Mexico with Kids in Mind

luxury meets kid-friendly

Clients who’d like a fancier alternative to their family vacation can still show their brood a grand time. Relais & Chateaux member Esperanza, An Auberge Resort is also tweaking its options for their younger guests.

“Esperanza has developed several new programs focused on children, including kids’ yoga and cooking classes, and the launch of the Sea Life Adventures program this fall,” says general manager Marc Rodriguez. “With Cabo being a year-round destination and with so much to offer, the resort anticipates to see more families and multi-generations in the coming years.”

The Sea Life Adventures program encompasses several close but safe seasonal encounters with local and visiting creatures. Kids and their parents can take part in the preservation of endangered species by adopting a baby sea turtle and releasing it into the ocean at El Suspiro Beach at sunset. Another option: driving to beautiful La Paz and donning a wet suit to swim with whale sharks—if age appropriate. They can also sign up for a whale watching excursion that includes a flight on a Cessna Grand Caravan to Magdalena Bay and a guided boat tour.

Back at the property, children are kept busy with tasty menus created just for them and innovative diversions such as complimentary yoga at the spa, where they’ll learn how to relax, breathe properly and try a number of safe poses. There’s also a fun cooking class, at $45 per child, where they will learn how to make their own pizza, cookies or Konfu Panda sushi rolls.

Families with children get the roomiest options here: Esperanza’s Villas, which have anything from one to four bedrooms and have access to their own pools and beach area. “The villas (and private residences) at Esperanza are perfect for family vacations,” explains Rodriguez. “They are seeing an increase in families traveling and the numbers are definitely rising.”

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Little ones who stay at Esperanza receive complimentary welcome amenities that include clown cookies, dark chocolate dominoes with berries and more. Rates for a villa start at $1,395 per night.

love for turtles

Esperanza is just one of a growing crop of hotels and resorts helping to protect sea turtles through programs that safeguard their eggs from predators, incubate them and later release the hatchlings. Helping these little ones find their way to sea for the first time is a beautiful educational vacation experience for all members of the family—we would do it every day if we could—but is especially thrilling for children.

Wyndham Las Villas Resort Mazatlan is home to the largest privately funded sea turtle program in Mexico. “It’s amazing to see how guests of Wyndham Las Villas Resort, especially kids, and our homeowners react to interacting with these young hatchlings,” states general manager Jaime Castro. “Last year alone, our sea turtle preservation program hatched, protected and released more than 150,000 sea turtles.” These, which include the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle, are typically let out to sea between August and December; onsite biologists educate guests as to the lives of the species.

The resort’s Turtle Sanctuary package comes with a 3-night stay, daily American breakfast, airport transfers and a tour of the sanctuary. It starts at $307 for two adults, with two children 12 and under staying for free. Another great enticement to a stay here—the resort’s long, tranquil beach, and an 18-hole championship golf course and spa that will keep parents busy.

Farther north, the lovely CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort is celebrating its 10th anniversary protecting and rescuing the tiny baby reptiles through its “Secretos del Mar” Sea Turtle Rescue Program. Guests can assist the onsite biologist not just when the hatchlings are to be released in the evening, but also combing the beach so the adult females find a good spot in which to lay their eggs.

The resort’s ESCAPE! Family package includes deluxe accommodations with a private balcony, daily breakfast, pizza and movie night and a milk and cookies nightly turndown service, plus participation in the sea turtle program. Children between the ages of 4 and 12 also get complimentary access to the CasaMagna’s kids’ club, where they’ll try their hand at pottery painting, cooking, Spanish lessons and more. Rates start at $189 per night for two adults and two children 12 and under (code MAJ).

Mexico with kids in mind

Hard Rock Whips Up Kiddie Heaven

There’s a place where Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina meet, and it’s not weird. The Hard Rock hotels (hardrock in Punta Cana, Cancun and Nuevo Vallarta and the Aventura Cove Palace and Aventura Spa Palace
( in the Riviera Maya now feature HIT Entertainment’s Little Big Clubs in the properties’ revamped kids’ clubs and interactive areas, where these two characters, along with Barney and Thomas & Friends, team up to thrill the resorts’ youngest guests.

Each Little Big Club will have its own area and themed activities—instruments and sing-a-longs in Barney’s music area, building and crafts activities in Bob the Builder’s area. Each will also have its own mini-theater for movie nights, dance classes and karaoke, with Aventura Cove Palace also featuring a Thomas the Tank Engine ride. The Little Big Clubs will also have an area outdoors, such as interactive Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder-themed Splash Park with shooting water fountains at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun and Aventura Cove Palace. These activities and installations are free to guests of the resorts.

The Aventura Cove Palace and Aventura Spa Palace will be rebranded Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in early 2013.

Archived related articles (available on

CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort (September 2011)

contact information

CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa: (800) 228-9290;

Esperanza, an Auberge Resort: (866) 311-2226;

Palace Resorts: (800) 635-1836;

Wyndham Las Villas Resort Mazatlan: (888) 587-0609;