All-inclusive family vacations make sense for so many reasons. Having to constantly pull out your wallet, searching for food, entertaining young and especially teen aged kids offers anything but a holiday for parents. So why don’t families go all-inclusive all the time? Too often, the quality just isn’t there. So-so food, hunting for chairs around crowded pools and rooms just not comfortable enough for a stretch of family bonding, are all turn-offs. Put them together, and the thought of just staying home looks appealing. That is until you look at the Azul Beach Hotel.
When most folks think of Mexico’s Riviera Maya they think of Cancun. But just 15 minutes from the airport, in the smaller neighborhood of Puerto Morelos, Azul Beach Hotel sits quietly on a stretch of Bahia Petempich. You can walk the entire property in about 10 minutes. With only 148 rooms, there are no skyscrapers and the Resort maintains a more intimate, cozy vibe.
Stylish and Smart Family Suites
Fresh off a 21 million dollar renovation in 2011, you’d expect the Family Suites to be pretty. But what’s really impressive is the smart design and use of space. The living room has a sleep sofa that comfortably sleeps three kids and still leaves space to move in the room. There’s also a dining room table that seats four, a television and a dvd player. Two sets of sliding doors enable parents to have privacy and create a separate bedroom with a king sized bed and another television. Families can select the perfect pillow from the Pillow Menu and then have the pillows and entire room customized with the aromatherapy option of their choosing. The oversize bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub that parents can actually stretch out in, along with double sinks and usable drawer space. The shower and toilet are each individually enclosed, so in theory three people could be using the bathroom at the same time without invading each others space and privacy. An added extra, there’s actually enough towels for the entire family.
All suites have an outdoor space of their own with room for two or more chairs. Some offer pool and ocean views, while select ground floor suites called swim-up rooms, have ladders off the balcony that drop you directly into the pool. A shelf for shoes tucked into an entryway table/bench and a drink refrigerator that’s restocked daily, rounds out the list of thoughtful room amenities.
Fisher-Price® Gear and Toys
If the Azul Beach Hotel doesn’t have it, chances are you really don’t need it. Thanks to a partnership with Fisher-Price® you can leave a full suitcase of stuff at home. Everything from cribs to strollers, changing tables, food warmers, bottle sterilizers and even baby monitors can be set-up in your suite. There’s also a bottomless toy box.
Little People® for Little People
If your child is a fan of Fisher-Price’s Little People®, and you really want to go all out, book one of the four Fisher-Price® Family Suites. They have the same great layout as the Family Suites, just with an explosion of Little People® art and décor. Little People® characters meet kids at arrival, and colorful Little People® towels line the bathroom. When you make your family’s reservation, be sure to tell the Hotel your children’s names so the towels can be personalized and embroidered by the on-site seamstress.
Azulitos Play House
A daily program of kids activities are offered through the Azulitos Play House. Designed for ages 4 through 12, activities include things like story time, arts and crafts, face painting and Spanish lessons. My Gym, tumbling style classes are also available for an additional charge. Teen programs are offered during high season.
The quality of the food is taken seriously, and you can taste it. Many of the vegetables served come from a 100,000 square foot greenhouse maintained by the Resort on a sister property. The oldest and youngest travelers will be excited about the variety of food options offered by the half-dozen on-site restaurants. To make vacation as easy and flexible as possible, no reservations are required at any of the eateries. The sushi chef puts on a show at Asian-inspired Tainan, they dish up Italian at Roma and the menu at Chil focuses on contemporary cuisine with Mexican-Caribbean style.
Even the pickiest of eaters will find something to please here. The buffet style Blue serves up a special kids breakfast buffet. I know adults who’d find it hard to pass up the decorated breakfast cupcakes, (yes, you read that correctly – breakfast cupcakes), displayed next to the cereal and waffles. Ah… vacation.
Dana’s trip was hosted by Karisma Hotels, but as always Dana’s thoughts and opinions are her own.