Traveling with kids means no more spa days, poolside cocktails, and late-night entertainment while on vacation, right? Wrong. Ahead are nine family-friendly resorts in Mexico -- all on the Pacific side -- that keep both parents and little ones happy, thanks to features like kids’ clubs, sports activities, and children’s pools as well as elegant spas, designated adults-only areas, and sophisticated dining options. Some properties even supply baby-friendly amenities (cribs, toys, car seats), so you can breeze through security without the hassle of extra luggage. And, if you’d rather head to Mexico’s Caribbean side, we’ve got you covered there, too.
1. Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita
Open for over two decades, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita remains an oldie, but a goodie for families. In addition to its slew of kid- and adult-friendly to-dos (hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling, to name a few), the hotel also offers children’s menus at all its restaurants, plus kids’ and teens’ clubs, a lazy river, and a family-friendly pool with an infinity edge overlooking the ocean. Guests also have access to two pretty beaches, both with calm waters. Parents traveling with babies will especially appreciate amenities like baby toiletries, childproofing items for rooms, and free cribs, high chairs, strollers, playpens, baby bathtubs, and changing stations. But don’t worry -- an adults-only pool is also on the premises, when you need to sneak in some me time.
2. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Located on a serene section of Nuevo Vallarta, far from the action of downtown Puerto Vallarta, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is the type of place that allows parents and kids to have fun -- together and separately. Families will enjoy bonding at the beach, three-tier infinity pool, and multiple restaurants, while kids will find plenty of entertainment themselves at the supervised kids’ and teens’ clubs (sandcastle building and arts and crafts are part of the former; the latter features video games and pool tables). Every room here is a suite, with a balcony and ocean views, so there’s plenty of room to spread out. There’s also a gorgeous spa that makes it possible for parents to feel like they’re on a romantic break, while the kids are kept busy.
3. The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta Resort
The Grand Mayan’s pool complex is all the convincing you’ll need to book a stay here. It comes with a massive main pool, fun kiddy pool, kid-friendly water park, Mayan-ruin-themed waterslide, and excellent wave pool. A lazy river that peacefully meanders throughout the property is a nice finishing touch. But if that doesn’t draw you in, the spacious rooms, stunning beach, world-class golf course, and exquisite spa, should seal the deal. One downside? Resort employees consistently push timeshare sales on guests, which might put a damper on your relaxing vacation vibe.
4. Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Couples, be warned: While this upscale all-inclusive has a somewhat secluded beachside location surrounded by steep, jungle-covered hillsides, kids are a common sight and sound. Families will be well taken care of, with a narrow stretch of beach, multiple pools (one with a swim-up bar), spacious suites (all feature balconies and a separate living room area with a sofa bed; the Family Suite comes with two bathrooms), and a jam-packed activities schedule -- aerobics, water sports, beach volleyball, archery, and basketball are all available. Other family-friendly features include a kids’ club (for ages 5 to 12) and nightly theater shows. If you’re itching to get off the property grounds, though, Puerto Vallarta’s zoo and the snorkeling area around Los Arcos are nearby.
5. Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
Readymade for romantic couples, groups of friends, and families looking to have some fun in the sun, Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos is versatile enough for many types of guests. Unfortunately, the beach isn’t swimmable here -- an issue throughout Los Cabos -- but this all-inclusive more than makes up for it with plenty of places to splash around: a massive freeform pool, an infinity pool overlooking the sand, a boozier adult pool, and a large kids’ pool with waterslides and a jungle gym. For families, there’s also kids’ and teens’ clubs with games, and in the evening, a theater puts on live shows. A lot of dining options (from higher-end a la carte restaurants to massive buffets) suit a variety of palates, and the chic spa and lovely pond dotted with fire pits are top spots to unwind when you need a break from all that activity.
6. Marival Residences Luxury Resort
This all-inclusive in Nuevo Vallarta is not the place to go if you’re in the mood for partying the day and night away. It is, however, the place to go for apartment-style units and an impressive array of amenities. Romantic enough for couples, but still kid-friendly enough for families, the property houses two outdoor pools and a beach club that’s a five-minute walk away. Guests with little ones will enjoy the kids’ club and special family concierge that provides cribs, playpens, strollers, tricycles, car seats, swim diapers, beach toys, games, and more. However, guests must choose Family Emotion plan (pricier than the all-inclusive rates) in order to use the family concierge, which also includes eight hours of free babysitting per five-night stay -- meaning parents can enjoy the world-class spa and stunning rooftop lounge solo.
7. Melia Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
As a family-friendly all-inclusive, it’s no surprise that kids’ features reign supreme here. Expect a kids’ club, a kids’ pool, and special family rooms with bunk beds, on top of a pool with a swim-up bar, tennis courts, an archery range, a mini-golf course, batting cages, and multiple restaurants and bars. A rock-climbing wall and children’s spa offer even more activity -- and distract from the fact that the beach here is a bit narrow and somewhat disappointing.
8. One & Only Palmilla
One & Only Palmilla, a 15-minute drive from San Jose del Cabo, allows families to choose just how activity-packed they’d like their vacation to be -- guests can lounge by the pool (there are two beautiful options, including a family-friendly pool and an adult pool, with a swim-up bar and hot tub) or spend the day in the supervised kids’ club, which is packed with games, a jungle gym, and movies. Other fun family-focused activities: spotting whales in the Sea of Cortez (a horn alerts guests for sightings), splashing around in the swimmable beach, and dining at one of the wonderful restaurants. For parents, there’s an elegant spa with indoor/outdoor treatment rooms, a 27-hole golf course, tennis courts, and a yacht that can be rented for excursions. Luxe touches -- like personal concierges and butlers -- don’t hurt either.
9. Villa Del Arco Beach Resort & Grand Spa
Like any good all-inclusive worth its salt, Villa Del Arco Beach Resort & Grand Spa highlights one of its best assets -- the large pool complex. Here, guests will find a full-size pirate ship, hot tubs, a swim-up bar, and a kids’ play area. The beach here is beautiful, too, but swimming can be dangerous as the water is rough at times. Rooms come with kitchenettes or full kitchens -- especially handy if you’re traveling with kids -- and balconies. All of that, plus casual restaurants and a three-floor spa, make up for the fact that timeshare vendors can be pushy here,
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