The Best Family-Friendly All-Inclusive Hotels in the U.S. and Mexico

by Amelia Mularz

The Best Family-Friendly All-Inclusive Hotels in the U.S. and Mexico

by Amelia Mularz

For parents planning a family vacation, it’s easy to get bogged down by the details. Where will you stay, what will you eat three times a day, and how will you keep everybody entertained? But most important, what will it all cost? Enter the all-inclusive to save the day. Packages that include room, food, and activities mean less logistics to map out and easier budgeting, too. And as we see here in this roundup of the best all-inclusives in the U.S. and Mexico for families, these packages are anything but cookie-cutter. Stay in a national landmark, live the cowboy lifestyle, explore ancient Mayan ruins, and so much more. Here, the best family-friendly all-inclusive hotels in the U.S.

For parents planning a family vacation, it’s easy to get bogged down by the details. Where will you stay, what will you eat three times a day, and how will you keep everybody entertained? But most important, what will it all cost? Enter the all-inclusive to save the day. Packages that include room, food, and activities mean less logistics to map out and easier budgeting, too. And as we see here in this roundup of the best all-inclusives in the U.S. and Mexico for families, these packages are anything but cookie-cutter. Stay in a national landmark, live the cowboy lifestyle, explore ancient Mayan ruins, and so much more. Here, the best family-friendly all-inclusive hotels in the U.S. and Mexico.

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Family at beach / iStock / haveseen
The Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort
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The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, Solvang, California

Round up your buckaroos for a luxury Southern California ranch experience at The Alisal. Nightly rates include breakfast and dinner, plus western-themed suites and cottages with wood-burning fireplaces. Cowboys-in-training can take corral lessons or venture out on a family-friendly trail ride. In the summer, there’s a rodeo every Wednesday evening with a BBQ dinner and dancing.

Round up your buckaroos for a luxury Southern California ranch experience at The Alisal. Nightly rates include breakfast and dinner, plus western-themed suites and cottages with wood-burning fireplaces. Cowboys-in-training can take corral lessons or venture out on a family-friendly trail ride. In the summer, there’s a rodeo every Wednesday evening with a BBQ dinner and dancing.

Fair Hills Resort
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Fair Hills Resort, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Soak up some old-school summer fun—including lake swimming, arts and crafts, and golf— at Fair Hills Resort. There’s even a hootenanny (musical performance) each Tuesday night. It’s a 55-year tradition! And speaking of tradition, the property has been family-run for four generations.

Soak up some old-school summer fun—including lake swimming, arts and crafts, and golf— at Fair Hills Resort. There’s even a hootenanny (musical performance) each Tuesday night. It’s a 55-year tradition! And speaking of tradition, the property has been family-run for four generations.

C Lazy U Ranch
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C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colorado

Minecraft, what? Kids will be willing to ditch their video games and truly embrace the western way at C Lazy U Ranch. Book a luxe cabin (because, yes, you should forgo screen time, but not comfy beds) and spend your days on trail rides and your evenings curling up fireside. Counselor-supervised kid and teen programs are also available, giving parents time to truly relax.

Minecraft, what? Kids will be willing to ditch their video games and truly embrace the western way at C Lazy U Ranch. Book a luxe cabin (because, yes, you should forgo screen time, but not comfy beds) and spend your days on trail rides and your evenings curling up fireside. Counselor-supervised kid and teen programs are also available, giving parents time to truly relax.

Skytop Lodge
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Skytop Lodge, Skytop, Pennsylvania

At Skytop Lodge you can pick your style of “inclusive.” Go with the Modified American Plan and breakfast (either buffet-style or a la carte) and dinner (choose from three restaurants) are covered each day. Or, go for the activity-inclusive Summer Fun Package, which covers your room, breakfast, and enough adventure (rock climbing, archery tag, fishing, and more) to keep you blissfully busy throughout your stay.

At Skytop Lodge you can pick your style of “inclusive.” Go with the Modified American Plan and breakfast (either buffet-style or a la carte) and dinner (choose from three restaurants) are covered each day. Or, go for the activity-inclusive Summer Fun Package, which covers your room, breakfast, and enough adventure (rock climbing, archery tag, fishing, and more) to keep you blissfully busy throughout your stay.

The Resort at Paws Up
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The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana

For year-round fun, The Resort at Paws Up offers 37,000 acres to explore, 100 miles of trails, and the Blackfoot River. In the winter, stay in one of 28 homes and spend your days tubing, dogsledding, and roasting marshmallows with a resident S’moreologist. During summer, give glamping a go and hike, fish, and race go-karts

For year-round fun, The Resort at Paws Up offers 37,000 acres to explore, 100 miles of trails, and the Blackfoot River. In the winter, stay in one of 28 homes and spend your days tubing, dogsledding, and roasting marshmallows with a resident S’moreologist. During summer, give glamping a go and hike, fish, and race go-karts

The Tyler Place Family Resort
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The Tyler Place Family Resort, Highgate Springs, Vermont

Since 1933, The Tyler Place Family Resort has been treating kids and adults to the ultimate summer vacation. Toss your car keys aside during your stay—here, you can reach the pool, splash pad, waterfront, courts, and more by bike or foot. Just be sure to save some energy for family field days and triathlons.  

