At differentworld.com we specialize in smaller, “special” hotels rather than the big chains with identical rooms and high rise buildings. Boutique hotels aren’t generally seen as family friendly, but we know of some amazing places that parents will love. It’s important that the staff welcomes younger guests and has special activities and amenities for them, from exciting nature tours to games rooms and baby equipment.
Some of these hotels are too small to have kids clubs or connecting rooms, but they all offer a warm welcome and something special for families. Your next family adventure in Mexico starts here!
Nizuc Resort and Spa is glamorous, exquisitely designed, and strikingly modern – but that doesn’t mean it’s not appropriate for children. Indeed, it has one of the best beaches that we’ve seen for kids, much calmer than those in the hotel zone or Tulum (we’ve often seen SUP novices paddleboarding there) and gently shelving too. The Kids Club is well equipped and has its own swimming pool and a range of daily activities. Tennis courts and water sports are available on-site, including snorkeling tours to the offshore reef. With six restaurants located within the hotel there’s sure to be something for everyone (Terra Nostra, serving wood oven pizzas and home made pasta, is a firm favorite with younger guests).
Most of the family friendly rooms are located in the Residence section, which has its own swimming pool and overlooks the mangroves and Caribbean. The magnificent Master Suites have their own infinity pool, separate sitting room that can accommodate the largest family gatherings, and connect with two bedded suites. Junior Suites and Penthouses can also connect with a second room via a hallway, and of course there are rooms with two full beds.
Cuixmala has a spectacularly secluded location on Mexico’s Pacific coast, around mid-way between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo (road transfers can be arranged from either airport, and it’s also an enjoyable and scenic drive with a rental car). The vast estate includes several beautiful beaches, groves of tall palm trees, and an abundance of wildlife (including a herd of zebra that have thrived since being introduced to the property). Here guests can feast on organic produce grown on the nearby hacienda, take nature tours by boat, or relax on a private beach for the day.
Accommodations range from luxurious villas with fabulous infinity pools to the more affordable one to three bedroom casitas that are clustered around the main swimming pool and restaurant. The far reaching views will remain in your memory forever, as well the personalized service and gourmet cuisine.
Add an extra dimension to a beach vacation with a stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba. The beaches on the Mayakoba estate are heavenly but there’s so much more to enjoy here. The Fairmont is surrounded by a nature reserve that’s crossed by canals and lagoons and is home to dozens of species of birds as well turtles and a crocodile or two.
The Fairmont is the largest of the Mayakoba hotels and the best, in our opinion, for families. It has several large pools and arguably the nicest stretch of beach, as well as a kids club and a wide range of activities for all ages. What sets it apart from other big hotels in the area is the privileged location within this gated reserve, the complimentary nature tours by boat and the easy access by boat or shuttle to the other Mayakoba property restaurants.
Our favorite accommodations are the Signature Casitas; spacious rooms with indulgent bathrooms housed in low rise buildings, each with a tranquil view of the canals. Rooms with two queen beds and connecting rooms are available. At the Fairmont, up to two children under 18 can share a room with parents without extra charge.
The Grand Velas is one of the country’s most prestigious all inclusive resorts, and has outstanding facilities for both adults and children. The property is divided into three sections, including two that welcome families – a tranquil jungle section “Zen” that is a shuttle ride from the ocean but has a spectacularly beautiful swimming pool and the spa, and the beachfront Ambassador section. Both areas have their own kids club, and families can use the facilities of either.
The accommodations include luxuriously furnished and spacious suites with one king or two double beds, with connecting rooms available on request. Ambassador Pool suites are beachfront and have a plunge pool.
The Grand Velas has a range of gourmet restaurants, some of which are adults only (but babysitting is available so that parents can enjoy a romantic dinner together if they prefer). The Ambassador section swimming pool is a delight for children, and the long beach has protected areas for swimmers as well as water sports.
Isla Holbox is only three hours from Cancun by road and boat, but remains a tranquil away-from-the-crowds destination. There’s little in the way of vehicular traffic on the island, and sandy roads cross the quaint town. The Villas Delfines is our favorite hotel here; we love the location (within walking distance of the town but on a quiet stretch of beach) and it’s one of the few properties with a genuine ecological emphasis. It also has cute thatched roof casitas furnished with two double beds and a single that can comfortably accommodate families with young children.
A good range of nature tours can be booked from the hotel, including (in season) unforgettable trips to see the visiting whale sharks. On-site, children can keep cool in the garden swimming pool and paddle in the shallow waters of the gently shelving beach. They’ll love exploring the island on a golf cart, and maybe dining on the local specialty, lobster pizza.
Azul Beach is one of the smallest all-inclusive resorts in the area to cater specifically for families. It’s also a very attractive hotel, with pretty gardens and extensive swimming pools (“swim up” suites feature access to a pool directly from your room).
Family suites have innovative designs, with screened sleeping areas for parents and murphy beds that can sleep up to three young children in the sitting room. Special Fisher Price suites are designed especially for families with younger children. Baby food and children’s menus are available on the all-inclusive plan, and there’s an excellent kids club with a wide choice of toys and activities.
El Pez is a boutique hotel with friendly, enthusiastic staff that welcome families for a simple, relaxing vacation. All rooms have ocean views and are within steps of the beach. Parents will find it easy to keep an eye on younger children as they explore the small cove, and kids love to play amongst the shallow rock pools and watch the pelicans swoop for fish. It’s also one of the few hotels in Tulum with a swimming pool.
The Luxury Cabanas are ideal for families, each with a king bed (or two singles) plus a day bed. An additional low trundle bed can be used to accommodate a family of four. These Cabanas have a large terrace or balcony furnished with a double sun lounger. There’s also a private villa with three to five bedrooms that is adjacent to the hotel and also beachfront – guests renting the villa have use of the hotel facilities but can also enjoy a full kitchen and plenty of living space.