BY PETER GREENBERG
WHAT’S YOUR de;ni-tion of “family friendly”
when it comes to your
vacation? Is it kid-friendly activities or
care? Healthy menus
or opportunities for
parents to interact with their kids while
sharing new experiences? And, of course,
does “family friendly” also mean a;ord-able? In my book, the answer is all of the
above, especially if you’re headed to Mexico
with your family. Here are a few options.
Paradisus Playa del Carmen
La Esmeralda, Playa del Carmen
The resort o;ers a private bay and a
multitude of restaurants and bars, plus
a Family Concierge program designed
to give parents a truly hassle-free vacation. Suites come with a dedicated butler
to coordinate activities for both parents
The hotel’s turndown service includes
milk and cookies, and the minibar is
thoughtfully stocked with fruit juices.
Twenty-four-hour babysitting is avail-
able for a fee, and Kids Zone o;ers a vari-
ety of programs and theme parties. The
Game Room is equipped with PlayStation,
Nintendo Wii and Xbox ;;;. There’s also
a climbing wall, beach volleyball, snor-
kelling and kayaking to lure kids away
from screens. Want more
salon services include
manicures and pedicures,
facials and hairstyling.
Nearby is Xcaret Park,
a Yucatán-style theme park.
Plan on paying about ;;;;
for an adult and half that for
children ages ; to ;;. Little ones
under ; get in free. Visit the aquarium,
aviary, butterfly pavilion and ancient
ruins, and enjoy a ;reworks show at night.
Swimming with the dolphins costs extra.
For further immersion in Mayan culture,
sign up for a trip to the ancient remains of
Crown Paradise Club, Cancún
This all-inclusive hotel is for water
babies of all ages. There’s a small water-play area for kids and another one for families. At the Kid’s Paradise water park,
designed for children up to ;; years of age,
there is a pirate ship, a castle with nine
waterslides and spurting water fountains.
At Baby Paradise, little ones ages ;;
months to ; years can nap in the nursery,
have story time and play to their heart’s
content—toys provided. And it’s staffed
until ; p.m.
Moon Palace, Cancún
This expansive all-inclusive resort
o;ers an array of activities and entertainment for families, couples and people of
all ages. Set on ;;; acres, the resort features eight pools (including two children’s
pools), ;; restaurants, numerous bars and
lounges, two ;tness centres, a kids club, a
teen lounge, a nightclub, daily activities
and nightly entertainment. Indulge in a
treatment at the resort’s spacious spa, play
a round of golf at the on-site Jack Nicklaus
signature course or practice sur;ng with
the FlowRider Double Wave simulator.
Moon Palace’s new kids club, The
Playroom, is a dream come true for guests
ages ; to ;;. The new club has playrooms
for toddlers, a kitchen, game rooms, an
Xbox room and a separate area ;lled with
toys. It also has a theatre with comfy seating and concessions, where kids can mingle while watching movies.
For more-active children, there are
two playgrounds, both inside and out.
All children in the club are always under
strict supervision by the property’s helpful sta;. Anything
and everything a kid can
desire is likely to be
found in The Playroom.
Activities at The
Playroom include tennis lessons, minigolf,
piñata-making, treasure hunts, pool games,
beach soccer, beach
camping, Spanish lessons,
kiddie disco, cookie making,
slumber parties, handcrafting,
movie nights, game nights, face painting and masquerade nights. The Playroom
also o;ers a variety of board games and has
a fully equipped arcade room.
The kids club also engages kids with
interactive games such as Twister, hot
potato, ping-pong, mini Olympics and
much more. Eco-friendly and educational
activities include beach cleanup, tree
planting, sea turtle release (during the
season), “make your own marine monster” drawing and “prehistoric” car races. C
Peter Greenberg is the multiple–Emmy
Award–winning travel editor for CBS News
and host of The Travel Detective on public
television ( petergreenberg.com).
Find your next getaway in Mexico
All in the family
Book your next trip to Mexico with Costco
Travel. For more information, call
1-855-863-0357, or visit
Costco.ca and click “Travel.”
Left: A family enjoys the private bay at Paradisus
Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda. Below: Moon
Palace, Cancún, boasts eight pools.