Since 1933, The Tyler Place Family Resort has been treating kids and adults to the ultimate summer vacation. Toss your car keys aside during your stay—here, you can reach the pool, splash pad, waterfront, courts, and more by bike or foot. Just be sure to save some energy for family field days and triathlons.  

LEGOLAND Florida Resort
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LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Winter Haven, Florida

Eat, sleep, and sunbathe in the company of everybody’s favorite toy brick at Legoland Florida Resort. All-inclusive packages come with a hotel stay, plus admission to the theme park and waterpark. You’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner at hotel restaurants, then take a break from Ninjago the Ride or the LEGO-filled lazy river to eat lunch in the parks. 

Eat, sleep, and sunbathe in the company of everybody’s favorite toy brick at Legoland Florida Resort. All-inclusive packages come with a hotel stay, plus admission to the theme park and waterpark. You’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner at hotel restaurants, then take a break from Ninjago the Ride or the LEGO-filled lazy river to eat lunch in the parks. 

Chula Vista Resort & Waterpark
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Chula Vista Resort & Waterpark, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Of course the Wisconsin Dells, aka “the waterpark capital of the world,” offers family-friendly escapes. Chula Vista has an all-inclusive package with room, food, beverage, and access to 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor waterparks. Older kids can get their adrenaline pumping on the Howlin’ Tornado slide, while younger siblings live it up at the splash pad and kiddie lazy river. 

Of course the Wisconsin Dells, aka “the waterpark capital of the world,” offers family-friendly escapes. Chula Vista has an all-inclusive package with room, food, beverage, and access to 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor waterparks. Older kids can get their adrenaline pumping on the Howlin’ Tornado slide, while younger siblings live it up at the splash pad and kiddie lazy river. 

Mohonk Mountain House
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Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York

For a resort as epic as your family vacations, look to Mohonk Mountain House which is a National Historic Landmark and dates back to 1869 (hey, 150 years’ of family vacations can’t be wrong!). Not only will your kids be psyched to sleep in what looks like a castle, they’ll never forget activities like tomahawk throwing, hiking to cliffside summerhouses, and catching the occasional illusionist performance at night.

For a resort as epic as your family vacations, look to Mohonk Mountain House which is a National Historic Landmark and dates back to 1869 (hey, 150 years’ of family vacations can’t be wrong!). Not only will your kids be psyched to sleep in what looks like a castle, they’ll never forget activities like tomahawk throwing, hiking to cliffside summerhouses, and catching the occasional illusionist performance at night.

Migis Lodge
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Migis Lodge, South Casco, Maine

For over 100 years, Migis Lodge has been dazzling families with lake life in southern Maine. Treat your own crew to a summer vacation on the shores of tranquil Sebago Lake. A zip line, treehouse slides, and water activities (kayaking, swimming, waterskiing) will keep kids engaged. Plus, youngsters can join a day camp with counselors and loads of planned activities.

For over 100 years, Migis Lodge has been dazzling families with lake life in southern Maine. Treat your own crew to a summer vacation on the shores of tranquil Sebago Lake. A zip line, treehouse slides, and water activities (kayaking, swimming, waterskiing) will keep kids engaged. Plus, youngsters can join a day camp with counselors and loads of planned activities.

Hotel Xcaret Mexico
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Hotel Xcaret Mexico, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Food and drink are just the beginning at Hotel Xcaret Mexico, where the All-Fun Inclusive concept means admission and transportation to seven Xcaret parks and four tours are part of the nightly rate. Adventurous families can take off on a jet-boat ride, explore ancient Mayan ruins, drive amphibious vehicles, and zip-line above the jungle at night before kicking back by a campfire.

Food and drink are just the beginning at Hotel Xcaret Mexico, where the All-Fun Inclusive concept means admission and transportation to seven Xcaret parks and four tours are part of the nightly rate. Adventurous families can take off on a jet-boat ride, explore ancient Mayan ruins, drive amphibious vehicles, and zip-line above the jungle at night before kicking back by a campfire.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya
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Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Grand Velas Riviera Maya knows that “family-friendly” should include older kids as well as little ones. Here, the Kids’ Club caters to ages 4-12 with arts and crafts, movies, and board games, while the Teens’ Club is geared toward ages 13 to 18 and features video games, a disco floor, and karaoke.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya knows that “family-friendly” should include older kids as well as little ones. Here, the Kids’ Club caters to ages 4-12 with arts and crafts, movies, and board games, while the Teens’ Club is geared toward ages 13 to 18 and features video games, a disco floor, and karaoke.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
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Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

On the opposite Mexican coast, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit also has a kids’ club and a teens’ club, plus regularly scheduled family activities like painting classes, bonfires, and movie nights. And don’t forget babies! The hotel can even arrange a 25-minute sunrise massage for one-to-three-year-olds to stimulate their senses.

