No matter where you fall on the love-'em-or-hate-'em spectrum, we can all agree that all-inclusive resorts make sticking to a travel budget a breeze. With that in mind, we found 15 all-inclusive hotels in Mexico -- from Cabo to Cancun and everywhere in between -- that offer the most value for the price. We're talking a wide range of amenities and inclusions here, from top-shelf liquor, to amazing dining options, a wealth of activities, and great pool scenes. Some cost a bit more than others, though we're breaking down exactly what you get. Read on for the 14 best bang-for-your-buck all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and start planning your getaway (when it's safe to go).
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Given a complete overhaul in 2018, Panama Jack Cancun is easily one of the best bargains in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Rates include a wide array of perks for adults and children, though it’s a family-friendly resort through and through. For starters, Panama Jack’s splash park is free for kids, and the entertainment throughout the day is universally beloved. There are five restaurants serving everything from Mexican and Italian to international buffets. While you won’t score top-shelf liquor in your rates, international brands are included, and it’s hard to argue with the contemporary style throughout the property. Rooms are some of the nicest on this entire list. Many of them overlook Cancun’s stunning beach and the Caribbean Sea. Given it’s prime Hotel Zone location and rates that are lower than almost any other upscale all-inclusive in Cancun, Panama Jack is hard to beat.
Chic style; a prime location outside of Playa del Carmen’s hectic city center; and an excellent beach are just the beginning of what’s on offer at The Fives Azul Beach Resort. This property also has five pools, a list of activities that includes archery and yoga, amazing children’s amenities, and a modern fitness center. Dining scores rave reviews — and we enjoyed all of our meals during our recent visit. Many of the restaurants at The Fives Azul Beach Resort have a refined look that matches the luxe appeal of the property, though you’ll need dinner reservations at some. Butlers are available to help with those reservations, and you can expect everything from top-shelf cocktails to delicious fresh juices and smoothies at the various bars, cafes, and dining spots around the resort. Looking to spoil yourself? Try the Italian restaurant, Arezzo, which has a 150-bottle long wine list. All of this comes at rates that are far lower than other luxury properties in the region.
The first adults-only resort on our list, Marquis Los Cabos, also happens to be one of the best all-inclusive deals in Los Cabos (where hotels can be incredibly pricey). We love the little extras here: sweets and treats are delivered to your room every day, the beachside infinity pools are stunning, and some casitas have their own pools. Dining here is exceptional for an all-inclusive resort. You’d do best at Sakke Japanese restaurant for sushi or head to Vista Ballena to soak up the sea views along with your meal. The only dining exclusion is the six-course tasting menu at Canto del Mar, though you’ll be perfectly happy sticking to the included restaurants. Another high-end touch is nightly turndown service. It’s all pretty astonishing given the often low price tag for Marquis Los Cabos.
Situated in the exclusive Playa Mujeres development, a 30-minute drive north of Cancun, the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres is one of the best values in an otherwise expensive part of Mexico. It’s a popular choice for couples and families alike, with three pools (including one for kids) plus 10 restaurants and 19 bars, all of which are included in rates. The beach stays serene, as Playa Mujeres is far more mannered than the Cancun Hotel Zone, and the style throughout the property is fresh and modern. We love the chic and spacious rooms, which come with Nespresso machines, minibars, and 50-inch flat-screens. You’d do well to book a unit with a whirlpool tub on the balcony if you really want to spoil yourself. Entertainment goes from morning until night and gets solid marks, and children are well taken care of — there are three kids’ clubs with access included in rates.
The smallest hotel on this list, La Reve Boutique Hotel isn’t the kind of place that’s packed with a dizzying list of amenities and tons of activity. Instead, your money gets you actually excellent food and drinks, a calm atmosphere, personalized attention, and a great location 15 minutes north of busy Playa del Carmen. With only 23 rooms, the atmosphere is intimate, and rates are way lower than you’ll find at all-inclusives in central Playa del Carmen. Some units have their own pools and large terraces. The hotel features a kids’ play area and lovely pool, but it’s the dining and drinking that really make this hotel stand out. The kitchen at Merlot, the hotel’s restaurant, serves actual gourmet fare with a strong emphasis on international fusion cuisine. There’s also an intensely global wine list that keeps everyone feeling just the right amount of happy, and vino pairs nicely with the powdery sand of the uncrowded beach outside the hotel.
Cancun is packed with all-inclusive resorts, but Paradisus Cancun offers an incredibly value for reasonable rates, and it all comes without upgrading to the pricier Royal Service at Paradisus Cancun. This is a massive resort that caters to literally everyone. There are numerous adults-only spots here, and plenty for kids to do as well. Expect nightclubs, kids’ clubs, theme nights, beach parties, golf and tennis — plus yoga and Pilates all included in rates. Dining options are numerous as well, and all of them are included in rates with the exception of Tempo. You’ll find certain Paradisus Cancun restaurants reserved for adults-only, giving couples a chance to unwind in peace and quiet. The beach is truly stunning, and the pools have plenty of space for everyone (not to mention a swim-up bar). Liquor options include several international brands in the all-inclusive plan, as well as wine and beer.
