6 All-Inclusive Resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean That Are Perfect for Families
Are you planning a family vacation to Mexico or the Caribbean? Check out these six all-inclusive resorts, which are perfect for parents and children alike.
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda
This resort debuted on a large stretch of a white-sand beach in the Dominican Republic in early 2020, then reopened in the summer of 2021. Visit website here.
Why Kids Have It Made: Willy Wonka would appreciate the resort's secret chocolate room filled with sweets and a chocolate fountain created from locally sourced cocoa. While dining at Cacao & Co. restaurant, families receive clues to crack the code to enter the room. Supervised clubs keep kids and teens entertained with experiences ranging from trapeze training to pickleball. "My kids didn't want to leave the club," says Instagram travel influencer Sally Butan (@thebutanclan). "At night, we loved dancing to the live music together."
How You Can Get a Breather: While your mini-mes are busy, you can head to the adults-only Zen Oasis. It's in a lush part of the resort surrounded by palm trees. There you can order a cocktail at the swim-up bar, run on the nature trail, or take a yoga class in a treetop palapa. Or book a sunset horseback ride on the beach.
Starts at $192 per adult, per night, including room, meals, and most activities. Kids ages 4 to 15 are half-price; younger kids are free. At press time, the resort requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of arrival.
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya
Tucked away on Mexico's western coast, the second Nick-themed resort rolled out the orange carpet to families in August 2021. (The first location, which won a Parents Family Travel Award in 2019, is in the Dominican Republic.) Visit website here.
Why Kids Have It Made: The massive water park with ten slides, a PAW Patrol section for younger kids, and daily slimings from Nick characters succeeds in its mission to blow little minds. "The look on my 4-year-old's face when the water canyons came into view was beyond belief," says Brad DeYoung, of Frisco, Texas. "She kicked off her shoes and started running toward them." DeYoung says the water park's design is thoughtful: Play structures for similar ages are clustered together, the toddler area is shaded, and the bottom of the pool is lined with rubber mats.
How You Can Get a Breather: You score your own bedroom and bath. All accommodations are suites; most have a master bedroom and en suite bath, plus a Murphy bed, a double sleeper sofa, and another bathroom. The design is colorful and modern, with framed Nick art. Hire a babysitter or put kids ages 4 to 12 in the supervised club (no extra cost) and opt for a tequila tasting or a spa day. Try the open-air Yacht Club for meals. Caretakers whisk kids off to their own seating area so you can enjoy the food and ocean views.
Starts at $259 per person, per night, including room, meals, and most activities. At press time, a COVID test isn't required to enter, but you'll need it to fly back. The resort offers testing.
Palmaïa — The House of AïA
Named after the endangered palma chît tree, the eco-chic wellness resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, opened in 2020. It uses an estimated 50 percent less energy than a typical property. Visit website here.
Why Kids Have It Made: A Waldorf-inspired program for children ages 3 to 12 includes enriching activities like baking bread, strolling around a path with fairy houses, and painting with watercolors. "Treasure hunts are one of the kids' favorite things to do," says program director Laura Diaz. "We tell them a story that supplies all the places and clues, and then they go on a mission during our jungle or beach walk."
How You Can Get a Breather: You're assigned Nomadic Guides, who take care of all the logistics and whims. (Need more kombucha in the mini fridge? Done!) While the kids are at their club, take an art class, get an astrological-chart reading, and have a peaceful lunch. All of the resort's menu items are plant-based, with some optional meat add-ons. The mango-chia pudding is a favorite of all ages.
Starts at $600 per person, per night, including room, meals, and most activities. At press time, a COVID test isn't required to enter, but you'll need it to fly back. The resort offers testing.
Family-Friendly Resorts Coming Soon
Here are three more resorts to keep on your radar later this year and next.
Rock House Turks & Caicos
This Mediterranean-inspired getaway on Providenciales's North Shore features 46 resort-style homes, many with their own swimming pool. Ideal for traveling with grandparents or other extended family, the property has a yoga pavilion and walking trails as well as the largest infinity pool on the island. Opening in January 2022. Visit website here.
Beaches Runaway Bay Resort, Jamaica
The all-inclusive chain, known for its Sesame Street–themed activities, is redeveloping an existing resort on the island's quieter North Coast. With bike trails, a climbable treehouse, and farm-to-table restaurants, the resort is all about bringing families closer to nature. Opening date hasn't been announced yet. Visit website here.
Hilton Cancun, Mexico
Got a toddler and a teen? This Mayan coast resort has fun clubs, including supervised water sports, for a variety of ages. A restaurant with unlimited ice cream and churros is the proverbial cherry on top. Opening November 7. Visit website here.
This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's November 2021 issue as "The New All-Inclusives." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here