On the opposite Mexican coast, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit also has a kids’ club and a teens’ club, plus regularly scheduled family activities like painting classes, bonfires, and movie nights. And don’t forget babies! The hotel can even arrange a 25-minute sunrise massage for one-to-three-year-olds to stimulate their senses.

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa
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Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Water lovers of all ages can luxuriate at Marriott Puerto Vallarta, where an “Inclusive Getaway” option includes meals. The massive infinity pool (Puerto Vallarta’s largest) has Nosh, a brand-new swim-up bar that serves poolside snacks. Small kids can splash the day away in a separate, shallow pool with slides, then head to the kids’ club for Spanish lessons and pottery painting.

Water lovers of all ages can luxuriate at Marriott Puerto Vallarta, where an “Inclusive Getaway” option includes meals. The massive infinity pool (Puerto Vallarta’s largest) has Nosh, a brand-new swim-up bar that serves poolside snacks. Small kids can splash the day away in a separate, shallow pool with slides, then head to the kids’ club for Spanish lessons and pottery painting.

Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort and Spa
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Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa, Costa Mujeres, Mexico

Like a hotel within a hotel, Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres’ Family Selection includes 80 suites dedicated to families. Guests can take advantage of private check-in and check-out, a personal Family Host assistant, exclusive pool and beach areas, plus welcome kits and special turndown services for kids.

Like a hotel within a hotel, Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres’ Family Selection includes 80 suites dedicated to families. Guests can take advantage of private check-in and check-out, a personal Family Host assistant, exclusive pool and beach areas, plus welcome kits and special turndown services for kids.

Grand Residences Riviera Cancun
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Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Half an hour from Cancun, Grand Residences Riviera Cancun has two- and three-bedroom suites with kitchens that are ideal for families. Some even have a private pool and Jacuzzi for uninterrupted quality time and no holds barred games of Marco Polo. When you do venture out, little ones can head to the Kids Club to make piñatas while parents beeline to the spa.

Half an hour from Cancun, Grand Residences Riviera Cancun has two- and three-bedroom suites with kitchens that are ideal for families. Some even have a private pool and Jacuzzi for uninterrupted quality time and no holds barred games of Marco Polo. When you do venture out, little ones can head to the Kids Club to make piñatas while parents beeline to the spa.

Marina Fiesta Resort and Spa
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Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

A kids’ club makes Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa family-friendly, as does the hotel’s location. Set right in downtown Cabo San Lucas, Marina Fiesta is an easy stroll from shopping and restaurants, which means less hassle in wrangling little ones for local exploration. The marina-side location also makes fishing trips and snorkeling adventures easy to plan. 

A kids’ club makes Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa family-friendly, as does the hotel’s location. Set right in downtown Cabo San Lucas, Marina Fiesta is an easy stroll from shopping and restaurants, which means less hassle in wrangling little ones for local exploration. The marina-side location also makes fishing trips and snorkeling adventures easy to plan. 

Moon Palace
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Moon Palace, Cancun, Mexico

Kids will go crazy for the waterslide and FlowRider surf simulator, while parents will appreciate the 24-hour room service. But everyone will fall in love with the Family Deluxe suite at Moon Palace. The two connecting rooms accommodate up to six and come stocked with video games, milkshakes, snacks, and kid-sized robes and slippers.

Kids will go crazy for the waterslide and FlowRider surf simulator, while parents will appreciate the 24-hour room service. But everyone will fall in love with the Family Deluxe suite at Moon Palace. The two connecting rooms accommodate up to six and come stocked with video games, milkshakes, snacks, and kid-sized robes and slippers.

The Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta
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The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A palm tree playground makes sense at The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, which was a palm tree farm before becoming a family-friendly oasis with over 400 feet of private beachfront. Go with the “Escape Your Way” half-board package, which includes daily breakfast and dinner, and consider booking a Heavenly Family Suite—a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen.

A palm tree playground makes sense at The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, which was a palm tree farm before becoming a family-friendly oasis with over 400 feet of private beachfront. Go with the “Escape Your Way” half-board package, which includes daily breakfast and dinner, and consider booking a Heavenly Family Suite—a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen.

Hyatt Ziva Cancun
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Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Mexico

It’s all you can eat, drink, and snorkel at Hyatt Ziva Cancun. With eight restaurants—including an old-school diner with a booth that looks like a retro convertible—your whole crew will find somewhere to feast. Though kids will likely prefer Pasteles, a dedicated desert bar with chocolate fountains, cakes, and cotton candy.

It’s all you can eat, drink, and snorkel at Hyatt Ziva Cancun. With eight restaurants—including an old-school diner with a booth that looks like a retro convertible—your whole crew will find somewhere to feast. Though kids will likely prefer Pasteles, a dedicated desert bar with chocolate fountains, cakes, and cotton candy.

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