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14 Top-Rated Family Resorts in the Riviera Maya

Written by Carri Wilbanks
Jun 13, 2019

Some of Mexico's most beautiful beaches and top family beach resorts are found along the stunning Riviera Maya coastline running from south of Cancun to Tulum. Here, you'll find gorgeous turquoise sea, white-sand beaches, and a jungle backdrop, along with family-friendly resorts for all styles and budgets of traveler.

This area hosts a number of all-inclusive mega resorts, but it also has some more boutique hotel choices. The most exclusive resorts are found in the Mayakoba complex, which is between Cancun and the vibrant seaside town of Playa del Carmen. Another popular beachfront resort area is Puerto Aventuras, about 20 minutes south of Playa.

Tulum, at the far southern end of the Riviera Maya, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and compact resort village famous for its Mayan ruins and sun-drenched beaches. Plan your next vacation with our list of the best places for families to stay along the Mayan Riviera.

1. Rosewood Mayakoba

Photo Source: Rosewood Mayakoba

In the luxe Mayakoba resort complex between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, the Rosewood is a beautiful, five-star beachfront resort that is also very family friendly. This all-suite property features gorgeously decorated rooms with lots of space, comfortable king beds, and, best of all, personal plunge pools on private decks.

For families, there are options to rent connecting suites. There is also an on-site kids' club with games and activities, children's menus in two of the restaurants, and babysitting services.

Other amenities include a relaxing spa with a sauna, steam room, and cold plunge pools; a swimming pool; loaner bikes to explore the area; and use of kayaks, paddleboards, and Hobie Cats on the beach. Guests also have access to the golf course in the complex.

Address: Ctra. Federal Cancun, Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Rosewood Mayakoba

2. Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Photo Source: Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Also in the Mayakoba complex, the Banyan Tree is another top five-star resort perfect for a luxury family beach vacation. Set on a pretty stretch of white sand meets turquoise lagoon and backed by jungle, the hotel has a distinct Asian vibe that includes a pagoda-style lobby building and water lily pond.

Accommodation is in villas with up to three bedrooms. They continue the modern Asian design style, with ornately carved wooden screens and a black-and-white color scheme. Even the smallest villas are spacious, and all come with a private pool and an outdoor bathtub. Some are set right on the beach.

On-site amenities include a kids' club with daily activities, a spa with a hydrotherapy circuit, free-to-borrow kayaks and paddleboards by the beach, a fitness center, and tennis court. There are four restaurants on-site, and the signature Thai restaurant is considered one of the Riviera Maya's best.

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal - Pto. Juarez Km. 298, Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Banyan Tree Mayakoba

3. Newport House Playa del Carmen

Photo Source: Newport House Playa del Carmen

In the town of Playa del Carmen, just one block from its bustling 5th Ave dining and shopping zone and also within walking distance of the beach, Newport House is popular with families looking for an apartment-style vacation rental. The 15 stylish units are super spacious and come with kitchenettes and pullout sofas.

Amenities include a rooftop swimming pool and loaner bikes. Babysitting can also be arranged. There is no on-site restaurant, but there are plenty of dining options within walking distance.

Address: 10 Avenida Norte Manzana 141, Lote 1, Colonia Zazil-Ha, Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Newport House Playa del Carmen

4. Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Photo Source: Grand Velas Riviera Maya

On a stunning section of white-sand beach about 10 kilometers from Playa del Carmen, Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an exclusive all-inclusive resort known for its excellent restaurants and service. Accommodation is in suites done up in swanky, modern style, and the best come with private plunge pools or Jacuzzi tubs.

Suites are located in three buildings, one of which is adults-only; the other two are family friendly. Choose from eight restaurants when it comes time to dine. There are also three swimming pools and a stand-out spa.

Address: Carretera Cancun Tulum Km 62, Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Grand Velas Riviera Maya

5. Club Med Cancun Yucatan

Photo Source: Club Med Cancun Yucatan

Families love the all-inclusive Club Med Cancun Yucatan for its kid-focused amenities. There are separate children and teen clubs and all sorts of activities on-site, including a flying trapeze.

Set on the beautiful Punta Nizuc coastline, the resort has 376 rooms and suites that are clean and comfy. The suites are the nicest option, as they have the most space and luxe decor. For meals, choose from three included restaurants with children's menus and even baby food.

Address: Punta Nizuc, Cancun 77500 Mexico

Accommodation: Club Med Cancun Yucatan

6. Moon Palace Cancun

Photo Source: Moon Palace Cancun

The giant Moon Palace Cancun isn't on the nicest beach in the Mayan Riviera, but the resort has some of the best amenities around for families. It hosts one of the area's top kids' clubs, with various themed rooms and an outdoor playground. It also has a giant pool with waterslides and a Flowrider surf machine for older kids.

Although the property is massive, with more than 2,400 rooms, these are separated into three different areas, each with its own design and restaurants, spas, and swimming pools, so it doesn't feel quite as large as it really is. There are more than 20 restaurants on-site.

