Hi friends. Happy new year to all of you. Like many of you, I have spent the holidays planning for the possible travel destinations for 2020. One of the places we have zeroed in Cancun. We would like to spend a relaxing few days in an all-inclusive. What are your ideas? It should be kid-friendly and not crazy expensive. I am not too much worried about high-end food and drinks but definitely need clean beach access and preferably a mini waterpark. Thanks.
I can't be any help with the all-inclusive but if you haven't been to Chichen itza yet, if you have time I recommend a visit. It's a little over 2 hours but well worth the visit. The new highway is nice and pay attention above, if you're lucky you might see a monkey crossing one of the monkey bridges. 🐒
Botticelli, if I were you, I would drive the two hours to Tulum (one straight highway, in good condition and you can't get lost) and stay at one of the smaller hotels along the beach. Tulum's beach is ideal for kids and adults (soft sand, white and wide, stretching for miles) and the ocean is ideal for swimming. Right next to it are archeologic sites and the town Tulum, about 10 minutes away by car. Some of the hidden, family-run restaurants offer free use of daybeds as long as you have a drink or lunch at their place (not expensive).
However, if you like highrisers, little green, extensive nightlife, tons of bars, drunken kids, noise and a small beach (at best or none at high tide in some places), you should stay in Cancun.
Just a thought...some might disagree for whatever reason :-)
I haven't been to Tulum yet but I saw pictures from my friends visit. Liketraveling, I agree with your recommendation. Tulum would be more a more authentic "Mexico" visitand more relaxing.
I second both Chichen Itza and Tulum. Admittedly, it has been about 15 years since I have been on the Yucatan Peninsula but at that point Tulum was very safe and pleasant - at least we never felt unsafe there at all. We rented cabanas on the beach and it was lovely. We were able to go to the store and cook fajitas in the camp.
FYI: As soon as you land at the airport, you will probably be bombarded by hotel "representatives" offering free trips to Chichen Itza if you are willing to go listen to a timeshare pitch at a hotel. Be very careful about this. Those folks can be VERY pushy. We actually did this knowing full well that we would absolutely not be buying a timeshare. Our trip was last minute so this allowed us to take a bus ride out there without arranging our own transportation but I would normally not recommend going to these presentations.
When I was in Cancun, the public buses were very affordable and safe. This might be a good way to get out there if you don't want to drive in Mexico.
I'll join the recommendation for Tulum for your purposes. If you decide to take an excursion to Chichen Itza, as others have recommended, your kids (and you too) will enjoy the Ik Kil Cenote, a gorgeous water filled sinkhole across the road from the Dolores Alba, which is a good lodging option with a couple of quirky swimming pools. This is just a few miles from the ruins, and easily accessible by car, bus or taxi.
I have been to Mexico a few times and chose All Inclusive each time. To me, its less stress since going outside of the hotel is not recommended. I am not much of a drinker but the endless drinking by the pool and beach is nice. If you want a little waterpark for the kids, Paradisus in Playa del Carmen has a nice waterpark, was just there this past October but I didn't like the beach as much as Cancun.
You can't go wrong with an all-inclusive in Cancun. Definitely worth spending a bit more to make sure you have good food and accomodations though. The good thing about Cancun is there are so many all-inclusives, you usually still aren't spending much to get something above 3 stars. I love the AMResorts family of resorts. They have a few brands that are family friendly-Dreams, Now, Reflect, and Sunscape. I believe one of them has a waterpark in Cancun as well. There is also Moon Palace in Cancun, but I don't have any personal experience with that brand.