My husband and I did not travel much until our kids were 6 and 7. Our thinking was it would not be relaxing and the kids would not really remember the experience. So we should just stay put for those challenging years.
When we felt the kids were ready, our first trip was to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. After that experience we were hooked. We tried new resorts every year. The resorts we went to were amazing for little kids with fantastic kids clubs - and they allowed my husband and me to have some time to ourselves. However, now that our kids are teens, these types of resorts have not been as exciting to them. So I set out this year to find a new resort we all would love.
The author and her family received a complimentary stay in exchange for this review. All opinions are her own.
And I discovered Moon Palace The Grand in Cancun, Mexico .... the perfect all-inclusive resort destination for kids of all ages - including tweens and teens!
We arrived on a direct flight to Cancun airport in 3 hours from Baltimore, MD. The resort was only a 15-minute drive from the Cancun airport, which was incredibly convenient.
Our first impression was: Wow! The resort was luxurious, modern and massive. I instantly felt like we were in for a special week!
We were greeted with flowers, delicious fruity drinks and cold towels. We were given bands to wear on our wrists which served as our room keys. We were in our room and at the pools in no time!
A ton of activities
The big draw to Moon Palace The Grand is the massive water park and entertainment complex. We'd never seen anything like this before at an all-inclusive resort on a beach.
We had never seen any resort with this many options to keep all aged kids entertained. I’m not even sure if my husband, teens and I were even able to enjoy all of the amenities during our 5-day stay!
If you take a walk along the beach and look back at the resort, you see pool after pool after pool. There are pools with water slides, lazy rivers, kiddie play areas, splash pads, flow riders - and even wave pools. You can hop around all day long to find the pool with the vibe you are in the mood for - in addition to non-stop pool activities including aqua bikes and volleyball games. Oh yes - for those of us who like some downtime, there are also a selection of more quiet, adult-only pools.
Speaking of activities, did I mention the endless activities at the resort's tennis center, basketball courts, bowling alley, minigolf and teen club? And I should also mention the out-of-this-world indoor play complex that has everything you can imagine from little kid play equipment to bigger kid fun activities such as a climbing area, arcade, bumper cars, a laser game, and tons more.
Then remember you also have the beach! If you are able to squeeze in time between all of the activities, plan for a relaxing walk along the beach. It's wide, private and flat... and makes for a wonderful walk. Or forget the walk and just enjoy the beach - along with the with comfy sofas, lounge furniture, and hammocks!
At night (and during the day), there are activities and shows going on all over the resort. It is insane how many options there are! For example, there are comedy, magic, and/or music shows in the theater every night which you can enjoy while munching on popcorn.
I am a runner and the running conditions can make or break my vacation. There are some resorts where I have had to run their stairs and do whatever I could to somehow get my run in because I try to avoid indoor gyms or treadmills when I’m on vacation in a warm climate. This was probably one of the best runs I have had because Moon Palace The Grand has a perfect path to run along the ocean. I was able to easily complete my 4-mile run while seeing the whole property. In fact, I never even had to leave the property (which I sometimes I get nervous about in foreign country!) So mama was happy!
Food is one of the most important elements for our family when it comes to travel. All-inclusive resorts can be spotty. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality and options available at the resort. There is something for everyone from quick options to buffets to fine dining restaurants. Our favorites were the personal pizzas from the wood-burning pizza oven at the pool and beach.
The breakfast buffets were stocked with a variety of options, including omelet and pancake/french toast bars! Our favorite was at Cusco, which was never crowded and had an ocean vibe.
The coffee shop had every coffee drink imaginable - plus ice cream, desserts and crepes.
The fruit was just delicious at the resort. In particular, at the Beach Club, my daughter became obsessed with the mangos on a stick.
They have excellent fine dining options. I would make sure you get a reservation at Casa Mia, a fine dining Mexican restaurant. It was our favorite.
Lastly, there is a cute place outside JC’s Steak House with comfortable lounge chairs, charcuterie style boards with cheeses and meats, appetizers and drinks. I definitely recommend doing that one night.
Cleanliness, room and service
Moon Palace The Grand felt luxurious! From the moment you enter the main lobby, it is so modern and just feels fancy. The rooms are really nicely sized with giant jacuzzi bathtubs and balcony space. The double bedroom comfortably fit our family of four. They also have great hair products - and even a flat iron!
I would try to request a room with a pool, if possible. Take a look at these:
Most important to my kids is the snack drawer selection (which of course is included and refilled nightly.) My kids were very happy about the choices!
I was really impressed with the cleanliness of the resort. Everywhere you went there were people cleaning. The bathrooms around the pools were very clean, which I appreciate. The staff wore masks everywhere throughout the resort as well.
The service was perfect. Everyone was attentive, smiley, and wonderful to interact with. We were never given a bill to sign throughout our time at the resort which was unusual for us compared to other all-inclusive resorts and appreciated. There was no pressure at all to tip constantly like some resorts have. I would suggest bringing cash though so you can tip when you might like to do so.
Spa and gym
I also have to make sure I share how amazing their spa is! The spa is one of the best spas I have been to in my life. It is gorgeous and huge. It never felt crowded. They have a water experience before and after you have your treatment - so make sure to get there early for that full experience of the warm and cold rooms followed by a crazy array of pools.
We did end up getting all our spa treatments comped because we participated in a 90-minute Club Membership presentation. I was impressed by how many attractive custom membership options they offer, based on where and how much you travel.
They also have a spa cafe which I recommend checking out if you are a healthy eater and love your salads, smoothies, and fruit bowls.
Their gym is also fantastic. I didn't have time to try anything, but here are some photos!
We had a wonderful week - and I would highly recommend Moon Palace The Grand as a great destination for a family getaway!