Riviera Maya is one of the best destinations in Mexico for families. Just 45 to 90 minutes from Cancun International Airport, it is generally quiet and calm, yet filled with all-inclusive, beachfront resorts catering to families. In Riviera Maya, the sand is white and soft, the sea is turquoise, and Mexico”s ancient culture can be explored in the nearby Mayan ruins and cenotes. But how do you pick from the plethora of Riviera Maya all-inclusive resorts? Here”s a look at some of the best for families, based on editor and family reviews.
Written by Lissa Poirot
Azul Beach Hotel
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
The resort is divided into three areas, of which two welcome families with a kids" program, teen center and family karaoke; adults have a private 90-room area tucked away from the main resort. This makes the resort ideal for multigenerational family vacations, as grandparents can enjoy quiet and privacy in the adult section, but join up with the grandkids and family for meals and activities.
IBEROSTAR Tucan & Quetzal
The properties share pools, restaurants, beaches, entertainment and children"s programming, which means families staying at either get to enjoy two resorts for the all-inclusive price of one. If you"re not sure which one you"d like to visit, we recommended IBEROSTAR Tucan.
Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya
Azul Fives Hotel
The resort is one of the few all-inclusive resorts in the area that features kitchens within its suites, so families can also stock the refrigerator and enjoy private meals. Intimate in size, the Azul features four restaurants, a kids" program, a large infinity pool, and Nickelodeon Experience. The experience includes themed food, events and meet-and-greets with Spongebob, Dora and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
IBEROSTAR Playa Paraiso
Guests who choose these properties will share pools, nightly entertainment, game rooms, a kids" club and restaurants, with each resort featuring its own style in accommodations. Paraiso Lindo, for example, is decorated with a Mayan dÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©cor; Paraiso Maya rooms are decorated in crisp white; and Paraiso del Mar and Beach rooms feature multiple colors. We like IBEROSTAR Paraiso Lindo best.
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Children can enjoy the Explorer"s Club, and families can enjoy nightly entertainment, but it"s truly the offsite visits to neighboring Tulum and Xel-Ha outdoor park, the former with its many shallow lagoons for snorkeling, that the kids will remember.
Sandos Playacar Beach Experience Resort
An adult-only section is available for grandparents who travel with you, and family suites can accommodate up to eight, making it a great location for large groups. The resorts share a number of restaurants, pools and activities in a resort so large it rests on 2,400 feet of beach and operates its own shuttle to move guests between resorts. If you"re unsure which one to visit, go for Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa -- it has the highest ratings.