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Family Portrait at Vidanta Riviera Maya

Family-Friendly Resorts in the Riviera Maya We Love

Sometimes, the term ‘family-friendly hotel’ can be misunderstood. It’s confused with pools crawling with screaming toddlers, mom and dad eating sad looking chicken nuggets at children’s tea time and kids’ club taking over the hotel. Some people’s first thought is this: with children in tow, wave goodbye to the idyllic paradise that is the adults only hotel…

But the reality is that this is far from the truth. A kid’s paradise and an adult heaven are not mutually exclusive concepts when it comes to vacations; in fact, pairing child-friendly perks with luxurious amenities is not an impossible task; you just need to know where to find these hybrid beauties…

The origin of the first ‘family-friendly’ hotel is actually super interesting. The kid centred philosophy was born in the 1950s during the golden age of the American roadtrip. In a pre-internet age where it was almost impossible to tell a seedy motel from a chic one without physically going and inspecting it first, one guy had a vision and the hotel scene changed forever.

After a pretty depressing cross-country roadtrip, a young man named Kemmons Wilson envisioned a chain of clean and safe hotels; most importantly, kid-friendly ones, where they could stay for free and splash around in a swimming pool all day. Wilson's idea became Holiday Inn, the well-known chain of hotels around today. Intruiging, right?

Family portrait walking on the beach at Vidanta Riviera MayaPhoto by DreamArt Photography

Of course, family-friendly resorts have gotten a little boujier these days…the single swimming pool has been replaced by lazy-rivers, infinity pools with panoramic ocean vistas, personal plunge pools, swim up bars…in other words, a child’s aquatic paradise where they will NEVER get bored.

So, without further ado, here are some of our favorite family-friendly hotels of 2022…


1. Vidanta Riviera Maya

If you’re after the ultimate all-inclusive, family friendly vacay, look no further than Vidanta Riviera Maya.

The dreamy thing about an all-inclusive is this: whether you picture your partner sprawled out in a shady cabana, you enjoying a massage on a white-sand beach, your teenagers having a blast doing paddle board yoga in the pool and your toddlers out of your hair for the day with kids’ club…everyone in your family unit can be living their best life.

Kids running in a photo session at Vidanta Riviera MayaPhoto by DreamArt Photography

For the teenagers, there are a plethora of activities on offer; here are some of the pool and poolside activities you can get stuck in with:

  • water volleyball
  • aqua aerobics
  • stretching on paddle board
  • salsa class
  • guacamole making class

Mother and daugther in the pier smilingPhoto by DreamArt Photography

Vidanta’s Joy Squad are on hand to make he most of your action packed vacay. Check out the activities for kids that run throughout the week…they’re spoiled for choice! Oh and the childcare doesn’t stop once the sun goes down…if the adults fancy a romantic beach dinner without the kiddies (hey, no judgement! We totally get it) your little ones can go wild at the Pyjama Party, Pirate Night or Beach Camp Out, action packed themed nights hosted by the marvellous kids’ club, where your children will go full of beans and return to you utterly exhausted. Bliss.

Schedule for activities for kids at Vidanta Riviera Maya

For the even tinier tots, every Vidanta resort offers in-room child care with reliable, licensed, and pre-vetted babysitters, all of whom are certified by the America Red Cross and the American Academy of Pediatrics through the BLAST program. Safety is their no.1 concern!

Mother and kids at the beach in Vidanta Riviera MayaPhoto by DreamArt Photography

2. Xcaret

If you’ve done your fair share of family-friendly-resort-googling in this part of the world, there’s absolutely no way you’ve bypassed Xcaret, the all-inclusive, family-friendly resort owned by Xcaret Adventure Parks. The resort itself boasts 6 breathtaking pools, a gigantic lazy river, kids’ and teens’ clubs, and sandy beach where you can laze or swim to your heart’s content.

Views of the pool and room of the Hotel Xcaret MexicoPhoto by DreamArt Photography 

This is one for big families. We’re talking extended families, blended families, great-grandparents all the way down to great grandkids. Staying at Xcaret could buy you a spectacularly spacious suite that sleeps 5, PLUS unlimited access and transportation to all 10 of their parks and tours, including: Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xenses, Xoximilco, Xavage and Xenotes.

See what they did there? Pretty Xceptional stuff.

Parks? What kind of parks? What’s on offer, we hear you ask?

What isn’t on offer, is the real question here.

Drone shot of the Hotel Xcaret MexicoPhoto by DreamArt Photography 

Inside these adventure paradise parks you’ll find ziplining, snorkeling, ATVs, underground rivers...the list is endless. But WAIT. Those under 12 have their own adventure playground too: Children’s World. Buckle up for water slides galore, treetop bridges above jungle canopies suspended between rocks, climbing nets, laberynths…all surrounded by stunning nature of the Riviera Maya.

What’s not to like?

Drone shot of the caletas at Hotel Xcaret MexicoPhoto by DreamArt Photography 

3. JW Marriott

Upon first entering The JW Marriott Cancun, it’s marble pillared lobby adorned with fresh flowers just exudes elegance. From the lobby, a large Palladian window offers stunning vistas of the outdoor free-form pools that twist and turn lazy-river style around the resort. The turquoise Caribbean sea lies just beyond and let us tell you, this is the dreamiest beach EVER.

