10 Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts in Mexico in 2013

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All-inclusive resorts can be a lifesaver to families traveling. Instead of watching a budget go through the roof when taking on extra resort expenses or spending a trip saying no to the kids, all-inclusive resorts allow families to plan ahead and stay on budget, while giving kids all the fun they can find, and all the cookies they can sneak. Here, we list resorts along Mexico’s beaches offering a wealth of things for families to do at fixed prices.

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1. IBEROSTAR Paraiso Maya

Of the six IBEROSTAR all-inclusive resorts located in the Riviera Maya, the Maya is the most upscale. A Mayan decor is visible from the exterior’s replica of a Mayan pyramid, and inside are opulent sculptures, architecture and artwork to complete the look. Rooms are placed within a series of three-story villas, and special features include saltwater pool, gourmet restaurants and a sauna available only to guests of the Maya, which shares amenities with the Playa Paraiso.

2. Sandos Playacar

Also located in Riviera Maya, the Sandos resort is made up of the Sandos Playacar Riviera and Sandos Playacar Beach resorts, sharing the same facilities, pools, kids’ club, and restaurants. Kids programs and kids are provided for infants, children and teens, and are included in the resort’s rates. Accommodations vary by section of the resort, with the newest Riviera section furthest from the activity pool and beach but offering spacious junior suites.

3. Grand Velas All Suites Spa & Resort

A stay at this resort, divided into adult and family areas, will change your perceptions about all-inclusives. You no longer need sacrifice luxury for the convenience of an up-front price. Lunch buffets include freshly made lobster tacos, salmon salad and duck kebabs. The bars use premium brand liquors and the specialty restaurants really are special and don’t cost extra. To be near the beach, book lodging in the Ambassador section. At 1,270 square feet the rooms offer plenty of space for sharing. Children’s program targets ages 4 to 12.

4. One & Only Palmilla

The One & Only chain of all-inclusive resorts are the epitome of luxury, with the Los Cabos location providing families a butler to assist during a stay. The resort used to house the likes of Hollywood’s heavyweights John Wayne, Bing Crosby and Lucille Ball back in the day, and after receiving a $90-million renovation in 2004, is once again a hotspot. A complimentary kids’ program is available for children 4 to 12, and infants, ‘tweens and teens can get special attention at this family-friendly resort with oversized hacienda-style rooms.

5. Azul Beach Hotel

With three properties in Riviera Maya, Azul Beach is cozier, but just as welcoming to its family travelers. Completely renovated in 2011, the all-inclusive, luxury resort added new restaurants, a spa and a gym to its already impressive collection of amenities, including a kids club for children 4 to 12, and of course a wide stretch of soft sand beach and a beckoning pool.

6. Club Med Cancun Yucatan

Whether its water skiing, soaking up the sun by the pool or promising the kids they can go back to the programs and clubs after dinner at one of the onsite eateries, you’ll have a fun family vacation at the Club Med Cancun Yucatan. Enjoy your spacious suite in the evening with air-conditioning, an in-room refrigerator and a balcony before heading back out for nightly entertainment. But rest up — you can book off-site excursions through the all-inclusive for even more memorable experiences during your stay.

7. JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

This JW Marriott is also a surprisingly lovely all-inclusive resort. Don’t believe us? Check out its Five Diamond rating! Similar to its flagship Ritz-Carlton Cancun, the JW Marriott offers luxury at 20 to 30 percent less the cost. Not an official all-inclusive resort, the hotel provides packages to make the trip inclusive, including dining and children’s programs at the neighboring CasaMagna Marriott Cancun.

8. Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort

Don’t let the Hilton name fool you; this is an all-inclusive and downright beautiful resort. (Just look at that pool view!) Located on one of the only swimmable beaches in Los Cabos, the resort caters to families with a number of activities, a free supervised kids’ program, and even kids’ spa services. Rooms vary as they do in the States with double rooms featuring two queen beds to larger rooms and suites, including Presidential Suites with a master bedroom and an additional room with two queen beds, plus living room, dining room and a private outdoor hot tub.

9. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

The Dreams resorts are found all along Mexico’s beaches, including the Caribbean and Pacific. One of our favorites is the Dreams Tulum. Not only is its entrance enough to announce you aren’t in Kansas anymore, it’s situated on a quiet and isolated stretch of sand and close to the Mayan ruins at Tulum and eco-parks and reserves that provide a better sense of the environment than its counterparts located closer to the bustling hotel districts. Children will also love the hotel’s Explorer’s Club daily kids’ program.

10. Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort & Spa

Located in the southernmost tip of Baja California in Los Cabos, this Sheraton Hacienda del Mar certainly looks like a hacienda on the sea. Built of rosy stucco and Spanish tiles, the stunning architecture and breathtaking views are enough to create vacation smiles, but keep the smiles going by choosing the all-inclusive package. Kids will love the new Kids Club, opening in April, while teens have their own fun, including snorkeling and whale watching. The hotel’s 270 rooms are tucked into two-story “villas” with rooms also available on three floors in the main building.

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