It’s a rare find: an all-inclusive resort that checks all the luxury boxes to meet the 5-diamond hotel rating. But the experience is pure bliss for the entire family. You get the convenience of everything you need onsite without sacrificing even an ounce of quality. Here are five indulgent 5-diamond all-inclusive beach resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean that will spoil you and the kids.
1. Spice Island Beach Resort- St. George’s, Grenada
The Caribbean islands’ only five-diamond all inclusive resort, Spice Island Beach Resort sits on the world-renowned Grand Anse Beach in Grenada. It’s family-run and tiny enough (with only 64 suites) that staff members actually greet you by name during your stay. Steel drum bands and Caribbean-themed buffets ease you into the island vibe while five-course dinners and elegant afternoon tea remind you that this is no ordinary all-inclusive resort. Kids love the suites’ private plunge pools and canopy beds fit for a fairy tale princess. You can hit the oceanfront pool with the family or drop the kids off at the full-day children’s program while you join a yoga class. Snorkeling, paddle boarding, ocean kayaking, Hobie cat sailing, biking, tennis and even golf green fees are complimentary. Scuba diving and spa treatments are among the few things here that come with a fee.
2. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit – Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Just north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is a grand five-diamond all-inclusive resort. The 267-suite beachfront resort lavishes you and the kids with a gorgeous beach, water sports, infinity pool, famous chefs, AAA 4-diamond restaurants, an award-winning spa, enormous suites, and a baby concierge. It’s also big on family-friendly activities. Introduce your family to Mexican culture at the resort’s fiestas, theme nights, and live musical performances in the amphitheater. The kids’ club offers all types of water experiences: snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, and sailing. Kids can also learn to cook and see live shows with exotic birds and sea lions. Teens get their own impressive club in a cool space with foosball, a pool table, air hockey, arcade games, and a nightly teen disco. Check out the spa treatment menu and you’ll find a handful of services just for the younger set—from massages using flower petals and fabric for children to acne-busting detox facials for teens.
3. Fairmont Mayakoba- Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Fans of the upscale Fairmont brand can head to the Mayan Riviera 40 miles south of Cancun for an entirely different five-diamond all-inclusive experience in Mexico. Fairmont typically doesn’t do all-inclusive, but the Fairmont Mayakoba offers an all-inclusive food and wine package. The resort location is another surprise. The 410-room resort is beachfront, but most of it is set back in a massive jungle with canals, lagoons, and mangrove thickets—part of an effort to conserve the ecosystem. Kids can learn about sustainability during bike rides and bird watching boat tours, both onsite. Stunning swimming pools, kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling, and boogie boarding are all part of the all-inclusive experience, as is the kids’ club at this 2019 Family Vacation Critic Favorite Hotel. Pay a bit more and you can go on a coral reef reforestation snorkeling tour, take a cooking class, relax at the Willow Stream Spa, or golf the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon Golf Club, which is certified by Audubon International for sustainability, preservation, and wildlife habitats.
4. Grand Velas Riviera Maya – Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Similar to its sister property on Mexico’s west coast, the five-diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen pulls out all the stops on luxury and family-friendly fun on a white-sand beach. Its restaurants get four-diamond ratings for cuisine. There are also 24-hour butlers, yoga classes, and a seven-step water journey at the spa. Did we mention that every room is an expansive suite 1,000 square feet or larger, most with a balcony or private plunge pool? For kids who could spend all day, every day in the water, there are infinity pools and water sports including snorkeling, kayaking, and boogie boards. At the kids’ club, your little ones can learn to bake or make a pinata. The teen club runs fun activities by day (think bull riding and beach volleyball) and at night, lights up the teen disco floor and serves non-alcoholic drinks at the club bar until midnight.
5. Grand Velas Los Cabos – Los Cabos, Mexico
On Mexico’s Baja peninsula between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, this luxe five-diamond all-inclusive is one of the newest, most luxurious resorts in Cabo and a total splurge for families who love the pool. Like the other resorts on Hotel Row in Los Cabos, the pools are especially spectacular since the resort’s beach isn’t swimmable due to dangerous conditions. Grand Velas Los Cabos has three multi-tiered infinity pools that overlook the Sea of Cortez so you feel like you’re swimming in the ocean. There’s also a kids’ pool and splash area near the kids’ club. Want your own private pool? Huge ocean-view suites have personal plunge pools. Parents who love the water can book the seven-step hydrotherapy journey in the acclaimed spa. A two-star Michelin chef raises the bar on the culinary experience. At the teen club, the house DJ spins tunes each night in a fun space with graffitied walls, a non-alcoholic bar, pool table, Ping Pong, karaoke, and gaming systems.
Jamie Moore is a Vancouver Island-based freelance travel writer. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Yahoo News, WestJet magazine, SmarterTravel, WhattoPack.com, and other media outlets. Follow her on Twitter, @jmemoore.