Royal Solaris Los Cabos is a friendly and affordable all-inclusive resort for families, with three outdoor pools (one adult-only), daily activities, and evening entertainment. All guests at Royal Solaris are on an all-inclusive package that gives them access to food and drink outlets (four of each) around the resort. The 400 rooms have traditional furnishings, mini-fridges stocked with free beer and water, and balconies — though some are tiny. A free, fun kids’ club for ages 4 and up includes a pool with a series of waterslides, giant animals, and fountains. The hotel is steps from a great beach with rows of loungers and palapas, though shady spots often get snagged early and riptides can make the water too dangerous for swimming.
Beautiful rooms, a pretty beach, lovely spa, and numerous restaurants all make Paradisus La Esmeralda one of the most popular all-inclusive resorts in Playa del Carmen. It’s an especially great pick for families with kids, as Family Concierge upgrades provide private pools, a club lounge, and expedited services. The swimming pool, with a pirate ship playground and a swim-up bar, makes it a popular spot among families and those who like to loosen up with a cocktail or margarita. Even the most affordable rooms include marble floors and sensory soaking tubs. You can expect dining options ranging from show cooking buffets to Argentinian-style steaks and sushi, all included in rates (international liquor options are also included).
A 251-room all-inclusive resort popular with families, El Cozumeleno is a beachfront property 10 minutes from the downtown area of Cozumel, Mexico’s largest inhabited island and a snorkeling paradise. Guests come here for the value and for the numerous features offered in the all-inclusive package. The pools are the highlight (one has a popular swim-up bar), but golf is also a draw due to the resort’s location across the street from the island’s only golf course (guests get discounted rates). El Cozumeleno freebies include water aerobics classes, Wi-Fi, parking, and non-motorized water sports.
When the 183-room, family-oriented Samba Vallarta was constructed, the north end of Nuevo Vallarta was still fairly remote. Since then, a number of large-scale resorts have sprung up, making Samba Vallarta feel refreshingly small-scale compared to its mega-resort neighbors. The grounds and gardens are well-kept, and the pool, with its linked sections for adults, kids, and toddlers, is perfectly scaled for the number of guests. The kids’ playground by the beach is simple and functional, and the beach itself (usually uncrowded) has palapas for shade and free non-motorized water sports, including kayaks, boogie boards, sailboards, and Hobie cats.
The 879-room mid-range Oasis Cancun is party central, with something happening all the time for guests who are young, sociable, and loud. The crowd generally does not respect quiet hours, and prospective visitors should be aware that the noise is truly round the clock. There are 10 on-site restaurants and snack bars and 11 bars, including three swim-up venues, illustrating this resort’s focus: the booze is more important than fine food. The resort designates “Official Party Staff” members to keep the shindig going, and vodka is dispensed via soda guns. Hammocks are strung around the grounds — which include an expansive white-sand beach with free kayaks, boogie boards, and sailboats — where guests can pass out in the sun in a snatched quiet. Amenities in the rooms are limited compared to other area hotels, with old-school tube TVs, no mini-fridges, and free bottled water strictly limited to two bottles per day.
The upscale, 345-room Velas Vallarta is one of the most popular all-inclusive resorts in the region, thanks in part to its big rooms with kitchenettes — many with great views — and three pools, including an oceanfront pool with a swim-up bar, and a lazy river. The gardens and grounds are charming (there’s even a roaming family of peacocks), the recreational options are excellent, and the restaurants have good quality food, especially for an all-inclusive. Wi-Fi is free, though some report that the signal can be weak from the rooms.
Krystal Grand Los Cabos is a contemporary and family-friendly resort located directly on The Corridor, the strip that runs between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Though the ocean is too rough for swimming, Krystal’s beachfront setup includes lounge chairs and Balinese beds. The hotel has a massive pool terrace and kids’ club, and, after renovations throughout 2017, a fitness center and spa. Renovated rooms are also contemporary, with purposeful minimalism throughout: open spaces, clean lines, and neutral colors. All-inclusive rates include dining at all on-premise restaurants, two bars, and minibars in the rooms.
Locals and North American travelers of all ages can be found at this authentic — albeit aging — beachfront resort. The 152-room Posada Real is one of the lowest-priced options in San Jose del Cabo, with an all-inclusive package that offers decent food, basic liquors, nightly live music, and a few free activities, like water aerobics and mini-golf. Simple rooms have balconies (all with partial ocean views), mini-fridges, beach towels, and free Wi-Fi, but bathrooms could stand some updates. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the Cactus Restaurant, while beachside Wahoo Taco Bar provides snacks during the day. Parking and Wi-Fi are additional freebies.
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