Updated: February 9, 2018
Cancun Family Resorts – Tips and Recommendations
- Isla Cancun (also known as the Hotel Zone) is shaped like a 7. Most resorts are on the back of the 7 and the beaches face east. The top of the 7 faces north and is semi-protected from direct ocean waves and has the most kid-friendly swimming. (The Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach is located along this stretch of protected beach.) Ciudad Cancun (or downtown Cancun) is located inland and is where you’ll find the cheapest hotels and the best local food.
- Booking.com – The best website for booking family hotels in Cancun.
- Best Budget Hotels for Families near the Beach: Krystal Cancun and the Royal Islander.
- The best local/Mexican restaurant near the beach is El Fish Fritanga. It faces the lagoon, not the ocean. It’s popular with locals and has good seafood. The Taco Factory has the best pastor tacos in the hotel zone.
- The best kid-friendly tour in Cancun is the Cenote Day Tour which takes you to 4 amazing cenotes (see photo of my boys below) where you will swim, snorkel, and zipline. (Kids need to be 6 years or older.) Swimming in a cenote (a sinkhole filled with cool fresh water) is the highlight of any trip to the Yucatan and this is an easy way to see 4 really unique ones. Tour includes hotel pickup, lunch, snorkel gear, and life vests.
- Looking for something less touristy? Try either Isla Mujeres (which has one of the most kid-friendly beaches in the Caribbean) or Tulum (90 minutes south of Cancun, great beaches, laid back boutique hotels).
- Best time to visit: Cancun is a good year-round destination but the best weather for a family vacation is between December and April.
The Best Hotels for Families in Cancun Area
1. Nizuc Resort and Spa – Luxury
Stylish resort with five pools, sumptuous dining, and a Maya-inspired spa. Spacious rooms, suites, and villas include private balconies, some with soaking tubs or private plunge pools. The kids’ club is well-loved with a caring staff, crafts, activities, and a pool. Restaurants showcase range of cuisines from Mexican to pan-Asian. Located on a quiet beach with tame water, white sand, and a reef with colorful fish, perfect for first-time snorkelers.
2. The Grand at Moon Palace – Luxury
Huge, all-inclusive resort featuring a water park, two pools, and a lazy river. Suites include whirlpools and private balconies; Grand Family suites are double-sized with three beds, a kids’ minibar, and an Xbox. Their expansive kids’ club houses a splash pad, black light mini-golf, and bumper cars. Excursions, dolphin swims, and more are covered by their resort credits program. The beach here, though, is not swimmable; instead, guests have access to the beach at their sister property Beach Palace.
3. The Ritz-Carlton Cancun – Luxury
Beachfront resort boasting two pools, stellar dining, and a tranquil spa. Their immersive kids’ and teens’ clubs offer a range of activities all day with night safaris on weekends and a video game area for teens. All rooms and suites include balconies and soaking tubs; some add private pools or Jacuzzis. Located on a swimmable white sand beach with crystal water and moderate waves.
4. Hyatt Ziva Cancun – Luxury
Contemporary, all-inclusive resort with dolphins and three infinity pools. Some room and suites feature soaking tubs, swim up access, or club level perks. Family amenities include a kids’ club with a mini-water park. Restaurants and bars offer international flavors and 24-hour room service. Located in a protected cove with soft sand and mild surf.
5. Grand Residences Riviera Cancun – Luxury
Spacious suites in Puerto Morelos have up to four bedrooms and sleep up to thirteen guests, all with kitchenettes and whirlpool tubs. Some add washers and dryers, outdoor Jacuzzis, or private pools. The resort features an oceanfront pool, kids’ club, and spa. Choose the all-inclusive, breakfast plan, or room only to customize your stay. The beach is gorgeous and swimmable, though a tad rocky with occasional strong surf.
6. Marriott Cancun Resort – Luxury
Contemporary resort with an oceanfront infinity pool and a whirlpool. Rooms and one-bedroom suites all feature a private balcony. The Presidential Suite adds a second balcony and an outdoor Jacuzzi. The active kids’ club for ages four to twelve has a pool and is shared with neighboring JW Marriott. Located on a wide, white stretch of swimmable beach with moderate waves.
