It’s fiercely competitive in Mexico’s resort landscape. If a hotel company isn’t building a new resort, they are renovating or upping the ante in terms of onsite amenities. And when it comes to their family-friendly properties, hotel companies are constantly adding offerings to please each member of the family, because it might be grandma and grandpa who paid for the trip, but they’ve done it so they can see the smiles that brighten up their grandkids’ faces. And no, mom and dad aren’t left out in the dust—hotel companies are well aware that parents are an important factor when it comes to locking in repeat clients.
Come One, Come All
Over at the 150-room Generations Riviera Maya, part of Karisma Hotels & Resorts, grandparents are invited to kick-back and relax without paying a dime for their stay…so long as they come with their families. When guests book a 2-bedroom suite via the Grandparents Stay Free promotion, they get an additional complimentary 1-bedroom suite for their stay. And those 1-bedroom suites are dazzlers—they are all oceanfront with unlimited butler service and swim-up infinity pools. Valid through Dec. 31, 2017 for new bookings only, the promotion is offered to those 55 years and older.
The resort features 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites, and is home to Eko Kids Club for kids 4 to 12. It features a movie area, craft station, library, gaming consoles, and the Kids Eko Kitchen, which hosts Little Eko Chefs classes every weekday that feature fun facts, interactive techniques and easy-to-replicate recipes. While the kids are whipping up their favorite dishes, grandma and grandpa can be sipping wine at the Wine Kitchen, whose menu focuses on culinary creations from some of the world’s wine regions. Or, they can sneak away to the neighboring adults-only El Dorado Casitas Royale and El Dorado Royale, by Karisma, which has its own set of restaurants, bars, lounges, entertainment and spas. But why they would want to do that when they could be gazing lovingly upon their infant and toddler grandkids as they lazily hang out on one of the resort’s Baby Beach Lounges is beyond our comprehension. Rates start at $183 per adult per night.
It’s a Family Affair
With a $20 million investment, the 639-room Family Section at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort in the Riviera Maya is getting a complete overhaul. The Signature Eco Superior, Signature Eco Deluxe and Signature Eco Junior Suite will be transformed with seamless in-room WiFi; newly designed splash pools; bunk beds, taking the place of rollaway beds; and private bathrooms. Phase 1 is already complete, which means that already available for booking are 72 Signature Eco Superior Rooms and 20 Signature Eco Junior Suites. The rooms fit three adults and one child, or two adults and two kids, with one king-size bed and a bunk bed. The suites, meanwhile, accommodate five with one king-size bed, a bunk bed for three children, two showers and two separate bathrooms, as well as a kid’s plunge pool—replacing the hot tubs—on the balcony.
With its eco motif, earthy tones and rustic wood panelings, as well as bright Caribbean-inspired pops of color, the accommodations might be inviting, but little ones (and us adults who think we are still kids) are going to want to head straight to the Aqua Park, with its 29 water slides and splash areas. There’s also a baby club, a kids’ club, teens’ program and babysitting services. Starting rate is $206 pp per night, and $275 dbl.
New Kids on the Block
Teens have their space, babies have their own concierge, so where does that leave the middle child? At the 267-suite Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit it leaves them in the newly debuted kids club for children ages 4 to 12. Think karaoke after dinner, oversized lounge chairs ideal for relaxing, an outdoor garden, a sports area, a private sandy beach, and reading and board game areas. The colorful and bright new space, open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., provides a day full of fun with ball games, painting, treasure hunts, and other options such as feeding the fish, and mini disco activity complete with a disco ball and strobe lights. During school holidays and summertime, there’ll be a Mexican folkloric night with live music and native arts and crafts, and drive-in movies with snacks, as well as magic, animal and clown shows for kids and their parents. Rates start at $309 per adult, and $100 for kids ages 5 to 16.
Opened just this past December, Paradisus Los Cabos features 350 rooms, including 30 Family Concierge Suites, with its own lounge with private check-in/out, Internet access, VIP lounge offering snacks and beverages during the day, and the daytime assistance of a certified Family Concierge staff to help families throughout their vacation. Accommodation categories for families include the Family Concierge Garden View Suite; the Family Concierge Ocean Front Suite; and the Family Concierge Ocean Front Master Suite. The newly opened resort, the former Melia Cabo Real, underwent a $35 million renovation, and now offers four swimming pools, seven bars and seven restaurants, including Passion by Martin Berasategui, featuring a tasting menu carefully curated by the Michelin-star chef, and the YHI spa and wellness center. There’s also a Mini Club for children ages 4 to 12, a kids lounge, buffet and mini bar, a creative space, and evening program that can include anything from a tropical party to a magic show. Teens can take part in volleyball games, Olympic games, drawing workshops, or local excursions. Starting rate is $250 per adult per night for the Family Concierge Garden View. Children from up to 4 years of age stay free and from 5 to 12 pay 50 percent of the price.
Kids are a Big Deal
Cancun’s Grand Oasis Palm has debuted newly renovated Family-Fun Suites, which are themed kids’ rooms connected to their parent’s room. But…it’s the outdoor playground at this property that will have the kids jumping for joy. The 50,000-sq.-ft. KiddO Zone, with pools and splash areas that feature slides, fountains, water trampolines; a separate kids beach club; and kid-friendly restaurants, is where the kids will be hanging out from morning to night, although they’ll want to catch their breath with the family and board Captain Hook for a 2-hour cruise that features contests, games and a pirate’s battle show. Meanwhile, back on land the kids club features cooking lessons, crafts, shows, and songwriting workshops.
Travel agents are invited to see the resort first-hand with Oasis Hotels & Resorts’ complimentary stay exclusively for agents. If travel agents stay at one of four Oasis resorts for three nights—Grand Oasis Palm, Grand Oasis Cancun, Grand Oasis Sens and Grand Oasis Tulum—they’ll receive complimentary, all-inclusive accommodations, and are asked to complete one site inspection at their resort and a site visit at a second property. Those staying four or five nights can stay at two resorts of their choice and will be asked to complete three site inspections. Complimentary stays are bookable for stays April 17 to June 30, 2017.
Generations Riviera Maya: karismahotels.com
Grand Oasis Palm: grandoasispalm.com
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit: grandvelas.com
Paradisus Los Cabos: melia.com
Sandos Caracol Eco Resort: sandos.com