The Riviera Maya is one of the best destinations in Mexico for families. Just 45 to 90 minutes from Cancun International Airport, the region is generally quiet and calm, me. In Riviera Maya, the sand is white and soft, the water is turquoise-colored, 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 all-inclusive Riviera Maya resorts for families, based on editor and family reviews.
1. Azul Beach Hotel
This cozy resort in the heart of Riviera Maya is smaller than many of the other bustling all-inclusive Riviera Maya resorts in the area, and that’s what makes it so charming. It’s a luxury property that goes above and beyond what most resorts offer. Offerings include 24-hour room service and special dinners and events on the beach. Azul Beach Hotel also has Family Suites, and parents will love the kids’ amenities, such as complimentary baby gear rentals; DVD players with family-friendly movie selections; a kids’ check-in desk; and a kids’ club.
2. Grand Velas Riviera Maya
The Grand Velas Riviera Maya is indeed, a grand resort spread across more than 200 acres in the Riviera Maya, with a stretch of beach more than 1,600 feet long and nearly 500 all-suite accommodations onsite.
The resort is divided into three areas, two of which 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.
3. IBEROSTAR Tucan & Quetzal
IBEROSTAR operates a pyramid of properties in Riviera Maya, and it can be confusing when it comes to understanding the multiple hotels and which ones are best suited for your family. We recommend IBEROSTAR Tucan and IBEROSTAR Quetzal, two sister properties that are located in the private, gated Playacar community of Playa del Carmen.
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 torn between the two, go with IBEROSTAR Tucan.
4. Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya
When it comes to luxury, the Fairmont has it in spades. The Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya is located within a 240-acre gated community that’s surrounded by jungle and nestled on a white-sand beach. Cars are not permitted on the resort and guests can get around by foot, bike or golf cart. For fun, the resort features five swimming pools (one with a waterslide), kids’ programs for various ages and cooking classes. Another perk? The accommodations are casitas, small houses with two to four units that can be shared if traveling with extended family or friends.
5. Azul Fives Hotel
The Azul Fives Hotel is an elegant property, with 360 suites available in one- to three-bedroom configurations for larger families.
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 luxury resort offers four restaurants, a kids’ program, a large infinity pool, and a Nickelodeon Experience. The experience includes themed food, events and meet-and-greets with Spongebob, Dora and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
6. IBEROSTAR Paraiso Lindo
More IBEROSTAR properties make our list in this location in the northern fringes of Rivera Maya, called Playa Paraiso. IBEROSTAR Paraiso Lindo, IBEROSTAR Paraiso Maya, IBEROSTAR Paraiso Beach and IBEROSTAR Paraiso del Mar are four properties in one.
Guests who choose these properties will share pools, nightly entertainment, game rooms, a kids’ club and restaurants, with each resort featuring its own distinct style in accommodations. Paraiso Lindo, for example, features a Mayan theme; Paraiso Maya rooms are decorated in crisp white; and Paraiso del Mar and Beach rooms feature multiple colors. We like IBEROSTAR Paraiso Lindo best.
7. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
With its stately entrance and location just minutes from the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa is a hidden property that provides a sense of calm and tranquility… that is, until you head to the pool where a large activity pool features dance lessons, cooking demonstrations, volleyball and more.
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.
8. Sandos Playacar Beach Experience Resort
The massive all-inclusive Sandos Playacar Beach Experience Resort offers a number of accommodation styles in one. Guests can stay closest to the ocean at Sandos Beach and enjoy their own pool and two-story accommodations at Royal Elite Haciendas, or the Riviera Family Section, which features the most modern amenities, but is also the furthest from the beach. The resort features an infant program, kids’ club and teen club so all ages can enjoy themselves.
9. Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa
The expansive Grand Palladium is a four-in-one, all-inclusive resort: Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa or Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.
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.
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