7. Hard Rock Hotel Cancun – Luxury
All-inclusive, rock-themed resort with cascading infinity pools, three whirlpools, and a sandy, swimmable beach. Unique perks include complimentary guitars, mixing stations, record players, and use of a recording studio. Anyone over twelve can access the Music Lab, with professional instrument, DJing, and vocal lessons, culminating in a live performance at the end of their stay. All rooms have a private balcony and two-person Jacuzzi tub. Two-bedroom Family Suites add a kids’ minibar and Xbox.
8. Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach – Luxury
Upscale resort with an enormous pool, extensive spa, and award-winning dining. Suites range from junior to two-bedrooms, all with balconies and ocean views, some with jetted tubs. The Presidential Suite adds a rooftop plunge pool and full kitchen. The kids’ club for ages three to twelve boasts a water park, theater, game room, and night camp. The Grand Fiesta sits in a protected cove with the finest white sand and calm, turquoise water.
9. JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa – Luxury
Beachfront resort with three connected pools, fantastic food, and a scuba reef pool with dive lessons. Rooms and suites are well-appointed with balconies, soaking tubs, and connecting options. Guests have access to the kids’ club at their sister property next door. The beach here is wide, with plenty of shaded loungers and moderate waves.
10. Moon Palace – Luxury
Giant, all-inclusive resort south of Cancun and close to the aiport with six connecting pools, water slides, a Flowrider (surf simulator), and mini-golf. All rooms feature double jetted tubs and private balconies. Family Deluxe Suites are double-sized with a kids’ minibar and amenities. The resort boasts two kids’ clubs for ages four to eleven, with indoor and outdoor playrooms and a mini water park. The teens’ lounge has an arcade, air hockey, and billiards. The beach is swimmable, though a bit rocky and not pretty; however, guests have all-inclusive privileges at their sister properties with better beaches. Guests can also get a day pass for the huge water park at neighboring The Grand.
11. Beach Palace – Luxury
All-inclusive resort with three pools, three hot tubs, and a waterslide. Rooms include a two-person jetted tub and private balcony. Family Deluxe Suites are twice the size with a kids’ minibar, Xbox, and beach gear. Their well-loved kids’ club has attentive staff, activities, and a playroom. Like their sister properties, they have a resort credit program for excursions or day passes to The Grand’s water park. Set on a stunning beach with crystal water and medium surf.
12. Dreams Riviera Cancun – Luxury
Active, all-inclusive resort with three pools and two hot tubs. All rooms and suites include whirlpool tubs and private balconies, many with private plunge pools, some with kitchenettes and outdoor Jacuzzis. The kids’ club is open for children as young as three years, with a playground, splash pad, and weekly campouts. Family activities include Euro bungee, cooking classes, and dance lessons. Located near Puerto Morelos, the beach is well-maintained, super clean, and great for swimming with mostly calm surf.
13. Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun – Luxury
Beachfront, all-inclusive resort with two pools and a Maya-inspired spa. The kids’ club offers a pirate pool and creative activities all day, while the teens’ club features video games, billiards, and sports. Rooms vary from standard-sized to two-bedroom suites with attached studios, some with sofa beds, terrace Jacuzzis, and full kitchens. The beach boasts perfect white sand and medium surf; probably too rough for beginners, but excellent for more experienced swimmers.
14. Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun – Luxury
All-inclusive, all-suite resort in Puerto Morelos with four pools on a serene, swimmable beach. Junior and one-bedroom suites (connecting rooms optional) offer private balconies and whirlpool tubs, some with Jacuzzis on the terrace. The kids’ club hosts children aged three to twelve with fun activities like sandcastle building, campouts, and movie nights. The teen club has video games, Euro bungee, and billiards. Restaurants feature a strong selection of cuisines, all expertly prepared.
15. Now Jade Riviera Cancun – Luxury
Five-star, all-inclusive with amply sized suites, two infinity pools, and gorgeous beach next to a dolphinarium. Suites include private balconies and Jacuzzis. Their kids’ club for children aged three to twelve features activities, arts, and adventures; the teen club hosts breakdancing lessons and video games. Located near Puerto Morelos, the beach is beautiful, though a little rocky and sometimes rough; walk just five minutes south to find better swimming.
