Mexico’s Palace Resorts: So Many Playgrounds For Family Vacations
By Nancy Schretter, Editor
Many family travelers are looking for all-inclusive vacations that combine luxury, variety, and loads of fun. With their many unique features and amenities, Palace Resorts are a great vacation choice for these types of families. If you’re thinking about an action-packed all-inclusive family vacation, this is one resort brand that definitely should be on your list.
Palace Resorts are a good option for families seeking diversity and excitement. In addition to luxurious rooms and a wide selection of dining venues, families who travel to any of the Palace Resorts along Mexico’s Caribbean Coast can spread their vacation fun across multiple properties and enjoy unlimited free tours to world-class sites.
The Palace Resorts Difference
There are a number of features that make Palace Resorts’ all-inclusive vacations special. These include:
- Luxurious rooms with in-room double Jacuzzis
- Free unlimited telephone calls to the United States, Canada and Mexico
- Unlimited dining in specialty restaurants – no reservations required
- Stay at one Palace Resort – eat and play at others in the area, as long as they cater to families or if children are 18 or older for adult resorts
- Free Wi-Fi Internet service in guest rooms and around the hotel
- 30-minutes of free Internet service per guest per day on hotel computers
- Free 24-hour room service
- Mini-bars stocked with water, drinks and top-shelf liquor
- The Palace Passport – offering a variety of unlimited free off-site tours to guests staying 3 nights or more
Palace Resorts’ family-oriented properties feature Kids Clubs and Teen Lounges to entertain every member of the family. Infinity pools and spas are available at every Palace Resort and hotel buffets feature lots of healthy food items.
Playing Along Mexico’s Caribbean Coast
Palace Resorts has 10 all-inclusive hotels located throughout Cancun, Riviera Maya, Isla Mujeres, and Cozumel. While the vast majority of these properties cater to families, a few are designated solely for adults 18 and older. Guestrooms are almost identical at all Palace Resorts, although each property has its own unique feel. Here are some family favorites:
Greater Cancun Area
Beach Palace: This family-friendly resort is located right in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone, within easy walking distance of many shopping and entertainment options. With 287 guestrooms, this is one of Palace Resorts’ smaller properties. All rooms have in-room double Jacuzzis and overlook either the Caribbean Sea or Nichupte Lagoon. While beachfront rooms are always a good bet, the lagoon views on the hotel’s higher floors are lovely as well. The rooftop Sky Floor is unique at this resort, with two pools and nightly live entertainment. The beach is much narrower in this section of Cancun, but the Beach Palace makes up for it with a huge oceanfront pool complete with a large pull-down screen for evening movies and entertainment. Kids can play with friends at the Kids Club, splash in their own kids’ pool and enjoy fun activities while parents get pampered in the Beach Palace Spa.
Cancun Palace: The 12-story Cancun Palace is close to many of Cancun’s attractions and offers exceptional amenities for families, including an expansive Kids Club and Teen Lounge facility. The kids’ complex features a dining room, video and game rooms, a movie theater, and an outdoor water park with a kiddie pool, flumes and slides. Kids and teens’ activities include arts & crafts, sports, games, movies, tournaments, treasure hunts, disco and karaoke. Parents can keep in touch with free Kids Club cell phones, a nice perk. The Cancun Palace also has a huge oceanfront waterpark area complete with two swim-up bars and three large Jacuzzis including two on a raised infinity terrace. Ledges around the pool let tanning buffs cool off on lounge chairs in the water. This resort offers a nice beach, a large open theater for shows and karaoke, and a wide variety of spa treatments. Guests can enjoy the Cancun Palace’s five international specialty restaurants or take advantage of the many other dining venues located at Palace Resorts in the area. This resort is an excellent choice for families who want an extensive array of top-notch amenities for kids and adults along with easy access to all of Cancun’s attractions.
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort: Sprawling over 123 acres, this family resort on Cancun’s southernmost shores features 2,457 luxurious rooms and a secluded white sand beach. Guests can walk along resort paths or take the shuttle bus service that runs regularly throughout the property. A water lover’s paradise, the Moon Palace has two of the largest lagoon-style pools in Mexico as well as two kids’ pools, a pool at the Golf Club, six Jacuzzis and four swim-up bars. In addition, the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort boasts the only Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in Cancun and one of Palace Resorts’ largest signature spas. The spa includes a wide menu of treatments as well as a complete hydrotherapy circuit. Foodies will be happy with the Moon Palace’s 13 restaurants and 11 bars and lounges. The Kids Club at the Moon Palace offers a wide variety of activities including trips, ceramic painting, arts & crafts, parties, sports, shows, tournaments, movies and other diversions. Since a large reef protects the beach at this resort it doesn’t have big waves, making it a good spot for families with little ones. Because of the property’s size, however, families with young children may wish to request rooms in one of the buildings close to the beach or the main pool area.
Isla Mujeres Palace: Looking for a secluded island vacation seemingly far away from it all – but just a short boat ride from the exciting attractions of Cancun? If so, the Isla Mujeres Palace Resort is for you. This intimate 62-room resort is set on a nice stretch of sandy beach on beautiful Isla Mujeres. A formal kids club program is not available at this resort, but there is a kids’ area with games and activities on property. Isla Mujeres is home to Garrafon Natural Reef Park and Dolphin Discovery, where families can swim with dolphins and manatees. The Isla Mujeres Palace is a great vacation resort or day trip for families staying at Palace Resort properties in the Cancun area. This hotel is a good choice for families seeking the best of both worlds: a laid-back beach vacation with countless opportunities for shopping, excitement and adventure.