Address: Carretera Cancun-Chetumal Km. 340, Cancun

Accommodation: Moon Palace Cancun

7. The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive

Photo Source: The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive

Another all-inclusive, family-friendly option is the Royal Sands Resort & Spa. Set on a pretty white-sand beach, this three-star hotel is good value with numerous amenities. It has a kids' club on-site, which offers an array of supervised activities organized by age group. There are also plenty of water sports on the private beach and three swimming pools.

Accommodation is in spacious villas with rattan furniture and ocean views from furnished balconies. They also come with kitchenettes, which are handy for snacking between meals-although the all-inclusive rate does mean you can eat in the three on-site restaurants as much as you'd like.

Address: Blvd. Kukulcan km 13.5, No. 32, Seccion A, Segunda Etapa, Zona Hotelera, Cancun

Accommodation: The Royal Sands Resort & Spa All Inclusive

8. Ahau Tulum

Photo Source: Ahau Tulum

Ahau Tulum is a celebrity favorite that is right on the beach. This eco-friendly hotel is also family-friendly with a range of accommodation choices for different budgets. Book the super basic Bali Huts if you just want a place to crash and don't want to spend a lot of money. However, they have no air-conditioning, and they share bathrooms.

For more luxury, reserve the Beach Cabanas, which have a retro chic vibe, four-poster beds covered in mosquito nets, and direct ocean views. Away from the rooms, you'll find a restaurant cooking up Mexican/Caribbean fusion fare. There is also an outdoor "Jungle Gym," which features monkey bars, free weights, and a rope climb right on the beach.

Address: Carr. Tulum a Boca Paila Km. 7.5, Tulum

Accommodation: Ahau Tulum

9. Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa

Photo Source: Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa

In the small resort community of Puerto Aventuras, which is about a 20-minute drive south of Playa del Carmen, Dreams is a family friendly, all-inclusive property. On-site amenities include a kids' club and long list of daily organized activities. The resort is also on a pretty beach with tidal pools.

The rooms are stylish and comfortable with huge marble bathrooms and furnished balconies. They also come with free Wi-Fi. Amenities include six restaurants to choose from, as well as 24-hour room service. There is also a relaxing spa and a gym.

Address: Km 269.5 Carretera Chetumal, Puerto Aventuras

Accommodation: Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa

10. Playacar Palace

Photo Source: Playacar Palace

In the heart of Playa del Carmen, Playacar Palace is an affordable, luxe all-inclusive resort, with easy access to the harbor and the ferry to the island of Cozumel, an awesome day trip location. The resort also has its own beach area.

The 201 rooms are contemporary chic and come with awesome amenities like two-person hot tubs. There is also a big pool with a kiddy section and an on-site kids' club. For dining, you can choose from a buffet and Italian and Asian restaurants. There is also a spa on-site with a hydrotherapy circuit and a steam room.

Address: Bahia Del Espiritu Santo, Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Playacar Palace

11. Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula

Photo Source: Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula

On a beautiful, soft powder beach, The Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula is an all-inclusive resort that is popular with families. It has a kids' club with its own swimming pool among other child-friendly amenities.

Rooms and suites are quite large and decorated in a fun Euro style. Beds are comfortable, and bathrooms have separate tubs and walk-in showers. On-site amenities include a number of swimming pools, a spa with a Turkish bath, a deluxe gym, and nine restaurant selections.

Address: Avenida Xaman-Ha, Manzana 3, Lote 1, Condominio Playacar, Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula

12. Petit Lafitte

Photo Source: Petit Lafitte

This Playa del Carmen boutique hotel is another family-friendly option that feels worlds away from this area's all-inclusive, mega resorts. It features relaxed and comfortable accommodation in rooms or rustic wooden bungalows with either ocean or garden views. These feature either one king or two double beds and can accommodate up to five people. On-site amenities include a restaurant on the beach, games room, swimming pool, and spa.

Address: Carretera Cancun - Chetumal km 296 + 2.1 Xcalacoco, Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Petit Lafitte

13. Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

Photo Source: Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

The five-star Belmond is a boutique property on a beautiful white-sand, palm-lined beach in a secluded location between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The rooms are done up with Mayan art, comfy furnishings, including plush sofas and terra cotta terraces. There are also suites with personal plunge pools and outdoor showers.

The resort definitely has a couples vibe but doesn't turn away children. However, it is probably most appropriate for either infants or teenagers as there is no kids' club or organized activities. There are three swimming pools on-site and a few restaurants. Breakfast is included, and a highlight is the made-to-order quesadillas.

Address: Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Km 51, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa

14. La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel

Photo Source: La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel

In the midst of Tulum's Hotel Zone, La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel is a family-friendly boutique property. It has just 15 suites in a number of styles. The best come with private plunge pools, but all boast awesome Caribbean sea views. The suites come with free Wi-Fi in the rooms, but there are no TVs. There is also no swimming pool on-site. However, there is a restaurant and playground. Still, it is a good choice if you are looking for a smaller property that isn't all inclusive.

Address: Carretera Tulum Bocapaila, KM 8.2, Zona Costera, Tulum

Accommodation: La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel

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Explore the Mayan Riviera: If you have time for activities beyond the resort, consider a trip to see the nearby ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum, both easily reachable on a day trip. You may also want to consider a trip to Cozumel, just a ferry ride away.

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