Published on April 19th, 2015 | by Mark Chesnut
Bring the Kids: Great Hotels for Family Vacations in Mexico
Since I travel a lot, a lot of people ask me for travel advice — and sometimes those questions result in articles for LatinFlyer.com. That’s what happened recently, when my college friend Julie asked me which are the best all-inclusive hotels in Mexico for families.
If you’re planning to travel with kids and want to include sunny Mexico beaches on your itinerary, all-inclusive resorts can be one of the most economical and easily managed way to do it. That’s because with an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, you won’t have any extra costs added in. All the food, drinks and (at least most) of the activities are included in the room rate, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your Mexico vacation. The best family-friendly beach hotels in Mexico also have supervised children’s programs, which allows the grown-ups to enjoy some peaceful time alone while the kids have their own fun.
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These Mexico travel tips can help you choose the best family vacation experience.
Where to Find Hotels for Families in Mexico
For family all-inclusive vacations in Mexico, you’ll find the largest variety in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos. If you live in the eastern United States, Canada or Europe, Cancun and the Riviera Maya may have the best airfares and most flight selections (which can be a good thing, if budget and travel time are a consideration). In Cancun, Oasis Hotels has attractive prices and features at its family-friendly all-inclusive hotels (check out the video review that my niece did of the Grand Oasis Palm). Among the newer, more attention-getting hotels are Riu hotel properties, and at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, guests age 12 and over can use the Music Lab to make their own music.
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One of my favorite family-friendly brands of all-inclusive hotels in Mexico is Dreams, which also has properties in the Riviera Maya, which is a beautiful area south of Cancun — but keep in mind that the Riviera Maya is a further ride from the Cancun airport, and is much more spread out, whereas Cancun’s Hotel Zone is easy to get around by bus or taxi so you can do more off property (depending on your interests). Also very nice in the Riviera Maya for families are the Azul hotel properties, part of Karisma.
The west coast of Mexico is obviously a convenient and logical choice for families who live in the midwest and western United States and Canada. In Puerto Vallarta, I like the Fiesta Americana, which is renovating and adding new restaurants and amenities, including a teen kids’ club (in addition to its club for younger children) The hotel also has a beautiful new spa. (Check out my Top 5 Reasons to Vacation in Puerto Vallarta.)
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The Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta, as well as the Sheraton Buganvilias, are very pleasant and have a decent location for exploring the city, so you can hop in a taxi and arrive downtown relatively quickly (most all-inclusives in Vallarta are quite far from the city center). Also worth considering in Puerto Vallarta are the Hilton and Dreams resorts, both of which are relatively new (but they’re further from town) so compare photos, reviews, amenities, prices and location.
You’ll find most of the same brands and options in Los Cabos, too. For overall hotel ambiance among Mexico hotels, Karisma/Azul and Dreams are among the most attractive chain brands for families in Mexico — and they have a large variety of properties from which to choose, but location and amenities at each individual property are also important to consider, of course.