Families with kids over 18 may wish to look into the Sun Palace, located just ten minutes from the airport along one of Cancun’s nicest stretches of beach. Alternatively, parents of younger children may wish to visit the Sun Palace for dinner one evening. The resort has four specialty restaurants featuring International, Mexican, Italian and Argentinean cuisines.
Greater Riviera Maya Area
The Riviera Maya area south of Cancun is filled with archeological wonders, nature parks and attractions, and much to see and do. It’s no surprise that this region is a magnet for families who want to explore the vast coral reefs, underground rivers, ancient archeological sites and beautiful beaches in this area. Playa del Carmen’s picturesque boutiques and shops are also a popular attraction.
Palace Resorts has a number of family-friendly properties to choose from in the Riviera Maya region. As always, guests can stay at one while dining and playing at many others. Options include:
Aventura Cove Palace: This hotel is Palace Resorts’ newest family-friendly property and a complement to the existing Aventure Spa Palace, a 777-room luxury adults-only resort located on the same piece of land. Located at the southern end of this mega-resort complex, the Aventura Cove Palace features 489 rooms and amenities geared toward families with kids and teens. Adults staying at the Aventura Cove Palace can use all of the restaurants and spa facilities at the Aventura Spa Palace, however children staying at the Aventura Cove Palace may only access amenities at the Cove and other Palace properties designated as family hotels. The Aventura Cove Palace offers a Kids’ Club, a Teen Lounge, extensive outdoor family and kids pools, as well as snorkeling and kayaking in a huge protected natural reef pool. Additional amenities include a rock climbing wall, basketball court, bicycle rentals and unlimited snacks. There are three restaurants at the Aventura Cove Palace, plus parents can enjoy a night out at one of the four Aventura Spa Palace dining venues. The world-class spa at the Aventura Spa Palace offers 76 treatment rooms, a wide variety of signature treatments including the ancient Temazcal purifying and detoxifying ritual, and an extensive water journey facility.
Playacar Palace: Located within easy walking distance of both the Cozumel ferry pier and the shops of Playa del Carmen, the Playacar Palace provides a convenient home base for families who want to take advantage of all the Riviera Maya has to offer. This 208-room property features three excellent specialty restaurants, an oceanside infinity pool with a kids’ area and a swim-up bar, a Kids Club, life-size chess board, scuba diving tank, water sports and nightly entertainment. Located nearby, the Playacar Spa & Golf Club offers a signature golf course as well as palapa-style spa treatment rooms and a complete hydrotherapy facility. This resort is a good choice for families who want convenient access to Cozumel and all of Playa del Carmen's attractions.
Xpu-Ha Palace: With its exotic jungle setting, the Xpu-Ha Palace combines the attractions of an ecological park with the amenities of a luxury resort. This 37-acre secluded property in the southern region of the Riviera Maya contains 144 bungalow-style guestrooms and offers many opportunities to view native wildlife. The area’s clear estuary waters are good for scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking excursions, and ecological tours are also offered. The Xpu-Ha Palace features an outdoor pool with sections set aside for adults, kids and teens. The resort’s Kids Club facility has a private kids’ pool with water slides and fumes. In addition, families will enjoy the mini zoo, bicycle rentals fitness facilities and nightly live entertainment. A complete spa, as well as five restaurants and bars, are available for guests and those staying at other Palace Resorts properties. The Xpu-Ha Palace is a good choice for families who are seeking nature and watersports adventures, but don’t want to give up the amenities of a luxury resort.
Cozumel Palace: Just a short ferry ride away from Playa del Carmen is the island of Cozumel and the second largest coral reef in the world. The Cozumel Palace is an attractive getaway for divers, adventurers and nature lovers who want to enjoy the abundance of natural beauty found both on land and under the sea. The majority of the hotel’s 175 rooms are junior ocean view suites. Although there is no on-site beach, snorkelers and divers will love the easy access to the reef and the Caribbean Sea, located just steps away. The property features two outdoor pools, five specialty restaurants and bars, a complete Kids Club with a playground, spa and fitness center, nightly entertainment, and access to non-motorized water sports at Playa Mia Grand Beach Park. The resort is also conveniently located near the shops and restaurants of San Miguel de Cozumel, the island’s major city. The Cozumel Palace offers a wonderful spot for a family vacation or a great day trip from one of Palace’s Riviera Maya resorts.
If You Go:
- Visit the Palace Resorts website at www.palaceresorts.com to check for offers and special deals. Palace Resorts often runs spectacular promotions, including free kids deals, air credit offers, free scuba diving, free sport fishing, and discounts on golf and spa services.
- Airport transfers are not included in the Palace Resorts all-inclusive program. Reservations can be made through Palace Resorts or through any of the transportation companies located in the Cancun area.
- If your children need to eat dinner at a set time, plan to visit the specialty restaurants early. There are no reservations required at Palace Resorts’ specialty dining venues, so lines can form by 6:30 p.m. or later.
- If you have access to the Palace Passport, do take advantage of the free unlimited select tours and make your reservations early. Tours include visits to such sights as Tulum and Chichen Itza, now included as one of the “7 Wonders of the World,” as well as a 25% discount on select spa treatments and a 25% discount toward one round of golf per room, per day at the Moon Spa & Golf Club, Playacar Spa & Golf Club and the Riviera Cancun Golf course.
- If you’re staying in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, plan to visit the Isla Mujeres Palace or the Cozumel Palace for the day and make your reservations early. These are wonderful excursions for the entire family.
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