Mexico

Stay Awhile: Great Family Escapes in Mexico

written by | Posted on September 1st, 2010

hacienda petac This is the place to bring the whole gang and dream about for years after you’ve gone home—a beautifully restored hacienda on the outskirts of Merida with lots of green space for the little ones to run around, a charming staff totally dedicated to clients’ wants and the most magical of guestrooms. Clients can while away the day in the game room, where the henequen processing machines used to be, on a hammock stretching just over the pool or on a comfy rocking chair with a good book…or else learn how to make piñatas with the kids and later go on a bike ride.

Nature is at its finest here with pigmy owls and tree frogs making their own music, and there are also ancient ruins within. Wooden armoires in each room hide lanterns and flashlights for exploring their surroundings after dark, and there’s always something cooking in the kitchen—plus guests roaming around for an impromptu snack or cooking class.

The hacienda’s concierge can also arrange day trips to colonial Merida, the Mayan ruins of Uxmal and a few of the many cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, where guests can swim in clear waters.

With just five TV-less guestrooms, clients can book the entire hacienda (plus staff) for seven nights for $10,500 (for six-10 people) and enjoy homemade meals, afternoon coffee in fine china, a birdwatching excursion within the property led by a local expert, daily laundry service and a vacation they won’t soon forget.

capella pedregal This intimate option to a sprawling resort comes with just 66 rooms and suites, each with plunge pools, views of the Sea of Cortez and Capella’s signature personal assistants, who help plan activities and assist with special requests. Clients can also choose to book villas and casitas that accommodate larger families and come with majordomos that can prepare continental breakfasts and coordinate dining requests, while their personal assistant will attend to pre-arrival food needs.

This luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas recently unveiled the Capella Kids Club, a supervised program with a Club House where they’ll enjoy kite flying, scavenger hunts and lessons in Mexican cooking. On Thursdays, parents can enjoy a romantic night out as the younger set hangs out at a beachside palapa for a nighttime movie and snacks. The kids club is priced at $50 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with half days available, and includes lunch.

Clients can also sign the little ones up for private snorkeling or swimming lessons ($60 for 30 minutes or $100 for 60 minutes), Laughter Yoga ($30 for 60 minutes) and Yoga for Kids with a certified yoga instructor ($30 for 60 minutes). For lazy afternoons, there’s the Capella Library with board games.

Rates start at $625 per night. Agents can take advantage of the Capella Agent Incentive Program—for every 15 nights booked at this resort or Capella Ixtapa before Dec. 30, they’ll get a $300 bonus plus a chance to win $10,000 at the end of the year.

dreams huatulco resort & spa The Dreams brand has become a new classic, much loved for its Unlimited Luxury privileges that have redefined the concept of all-inclusive. The 2-year-old Dreams Huatulco benefits from its location on scenic Tangolunda Bay to provide a lively resort experience in a region that’s not yet overloaded with hotels. In fact, this part of Oaxaca is a great place to explore through jungle and bay excursions easily arranged through the resort.

Dreams Huatulco’s Explorer’s Club is part of the Unlimited Luxury perks and has lots of indoor and outdoor fun in the form of treasure hunts, an ocean trampoline, Euro-Bungee, movies under the stars and other exciting activities based around nature and exploration. Kids can even get a taste of what’s to come by printing out coloring pages, puzzles and mazes from the resort’s website. There’s also a weekly tent camp-out, either at the beach or right in the club.

The older set has everything from ping-pong to wave running to keep them busy, and there are always live shows, al fresco movies and assorted themed fiestas on different nights. Baseball playoffs and the World Series, as well as other major sports events, can be enjoyed from their own lounge chairs right on the beach with plenty of snacks (and buckets of beer for adults). Clients who stay at Dreams Huatulco on Oct. 31 can have their kids participate in costume contests and a Halloween ball.