Booking a family vacation to Mexico? We reached out to this year’s class of 30Under30 to find out their top picks for families with a variety of travel needs, from high-energy activities to secluded, relaxing getaways.
“When families are looking to travel I take into consideration their budget, the ages of children that are traveling, the length the hotel is from the airport, and the easiness of getting there,” Megan Doncsecz of VIP Vacations Inc tells Travel Agent. While she has found Azul and Hard Rock resorts to be popular, she also recommends the Hotel Xcaret Mexico for its wide range of included activities – good for keeping kids away from screens!
“I recommend Hard Rock resorts due to all the wonderful activities that are part of your all-inclusive experience that cater to all ages,” agrees Shane Klaver of New Horizons Travel.
A number of agents recommend the Mayakoba complex, which includes properties from Rosewood, Banyan Tree, Andaz and Fairmont. Smartflyer’s Barrett Hollo says it’s always on her list for festive season for its kid-focused activities and connecting accommodations. “Not to mention, it’s an easy flight straight into Cancun Airport which has many flight connections throughout U.S. gateways,” she says.
Steven Roeser of Travel 100 Group also points to the complex’s secluded location as a plus. “The Mayakoba properties are in their own jungle enclosure, making them extremely safe,” he says.
“I love Rosewood Mayakoba as its unique location on the lagoon is special and they have a wonderful kids club!” says Fallon Hirschhorn of Ovation Travel Group. For immediate beach access, Largay Travel’s Josh King recommends either the Banyan Tree Mayakoba or the Rosewood Mayakoba.
Grand Velas resorts, which are in the Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit and, most recently, Los Cabos, also proved popular with our 30Under30. Patrick Hinds of TravelStore called the brand “the pinnacle of luxury in Mexico.”
“The kids club is amazing and includes pretty much everything anyone would need for their child/young teenager,” agrees Jamie Guillen of First in Service Travel. “Not to mention their baby concierge- how cool?!”
The baby concierge was also a high point for Jessica Kruse from Cary Travel Express. “If you are traveling with an infant or young child, you have everything you could possibly need like bottles, bottle warmers, baby bath tubs, high chairs, and even extra pacifiers,” she explains.
Don’t let the size of the resort put you off: Jesamine Lee of Skylark says, “Grand Velas Riviera Maya may seem like another enormous all-inclusive resort, but the quality of amenities, services, and a-la-carte-style dining is far superior and you'll always find a smiling face wherever you turn.”
Other than those resorts, our 30Under30 honorees picked a number of options to appeal to different types of family travelers.
“Dreams Playa Mujeres is another fantastic option,” says Audrey Kupovics of Legacy Travel. “There are two big water slides, movie nights, a very involved entertainment staff and a really cute ice cream shop. I suggest trying the Brazilian Steak House for dinner!”
Harmon Travel’s Katrina Marie Hegge recommends the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. “They have an incredible children's program for ages 4-12 as well as babysitting available,” she says.
Kayla LeClerc from Dream Come True Vacations loves the Palace Resorts brand. “They often have the 'Kids Stay Free' promo in addition to the resort credit so families who want to do some excursions don't feel like they'll have a lot of additional costs when they arrive,” she says.
For London O’Regan of San Simeon Travel, the Club Med Cancun is a top pick. “There are activities to keep the kids busy all day from scavenger hunts, sailing classes, pool parties, movie nights and much much more!” she says. “And this will still be a fun trip for the adults as this property has been recently renovated and is located in the ideal location at the very south end of Cancun on the point, right in front of the best snorkeling spot in the area.”
Finally, Nickolas Cunningham of Exceptional Journeys by CTS recommends The One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, noting that it is set on one of the only swimmable beaches in the area. “Families can also do whale watching or just relax on a private yacht sailing around the Sea of Cortez for an afternoon,” he says.