All this sounds pretty grown-up…and you’d think this screams adults-only. But no! Kids are welcomed with open arms. In fact, many of the guests at the JW Marriott are families who vacation here multiple times a year…it’s their home away from home and the staff become their extended family during their stay.

Drone shoot of the pool and beach of JW MarriottPhoto by DreamArt Photography 

Did someone say Spa for Kids? *Although only those 18 and older can book spa treatments or use the indoor pool, ***kids aged 6-17 can be treated to a Mayan Princess experience including manis, pedis and hair braiding. Ummmm. Epic?! Get them booked in now!

We know your next question…and yes. There is a kids’ club. It’s just next door at The Marriott that can be accessed by a covered walkway. For those parents who want a little bit of education wrapped up in the fun, this is for you; the kiddies won’t be cooped up in one soft-play room the whole day…instead, the program makes use of the resort’s property and even teaches them the lingo a little! Upon registering the first day, each child receives a colorful backpack, a Marriott T-shirt and a Nemo hat, so they’re all part of the club! They do all things from making and breaking pinatas, learning Spanish by playing Lotteria (a Spanish version of Bingo using cards) swim in the lazy-river style pool, make their own jewellery, play on the beach and even do some cooking classes. No chance of boredom, we think you can agree ;)

Buuuut. Kids don’t run the show. A prime reason to choose the JW is it’s level of luxury: its exceptional 35,000-square-foot spa is ranked amongst Mexico’s and the Caribbean’s best. With the kids happily occupied in activities, pamper yourself with Mayan-themed treatments or opt for a soothing — and totally kids free ;) — swim in the adults-only, indoor swimming pool.

DON’T MISS OUT on two more of our favourite resorts: Barceló Maya Grand Resort and Iberostar, both as fun for kids as they are luxurious for adults ;)

4. Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach

The location of Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach just cannot be beaten. With white, fine-sand beaches with views of the bay of Isla Mujeres, it is hands down one of the best all-inclusive “luxury without limits” beach hotels.

When booking at Grand Fiesta Americana, kids are always at the centre of the vacation experience; as soon as you scan the QR code in the lobby, your family will be transported to the world of Disney Pixar; get ready to enjoy virtual reality experiences in various public areas in the hotel, as you share your vacation with characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Coco, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Monsters Inc. This is an adventure for the whole family, where virtual reality and movie nights will take you to an incredible world of your well known and loved Disney characters…kids’ heaven!

Family jumping and enjoying the beachPhoto by DreamArt Photography

Coral KidZ club is also on hand to entertain your little ones for the entirety of your vacation, while teens can get stuck in with an endless list of activities, such as volleyball and yoga and other water sports such as kayaking, snorkeling or paddle boarding.

Family in the setup place at fiesta Americana Coral BeachPhoto by DreamArt Photography

5. Fairmont Mayakoba

Last but not least: The Fairmont Mayakoba. A place where the little ones are guaranteed a holiday of a lifetime. Discovery Kids’ Club takes children aged 5-11, equipped with a play zone for them to totally let loose and a creation zone for their little minds to run wild.

Kid at the wedding of fairmont MaykamobaPhoto by DreamArt Photography

Check out the QR code to download the latest kids’ club schedule and see what’s in store for you and your little ones →



If you’ve got real water babies on your hands, book the Boogie Boards experience with the aquatic sports team. Or, if you’re ready to level-up, why not try your hand at paddle boarding?

There’s also an outside beach-side, Mayan inspired, Muuk Gym, that **awaits all the gym bunnies out there, alongside a racket club and an archery range featurng six targets and fully equipped with bows and arrows. The world really is your oyster at The Fairmont Mayakoba!

Want to find out more about all the jet skis, yachts and sea toys on offer? Feast your eyes on this water sports’ paradise…

Mother & daughter at wedding of Fairmont MayakobaPhoto by DreamArt Photography


6. Hard Rock Hotel

Hacienda adults and kids is the family-friendly side to the Hard Rock Hotel. As it says on their website, it’s the place ‘where kids rock to their own rhythm’. And no wonder. The Hard Rock Roxity Kids Club™ is a pretty cool place to be…while the kids are off in the ultimate hangout place, making other tiny friends and simply just having the time of their lives, parents can chillax on the beach, by the pool, or in the spa knowing their little legends are in safe hands. Check out the tiny tot schedule here

And Trip Advisor agrees it’s top tier…for all age groups! Take a look…

Hard rock trip advisor comment

Hard rock trip advisor comment

So, there you have it. 6 of our favorite family friendly resorts. All a little different but ALL with one common feature: they are without a doubt a child’s idyllic paradise.

DreamArt would LOVE to capture your family vacation so you can have it on film and in stills forever and ever…if you’re thinking of holidaying in any of the hotels above or indeed any other stunning resorts in the area, contact us now for more info on how to organize your family beach shoot!


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