Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This luxurious, 267-room all-inclusive resort in Nuevo Vallarta is a sophisticated and serene family-friendly option. Young guests will probably love the pools and the beach, but there are a wide array of daily activities available -- everything from kids' cooking classes, to English-Spanish lessons, to arts and crafts, to movies. The Dolphin Encounter is a 45-minute activity for the whole family. The gorgeous spa, wonderful restaurants, and modern suites will make it possible for parents to feel like they’re on a romantic getaway while the kids are busy having fun.
Marival Residences & World Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls
This property is an excellent option for families seeking a little sun-soaked spoiling. It is comprised of 169 residential-style suites, penthouses, or private villas, ranging from one to four bedrooms, and a wide array of all-inclusive features, including adults-only and kiddy pools, a great kids’ club, and a playground. For parents, the world-class spa, the fitness center and the restaurants are all great for some time alone.
Sunset Plaza Beach Resort and Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This upscale property clearly has families in mind. It not only features a wonderful spa, a high-tech gym, a lively lobby bar and an adults-only pool great for grown-ups, but there’s also a lot of things for kids too. The staffed kids’ club features fun daily activities and a playground, and the kiddy pool is the perfect place for them to make new friends. Plus, the beach, though narrow and busy, has mostly calm waters.
The Grand Bliss Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This is a chic, high-end time-share property with hotel options available at adjacent resorts. Going from resort to resort might not be the most convenient option to some, but there’s certainly a lot to choose from. Suites are spacious and modern, with high-tech amenities and contemporary kitchens. Kids will probably love the kiddy pool -- complete with a playground -- the wave pool with a slide, the lazy river, and the daily activities at the kids' club. There is also a golf course and several tennis courts available.
CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
CasaMagna Marriott features top-notch restaurants, pools, and meeting rooms, as well as lovely guest rooms and suites that feature modern amenities and contemporary furnishings. Housed in two towers, this upscale hotel is memorable primarily for its sumptuous Ohtli Spa and adjacent fitness center with indoor lap pool, but it is a solid pick for families too. Great kid-friendly amenities include a kiddy pool, table tennis, volleyball courts, kids' and teens' clubs, and a seasonal sea turtle rescue program.
The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Westin is a sprawling property with lots of family-friendly amenities, including an all-inclusive dining program available for children ages 12 and under. The property offers babysitting services, a supervised kids' club with daily activities and a turtle nursery for kids, plus wonderful features for adults such as a large free-form pool, an extensive fine art collection and an attractive spa. But there are fees for most of them.
Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Don’t let the business-friendly vibe and the convention center discourage you—the Sheraton is great pick for families who like the action close at hand, but also feel the need to be somewhat removed from the heart of the hustle. The property boasts a comprehensive children’s program for kids between 5 and 12, including great daily activities and workshops, four tennis courts, a great pool with a kid zone, and several dining options for all tastes. Rooms, though a bit dated, are comfortable and functional, and come with convenient amenities for families, such as empty mini-fridges (most), and flat-screen TVs.