Mexican getaways are perfect for honeymooners and spring-breakers, sure, but vacationing families have hundreds of hotel options geared towards them, too — many of which with sandy beachfronts, ample water sports, and elaborate kids’ clubs. We visited more than 300 family-friendly hotels throughout Mexico, and named these 18 the best of the bunch. Take a look at our expert picks for the top kid-friendly hotels in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, Punta Mita, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta.
The ultra-luxurious seaside resort has 160 rooms and villas with massive flat-screen TVs, entertainment systems, air-conditioning, and terraces -- many with ocean views. One&Only is right on one of the area's only swimmable beaches, but it also features two gorgeous pools, including the family-friendly Agua pool. The hotel's kids' club is packed with all manner of entertainment for kids, including games, a jungle gym, movies, and video games. It's supervised all day long and kids are often taken to the pool to splash around.
This luxurious, 128-room property boasts the most comprehensive (and high-end) kids' programming in Riviera Maya. The Rose Buds for Kids program includes offers a wide selection of age-appropriate activities, and a kids’ club complete with a TV and game room, a quiet room for napping and reading, and an arts and crafts area. Kids (and parents) can take part in sand castle-building contests, pinata-making sessions, Mayan jewelry classes, and talent shows. The hotel also offers babysitting services, adjoining rooms, select children’s spa services, and a wide array of products for use during your stay, including baby toiletries, wireless baby monitors, child-sized robes, and in-room babyproofing items.
The Four Seasons is one of the top options in Riviera Nayarit for families traveling with kids and teens. It not only offers children’s menus at all restaurants and a wonderful kids’ and teens' club, but a slew of kid-friendly activities, like hiking, kayak tours, arts and crafts, T-shirt painting, bonfires, and snorkeling. Children’s amenities include welcome gifts, alphabet bath sponges, baby toiletries, items to childproof the room, and free use of cribs, high chairs, strollers, playpens, baby bathtubs, and changing stations. The Four Seasons has three gorgeous pools, including a heated family-friendly one with an infinity edge overlooking the ocean. All of the rooms sleep at two adults and two kids (suites have a queen pull-out couch and can fit a rollaway bed and one crib; casitas with two queen beds can fit a rollaway bed or a crib, while casitas with a king bed have a sleeper sofa). The kids' and teens' clubs are free and outfitted with PlayStation consoles, DVD players, flat-screen TVs, Wii, games, ping-pong and foosball tables, a jungle gym, and a movie theater; Free healthy snacks and unsweetened drinks are available throughout the day.
For families with little ones, La Esmeralda is a top pick in the area. Babysitting services are easily available, many of the restaurants have kids' menus, and there's a tricked-out supervised kids' club with toys and activities, like face-painting, pedicures, air hockey, and all-day dance parties. At night, kid-friendly entertainment includes dancing and singing. Family Concierge rooms come with kids' toiletries, check-in gifts, mini-robes, drinks for little ones in the minibar, and milk-and-cookies turndown service. The most popular pool at La Esmerelda is definitely the meandering and sprawling main pool. It has inflatable bridges and islands for kids to play on, a replica of a pirate ship, a constant loop of Disney music, and free balloon animals for kids. The gorgeous Family Concierge pool has a "serve yourself" tiki hut with snacks like nachos and hot dogs and a Sno-Cone cart.
The Palace offers a high-end all-inclusive experience on a gorgeous stretch of white-sand beach 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. Most of its 756 rooms can accommodate up to five guests; Family Suites have one room with a king bed, plus a separate area with two twin beds, a day bed, and a guest bathroom. The kids' club offers supervised activities and movie nights for children 4 to 12, and the teen center has video games and books. The Kids' Spa provides manis, pedis, and makeup, and can arrange birthday parties. A water park, mini-golf course, tennis and basketball courts, and a soccer field are also available. The all-inclusive plan at Barcelo Maya Palace covers non-motorized water sports; one free diving lesson per week at the main pool; and meals, snacks, and drinks 24 hours a day (both buffets have kids' sections).
This gigantic all-inclusive luxury resort just might have a kids' club to rival all kids' clubs -- it's possibly the best we have ever seen. It has multiple rooms, like a mini racetrack, an all-pink beauty salon/fashion runway room, an arcade, an art room, and a life-sized doll house room -- just to name a few. It also has a snack bar, outdoor playground, and mini-theater. Beyond the outstanding kids' club, the 2,433-room resort has plenty of other impressive features, including a dolphinarium area and larger-than-life pool with waterslides and Flowrider machine (a nice perk, since the beaches in this area of town are often strewn with seaweed and are far less idyllic than those in the Hotel Zone). This hotel offers a tourism attraction that involves animals. You can learn more about the cruelty animals suffer in captivity here.
This is the best family-friendly all-inclusive in Cancun's Hotel Zone. The 547-room hotel has a scenic location on two pristine white-sand beaches, a kids' club with a pool and water play area, and an on-site dolphin habitat. In addition, the hotel offers an array of activities and entertainment, such as theater shows, water activities, and various lessons (tennis, Spanish, dance). This hotel offers a tourism attraction that involves animals. You can learn more about the cruelty animals suffer in captivity here.
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. This hotel offers a tourism attraction that involves animals. You can learn more about the cruelty animals suffer in captivity here.
Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is a luxury, all-suite resort in the sleepy town of Puerto Morelos. Even at full capacity, the hotel is quiet and feels uncrowded. The majority of guests here are couples and families, and there are plenty of multi-generational groups taking advantage of the hotel’s awesome multi-bedroom suites with full kitchens and living rooms. There is only one on-site restaurant, El Faro, which serves international and Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- but the menu can get repetitive, especially for those on the all-inclusive plan. There are three beautiful pools, including one for children and one for adults that has a swim-up bar. The beach is superior to many in the area, with soft white sand, calm waters, and a lack of seaweed. The hotel offers a kids' club (activities include sand art, face painting, and Xbox), as well as free parking and Wi-Fi.
Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma is an all-inclusive luxury resort teeming with family-friendly activities. From the 144 large suites with separate bedroom and living room areas to the massive Eko Kids Club and giant outdoor pool, the hotel has thought of every last detail when it comes to the little ones (free “baby amenities,” like a stroller, crib, changing table, and bottle warmer, are available upon request). Though Generations bills itself as a gourmet all-inclusive, the food is fairly mediocre, portions are small, and restaurant menus are limited.
One of Riviera Maya’s most sophisticated properties is also one of its family-friendliest: The Grand Velas offers a wide array of fun activities for kids and teens, including beach Olympics, movies, Wiis, treasure hunts, crafts, and painting. The hotel is divided into three sections; families are welcome at the Zen and Ambassador buildings -- both featuring kids’ clubs with daily activities and plenty of connecting rooms -- but note that kids under 12 are not allowed in the Grand Class section. There are kid-friendly menus at most of the eight restaurants, free non-motorized water sports, and babysitting services for a fee.
The Grand Mayan’s pool complex alone will convince most to stay here: It includes a massive sprawling main pool, fun kiddy pool and kid-friendly waterpark, large Mayan-ruin-themed waterslide for all ages, and excellent wave pool, topped off by a sparkling-blue lazy river that peacefully winds throughout the pristine property, which is complete with manicured lawns, towering palms, and native plantings. But the perks don't stop there. The rooms are spacious, handsome and comfortable as well, and the beach is a stunner -- as are the world-class golf course, exquisite spa, and even the ultra-modern fitness center.
The upscale 316-room Barcelo Puerto Vallarta is one of the best family-friendly all-inclusive resorts in the region, and towers above the beautiful Mismaloya Beach. It features several blue-tiled pools with beautiful bay views and groomed jungle grounds, as well as a jam-packed activities schedule -- aerobics, water sports, ping-pong tournaments, beach volleyball, archery, and basketball are all on the menu (though the animation team might be less present during the off season). Other kid-friendly features include the kids' club for ages 5 to 12, games room, and nightly theater shows. The beach is generally peaceful, though vendors can be a nuisance. Spacious rooms all have balconies with at least partial ocean views, and the property is a bit secluded, which is a positive for many.
Just 15 minutes from Cancun Airport, the 426-room Iberostar Cancun is an upscale, all-inclusive resort. It's along Nichupte Lagoon's expansive beach, but it also has a huge pool, a separate kids' pool, and a small water park with slides, fountains, and a pirate ship. For kids between 4 and 12, there’s an extensive kids' club, while 13- to 17-year-olds can hang out in the teens' club. Both offer a wide range of activities, entertainment, sports, and crafts.
The Ziva brand is Hyatt's family-friendly line of resorts, and the all-inclusive Cabo outpost is certainly family-friendly, with its large kids' pool, plus clubs for kids and teens. The children's pool has waterslides and a jungle gym at the center of the shallow water. The kids' club -- packed with toys and games -- is directly adjacent, and the teen club has video games and table games like foosball. There's also a theater that puts on live shows with various themes in the evening.
The Paradisus Cancun is an all-inclusive, upscale mega-resort whose five interconnected pyramids overlook the gorgeous white sands and perfect blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean. Its 668 rooms are all smart and spacious with sea or lagoon views -- though some are only partial. Family Concierge Suites also provide a good selection of child-friendly amenities including bathrobes and slippers for kids, turndown service with milk and cookies, and child-size toiletries. While breakfast can get busy, there's no shortage of restaurants and bars to choose from and the huge pool never feels crowded. Children are also particularly well looked after with three candy-scented play zones for babies, kids, and teenagers -- and even a child-friendly spa area. Despite the property's size, its interior tropical gardens also provide a lush even secluded ambience. Prices are competitive for this level of luxury.
A true all-inclusive in the prestigious Marina Vallarta area, this 321-room hotel does kids well. It has three separate kids' clubs for different age groups, a supervised kids' pool, and special family rooms with bunk beds and kid-friendly amenities. A huge pool, a climbing wall, batting cages, mini-golf, karaoke, volleyball, and nightly shows should help distract guests from the somewhat disappointing stretch of beach this hotel sits on.
This 273-unit family-oriented resort, as its name suggests, is a hacienda-style property containing 20 individual buildings resembling a Mexican Colonial village. Located outside the thick of Cabo's action, the complex -- part of a quieter golf resort development called Cabo del Sol -- offers spacious studios and apartments with beachy Mexican decor, flat-screen TVs, kitchens, and spacious bathrooms. Most guests tend to hit Costco for groceries, but there's a great store on site that sells fruit and vegetables, as well as clothing, beachwear, sunscreen, and bathroom essentials. This main pool area draws mostly adults, while the more kid-friendly pool on the other side of the resort has a mushroom fountain and a small waterslide (but no ocean views). Kids also can spend time in the kids' club with bright indoor space and a lawn with a shaded trampoline.