I have heard people talk about vacationing at all-inclusive resorts with their families, but it was never something I had considered. All-inclusives have just said “honeymoon” to me. My stay with Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort in Cancun changed my mind about that. Sure, I’d have been happy enjoying a relaxing stay there with my husband, but I could also see enjoying it with my kids. There’s something for everyone.
Moon Palace is a sprawling resort with more than 2,400 guest rooms and suites on 123 acres. The grounds include a beautiful span of white sandy beach (whose water can be taken over by seaweed), as well as plenty of tropical foliage (complete with wildlife) for those who crave lots of greenery. There are three primary sections of accommodations at Moon Palace. Nizuc and Sunrise are both hubs of activity with plenty of restaurants and activities and a focus on beach-front lodging. Moon Grand has fewer restaurants, activities, and shops, and is located in an area with more dense foliage, making it feel more secluded than the other areas. It is also recently renovated. I enjoyed the seclusion and quiet of Moon Grand on my solo trip, but with kids I’d pick an area closer to the action.
I took a walk along the beach from Moon Grand to the far end of the resort at Sunrise. The journey, which passed the mini-golf course, numerous beach-side pools, and the Dolphinarium, took about 15-20 minutes. If you’re not in the mood to walk, there are regular buses from just outside of each of the lobbies. They also use golf carts to help get your luggage to your room and get you to more remote areas of the property.
The newly renovated rooms at Moon Grand are stunning. The rooms have two-person Jacuzzi tubs, private balconies, and large bathrooms with separate areas for the shower, toilet, and sinks. If you like to lounge on your balcony, many of the rooms furthest from the lobby overlook foliage and offer the most privacy and quiet. In addition to the obvious amenities, you’ll find a fancy coffee maker (cappuccino, anyone?) and a mini-bar with complimentary juice, water, soda, beer, and other alcohol. There are also in-room snacks.
Parents will appreciate the connecting rooms designed specifically for families (King bed in one room, two Queens in the other), and 24-hour room service (included). The buildings are designed almost entirely in stone, travertine I believe, including the hotel rooms. Expect the floors to be slippery when wet and unforgiving in a fall.
With 14 restaurants and 11 bars on site, most families will find a type of food and an atmosphere to make everyone happy. And, since it’s all-inclusive, it’s a great time for kids to experiment with new flavors. I thought the poolside Los Tacos restaurant to have a family friendly menu and vibe for lunch, but there are plenty of options, including buffets, and a poolside grill. Definitely make a visit to Sweet & Coffee in Nizuc. Their ice cream is amazing, and it’s difficult to choose between all of the yummy sweets in their glass case. For something a bit more substantial, they also offer crepes.
What to do with the kids when they’re not sleeping or eating?
Dolphinarium – Adults and kids 8+ can swim with, dance with, and kiss the dolphins. I had such a great time! It’s pricey, but a really amazing one-in-a-lifetime experience
FlowRider – FlowRider is a simulator that offers a fun, low-key surfing experience for kids and adults. Kids can go bodyboarding and those who are more experienced/daring can use a stand-up board. I didn’t try this one, but there was always a swift-moving line of excited guests.
Wired – This is the teen lounge. It has TVs, video games, computers with Internet access, music, and, of course, snacks.
Kid’s Club – Kids ages 4-12 can spend the day with Kid’s Club staff doing all kind of activities, including swimming, crafts, and sports. While we were there, they were getting some fun lessons from performers from Cirque Dreams Rocks, the show that had taken up residence at Moon Palace for the summer. There is also a kid’s pool area, and a newly renovated playground.
Families can also enjoy mini-golf, a movie night, and daily shows. Adults may prefer spa and 18-hole golf, but there is plenty going on. I hardly scratched the surface in my stay. I just may have to go back…
Disclosure: Travel to and stay at the Moon Palace Golf Resort & Spa and swimming with the Whale Sharks in Cancun was provided for review purposes. There was no additional compensation and the opinions in this post are my own.