16. Dreams Playa Mujeres – Luxury
All-inclusive resort with dolphins and golf on a quiet beach with soft sand and gentle waves. Suites and villas include private balconies and sofa beds, some with swim up access, private pools, and Jacuzzis. Club Level upgrades grant access to the lazy river, spa hydrotherapy, and a private lounge. The kids’ club hosts daily activities, a small water park, and weekly campouts; the teens’ club features dance nights, video games, rock climbing, and weekly bonfires.
17. Omni Cancun Hotel & Villas – Luxury
All-inclusive pick with three cascading pools, located on a sandy, swimmable beach. Spacious rooms and suites all have private balconies, some with jetted tubs or full kitchens. Villas have three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a full kitchen. Five- to twelve-year-olds can join in the kids’ club activities, while all ages can sign up for dance and scuba lessons.
18. Crown Paradise Club – Luxury/Mid-range
All-inclusive resort with five pools on a gorgeous beach with white sand, bright blue water, and moderate surf. All rooms come with balconies, while spacious Family Suites feature triple bunk beds. Club level upgrades add Jacuzzis (indoor or outdoor) and a lagoon cruise. Family amenities include a baby club with a playroom for ages eighteen months to three years and a Kids’ Club for ages three to twelve, with a pirate ship and a castle pool with nine waterslides. Older kids and families have access to a small waterpark, billiards, video games, and mini-golf.
19. Royal Cancun – Mid-range
All-suite resort with two pools and a kids’ club on one of Cancun’s best beaches, featuring powdery white sand and calm waves. Sailboats, kayaks, and snorkel gear are free for guest use. Suites are all two-bedroom units that sleep up to six, with full kitchens and private balconies. Guests can choose between an all-inclusive (with added perk of 24 hour room service) or room-only package, as preferred.
20. Royal Caribbean – Mid-range
Charming resort with two free-form pools, massage cabanas, and an active kids’ club for ages four to twelve. Rooms include private balconies, while one- and two- bedroom suites add full kitchens. Their main restaurant, Tradewinds, offers dining all day, with different nightly themes, plus there are two bars, a coffee shop, and a well-stocked market onsite. The beach is gorgeous, with white sand and turquoise water, but the water can get a little rough for swimming. To make up for it, they offer a complimentary shuttle to the beach at their sister property, Royal Cancun.
21. Royal Islander – Mid-range
Beachfront resort with excellent dining, a small kids’ club, and two free-form pools. Rooms and suites all feature soaking tubs. Rooms come with a Juliet balcony, while suites add a full-sized terrace and kitchen. Four restaurants and bars serve a solid selection of local and international cuisines and refreshing cocktails, with El Conquistador being the most popular, especially when the bands are playing. Perks include loaner bicycles, sailboats, and golf clubs (they’re right across the street from a golf course). The Royal Islander shares the beach with the Royal Caribbean and also offers shuttle service to the Royal Cancun’s beach.
22. El Rey del Caribe – Budget
Eco-friendly, boutique hotel with a small pool, hot tub, and kid’s playhouse set in a jungle garden with native plants and birds. Unique for their environmental concept, the hotel collects rainwater, uses solar heating, and composts everything; they also train students and community leaders in eco-technologies. All rooms are junior suites with kitchenettes and two-burner stovetops. Onsite amenities include yoga twice a day, a massage studio, and a breakfast restaurant serving healthy meals (no soda or alcohol on the menu). The hotel is in Downtown Cancun about ten minutes by bus or taxi to the beach (Playa Tortugas) and walking distance to good local restaurants.
Family Villas and Apartments in Cancun
Apartment rentals and villas for families in Cancun. All units have kitchens. Most have washer/dryer and free-wifi.
- The Villas at The Royal Cancun
2-bedroom apartments have a double bed, sofa bed, and two single beds and sleep family of 5.
- Suite with Ocean View
Split-level apartment has 2 double beds, 2 single beds, and sleeps family of 6.
- Studio Apartment with Sea View
Small beachfront apartment has 2 double beds and 1 sofa bed.
- Beachscape Kin Ha Villas & Suites
2-bedroom suite with full kitchen can sleep 8 (snugly).
- Magnolia Beach Apartments
1-bedroom apartment has 2 double beds, a sofa bed, and sleeps family of 5.
- Suites Malecon Cancun
Inexpensive 2-bedroom suite with 1 double bed and 2 single beds, located in town not along the beach.
- Edificio Velas Apartment
Cheap 1-bedroom apartment sleeps family of 4, located in town not along the beach.