serve light snacks and cool drinks while playing host to live music bands.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular all-inclusive family resorts in Mexico. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different resorts overall and read over 90 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.