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Report 1914: Riviera Maya for Grandkids

By carolstig from Illinois USA, Spring 2011

Trip Description: In April 2011 I took my 9-year-old grandson to a deluxe resort in Riviera Maya.

Destinations: Countries - North America; Regions/Cities - Mexico

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Beach; Day Tours; Independent Travel; 2 People

Page 1 of 1: Riviera Maya for Grandkids

photo by Carol Stigger

Cameron rides dolphins

For a grandmother who refuses to take her grandkids to Disneyland, what's left? How about the rest of the world!

Cameron, age 9, and I found that travel from Chicago to Mexico's Riviera Maya is not too taxing when granny has a Kindle and the boy has a DSI. We left at 6am, changed planes in Charlotte, N.C., and were on the beach by 2pm. Transportation from Cancun airport to the resort, Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, was $25 per person, each way.

The resort is located on verdant acres of sea-side property, and our room overlooked the Caribbean Sea. Building codes require that resorts build on only five percent of their property (we decided pools are not included) and can be no more than four stories high. The seemingly endless serpentine pool was just 20 steps from our front door and five steps from my hammock. Cameron enjoyed ordering Shirley Temples from the swim-up bar. The beach is clean and uncrowded, great for snorkeling (him) and lounging under a thatched roof (me).

We selected the all inclusive plan, which included five sit-down restaurants in addition to a huge buffet three times a day and unlimited pizza and burgers all day and night. The restaurants include an Italian, Caribbean, and Japanese. When we ate at the buffet we took our plates to the veranda overlooking the sea.

The way to get a nine-year-old to sit down for a sit down dinner is to wear him out during the day. We rode dolphins, which I don't care about doing again, but Cameron wants to do every summer for the rest of his life. We explored the Mayan ruins at Tulum and cooled off in the sea behind one of the temples. I had not expected a beach, but it was so hot I was thrilled to find one!

For a full day of above ground and underground adventure, we went to XPlor Park. The park has unlimited rides on 13 zip lines, beautiful swims through underground caves, underground rafting, and a U-Drive-It ride on an amphibious vehicle that seemed to test my driving skills but was perfectly safe. Cameron's favorite Spanish word was "rapido," which he chanted throughout the ride. The unlimited dining was under a thatched roof and included kid friendly as well as food to please adults. My favorite zipline was the hammock -- a short ride in a hammock with a splash down finale.

Fun, relaxing, excellent food and accommodations, and a bit of adventure. What more could I ask for? A return trip. Cameron and I are going back in July and are taking his mother (my daughter).

I thought I would always love Italy best, but I am delighted to have discovered Riviera Maya and the Barcelo Maya Palace Resort. Grandkids would get cranky on my long walks through Rome. This trip we set a pace we both enjoyed and was definitely all smiles.


Barcelo Maya Palace

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